During the recent State of the Union Base Visits many of you learned of the importance of APFA having a strong legislative voice to affect positive change on the issues that matter most to the Flight Attendant Corps.
We now ask that you share the vital importance of the APFA PAC with our fellow flight attendants who may not have been able to attend the State of the Union meetings.
Please print both the information below and the PAC card from the link provided and carry them on your flights to share with Flight Attendants to help educate them on the APFA PAC and its importance to our Flight Attendants having a strong, unified voice on Capitol Hill.
We thank you for all that you do on behalf of APFA and our fellow Flight Attendants.
To print the PAC payroll deduction card please click here.
Association of Professional Flight Attendants
Office of Government Affairs
Having a strong voice in the Halls of Congress has never been more important for unions like ours than it is today. As APFA members, you have shown a remarkable tenacity as the struggle for a new contract drags on. Together we have learned that our negotiations are not conducted in a vacuum and the influences of Americaís current political climate are very much a factor in much of what we fight for.
Unions are less popular now than ever. Rights that were once considered fundamental are in danger of being eliminated. Workers are facing efforts to undermine their unions in states across the country. Collective bargaining rights are in jeopardy. Right to work proposals are sweeping the nation. In this economy and political climate, unions cannot afford to stand still.
Now, more than ever, we need your help electing Members of Congress who we can trust will fight for us. Elections count! There are no ìsafe districtsî any more, especially for pro-labor candidates. The elections of 2012 could easily determine the future of the union movement.
The APFA PAC is the best way for you to take action. Help us achieve the goal of 20% PAC participation by 2012.
What is a PAC?
A PAC is an organization established for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates. PACs represent business, labor, or ideological interests. PACs can give up to $5,000 to a candidate committee per election (primary, general, or special). They can also give up to $15,000 annually to a national party committee and up to $5,000 to any other PAC.
What does the APFA PAC do?
The APFA PAC is administered by the national officers and Julie Frederick, Government Affairs Representative. With the help of our lobbying team, we have developed a strategic plan for political giving. On the list are Members of Congress that hold key committee assignments and have shown outstanding support of organized labor in the past. We use PAC funds to support these lawmakersí campaigns for re-election. Our goal is to keep friends of the APFA in Congress.
How does the APFA PAC stack against those of competing interests?
In 2010, the APFA PAC contributed about $43,000 to 26 Congressional and Senatorial campaigns. By comparison, the American Airlines Management PAC spent nearly $580,000 on 190 candidates, including our friends and political enemies. Currently, only 625 members contribute to the PAC, at an average rate of about $1 per week. If 100% of our membership contributed at that rate, we would surpass American Airlines Management in a year.
Are contributions mandatory?
No. By law, PAC contributions can only be made voluntarily. Membership dues cannot be comingled with the PAC.
How much can I contribute?
By law, a person may contribute up to $5,000 annually to any one PAC. We are only asking for $1.00 per paycheck though any amount will be greatly appreciated.
How can I contribute?
Voluntary contributions to the APFA PAC can be made through a regular payroll deduction, contributions by check or credit card, or a monthly credit card charge.
How do I join the effort?
On the APFA website, click on Government Affairs, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the APFA Political Action Committee link.
A Timeline of Legislative Action
1968 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) passed rulings that banned age and marriage discrimination against stewardesses; following the Age Discrimination Act of 1967.
1972 the law covering Title VII was changed to allow the hiring of male Flight Attendants, striking down sex discrimination.
1979 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, allowed women to return to work without losing their jobs.†Flight Attendants had previously been unfairly discharged.
1997 Smoking was banned on all commercial aircraft thanks largely to Flight Attendant efforts.
2000 Increased Penalties for Air Rage: fines were increased from $1,200 up to $25,000 for air rage attacks by passengers against Flight Attendants.
2004 Flight Attendant Certification: The Federal Aviation Administration now recognizes Flight Attendants as onboard safety professionals, validating our role in public safety and aviation security.†
2009 FMLA Tech Corrections Bill: Guarantees crew members are able to qualify for time off work. The original bill did not provide for our unique hourly pay structures.
2009 Flight Attendant Classification: The Department of Laborís Bureau of Labor reclassified Flight Attendants from ìpersonal care providersî to ìessential transportation workers,î the same classification assigned to pilots and air traffic controllers.†
The APFA Office of Government Affairs is currently monitoring and influencing legislation that is of critical importance to our profession:
FAA Reauthorization Bill is currently under consideration in the 112th Congress. The bill contains language that will address issues related to the aircraft environment and finally bring cabin conditions under the supervision of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
FAA Flight Attendant Fatigue Study, the first ever, was mandated by Congress and is now complete. We are working to make sure that the recommendations of the study are put into law in the interest of Flight Attendant safety and quality of life.
We have spent the past 18 months revamping and refocusing the efforts of the APFA Government Affairs office and we have tremendous gains to show for it. We have brought in outside representation with vast experience in our industry to help us identify and act on legislative issues before they even hatch. In March, we hosted our inaugural APFA Leadership Lobby Day where board members from all over the country flew in to Washington for a long day of meetings with Members of Congress and their staffs. Finally, we have forged some very exciting relationships with key legislators who champion our cause. For instance, Congresswoman Mazie Hirono from Hawaii, a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced legislation to address both Flight Attendant fatigue and health and safety oversight. We are proud to support her as she campaigns for Senate.
Indeed, our profile has never been higher in Washington, but we need full membership buy in to become a real power player in the political realm. There is still plenty to accomplish in Washington and you can help provide a critical tool for success by contributing to the APFA PAC.
To print the PAC payroll deduction card please click here.
For more information, visit www.www.apfa.org or email Julie Frederick at [email protected].