Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

5.24.13 – (LAA) – Four-Party MOU Discussions, ‘Me, Too’ Provision Satisfied, 1114 Committee Update, Scheduling and Contract Updates, No Knives, New JETNET Terms of Service, Social Media, Flight 191

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APFA Hotline – Friday, May 24, 2013

FOUR-PARTY MOU DISCUSSIONS

On May 23, 2013, representatives concluded three days of discussions for a four-party Memorandum of Understanding.  Attending the meeting were representatives of AFA, APFA, American Airlines management and US Airways management. The parties agreed to resume these discussions in the near future. 

‘ME, TOO’ PROVISION SATISFIED

The Last, Best, Final Offer contains a “Me Too” provision that required the Company to achieve equivalent savings from its labor groups. Each of the contracts between American and its unions had to contain concessions that reduced the Company’s costs by 17%.  On November 12, 2012 three days after APA and AA reached a tentative agreement, and again on November 28, APFA requested that AA produce the information needed to assess whether the Pilots’ contract complied with the requirements of our “Me Too” Letter.  On January 16 President Laura Glading, Clint Breen, APFA’s Scheduling Coordinator and member of the Negotiating Team, Brent Peterson, APFA’s Contract Coordinator, Jaimie McNeice, Negotiating Team member, Rob Clayman, our Negotiating Counsel, and Dan Akins, our airline economist, met with American to review the documents it had provided and to discuss the Company’s valuation of the Pilots’ concessions.  Both during and following the meeting we requested other information needed to assess the methodologies AA used in its costing of the Pilots’ contract. After completing our analysis of all the data produced by AA, we have concluded that the Pilots’ CBA contains the equivalent level of concessions as the LBFO and that AA has not violated the “Me Too” Letter.  
 
It should also be noted that while the “Me Too” Letter applies to the CBA  ratified by the Pilots on December 7, 2012, it does not cover the Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) APA reached with AA the next month that is effective with the merger of US Airways and American. Similarly, APA’s and TWU’s “Me Too” Letters do not apply to our Bridge Agreement that also goes into effect when American exits from bankruptcy and merges with US Airways. 

1114 COMMITTEE UPDATE

There are currently no additional hearings scheduled in the 1114 Adversarial Proceeding, which is the proceeding that addresses the Company’s position that they can make unilateral changes to the retiree medical benefits without bankruptcy court permission and do not need to file a Section 1114 motion to modify benefits. The Company has filed a motion for summary judgment in the 1114 Adversarial Proceeding asking the bankruptcy court to conclude that the Company may make changes without first holding a trial. Judge Lane has not indicated that he will be ruling on the motion anytime soon.  

Under the proposed plan, there will not need to be a resolution to this issue before American can exit bankruptcy and the plan contemplates that the pending 1114 Adversarial Proceeding can continue after the effective date. Once the company exits bankruptcy, however, if it does not prevail in the adversary, it will not be able to file an 1114 motion asking the court to order modifications to retiree benefits.

The company has indicated they want to exit bankruptcy in the third quarter of this year. The APFA and the 1114 Committee stands ready to negotiate a fair and acceptable resolution at any time. Unless and until there is a change to the current status quo, retirees covered under the 1114 process continue to have the full retiree medical benefits they had before the bankruptcy. If AA exits bankruptcy without the filing of an 1114 motion, our remaining pre funding money should be returned.

SCHEDULING AND CONTRACT 

Reserve

This week, APFA met with the company in continued discussions about Scheduling, particularly the issue of Reserves flying adjacent base trips with no transparency. APFA has requested that the company consider a proposed fix to the lack of transparency and we are hopeful that we can report the good news shortly.
 
APFA is also discussing the method in which FAs will communicate their preferences, i.e. AM/PM, equipment, adjacent base, position, sequences, stand-by, etc…
 

Deferred Flying Improvement!

Beginning May 25th, 2013, there will be an additional option for those Flight Attendants whose flight has been deferred, as defined in Article 7.X of the CBA. Flight Attendants will now have the option to waive “Home Base Rest” to Layover Rest in order to remain on their trip, if they desire. This new option is a direct result of meetings between AA and APFA that will now allow FAs who desire to keep their long-haul international trips, to do so. This option is in addition to the current provisions, as outlined in Article 7.X.

 
Today, pilots have the option of less-than-Home Base Rest. The Company is known to reschedule the deferred flight to correlate with the Pilots’ rest. Since, Flight Attendants were required to have Home Base Rest in this scenario; we lost the opportunity to keep the trip. 
 
It is important to note that once a Flight Attendant is made aware of such Deferred Flying, they will need to contact Crew Scheduling/Tracking to adjust their rest. Each Flight Attendant will then be afforded the opportunity to opt for layover rest (or not).
 

Tablet

APFA has addressed concerns identified by our members in APFA’s Tablet survey. Many of the concerns raised by FAs have since been addressed with recent Tablet updates and more are expected to be addressed in future updates.  We addressed the need for more frequent and faster updates for the device. In addition, going forward APFA will be directly involved in discussions with the Company to make the device more user friendly. 
 

Staffing

In addition, we met with the company to address staffing concerns, particularly on 757 transcon, 737 Caribbean and 777-300.  Your reports play a big role in identifying and addressing staffing issues.  Please continue to send reports to staffing@apfa.org.  The reports need to contain specific information regarding the difficulties in completing the required service in for us to make a successful case that the current workload is unreasonable.
 

Thru Flights

Earlier this month the company announced that they will begin to change the way they assign flight numbers in order to be able to accommodate additional flights to the AA schedule that will result from the merger with US Airways.  The company plans to introduce using the same flight number for some round trip flying in order to free up flight numbers.

While this will not affect any AA mainline flights until August, APFA has been proactive in addressing the potential impact of this change on AA Flight Attendants.  No decisions have been made, however APFA will continue to address this issue with AA management to ensure there are no adverse or unintended outcomes for Flight Attendants as a result of this change.

HOTEL DEPARTMENT

Did you know that you will find a list of our layover hotels, system wide, on the APFA Hotel Page, as well as the amenities offered by our hotels?  Also, you can submit hotel debrief forms directly from the site by simply filling in the blanks!  You will also find Temporary Hotel Relocations, monthly bid allocations, hotel deals and updates. If you would like to acquaint yourself with the APFA Hotel Page, click here.

NEW HIRES

APFA continues to meet weekly with each new hire class during training to welcome them to APFA and their new careers.  Each Wednesday a new class graduates and joins us on the line. This week class 13-08 graduated and we welcome them to our ranks.

NO KNIVES, NO, REALLY.

This week, APFA took our campaign against knives on planes to a new level by purchasing ad space on an electronic kiosk in the DCA Airport. The visual is stunning and is nearly impossible to miss. It is directly to your left after clearing security in Terminal B, DCA Reagan National Airport.
 

Here is a photo of the kiosk with DCA Chair, Robert Valenta, and DCA Vice Chair Tim Weston on either side. If you’re in DCA, please look for the kiosk and take a picture in front of it, if time permits. Send your photos to communications@apfa.org and we’ll load each one of them on APFA’s Twitter feed and Facebook page. 

The Coalition received good news this week from the state Senators of NY and New Jersey. Senators Schumer, Gillibrand, Lautenberg and Menendez introduced legislation to “Keep Knives Out of Our Skies.” This bill will serve as companion legislation to H.R. 1093 – “No Knives Act” in the House led by Rep. Markey and Rep. Grimm who have been champions in our cause against knives.. Read the Coalition press release here.

 
BTW, a supplement to the petition against knives on the plane was filed this week. Click here to review the additional information mounting against the TSA’s decision to allow knives on our planes. 
 

NEW JETNET – TERMS OF SERVICE

With the conversion to the Company’s new Jetnet, we have received several calls regarding the required Terms of Agreement.  The new Jetnet incorporates a “Facebook/blogging” style and allows users to leave comments on various topics and to other users’ feedback.  Because of the user feedback and ability, the company has added several items to the Terms of Agreement stating any comment you make on their website is bound to company rules and regulations.  Additionally any submission you make on their site is considered company property and can be used by them “in whole or in part, for advertising, marketing or promotional purposes.”
 
APFA legal has reviewed the complete Terms of Agreement and found it to be identical to the original Jetnet Terms of Agreement with the exception of the new items mentioned above.  

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Foursquare… the list goes on. Social Media is the way of the world and there’s no question that society will continue to embrace it for a long time to come. The downside to these social media sites is the privacy factor. In order to protect yourselves, please consider the following:
 
  • Learn about the privacy settings for each social media site. 
  • Think before “checking in” somewhere. You are letting everyone know where you are – and where you’re not.
  • Be cautious of photos you take and post. Think before you post!
  • Familiarize yourself with AA’s social media policies
  • Use appropriate privacy settings if you are FB friends with a member of management
  • Use caution when accessing Facebook and personal e-mail via the company’s Samsung tablet; those communications may no longer be private or confidential

All of the above is important when using Social Media, Company email, and the new Jetnet. Always think twice before you post. And when you do post, be selective of your content and your audience.

 

IN MEMORY OF FLIGHT 191

Thirty-four years ago tomorrow, we remember the loss of our coworkers on AA flight 191 destined for LA. The DC-10 crashed right after taking off from Chicago.  258 passengers, 13 crew members as well as 2 people on the ground were killed. 

APFA Headquarters will be closed on Monday so that our unionized staff can enjoy the holiday. The office will open again on Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. Have a great holiday weekend.

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AmericanAirlines US Airways 
“On Our Way”

Leslie Mayo
APFA National Communications Coordinator

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