Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

4.16.10 – (LAA) – Seeing Red Road Shows, Second NYC Meeting Added, Strike Authorization Ballot, What Your Vote Means

Today, April 18, the company sent an update to the expense policy in their earlier HI6 message:

To: All International Flight Attendants
Re: Volcanic Ash Cloud Cancellation Expense Increase

Due to the extraordinary events caused by the volcanic eruption and subsequent closure of much of European airspace requiring cancellation of numerous AA flights, and because of additional unusual expenses incurred in this unprecedented situation, for stranded crew members, the Company is modifying its business expense reimbursement policy. Stranded crew members may submit receipts for reasonable and actual expenses incurred during this period of flight cancellations up to $100 per day. Examples of expenses that can be expected to be approved in accordance with policy are: meals, telephone calls, laundry, transportation to obtain meals, and necessary incidentals. This policy is applied in addition to contractual per diem rates and replaces the prior announcement of $30. per day in allowable expenses.


AA has sent the following HI6 to International Flight Attendants regarding Volcanic Ash Cloud Cancellations
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To: All International Flight Attendants
Re: Volcanic Ash Cloud Cancellations

Effective April 16, 2010 all Flight Attendants impacted by the volcanic ash cloud over Europe should be guided by the following while on layovers:

– Flight Attendants will be permitted to expense one five minute calling card and up to $30.00 U.S.D/day for meals – not including alcoholic beverages. All expenses must be accompanied by receipts and must be submitted to the appropriate FSM within 60 days of incurring the expense.

– All Flight Attendants impacted by these cancellations must follow the provisions outlined in Article I.9.P. Of the CBA (Misconnect, Illegality and Cancellations) in order to protect their guarantee. If the Flight Attendant is unable to pick up additional flying by the end of April, the Flight Attendant may opt to use PVDs to cover the impacted flying. Anyone who does not adhere to the MIC procedures will not be afforded the opportunity to use PVDs. Those wishing to use PVDs should contact their FSM.

Should you have any questions, please contact your FSM.
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The text of Appendix I, Article 9 can be found through the APFA website, without login.
Link to Appendix I, Article 9 of Foundation Document (scroll down to paragraph P)


APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, April 16

QUICK ALERTS

  • Seeing Red Road Shows get underway at: DFW, BOS, NYC
  • Next up: RDU-I, DCA, STL
  • Second NYC meeting added! – May 6
  • Strike Authorization Ballot set to mail April 19
  • What your vote means
  • Phone Watch volunteers needed
  • Legislative and Government updates

ROAD SHOWS CONTINUE

This past week, the APFA Negotiating Team conducted the first three of twelve Road Shows scheduled through May 6. The meetings are bringing Team members, along with APFA’s chief legal and economic advisers, to each base city to address the membership on the current state of talks, where we stand in our proposals versus management’s, and where we are going from here in our demand for a new and improved working agreement. A crowd several hundred strong filled every seat at the DFW meeting on Monday, April 12 for the start of the Seeing Red Informational Road Show tour. The following two days took the message to Boston and New York, with several hundred more members attending in those cities. A second meeting for New York was just added to the schedule. See the complete calendar (click here) for details.

The three-hour meetings provide an overview of what has transpired so far and reveal the facts and figures behind the proposals from American, how far behind they will leave our membership from where we stood before the RPA and how far short they fall from anything that remotely looks like the reward we’ve been promised, that we deserve and that we require for our part in the 2003 bailout of AMR. Importantly, the meetings allow members to directly question the Team and advisers over their concerns and to get answers to questions raised by the concessionary proposals management has put forth with the ludicrous expectation that our members would possibly find it a package worthy of serious consideration, let alone ratification.

The Seeing Red Informational Meetings continue this coming week in RDU-I on Monday, April 19, DCA on Tuesday, April 20 and STL on Wednesday, April 21. Times are 11 AM to 2 PM at each location and meetings are open to members in good standing. The venue details are:

RDU – Monday, April 19
Wyndham Hotel RTP – RDU Airport (map)
4620 South Miami Boulevard
Durham, NC 27703
919-941-6066

DCA – Tuesday, April 20
Radisson Hotel Reagan Natl. Airport (map)
2020 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA 22202
703-920-8600

STL – Wednesday, April 21
Renaissance St. Louis Airport (map)
9801 Natural Bridge Road
St. Louis, MO 63134
314-429-1100

Additional dates are:

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
NYC (newly added!) – Thursday, May 6 – Courtyard by Marriott LGA Airport

For location details click here.

STRIKE AUTHORIZATION BALLOT

The National Balloting Committee worked this week to finalize the details of the Strike Authorization Ballot, set for mailing to members on Monday, April 19. The significance of this balloting grows even greater given the communication earlier this week from the National Mediation Board to both APFA and AA which calls the parties back to the table for further talks (dates to be determined). To be clear, the NMB has not declined APFA’s request made March 16 for release into a 30-day cooling off period, and advises that release is still under consideration. But the three-member Board feels that some gain can still be had from bringing the APFA and management teams back together. This was but one of the possible outcomes of our request for release and American’s response (which not unexpectedly called for the NMB to refuse our request). It underscores that our members must move decidedly and firmly to the next step in this process of Section 6 Bargaining under the Railway Labor Act.

The balloting of the membership for a Strike Authorization is your chance to clearly state your demand for a ratifiable agreement with American which addresses our needs for the improved pay, benefits and work rules we were promised for our part in the rescue of the company seven years ago. The continuing and daily $1 million savings to AA taken from our pockets must stop. The over $2 billion dollars garnered through our sacrifices since the RPA must now begin to return to Flight Attendants and stop enriching only the top AMR execs and bloated management of American. As stated one member in an email comment emphasizing his readiness to move forward: “I am without word to express my frustration. A release from bargaining is overdue.”

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS

It is vital that all members understand what your YES vote on this ballot means to our position in these talks and equally vital to understand what message a ìnoî vote sends to AA and to the NMB.

YES to the Strike Authorization means that you are empowering your Union to wield our ultimate weapon in the event that American continues its insistence on extracting further concessions from you. This is a show of our collective strength. Now is not the time to waver or show weakness.

YES means you will not sit idly by and let management call the shots-stalling and refusing to put forth proposals that reflect the reward for the conditions we have endured for the past seven years working under the RPA.

YES means you want your Negotiating Team to face the company with the unequivocal and undeniable force of our solidarity behind them. Management actually believes you find their latest offerings acceptable. Do you think they reward you for your past sacrifices and meet your needs for today and for tomorrow?

If you think that voting ìnoî now means that everything can just be put on the shelf until sunnier times, you are falling into the Stockholm Syndrome the company has counted on. Both sides want changes in any contract talks and this round is no exception. Management’s own updates, in their foolhardy attempt to go directly to the membership and bargain, show that theyóincrediblyówant more work from you for even less pay, now and in the future. At the end of a cooling off period the company can legally force these and other proposed changes on the membership. Voting ìnoî does not preserve the status quo, onerous as it is. Rather without a credible threat of a strike, the company sees an open door to thrust changes upon us that only benefit them, move us further backward, and leave APFA without the strength of our unity that has proven so effective in the past.

A ìnoî vote on the ballot means you want the process to stop and for management’s calculating and manipulating ploy of dragging out the talks and wearing you down to win out.

A ìnoî vote means that you are willing to accept the company’s scheme of shifting more and more medical coverage costs to you, while making you pay for it using the paltry increases in pay they have offered. Many members will move even deeper in the hole over this.

A ìnoî vote means you are OK with the company’s proposed work rule changes being forced on you, unbridled and unchecked: more hours worked, more days away from home, with no Union input on how these changes can be countered and tempered to avoid furloughs.

A ìnoî vote only jeopardizes your future-following you even into retirement. American’s package of proposals will saddle you with greatly reduced medical coverage and higher premiums eroding your pension already chipped away through many years of reduced pay and overwork wrought by the RPA.

A ìnoî vote on the ballot harms us all: senior, junior and those in between.

Add it all up and a “no” vote means you should just send AMR a box of blank, signed checks for the top execs to fill in how and when they want, to increase their bonuses and salaries, pay for new terminals and planes, and cut fares to fill every seat, leaving you with nothing today and even less tomorrow.

If you are not Seeing Red, you are just not paying attention! This is truly OUR TIME to act and to stand together to see our goals reached. YES: this little three letter word-proudly cast by nearly 18,000 members-will shout to AA management, the NMB and the public, it’s OUR TURN and WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN.

View APFA President Laura Glading’s video message on the Strike Authorization balloting here (or read transcript).

MORE VOLUNTEERS FOR APFA PHONE WATCH

More volunteers are needed 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 email your contact information, name, employee number and phone number to: phonewatch@apfa.org. APFA’s National Phone Watch Captain, DFW Flight Attendant Michael Truan, will contact you as we get ready to open Phone Watch to inform you of available shifts.

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS WEEKLY UPDATES

In her weekly update of April 9 on the activities of the APFA Legislative Affairs department and our member “lieutenants,” program coordinator and DFW Flight Attendant Julie Frederick reported that Joan Wages, the long-standing Washington representative for APFA, has decided to assume full time duties as the president of the National Women’s History Museum-the first ever museum dedicated to women in history. All of us at APFA thank Joan for her many years of dedicated service to APFA and wish her all the best. Visit the National Women’s History Museum website at: www.nwhm.org Members may view the past 90 days of Julie’s Legislative Affairs Weekly Updates from a link at the top of the Legislative Affairs page of APFA.org.

FEDERAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON FUTURE OF AVIATION TAKES FLIGHT

In the HotLine of November 13, 2009, a report was included on the Future of U.S. Aviation Forum held November 12, 2009 at the Department of Transportation in Washington, DC. APFA President Laura Glading participated at this meeting, along with other invited attendees from labor, airline, airport and other interested groups. At the close of the forum, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood pledged to form a Federal Advisory Committee to recommend actions to restore health to the airline industry. On April 2, the charter for The Future of Aviation Advisory Committee was filed with Congress. It becomes effective April 17. This is an important step in the direction of needed attention to the many concerns of airline industry professionals, such as APFA members, and we should take pride in our Union’s contribution to its formation and launch. Click here to read the charter text. Read the November 13 HotLine report here.

APFA RETIREMENT BRIEFING IN CHICAGO

An APFA Retirement briefing, presented by IDF Flight Attendant, Patrick Hancock, is scheduled for Chicago on April 27 at 2:00 PM. The briefing will last approximately two hours. It will be held at the same locations as-and immediately following-the Seeing Red Informational Road Shows: 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.
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Remember that there are currently 1,363 members on furlough and awaiting recall.
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The Wings Foundation is much more than can recycling, though that is an important source of the funds they distribute to members in need. Visit their website for fund raising activities, to find base representatives, forms for donation ($$$, PVDs, etc.), or applications for assistance. See how you can help at your base. Wings is formed and managed by AA Flight Attendants for AA Flight Attendants. Check out Wings and all our APFA supported organizations through these links:

Wings // Airline Ambassadors // UNICEF/Change for Good

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