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5.14.10 – (LAA) – Resumption of Negotiation Talks, Strike Authorization Ballot, NMB Rule Change on Certification, BA FAs Prepare to Strike

APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, May 14, 2010.


— Ticking down toward the resumption of talks (May 18)
— and the Strike Authorization Ballot (due May 19 at 10 am)

— CE Rewards/AIP checks out. Have we got a check for you!
R – E – S – P – E – C – T: someone please tell them what it means!
NMB rule change on certification: is more unionization on the way?
BA Flight Attendants gear up to strike, again
— APFA Executive Committee delivers endorsement in Texas race
— Election notice for MIA Vice Chairperson


Just a few days remain to cast your YES vote in our Strike Authorization Ballot. Send the strongest message possible that our members are fed up with the foot-dragging and stalling by management and that we demand a good and ratifiable contract now. With an overwhelming YES vote on May 19-while we are in the midst of intense, mediated bargaining at NMB offices in Washington-the company must face the unequivocal display by our members that we back our APFA Negotiation Team and soundly reject the concessions contained in the companyís proposals.

Balloting is via telephone or Internet instead of the mail, so there is no excuse for not having your voice heard. Your YES vote will reinforce our unity and solidarity. While voting YES does not trigger a strike, it does make clear that our members are Willing, Able and Ready to take that action should we reach the end of a 30-day cooling off period, if and when that clock starts ticking. Most importantly, it sends an equally strong “no” to the company’s tactics and to their absurd presumption that we would entertain their concessionary demands.

Casting your ballot takes just a few minutes. If you have not received, or have misplaced, your ballot information, please call the National Ballot Committee now at 817.540.0108 ext 8311 and provide the information requested in their voice mail greeting. We need every member involved. Vote YES on the Strike Authorization today.

You may change a vote you’ve already cast in our new electronic/telephonic voting system, but your final vote must be registered by 10:00 AM (1000) Central Time on Wednesday, May 19, 2010. See the Elections and Balloting page for more information or contact the National Balloting Committee at the number above.


If you have visited Jetnet or the Flight Service website lately, or read your HI6 messages, you’ve already seen the invitation to stop by to see a Flight Service Manager beginning May 14 and collect your Customer Experience Rewards/AIP quarterly payout. Maybe you’ve looked at your ePays statement and wondered why it didn’t show as direct deposited. Well, it seems the company wants to give you a personal hug and smooch along with your 150 bucks (less taxes of course: mine is actually $96.53). This boneheaded gesture of phony goodwill is unfortunately more evidence of AA’s gross inability to understand their own workforce of safety and service professionals.

Setting aside the obvious inadequacy of the payment, what we need and demand from the company is real reward for what we do, day in and day out, under the onerous RPA. This 2003 bailout of AMR has left us collectively over two billion dollars poorer while at the same time it has handsomely-and by all measures unjustly-enriched the top executives and select 1000 or so managers. They don’t get it, or they do and don’t care. Take your pick. But as you stand in line to collect your pittance, we have a little something you can give your FSM in return. Download, print and deliver the check from our “Seeing Red Bank” to your favorite manager when you have a chance and remind them that our Thank You should come in the form of a contract. Click here to get your copy .


As if making you stop by and personally collect your $150 isn’t bad enough, Flight Service is reintroducing the absurdly named “Value of Respect” training for all Flight Attendants. It boggles the mind that an organization which exhibits a veritable vacuum of respect for its employees can deign to teach such a concept to others. They hardly value our service, nor respect our sacrifices. In a recent letter to employees, AMR CEO Gerard Arpey claims:” we are at a significant labor cost disadvantage relative to both United and Continental (resulting from their bankruptcy restructurings)…” What about the disadvantages of our Flight Attendants who’ve seen over two billion dollars in seven years and still see over 1 million dollars dailyótaken from our pockets? The sacrifices of the RPA bailout saved this company from the very bankruptcy Arpey seems to salivate over in his counterfactual retelling of history and his casual dismissal of what we have endured. AMR knows neither value nor respect. But let’s make one thing clear, the cost of their disrespect is dear, and is mounting every day they continue to stall in our contract talks. Is this a cost Arpey is willing to bear?


In a long anticipated and union-backed decision, the National Mediation Board has changed the method of counting votes in a representation election under the Railway Labor Act. Before the change, in a counting method which favored management attempts to thwart unionization, those not voting at all were deemed to have voted no. With the rule change effective June 10, 2010, the more widely practiced, democratic system requiring 50% plus one of those casting votes to prevail will be in effect. This will greatly aid the organization efforts by our colleagues at those airlines not currently enjoying the protections of a union or the vast benefits of collective bargaining. APFA applauds this decision and thanks those of our members who actively supported this overdue change. We grow stronger when all Flight Attendants can exercise their right to organize and act in solidarity to improve and secure this profession. See the NMB documents on the decision on their site. (click here )


On May 7, British Airways Flight Attendants, represented by Unite, soundly rejected the last contract offer by management and have since announced 20 days of work stoppages in four five-day periods: May 18-22, May 24-28, May 30-June 3, and June 5-9. This further disruption of air travel in Britain follows similar strikes several weeks ago. APFA continues to strongly support the efforts of our sisters and brothers at BA. (See our March 19 letter of support here .) Follow the progress of their talks and their planned industrial action directly from the Unite website. (click here )


The APFA Executive Committee met via teleconference on May 13 to endorse Houston Mayor Bill White in his race to unseat incumbent Governor Rick Perry in the Texas gubernatorial election on November 2, 2010. See the endorsement resolution here .

APFA is holding a “Bill White for Texas Governor” rally on Friday, May 28 beginning 2 PM at the UAW Local 218 Union Hall, 98 W. Hurst Blvd., Hurst, TX. (click for map ). Supporters are encouraged to attend.


On Tuesday, May 11, the National Ballot Committee mailed to all members based at Miami Domestic (MIA) an Election Notice and Willingness-to-Serve (WTS) to fill the vacant position of Vice Chairperson at the base. For those members interested in serving as Vice Chairperson for the remainder of the current two-year term ending March 31, 2011, a WTS must be received in the designated Post Office Box no later than 10:00 AM (1000) Central Time on Thursday, June 10, 2010. Should an election be necessary, ballots will be mailed on June 29, 2010. As a convenience, a downloadable copy of the Election Notice and Willingness-to-Serve is available through the MIA base page or through the Elections and Balloting page. Please contact the National Ballot Committee with any questions at 817.540.0108 ext. 8311 or by email to: .
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Remember that there are currently 1,360 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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