APFA weekly HotLine update for Thursday, April 1, 2010.
- American announces major initiatives for NYC expansion
- APFA’s National Strike Administrators update members
- British Airways Flight Attendants complete second weekend of job action
- Notices of Willingness-to-Serve for APFA Treasurer set for mailing
- Retirement Briefings – DFW and ORD
AMERICAN AIRLINES EXPANDS NEW YORK SERVICE
In a detailed news release and press conference on Wednesday morning, March 31, American announced major plans for expansion in the competitive New York City market, including additional flights from both LGA and JFK, further facilities improvements, slot swaps with JetBlue Airways and an interline/cooperative agreement with that carrier to feed passengers to and from each carrier’s flights in non-competing markets serving both New York and Boston. CEO Gerard Arpey framed the expansion as AA’s continuing and aggressively growing commitment to New York and its importance to American’s competitive position. His letter to employees and questions and answers on the numerous facets of the plan are available on Jetnet . The press release from AA can be found from the company’s media relations page .
How this might affect AA employees-and specifically our members-is of particular interest to APFA. In a comment on the company’s plans, President Laura Glading was quick to emphasize that though “in general, expansion is to be applauded-especially in light of the contraction we have experienced over several years-it is not going to occur at the expense of APFA members. We all want to see growth opportunities, but it must mean tangible growth and security for front line workers.“
Responding specifically to the planned interlining cooperation with JetBlue Airways, Glading commented: “The company feels this can lead to greatly increased passenger feed to and from Americanís major New York and Boston domestic and international markets. If this indeed brings the expected projected revenue boost, this is good news for labor which has steadfastly supported American and is personally invested in its success and future.“
Members have questioned already how this all relates to the ongoing negotiations and the latest concessionary demands put forth by AA. Now is clearly time to achieve our goals and reap our full share of the revenue pie which American’s own top executive now touts as aggressively growing. This puts the entire scheme of management to extract more concessions from us to shame and exposes it as just another disingenuous delay tactic. The company’s future growth is not to be financed from the pockets of its employees, already picket clean. APFA does not stand for: AMR’s Project Funding Account. Our members have clearly spoken: the bank of APFA is closed. Now more than ever, itís Our Turn.
A CHAT WITH PATRICK AND JUDY
National Strike Administrators Patrick Hancock (IDF) and Judy Ladislaw (IOR) continued preparation this week of the APFA Strike Handbook. Neither of them are unfamiliar with this territory, both having long histories with APFA, particularly with our job action in 1993. At the time, Patrick was a member of the Negotiating Team and Judy was APFA Vice President. Though this is a document APFA members and leadership alike would hope never needs to be used, we must be ready for such a possibility.
Patrick and Judy responded to recent questions about how our members have reacted to the latest development in our negotiationsóa request on March 16 by APFA for release into a 30-day cooling off period, after which the union would be free to strike.
Patrick: “Emails and calls from our members prove to us that our Flight Attendants remain committed and determined to see this process through and to do what it takes to achieve the contract we deserve for our part in the 2003 bailout of AMR. We get daily questions from our Flight Attendants, not only those who have joined our ranks since 1993 but also those here during the strike. There are clearly valid concerns to be addressed today, just as there were then. The strike handbook Judy and I are working on will have the answers members need.î
Judy: “We get a lot of member comments and pay particular attention to questions concerning how any job action might occur today compared to how things transpired in 1993 [when a system-wide strike successfully shut down AA operations for five days.]”
Patrick: “There has been a lot of rumor and conjecture going around, about targeted or “lightening” activities like the CHAOS strikes utilized by some unions, the concept of partial system shutdowns, short-duration job actions, and all manner of job protest.”
Judy: “All members must be confident that no action will be taken unless legal in all respects, which includes waiting until the appropriate time according to the Railway Labor Act. Even then, we would only act in a time and manner that suits our Team’s plan. How any work stoppage would occur, if that is the route APFA chooses to take, would certainly take into consideration what our members are able to accomplish for the maximum impact.”
Patrick: “Everyone wants to know now what might happen in the future. But it is important to remember that unpredictability is a vital factor in any action we choose to carry out. We donít want to give too much-or the wrong kind-of advance notice to AA.”
Asked what would be the best action by our members to take today to ensure success in the future, Patrick and Judy were adamant that each member needs to show management, the public and each other that we are unified for one single purpose. That is to get the best agreement possible whatever it takes. Both Judy and Patrick agree strongly that all members must vote YES on the upcoming strike authorization ballot to demonstrate full support of their Negotiating Team and APFA.
Judy: “We can only succeed by showing the same solidarity that carried us through in 1993 and again in 2001. The company must believe us when we say we are Willing, Able and Ready to strike. A credible strike threat is ultimately the best strike deterrent, to force the company to bargain fairly.”
Patrick: “A strike authorization ballot is not asking you to accept what APFA might be proposing; it is rather your way to tell management that you do not accept the concessions they are demanding.“
MEMBER INVOLVEMENT AND PARTICIPATION IS KEY
Be sure you are doing all you can to keep informed and involved in our battle for a new and improved working agreement. Hereís a checklist:
— Be sure your member information (phone, address, email) is up-to-date with APFA
Email email@example.com or call 817.540.0108 ext. 8153
— Wear only your APFA pin with the red GOT GUTS disk behind it, and your wings on your uniform. Use the email or phone number above to request a replacement pin and/or disk
— View and share our YouTube videos . Subscribe to our channel.
— Read and understand information sent to you by the APFA Negotiating Team. It is the only official information. Watch for a new mailer soon, now in the final production process.
— Attend a Seeing Red Informational Road Show meeting. Hear the explanations and ask your questions. See the complete calendar here .
— Vote YES on the strike authorization ballot. Votes will be electronically cast so read the balloting instructions carefully. Watch for your ballot to arrive at your home the week of April 19.
THE SEEING RED TOUR
Seeing Red Informational Road Shows are scheduled at each base city over a four-week period commencing April 12 in DFW (for the first of two meetings there). The complete schedule is:
DFW – Monday, April 12 – Hilton Garden Inn, DFW Airport South
BOS – Tuesday, April 13 – Courtyard by Marriott Boston Logan Airport
NYC – Wednesday, April 14 – Sheraton LaGuardia East
RDU – Monday, April 19 – Wyndham Hotel RTP-RDU Airport
DCA – Tuesday, April 20 – Radisson Hotel Reagan National Airport
STL – Wednesday, April 21 – Renaissance St. Louis Hotel – Airport
ORD – Tuesday, April 27 – Sheraton Gateway Suites Chicago O’Hare
LAX – Wednesday, April 28 – Hilton Los Angeles Airport
SFO – Thursday, April 29 – Embassy Suites San Francisco Airport – South SFO
MIA – Monday, May 3 – Wyndham Miami Airport Hotel & Executive Meeting Center
DFW – Tuesday, May 4 – Grapevine Convention Center
Meeting times will be 11 AM to 2 PM. Address information for each location are on this calendar. We know that you need information and details to see through the companyís spin and misinformation and to be confident of our path. These Informational Road Shows will bring you updates, explain where we stand, answer your questions, and discuss our next steps. Meetings are open to members in good standing.
BRITISH AIRWAYS FLIGHT ATTENDANTS STRIKE FOR SECOND WEEKEND
As had been forewarned, our flying colleagues at British Airways, represented by Unite, staged a second strike action over the past weekend, this time a four-day stoppage from Saturday, March 27 through Tuesday, March 30. Again, BA management tried to cobble together scab crews, volunteers, and chartered jets, to operate what it could of its schedule. Other airlines stood by the ready to scoop up the passengers abandoned by British carrier in its second round of throwing away (or sometimes throwing to its competitors) tens of millions of dollars in its union-busting attempts. See the latest news of the strike effectiveness on the Unite site and their news releases page .
With two crippling strikes totaling seven days over two weekends, will this drive the company back to the negotiating table for more talks? Or will management continue down the same path of destruction, just hoping for a different outcome? Is this any way to run an airline?
(See APFAís press release of support for our sisters and brothers at Unite here .)
NOTICE OF WILLINGNESS-TO-SERVE FOR APFA TREASURER SET FOR MAILING
The National Balloting Committee will mail out Willingness-to-Serve Notifications for the position of APFA Treasurer on Monday, April 5. If interested in running, a Willingness-to-Serve must be received in the designated P.O. Box no later than 10:00 AM CT, May 5, 2010.
Complete information is contained on the Willingness-to-Serve form, which will also be available for download from the Elections and Balloting page of APFA.org beginning April 5.
APFA RETIREMENT BRIEFINGS – DFW AND ORD (NOTE: ORD MEETING PLACE CHANGED)
APFA Retirement briefings, presented by IDF Flight Attendant, Patrick Hancock, are scheduled for DFW on April 12 and Chicago on April 27, both at 2:00 PM. The briefing will last approximately two hours. The Chicago meeting place announced in previous HotLines has been changed. Patrick will hold both meetings at the same location as-and immediately following-the Seeing Red Information Road Shows. For DFW: Hilton Garden Inn, DFW Airport South. For ORD: Sheraton Gateway Suites Chicago O’Hare. Come to the Road Show then stay for the Retirement Briefing!
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.
APFA headquarters will be closed Friday, April 2 for the Good Friday holiday. Regular office hours will resume at 9:00 AM central on Monday, April 5.
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Remember that there are currently 1,363 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 haven’t seen the Wings website, check it out today.
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