Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

5.16.12 – (LAA) – Live Tweets from Bankruptcy Court

APFA Live Tweets From Bankruptcy Court – May 16, 2012

This is Leslie Mayo, APFA National Communications Coordinator with a Bankruptcy Hotline update for Wednesday, May 16, 2012.

Wednesday was the first opportunity APFA had to present its witnesses in bankruptcy court in defense of the Company’s attempts to abrogate our contract and impose the 1113 Term Sheets. Below is APFA’s Twitter feed copied and pasted. It reads from the bottom up. Some tweets are long and have a link next to them. Click on the link to read the tweet in its entirety. Please note this is not an official transcript of the hearing by any means. It is simply a summary of the testimony and should not be construed as anything but a synopsis of the court proceedings.

Thursday, Rob Clayman, APFA’s attorney will call our actuary from the Segal Group. He will testify to costing out the pension proposal and FA benefits. Then Dan Akins, airline analyst and economist who has worked with APFA for two decades will testify. He will talk about the lack of substance in the company’s “standalone” plan, and the valuation of both the company and APFA’s proposals. His testimony will likely take a few hours. https://twitter.com/#!/apfaunity

Court is expected to reconvene today at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time and I will be live tweeting all day. Follow @APFAunity on Twitter or “like” APFAunity on Facebook.

Tweets from Wednesday, May 16, 2012. Please read from the bottom, up.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Tomorrow may go until 7pm, Friday hoping to finish by 5. Breaking for the evening. Back tomorrow morning 10:00 a.m. Eastern! See you then.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Discussion about how much longer this case will go on including TWU’s case (for the 2 locals that didn’t ratify their “Last Best Offer.”

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Discussions about whether to proceed with another witness (Dan Akins) tonight. It’s 6:40 pm in NY right now.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Anne is finished with her testimony.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
..Correction – Five tweets down, Mr Vaughan invited the UNION many times to meet and make proposals. AL: Yes he did but he would ignore them

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Judge reminded company counsel that he doesn’t think focusing on “Snacks” is worthy of a huge discussion as just took place.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Co. Counsel asked Judge to ask Anne to answer yes or no.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Att’y asks about meals on domestic flights and receiving premium pay for galley. Anne insists that galley FAs still do extra work

APFA ‏@APFAunity
The company counsel continues to try to convince the court that AA has been nothing but fair and open in bargaining-Anne continues to refute

APFA ‏@APFAunity
AA: Mr. Vaughan invited the company many times to meet and make proposals. AL:Yes he did but he would ignore our proposals. I was skeptical

APFA ‏@APFAunity
…remaining within the $230 million? AL: yes – they reinstated the duty rigs because AA had made an accounting error.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
I think you’ll agree that Mr. Vaughan and others said they were willing to consider other modifications of the term sheet while …

APFA ‏@APFAunity
… that management always complained about our valuations on everything. (got a good chuckle from those of us in the back of the room)

APFA ‏@APFAunity
AA: Do you recall Taylor Vaughan complaining about the valuations of the early out? AL: I don’t remember that specifically but I will say..

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Forgot to mention: – cross examination began a few tweets ago.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Counsel is asking Anne about FAs being allowed to drop, pick up, sell trips etc…

APFA ‏@APFAunity
The company’s counsel just took a moment to express his great amount of respect for the hard working flight attendants at AA. Yep.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Now Anne is explaining our ’03 concessions when added to the term sheet. Also, the length of time these negotiations are taking.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
IMPORTANT: These are not exact words – I’m typing as fast as I can but there are likely several typos.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
RC: Did you ever hear Brundage say where he came up with the $230 million ask? AL: Yes, he said it was driven (cont) http://tl.gd/hejgmf

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Anne testified that she attended every single nego session except for in a 1-week period.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Anne Loew now taking the stand.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
NOTE: THESE ARE AS CLOSE TO THE ACTUAL TESTIMONY AS POSSIBLE. NOT EXACT QUOTES! RC: did you have any other (cont) http://tl.gd/hejcom

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Current round of bargaining began in May ’08. Nego committee comprised of 1/2 appointed, 1/2 elected. The (cont) http://tl.gd/hejbn3

APFA ‏@APFAunity
The value of the RPA has grown. $340 million at the start, $400 million + today per year.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
15.9% in wages plus benefits and work rules. Across the board cuts. It was to become amendable on May 1, 2008. Same Agreement in place today

APFA ‏@APFAunity
RPA was very controversial. Deal passed by a slim margin. FAs had to give up so much and they weren’t prepared to give up 33% compensation

APFA ‏@APFAunity
In 17 days we had a T/A. Laura had a role in ratifying this agreement. Did a teleconference and discussed why the union did what it did.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Rob asks: What happened 2 years later? Laura: AA approached APFA in December ’02 to get concessions of $340 million a year (33% of our comp)

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Laura is testifying to her experience – specifically the 9/12/01 agreement. And that it was ratified by a large percentage of members.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Laura is asked to describe the demographics. 75% female, average seniority is 22 years, last time AA hired was in 2000. 214 furloughs.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Rob is establishing credibility of the witness… all kinds of questions like name, title, responsibilities, etc…

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Rob’s opening statement is finished. Laura has just been called to the stand.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
No one can say with any certainty whatsoever that the standalone plan is AA’s future. To look back a month and (cont) http://tl.gd/hej375

APFA ‏@APFAunity
The amount the company sees as necessary is based solely on the “standalone” plan. And we will show that the standalone plan is not viable.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
What the company is doing instead instead of basing its ask on market rates, it based its rates on its business (cont) http://tl.gd/hej1g5

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Typically, when a company negotiates, they compare other carriers’ market rates and bargain based on that. That (cont) http://tl.gd/hej0il

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Rob wants to describe the witnesses and their testimony. First: Laura Glading ,President since ’08 and recently (cont) http://tl.gd/heivt6

APFA ‏@APFAunity
I can’t hear what these guys are asking the judge – but it has to do with timing so it’s not crucial.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Judge asking about a timeframe. Rob (Clayman) says he’d like Laura Glading first, then Anne Loew (Chief Negotiator) – both today.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Break time. I’ll be using Twitlonger so I can type more without having to post and start again. Once Rob is finished, I’ll post to Facebook.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Clarification – Rob Clayman, APFA’s Attorney, will be making an opening statement first. Then Laura is up.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Housekeeping … Jack Gallagher, company attorney and master union buster is talking about something or another to the judge.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Judge Lane will allow APA witness’ (is that a word?) Chris Heppner’s testimony as an expert witness.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Judge Lane doesn’t want to get caught up in procedure, otherwise, you have a hearing before a hearing to decide whether testimony’s relevant

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Company doesn’t want Heppner’s testimony to be admissible because of the value plan design changes plus the discount rates

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Once this is over, I am not sure whether the pilots will do their closing or Laura goes up to testify.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
okay not really break time. Attorneys for both sides are arguing his credibility as an expert witness.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Okay Judge and lawyers are going to decide whether his testimony is allowed now – break time.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Judge asked a follow up question of Heppner – do you have an opinion about the adjustments/utilization factors in the software?

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Judge Lane just asked Heppner about the utilization rate and what it’s based on. Heppner answered that it’s based on actual pilot experience

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Redirect of Heppner. Discussing “Rush, crush and hush.” Heppner defines this concept (years of MBA experience to get this right, sorry)…

APFA ‏@APFAunity
I’m pretty sure Crew Schedule doesn’t know how SABRE was created and/or programmed but it doesn’t stop them from scheduling us every day

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Co att’y is trying to discount Heppner’s testimony because – for one – he doesn’t know how the actuarial software was programmed.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Before the lunch break, Judge Lane denied the Ad Hoc committee for the Pax Svc Agents from representing them in court. http://goo.gl/qL5P9

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Cross examination has started for Segal actuary Chris Heppner.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Court back in session. Direct testimony of Heppner still going.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Judge is breaking to deal with another AMR “matter” relating to the Pax Svc. Agents. Reconvening at 2:00 p.m.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
In other words, it will likely be a few hours before APFA starts their case.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Laura Glading = APFA’s first witness. APA’s last witness, Chris Heppner, still on stand on direct exam. Judge likes to eat around 12:30.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
@CloudWalkerZ hey Debra! You’re here in spirit.

View conversation
APFA ‏@APFAunity
Since Heppner is trying to measure the economic value of retiree benefits, the “discount number” is obviously important.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
I believe AA assumed a 1/2 percent discount rate. APA determined it was a 5% discount rate. I can’t be sure – it’s hard to hear sorry!

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Discount rates are set (in the case of the pilots’ retirement plan that isn’t funded by company) by researching similar portfolios.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Heppner testified that the assumptions on the company’s term sheet was accurate (not fair, just accurate) except for the “discount rate.”

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Heppner explaining his job for APA – to evaluate AA’s Term Sheet proposal to APA for medical and disability benefits.

APFA ‏@APFAunity
Heppner is testifying to medical benefits – Judge will allow testimony for now. Told company they can argue whether he is an expert on cross


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Company uses Mercer and Heppner (APA’s witness) used to work for Mercer.


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Company arguing that APA’s Segal witness Chris Heppner is in fact an expert in his field. Segal Group is Actuaries and Insurance.


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Eaton is now finished with his testimony.


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Court back in session. Redirect by APA Counsel


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Break for the last 20″. Laura Glading stole my laptop. Please hold.


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Co att’y now complaining that APA listed and limited AA to specific city pairs when using code-sharing. Remember AA agreed to SCOPE clause.


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Eaton explaining that SCOPE clause included ability to codeshare back in ’03 but the problem was all the “dance partners” were taken.


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Co obviously regretting their agreement of the Scope clause but both parties bargained it. Pilots had the foresight to protect their members


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
@JasonWhitely @wfaachannel8 Except APFA Jason. In the courtroom back row live tweeting. Lots of room left!

View conversation
††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
APA witness Jim Eaton doesn’t capitulate to Co attorney’s questioning. Co. att’y trying to oversimplify Scope.


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Co attorney getting a little hot under the collar. Trying to get Eaton to admit that no one else is restricted to the scope APA has w/AA.


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Co asking Eaton “Acc. to APA Scope, in order for one regional up to 70-seats, AA has to allow one mainline A/C over 110.”


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Co attorney pretending to play nice – says he “must be confused.” Trying to clarify allowance of regional flying.


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Correction: Transition agreement refers to US Airways/America West from ’05


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Co asking if, in the transition agreement (I assume this is US Airways Term S), APA allowed for 88 seats instead of a max of 70 for RJ700s.


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Company doesn’t seem to be able to provide a date for a document they’re using as evidence – LOA #91 – Co. atty wants to take a break.


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Co is asking pilot witness Jim Eaton if the Letter of Agreement #91 between APA and US Airways allows increased RJ flying than afforded AA


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Court call isn’t connected so we’ve taken a break to get the conference call going – lots of attorneys anxious to listen in. Naturally.


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Company’s attorney hammering Jim Eaton on RJ’s and scope as compared with other major airlines.


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Company’s attorney asking Jim Eaton (pilot witness) to define “Industry Standard”


††† APFA ‏@APFAunity
Judge Sean Lane just arrived. Housekeeping items then Jim Eaton (pilot’s witness) will be cross examined.

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