January 15, 2012
Last week you read about a historic partnership between the US Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and this union.
On Friday APFA president Laura Glading met with the PBGC at which time Director Josh Gotbaum again reiterated his desire to maintain stability in the lives of current and retired Flight Attendants by maintaining the pension plans.
As Director Gotbaum noted in the PBGC press release, “We stand with American’s workers and retirees who are concerned about their futures. Many of the airline’s employees took lower wages so the plans could continue. Now, it’s American’s turn to step up so workers aren’t short-changed.”
Like our union, joined together with the US PBGC, our strength is based on our unity. Last week the PBGC stood united with 16,000 Flight Attendants as we together demanded that American Airlines honor its full pension obligations to its employees.
Anything less would be a betrayal that will threaten the success of this reorganization and put AMR’s emergence from bankruptcy into question. Flight Attendants will not support a company that refuses to meet its most basic commitments to its workers.
For decades we have dutifully done our part to support this pension plan by paying into it with our hard earned wages, and we expect it to be there for us when we retire.
It is in every party’s interests to ensure that American Airlines pension plans are not terminated or frozen.
The PBGC has filed a motion with the Bankruptcy Court asking the court to compel American to produce documents that relate to the pension plans.
Though the PBGC has asked American numerous times for these documents, in typical fashion they have refused to produce them which has led to this motion. The APFA will be filing a pleading in support of the PBGC’s motions and ask that the documents requested also be provided to APFA.
On Friday our friends in Washington further showed their support when President Glading met with Interim FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.
APFA has long been fighting for enhanced Flight Attendant crew rest. Prior to the former Administrators departure from the FAA he promised to take up the matter once the Pilot rest issue was completed. Interim Administrator Huerta has now taken up the mantle of that promise. Glading states, “I feel that it was a very positive meeting. Interim Director Huerta gave us very direct pointers for the steps we must take in DC to help him help us. We plan on fully pursuing those avenues. Positive changes to crew rest will better the lives of our weary members and will allow us to further provide top-notch safety and security to the flying public.”