12.29.11 – (LAA) – Bankruptcy Update, Retention of the Jefferies Group

As I have stated in previous Hotlines, APFA is devoting all of its resources to defend our contract during this bankruptcy; to that end we have assembled a team of experienced professionals to represent APFA and protect the Flight Attendants’ interests. As part of that effort APFA has retained Jefferies, a highly regarded investment banking firm to serve as our financial advisors. Like the Creditors Committee, APA and the Company, who have all retained their own investment bankers, we realized that our bankruptcy team had to include Jefferies. It will provide invaluable and essential services – from analyzing the Company’s collective bargaining proposals, to providing support throughout the Section 1113 proceedings, to assessing the effect of motions filed in court.

We have posted on the Bankruptcy Information page at APFA.org information describing the full scope of Jefferies’ retention, the breadth of its airline experience and the key members of its restructuring and recapitalization group.

Jefferies’ most critical function will be its in-depth analysis of American’s business plan which will undoubtedly be the centerpiece of this case. Based on that plan, American will attempt to justify whatever demands it may make of labor. The business plan, American will claim, dictates the concessions it needs. However, the Company has yet to present its plan to the Unions or any other interested party. Once it does so, the financial advisors of the Creditors Committee, APA as well as APFA will fully assess its validity. We must have someone in our corner who is performing that task solely on behalf of the Flight Attendants. Equally important, if APFA and the Company cannot reach an agreement during the negotiations required by Section 1113 and we wind up in a hearing before the bankruptcy court judge on the debtorsí motion to reject our contract, APFA must be able to offer testimony that can credibly challenge the conclusions of the Company’s financial advisors. To do so we must have a firm of the same stature as Rothschild, Moelis and Lazard, the advisors selected by the Company, the Creditors Committee and APA, respectively. There is no doubt that Jefferies is as respected and experienced as any of these other financial advisors. In sum, there is no shortcut; there is no alternative; we have but one choice – to be equipped to fight as hard and as well as the circumstances demand.

Recently, Flight Attendants received an e-mail asking why APFA retained Jefferies. The author takes a few disconnected facts, stirs them together, and comes up with a half-baked conspiracy theory that claims Jefferies is not qualified to represent us. Of course, the reasons for hiring Jefferies as we’ve explained here, are left out. Also ignored is the fact that this case is being litigated literally blocks from Wall Street; so if our voice is to resonate as much as the Company’s or anyone else’s we better have the same kind of fire power standing behind us. With Jefferies we do.

Below are the Bankruptcy Informational Base Visits currently scheduled:

Tuesday, January 3 – DFW
Yandry Center
DFW Airport, Terminal C
(Retirees, please use your Retiree ID Card for Security Check Point access. You may also obtain a Gate Pass from the AA Ticket Counter.)

Monday, January 9 – MIA
Miami International Airport Hotel (Hotel MIA)

Monday, January 16 – LAX
Location: Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach/Hawthorne/LAX
14400 Hindry Ave.
Hawthorne, CA 90250
Renaissance Ballroom

Meetings are open to all members in good standing. Retirees wishing to attend one of the Base Meetings, and were dues current at the time of retirement, please send an e-mail to communications@apfa.org so that eligibility can be verified in advance. Only Retired Flight Attendants need to contact APFA prior to the meeting. Active and Furloughed Flight Attendants wishing to verify their eligibility prior to a meeting, please send an e-mail with your name and employee number to the Dues Department – dues1@apfa.org.

During these meetings, we will share what we know now and what to expect; we will address your concerns and answer your questions. Iíll be joining members of the APFA Negotiating Team, Retirement Department, Legal Counsel and your Local Base Leadership. As some of the bankruptcy proceedings may be scheduled suddenly and we can expect last minute changes, additional Bankruptcy Informational Base Visits will most likely be announced on short notice.

In unity,
Laura Glading

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

Phone: (817) 540-0108
Fax: (817) 540-2077


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