APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, April 23, 2010
- Seeing Red Road Shows visit: RDU-I, DCA, STL; next week: ORD, LAX, SFO
- NMB calls for meetings and resumption of talks mid-May
- Strike Authorization Ballot in the field: voting deadline May 19 at 10 AM
- AMR and other carriers report 1Q10 results
- Congressional leaders getting in the act, write to Arpey
- Manual audit alerts for DCA and MIA
- JFK recall proffer extended – new closing: 10 AM CT April 26
ROAD SHOWS VISIT RDU-I, DCA , STL. NEXT UP: ORD, LAX, SFO
Members continue to be receptive and enthusiastic over the APFA Negotiating Teamís presentation at the on-going Seeing Red Informational Road Shows, now halfway through their base city tour. Members in RDU-I, DCA and STL had the opportunity this past week to hear presentations by Team members, advisers and other reps regarding the company’s concessionary package, our goals for contractual improvements in all areas of pay, work rules and benefits, and our next steps as we push for the ratifiable agreement our members demand from management.
Building on the information in the Skyword Express mailed last week to all Flight Attendants and available for viewing online (click here, the Road Shows present even more details of how the companyís proposals will move us even further backward and fail to approach anything that restores the standard of living we sacrificed to rescue AMR in the 2003 bailout that was the Restructuring Participation Agreement (RPA). Fully one third of each three-hour meeting is dedicated to hearing and answering members’ questions. The meetings donít end until all who wish to ask theirs have had a chance.
The Seeing Red Informational Meetings continue this coming week in ORD on Tuesday, April 27, LAX on Wednesday, April 28 and SFO on Thursday, April 29. Times are 11 AM to 2 PM at each location and meetings are open to members in good standing. The venue details are:
ORD – Tuesday, April 27
Sheraton Gateway Suites Chicago O’Hare (map)
6501 North Mannheim Road
Rosemont , IL 60018
LAX – Wednesday, April 28
Hilton Los Angeles Airport (map)
5711 West Century Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90045
SFO – Thursday, April 29
Embassy Suites San Francisco Airport – South SFO (map)
250 Gateway Boulevard
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Additional dates are:
MIA – Monday, May 3 – Wyndham Miami Airport Hotel & Executive Meeting Center
DFW – Tuesday, May 4 – Grapevine Convention Center
NYC – Thursday, May 6 – Courtyard by Marriott LGA Airport
Location details are here.
NMB SETS NEW MEETING DATES
APFA President Laura Glading announced during the Seeing Red meeting in St. Louis that discussions had been held that same morning with Senior NMB Mediator Pat Sims who will be taking over this function in our talks with AA management as bargaining resumes. Mediator Sims (read her bio here) has set separate meetings with both APFA and AA negotiating teams in Washington early in the week of May 17, to be followed immediately with several days of intense, joint talks.
APFA’s legal counsel for the Negotiating Team, Attorney Rob Clayman, speaks of the Railway Labor Act process in detail during the Road Show membership meetings and explains clearly the various routes that negotiations can follow from here. A slide Rob uses to illustrate the possible paths at this stage (click here) shows the great potential for an agreement to be reached at several points, even as we move ever closer to self-help.
OUR ëPOWER OF YESí
One thing members must be clear on is that our collective and unified voice plays an ever stronger role now that talks are set to resume. Your APFA Negotiating Team must be able to meet the company with the full and unequivocal backing of the entire membership. It is fortuitous that these newly scheduled meetings will coincide with the voting deadline on the Strike Authorization Ballot. The APFA membership has the opportunity in this balloting to give a strong and unambiguous YES to their Team and their fight to achieve for all members the contract we deserve and-in voting YES-to say equally loud to American management, the NMB and the public that it’s OUR TURN now to see promises fulfilled and to secure our futures with a new working agreement.
Our YES vote will show that it hasn’t been mere lip service that our members are indeed Willing, Able and Ready to take the ultimate step to achieve our goals-as we have done so forcefully in the past. Don’t fall victim to the company’s tactic of wearing us down, hoping we’ll clutch at any offer and vote against our own interest. This is our chance to show where we stand and to counter the company’s contentions that we find their preposterous offerings acceptable.
STRIKE AUTHORIZATION BALLOT INFORMATION
Though with this balloting we introduce electronic/telephonic voting, the actual ballot packet is still mailed to members and was sent out on schedule on April 19. The Elections and Balloting page (accessible without website login) has important information from the APFA National Balloting Committee (NBC) on what steps to take if you have questions about the voting process or your ballot. This page also has a link to Frequently Asked Questions from BallotPoint, APFAís balloting service vendor. Go to the page here or click on the VOTE link on the APFA.org home page. Email your questions to the NBC at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 817.540.0108 ext. 8311.
Votes must be cast by 10:00 AM (1000) Central Time on Wednesday, May 19, 2010.
All members are reminded that you must be a member in good standing not later than the close of business on the fifth (5th) day prior to the time limit for casting ballots in any election or referendum in order to be deemed eligible to vote. If you have questions about your dues status, please contact the APFA Dues Department. Email: email@example.com or call 817.540.0108 ext. 8154.
First quarter 2010 airline earnings reports began this week. Turning in profit/loss numbers for the three months of January through March 2010 were:
American, a loss of $ 505 million ($ -452 million)*
Delta, a loss of $ 256 million ($ -192 million)
Continental, a loss of $146 million ($ -136 million)
Air Tran, a loss of $12 million ($ – 16.7 million)
Southwest, a profit of $11 million ($ +24 million)
Alaska, a profit of $5.3 million ($ +13.1 million)
* The number in parentheses is the figure reported after excluding special or one-time items (expenses and/or gains).
Since it is April, that means too that AMR’s tops execs and managers are salivating over their undeserved bonuses stock-based compensation, they like to call it. In the scheme they’ve concocted that pays them no matter how the profitability dice land, those who run AMR really have no clue how their dismal leadership and lack of true vision are failing their employees and their customers. They are conveniently sheltered from their own mismanagement and seek only to extract more money from the fare-payers (customers) and the service providers (you and me and our front line colleagues) to stuff their own wallets.
In an Op-Ed piece for the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (excerpted below) entitled: “Another thankless bailout, this time at American Airlines,î APFA President Laura Glading speaks of this cycle of greed which seems to have no end:
“… Wall Street executives are not alone in padding their wallets at the expense of those of us who depend on their integrity for fair treatment as we struggle to survive the economic crisis.
“Some corporate executives in the airline industry are guilty of the same bankrupt ethos as Wall Street bankers with ill-advised behavior that is crippling employees’ standards of living and threatening to disrupt service for the traveling public. “
“In all, the employee-funded bailout of American has totaled to date nearly $11 billion — sacrifices that executives assured us would be honored once the airline stabilized its finances. … Instead, the moment the company’s finances began regaining altitude, American’s top five executives, much like their Wall Street counterparts, awarded themselves annual bonuses of millions of dollars; by 2008 they had accumulated a $55 million windfall. They have spread the wealth, but only to the management corps, which has shared more than $300 million in bonuses. This month, American’s executives once again take millions in bonuses — the annual show of excess that has frustrated and angered rank-and-file employees throughout the past decade.
“The distribution of these riches, however, has not trickled down to those who actually make this company work. … The predictable result of American’s duplicity has been a deadlock in negotiations and understandable outrage among our members …
ìBut there’s more at work here than the push and pull of contract bargaining. … Our negotiations, while they may directly affect only 18,000 employees, are a bellwether for the restoration of our country’s middle class; either we regain our economic footing or, as American would have it, we continue to lose the means to pay our mortgages, educate our children and have a decent retirement. It’s time to stop the culture of corporate greed that is robbing hardworking people of good-paying jobs with decent benefits.”
Read the complete Op-Ed here.
Airline workers, especially -though by no means exclusively we at AA, are frustrated that the popular press focuses largely on the misdeeds of those who run the nation’s airlines and seemingly paint the front line worker with the same broad brush, as if it were the Flight Attendants who decided to charge for checked (or carry-on!) bags, and the Pilots who removed the pillows and blankets, and the Ground Service and Maintenance personnel who insisted on removing mainline jets and replacing them with regional aircraft, and the Agents who eliminated the meals. Those reporters and pundits who go beyond mere sensationalizing and who actually research and analyze the industry though are beginning to see the proverbial bigger picture. In other words, here and there are signs that our message is getting through as seen in a recent article by Tulsa World Staff Writer Don Stewart in his article: ìAA Executive Awards Under Fire.î Read Donís article from the Tulsa World website here.
CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS GETTING IN THE ACT
Our Legislative Affairs committee lieutenants continue to press our friends in the halls Congress to support our fight to restore our middle class standards and protect our profession and our futures. Recent letters to Gerard Arpey from several U.S. House Representatives: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), and Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), urging the AMR CEO to recognize our sacrifices and settle our agreement, are posted on the Legislative Affairs page (click here). More letters will be added to the file as they are sent and copies forwarded to APFA. Read about all of our recent legislative efforts and issues important to APFA in the weekly briefs linked to from the Legislative Affairs page (website login required to access the briefs archive.)
MORE FAA MANUAL AUDITS ñ DCA, MIA
The APFA Safety and Security Department alerts Flight Attendants to increased manual audits at:
DCA: Tuesday, April 27 through Thursday, April 29
MIA: Monday, May 10 through Wednesday, May 12
Flight Attendants scheduled to fly on those days through those airports should be aware of increased audits by the FAA and/or Flight Service. Whenever you have an audit conducted, please be sure to alert the Safety and Security Department with the details by an email afterward to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
RECALL PROFFER FOR JFK DEADLINE EXTENDED
Due to the delay in bid closing for the month of May, the proffer for the recall to JFK effective June 1, 2010 has been extended to 10 AM (1000) Central Time on Monday, April 26. An HI6 message has been sent to those Flight Attendants with reinstatement rights.
APFA RETIREMENT BRIEFING IN CHICAGO
An APFA Retirement briefing, presented by IDF Flight Attendant Patrick Hancock, will be held in Chicago on April 27 at 2:00 PM. The briefing will last approximately two hours. It will take place at the same location asóand immediately following the Seeing Red Informational Road Show: 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.
REMINDER: WTS FOR APFA TREASURER DUE DATE APPROACHING
Willingness-to-Serve Notifications for the position of APFA Treasurer 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 mailed to all members and also available for download from the Elections and Balloting page.
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Remember that there are currently 1,363 members on furlough and awaiting recall.
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