APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, March 12, 2010
- Management blinks. Blinded by the truth?
- APFA Board briefed on negotiations status at Annual Convention
- Timeline for action: next step is request for release
- Membership outreach planned: mailings, road shows, videos
- Board elects Ad Hocs, approves budget; other Convention business
- Daylight Saving Time: spring forward
THEY CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
The Greek philosopher Diogenes was famously noted for carrying a lamp in broad daylight, searching for an honest man. He may need something stronger than a mere lamp at AMR Headquarters in Centreport. Witness the latest fiction on AAís own negotiations website, wherein Vice Prez of Employee Relations Mark Burdette whines that we at APFA got it all wrong when we exposed their bad-faith tactics at the NMB last week. According to Burdette, their skedaddling home early from talks is just a big misunderstanding and that they are really, really trying to get a deal. In other words: “Did not! Did not!” For the true story, which has drawn such an allergic reaction from management, read the APFA News Release from March 3 and watch Chief Negotiator Anne Loewís update video about the events (or read the transcript .) And never forget who represents your interest in these talks.
Burdette’s speciousness is topped only by his boss’s. AMR CEO Gerard Arpey, in an impressive ignorance of the elephant in the room, stated recently at an FAA Aviation Forecast Conference in reference to the airline industry: “We’re connecting more people to more places, more safely, more dependably, more affordably, and more cleanly than we ever have “
Gerard left out a few superlatives applicable to the very airline he runs: more employees laid off, more concessions demanded, more unions in stalled talks, more money in executive bonuses Ö
As APFA’s legal counsel has candidly noted: “Their allegiance to the truth is so shallow”
REPORT FROM THE APFA ANNUAL CONVENTION
The 2010 APFA Annual Convention concluded three days of meetings on Tuesday, March 9. Among the top items of business was a detailed Negotiations update -on day one-to the Board of Directors by the APFA Negotiating Team, legal counsel and economic analyst. Following the premature end of the last round of lockdown talks with management-and the company’s departure without a response to APFA’s comprehensive proposal to conclude the session with a ratifiable tentative agreement-the Board discussed APFA’s next steps as we continue along the path of Section 6 bargaining under the Railway Labor Act.
APFA President Glading and the entire Negotiating Team made clear to the APFA Board that the team remains fully committed to achieving a ratifiable agreement our members can bank on, to restore the standard of living sacrificed in the corporate bailout of American nearly seven years ago and to secure our futures. Preparing to return to Washington and meet with the NMB members, President Glading stated: “Our comprehensive proposal to AA management is economically proven not only completely reasonable but more than justified. The sacrifices made by our members in 2003 were just a hint of what middle class workers in almost every industry in this country would themselves face just a few years later: the plundering of front line labor by corporate executives intent on extracting the most from the working class. As bank and auto maker CEOís came to the public for handouts to rescue them from their own malfeasance and mismanagement, American has led the pack of airline execs treating employees like their personal piggy banks. This stops-here and now-with our members.” Glading continued, “Make no mistake, AA Flight Attendants will be more than proud, and are more than willing, able and ready to lead our colleagues industry-wide back up path to economic well-being and financial security.“
THE NEXT STEPS ALONG OUR COURSE TO VICTORY
Following two sessions of lockdown bargaining, which both resulted in more stalling and stonewalling by the company, APFA is forced by AAís actions to move forward. APFA’s President will meet with the three-member National Mediation Board on Tuesday, March 16, to review the current state of our talks, discuss fully where APFA and AA stand in their latest offers and, most importantly, to formally request release into a 30-day cooling off period. This follows the request for release by the Transport Workers Union at AA on March 11, after their talks broke down. APFA has issued a statement of support for the TWU action. (Read TWU’s release request letter.)
Meantime, the details of a strike authorization ballot to be sent to the membership are being finalized. Despite news items to the contrary, the dates of the balloting are not yet determined. Though authorized in Board Resolution #12 on November 4, 2009, the balloting period must be coordinated with setting up system-wide base road show meetings, informational mailings and any additional bargaining talks, should they be scheduled by the NMB. Thus, any reports of a date being set for the strike authorization ballot are premature. The team will decide the date as soon as the details are worked out.
It is important to note that a strike authorization is not a decision whether or not to strike. It is the membership’s way to show support for the Team and to demonstrate that they are prepared to take that step should we reach the self-help stage. Strike authorization is all about the message. When asked, show you support your Team and your Union and that you reject more handouts to AA.
After the Board briefings by the APFA Team at the Annual Convention, National Strike Administrators Patrick Hancock (IDF) and Judy Ladislaw (IOR) presented Strike Preparedness Training for the Chairs, Vice Chairs and other APFA officials and reps present. The training was an extension of that conducted for Base Strike Captains in February and also included strategizing by APFAís PR firm, whose representatives reviewed plans for upcoming initiatives-national mailings, base road shows, and videos-to get APFA’s message out to the members. Knowledge is key during this stage. Members must have and will have the clear and unambiguous facts.
All members must do their part. Read the mailings sent to you by APFA, attend base road shows when scheduled and watch the videos provided. No one can afford to sit this one out and let others do the work. Everyone must stay involved. If you haven’t yet done so, view the latest video update from APFA Chief Negotiator Anne Loew on our YouTube channel (transcript here ). Follow APFA on Facebook and Twitter . And join the APFA Virtual Picket Line .
Be sure your contact information is up-to-date so APFA mailings reach you. Email or call the APFA Membership Department with any changes: firstname.lastname@example.org or 817.540.0108 ext 8153.
OTHER CONVENTION BUSINESS
- On day two of the APFA Annual Convention, the Board of Directors elected BOS-I Flight Attendant Greg Gunter and LAX-I Flight Attendant Kat Clements to Ad Hoc positions 3 and 4 respectively. Greg and Kat will commence their three-year terms effective April 1, 2010.
- Jose Chiu awards for outstanding performance in the area of safety were bestowed upon the JFK based Flight Attendants of flight 64 on June 6, 2009: Angelika Walter, Gillian Whittingham, Pamela King, Elaine Hardin, Pamela Cassidy, Keven Scully, Susan Mumper, Jane Biggs and Sharon Anderson; the IMA based Flight Attendants of flight 331 on December 22, 2009: Gissela Torrella, Ignacio Miller, Alfonso Martinez-Reyes and Victoria Berling; as well as APFA Go-Team Members Lonny Glover (ORD) and Tim Lessa (IMA), and APFA Safety and Security Coordinator Kelly Skyles. Complete text of the award resolution will be available for viewing by members on www.apfa.org when the Annual Convention documents are compiled and posted.
- The Board approved the following appointments to the National Balloting Committee: Gay Floyd (IDF), Leatha Berry (IDF), Cindy Horan (IMA), Karen Goodrich (IMA), and Tim OíConnell (LAX). These membersí two-year terms will commence April 1, 2010.
- The Board approved the following appointments to the Budget Committee: Cheri Washbish (MIA), Larry Salas (SFO), Todd Breckenridge (ORD), Patrick Hancock (IDF, and-as alternate member-Beth Kilcran (IOR). These members’ two-year terms will commence April 1, 2010.
- On the final day of the Annual Convention, the Board of Directors approved by unanimous consent the interim appointment of IMA Flight Attendant Michael Parker to replace Treasurer Juan Barrera, who tendered his resignation effective April 1, 2010. Juan will work with Michael until that time to ensure a smooth transition. A former APFA Treasurer for four years, Michael will serve in this capacity until a new Treasurer is elected in accordance with the APFA Constitution.
PHONE WATCH CAPTAIN RECRUITING VOLUNTEERS
APFA’s National Phone Watch Captain, DFW Flight Attendant Jackie Phillips, is seeking volunteers in the DFW area to help be a part of APFA’s Phone Watch. Should we reach the stage of needing to ramp up this service to provide vital information to our membership, we will need many volunteers. If you can offer some of your time for a four hour shift at APFA Headquarters as a Phone Watch volunteer, please send your contact information, name, employee number, phone number and email address to: email@example.com. A Representative will contact you in the coming weeks, as we get ready to open Phone Watch, to inform you of available shifts.
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME BEGINS
Daylight Saving Time will begin in the U.S. at 0200 (2 A.M.) on Sunday morning, March 14. It is time to spring ahead, turning clocks forward one hour, in those communities where the time change is observed, including all of our base city locations. The APFA Scheduling Department advises Flight Attendants to examine their activity record (HI1) carefully, especially if you have one or more duty free days spanning the time change period. Your HI1 may show such duty free period, which might normally end at midnight (2400), as terminating at 0100 to account for the time adjustment. Do not confuse such a notation as indicating an entire additional duty free day.
IDF BASE MEETING
The IDF Chairperson and Vice Chairperson have scheduled a Base Meeting for Thursday, March 18 beginning at 10:00 AM. The place is the Unity Pays room at APFA Headquarters, 1004 W. Euless Blvd. in Euless, TX. (Click here for map.) Members in good standing are invited to attend.
CHICAGO RETIREMENT BRIEFINGS
APFA Retirement briefings, presented by IDF Flight Attendant, Patrick Hancock, are scheduled for Chicago on the following dates/times:
- March 24 at 9:00 AM and 12:00 noon
- April 27 at 2:00 PM
Briefings last approximately two hours and will be held in the Flight Service Conference Room on the lower level ops area at K19, across from the FYI Center. Discussions include pension selections and retirement benefits, including insurance and travel. To get the most out of these helpful and popular seminars, print out and bring your personal pension estimate and plan calculation formulas from Jetnet. Flight Attendants from all bases are welcome to attend and no reservations are required.
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Remember that there are currently 1,410 members on furlough and awaiting recall.
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The Wings Foundation website has information on various fund raising activities, base representatives and even applications for assistance. Take a moment to visit and see how you can help at your base. Wings is formed and managed by AA Flight Attendants. If you havenít seen the Wings website, check it out today.
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