APFA Weekly Hotline Update for the week ending Friday November 4, 2011
OCCU-FLY WALL STREET
As Flight Attendants, we never forget our history.†And each year on November 18th we remember our shared struggle and sacrifice during the historic strike of 1993.
This year we also remember that as individuals we are part of a larger cause.
We are all part of the “99%”.
As individuals, Flight Attendants from across the country will voice their support for the ongoing protests by joining local Occupy Wall Street gatherings.
We hope all airline workers from every airline – union and non-union – will bring their signs and their voices, and come in uniform on Friday November 18th from 1000-1300 hours local time.
To find an Occupy Wall Street Location in your city please click here.
We’ve made available two versions of a downloadable sign – Airline Workers-Part of the 99% – that can be printed at home on a piece of 8.5×11 sheet of paper or taken to a print shop and produced on a larger size poster. Also available is a graphic that can be used as your Facebook and other social media profile picture. These items are available here.
As with any public event, obey local laws and follow the instructions of law enforcement.
NATIONAL OFFICER WTS
The Notification of Willingness to Serve (WTS) for the positions of APFA President – APFA Vice President ñ APFA Secretary – APFA Treasurer was mailed to all Members this week.
APFA Secretary Denise Pointer’s article from the most recent Skyword Express outlines the duties of the four National Officer positions. For more detailed information on the positions, please see the APFA Constitution and APFA Policy Manual available for download on APFA.org.
If you are interested in further serving your union, the form must be received in the designated PO Box by 1000 CT, November 30, 2011.
An Election Notice and a Notification of Willingness-to-Serve (WTS) for the National Officer elections was recently mailed to your home. Although the WTS accurately states that it is for the National Officer positions of President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer, the Instructions section of the Election Notice mistakenly referred to candidates who wish to run for other offices. The error has been corrected and the revised version of the Election Notice is now posted on APFA.org. However, the original WTS is still valid, and will be accepted.† If you wish to view the updated version of the Election Notice, you can download it by clicking here.
Ballots for the position of STL Vice Chairperson were mailed to all members based in STL on October 18, 2011.† Ballots must be cast by 1000 CT on Thursday November 17, 2011.
If you need a duplicate ballot, or have questions, please contact the National Ballot Committee at [email protected].
Last week, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce took a 71 percent pay raise – taking his pay to $5 million (AUD).† One day later, he grounded the entire Qantas fleet and locked out its unionized workforce stranding passengers around the world. Qantas locked out its workers because they opposed changing the nature of the Australian flag carrier and drastically downgrading standards and working conditions. The lockout grounded 108 planes and stranded 68,000 passengers worldwide.
The Australian Licensed Engineers Union, the TWU and the Australian and International Pilots Union were seeking pay raises, better working condition and job security as Qantas planned to outsource many of their jobs to workers in Asia.
APFAís National Secretary Denise Pointer was in close communication during this lockout and offered APFA’s support and assistance, if needed,†as this scenario played out across the ocean. Communications were received from National Secretaries of the ITF from all over the world keeping APFA updated.
APFA pledged its support to our brothers and sisters at Qantas. †APFA President Laura Glading commented, “The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, representing over 17,000 American Airlines Flight Attendants, stand united with our colleagues at Qantas. As industry veterans, we know all too well management’s tactics and the problems Qantas Flight Attendants are going through. We, along with Flight Attendants throughout the oneworld alliance, are committed to showing our support.”
The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) represents 779 unions and represents over 4,668,950 unionized workers in 155 countries. It is one of several Global Union Federations allied with the International Trade Union Confederation. The 4 million strong ITF launched into action notifying its members of what was happening with our colleagues in Australia.
ITF General secretary David Cockroft said the airline’s workers wanted to keep the flag flying and that this goal was supported by workers globally. Cockcroft said in a press release, “Ordinary people in Australia and ITF affiliates around the world wonít have the wool pulled over their eyes by management thatís driving through perilous changes and making workers and shareholder pay ñ while they take a good share of the profits for themselves.”
The ITF Australian President Paddy Crumin of the Maritime Union of Australia expressed outrage at the Qantas CEOís behavior saying that this action threatened Qantasís 540 AUD profits, and endangered Australiaís economy as a whole.
Tony Sheldon, National Secretary of the TWU in Australia ñ also an ITF affiliate – made a statement saying the action was designed to destroy Qantas as the world knew it.
The Fair Work Australia (FW) issued an order at 2:00am following a 15 hour meeting in Melbourne telling Qantas to resume flights which they did beginning at noon last Monday.†
FA LEAVE OPTIONS
Three-month voluntary leaves and modified partnership flying†for the months of January through March 2012 are being offered. Ballots are available on the Flight Service website and will close at 1500 CT on Wednesday November 16, 2011.† Additional information is also available on the Flight Service Website and on the Contract page of APFA.org.
“Though it would seem natural for representatives like yourselves to gather at conferences like this and share your knowledge, your ideas and your skills, it hasn’t always been this way. This cooperation ñ this alignment of our shared goals and the building of coalitions – crosses divisions that once separated us: be it one carrier from another, be it one work group from another.
“This cooperation means now, and in the future, finding and focusing on what all Flight Attendants, regardless of her or his uniform, have in common in the way of challenges, and joining forces in finding solutions.”
This is an excerpt from the keynote address by APFA President Laura Glading at the fourth annual International Flight Attendant Hotel Committee Conference (IFAHCC) held in San Diego last week. This conference is a gathering of over 50 Flight Attendant Hotel Committee Chairpersons – including APFA National Hotel Coordinator Kelly Gambello – that included discussions on topics ranging from Site Inspections to Sprinkler Systems to Bed Bugs.
“We simply can no longer depend on employers or government agencies to sustain – let alone improve – what we require, what we demand, as rights in the workplace. We must continually fight, in fact, to prevent the dismantling of hard-earned protections we have achieved over decades, including: safety, comfort and respect on the job – whether on a plane or on a layover.”
The complete text of Laura Gladingís speech is available here.
SAFETY AND SECURITY DEPARTMENT
As you may have already heard, we recently lost a colleague at US Airways. Nick Aaronson, 27, was murdered during an apparent robbery while on a layover this past weekend. The suspect has been arrested and is in custody. According to police, there was not a breach of security at the hotel. Rather, Mr. Aaronson and his assailant were acquainted. There is also no indication that this was anything besides a random and isolated attack.
Mr. Aaronson’s death, while tragic, also serves as a reminder to all of us that we must use caution and be vigilant while staying away from home. Although this heinous crime occurred in Mexico City, it could have happened anywhere. Use good judgment and stay safe.
Please keep the Aaronson family in your thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time.
ASAP via WBAT
Beginning November 1, Cabin ASAP reports will be submitted using a reporting program called “WBAT” (web-based analysis tool). A link will be available on the Flight Service website Safety and Security page, just under the link for AMR Event Reports.††All four ASAP programs at American Airlines (Cabin, Dispatch, Maintenance and Flight) will use this FAA-funded program to improve ASAP data trending and analysis.
There are no changes to the Cabin†ASAP program – it is still a voluntary, confidential program for self-reporting unintentional FAR or safety violations or operational safety concerns. You will be asked for your personal contact information when you submit your report. This information is†needed to allow the ASAP Event Review Team (ERT) to follow up on your event and will not be shared outside of the ASAP program.
Submitting a Cabin ASAP report sends your report to Cabin ASAP only. A copy of your report is not sent to the AMR Event Report system.††If Flight Service Daily Operations has requested a report from you about a safety, security or medical event, you will need to submit a separate AMR Event
Additional information on the ASAP program is available on the Safety and Security Department page on APFA.org and JetNet.
ATTN: LOW-TIME FLYERS
It’s time to make sure you are on track to accrue your eligible vacation and sick time for 2011. In order to actually accrue vacation and sick time for the months that are eligible to accrue, you must have been paid an average of 35 hours per eligible month.
If you are active all 12 months, your threshold is 420 hours.†If you fail to meet your threshold you will receive NO vacation or sick accrual for the year.
Each year some Flight Attendants miss their threshold, which could have been met if they had simply flown an additional trip or two. In some cases this can put the Flight Attendant into an overpayment situation if they used PVDs throughout the year. Review your HISK to ensure you are on track to accrue, and if not, plan now to ensure you meet your threshold.
The year to date summary for vacation and sick accrual appear at the bottom of your HISK.
Donít forget to set your clocks back one hour before going to bed this Saturday night. We revert to Standard Time at 02:00 local time on Sunday morning, November 6, 2011.
RDU-I RETIREMENT BRIEFING
APFA Retirement Specialist Patrick Hancock will be hosting a Retirement Briefing at RDU.
Tuesday November 8, 1500-1700 in the 3rd floor Conference Room outside security.† The door at the end of the AA Ticket Counter next to the ATM will lead you to the elevator.† For more information contact RDU-I Vice Chairperson Peggy Turley at [email protected]
The seminars are open and useful to all Flight Attendants from all bases, but particularly important to Flight Attendants planning to retire in the next 10 years.
To make the most of these briefings, print and bring your personal pension estimate and plan calculation formulas from JetNet.
The 9th annual Sky Ball held in Texas the end of October was a great success and raised over $1 million.† This event benefits a number of Military and Veterans’ organizations. Volunteers include many Flight Attendants, Pilots and other airline employees.
It’s not often someone takes the time out of their busy lives to say “thank you”.
USMC Colonel Sean C. Killeen is an exception. He has written a heartfelt thank you letter to the Sky Ball volunteers, and also recognizes that we were among the first to suffer a loss on September 11, 2001.
His letter can be downloaded here.
Please remember there are currently 218 members on furlough and awaiting recall.