For the week ending Friday January 13, 2012
This week, I spoke with well-known and respected aviation reporter Ted Reed with TheStreet.com. Mr Reed published the article “AMR Union: Don’t Fix Airline On the Backs of Labor” in which I stated that I don’t see where the Flight Attendants have anything left to give. In 2003, we went through a virtual bankruptcy. We gave then and that was supposed to be enough. Yet still, after a decade of management failures, some still insist on blaming labor for American’s troubles. We know better.
Take a look at the numbers.
American’s total operating cost – measured in Cost per Available Seat Mile (CASM) – is lower than Continental, United and Delta – its three largest competitors.
Domestic flight attendant costs rank sixth among major carriers, international flight attendant costs rank second, and American’s total Flight Attendant costs rank third overall behind United and Continental.
What has become abundantly clear is that what American has is a revenue problem not a cost problem. In other words, the problems lie with failed management, not hardworking Flight Attendants.
American ranks fifth in terms of Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM) behind United, Continental, Delta and US Airways.
The company’s revenue per seat mile has trailed the industry average for other legacy carriers every year since 2002, and the revenue gap between American and its competitors has grown to 17 times what it was in 2003.
In the wake of 9/11, we did our part by giving back one third of our pay and benefits to avoid bankruptcy and give management the tools they needed to ensure American’s continued success.
But as they have time and time again, inept management squandered the massive contributions of this labor force, failed to implement a cohesive strategy, and led this once great company into bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, as pay and benefits lagged for American workers, these same managers rewarded themselves with hundreds of millions of dollars in exorbitant bonuses.
Enough is enough.
And a lot of you have been asking what you can do to help.
In addition to staying strong and keeping informed, you can help make sure the public knows the truth about American Airlines and the sacrifices Flight Attendants have made.
You can send letters to your local newspaper when you see the media misstate the true cause of Americanís bankruptcy. You can be active in social media and participate in radio talk shows. Everything that we as Flight Attendants do to let the world know the truth about the direction American management has led us will help our cause.
I want to assure you we are taking an aggressive role in these proceedings and will continue to fight for you and to do our best to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your families.
For the majority of our passengers, we are the face of the airline. I can’t imagine that this company could turn around without the support of the Flight Attendants.
The value of the Flight Attendant morale is priceless
ASSESSING BIDS FOR AMR
There were reports this week of possible bids for AMR.† We are confident there will be others that will assess bids for American during this process. The court has procedures for this and whoever decides to actually proceed will need to produce a viable business plan that makes sense and present it to the Creditors Committee for evaluation.
United AFA reached a Tentative Agreement with the carrier this week. United AFA President Greg Davidowitch said, “This agreement is a step in the right direction. Our Flight Attendant community has waited for much needed improvements to our contract. Despite many obstacles and challenges, we remained undeterred from our number one goal of reaching an agreement that addresses our immediate needs and serves as a stepping stone to a single contract with our flying partners from Continental and Continental Micronesia.”
The 4 year agreement includes a 10% immediate across the board increase, then 2%, 2.5% and 2.5% increases on the first, second and third anniversaries respectively for Domestic and 2%, 1.5%, 1.5% for International, and a $5,000 signing bonus.†Also included in the agreement is an Early-Out provision, Involuntary Furlough Protection, and an increase to Per Diem.†Additional details can be found on the UnitedAFA Website. Also available is a PDF Summary Document.
The APFA Negotiating Team is thoroughly evaluating this TA and continues to compare other airline Flight Attendant contracts.
FROM THE SAFETY AND SECURITY DEPARTMENT
Kelly Skyles – APFA National Safety and Security Coordinator
Sunday January 15, 2012 will mark the 3rd anniversary of the start date for our Cabin ASAP Program. During the three years this voluntary safety reporting program has been available, Flight Attendants have submitted more than 2700 reports. One of the many benefits of our Cabin ASAP Program is the “safe environment” a Flight Attendant has while choosing to report safety concerns, inadvertent FAR violations and deviations of company safety policies and procedures. Prior to Cabin ASAP, Flight Attendants could have faced disciplinary action taken by the company and possibly assessed FAA civil penalties for these instances. Now with the protection from any company discipline that our Cabin ASAP Program provides for Flight Attendants who successfully participate in the Cabin ASAP Program, Flight Attendants do not have to fear retribution when bringing forward crucial information regarding safety issues. †To date, there have been up to 50 Flight Attendants who voluntarily chose to submit reports to Cabin ASAP for events that would have previously resulted in disciplinary action as well as FAA civil penalties.
The data collected through our Cabin ASAP reports has already had a positive affect on the entire Membership by the enhancements and changes made to procedures, improved communication to our fellow employees within airport services, and focus on important safety issues during our Recurrent Training. We have now become an industry leading Cabin ASAP Program and due to our success, our Cabin ASAP Team has on several occasions been asked to speak at industry wide Aviation Safety Conferences.
I would like to personally thank each Flight Attendant who has participated in our Cabin ASAP Program and sincere thanks to each of you who support our program. Every participant in the Cabin ASAP Program confirms our dedication as true Safety Professionals. Please take the time to familiarize yourself with our Cabin ASAP Program by reviewing the Cabin ASAP documents available on the Safety/Security Dept link on our APFA web site. If you have any questions regarding the Cabin ASAP Program, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FROM THE CONTRACT DEPARTMENT
Brent Peterson – APFA National Contract Coordinator
Preliminary sick and vacation accrual for 2011 was posted earlier this week.† You can review the preliminary information using the entry – HISK/L – in your personal mode.† If you believe there is a discrepancy that you are unable to resolve by contacting the Flight Attendant Service Center by Tuesday, January 17, please contact the APFA Contract Department at extension 8161 or send an email to email@example.com. Final accruals will post on January 18.†
Keep in mind that in order to be eligible for vacation accrual in a given month you must be active at least 15 days in that month.† Additionally, in order to be eligible for Sick hour accrual in a given month you must be active – and not on the sick list – for at least 15 days in that month.† Finally, in order to actually accrue sick or vacation in the months that are eligible to accrue you must have been paid 420 hours or an average of 35 hours in the months that were eligible to accrue during 2011.
FROM THE BALLOT COMMITTEE
Ballots for the APFA National Officer Election have been mailed to all Flight Attendants. Ballots must be cast by 10:00am CST on Wednesday January 18, 2012.
Should you have any questions, please contact the National Ballot Committee at 817-540-0108 ext 8311 or via email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
You must be dues current by 5:00 p.m. CST on January 13, 2012, and any dues promissory note/payment plan must have been active by December 19, 2011 in order to have your vote counted for the APFA National Officer election ballot count on January 18, 2012.
For any questions concerning your dues status, please contact the APFA Dues Department at 817-540-0108 ext 8151 or email – email@example.com.
APFA National Ballot Committee.