Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

3.01.13b – (LAA) – U.S. House Antitrust Subcommittee Hearing on AA/US Airways Merger

APFA LEGISLATIVE UPDATE MARCH 1, 2013

U.S. HOUSE ANTITRUST SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING ON AA/US AIRWAYS MERGER
On Tuesday, February 26th, the House Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law convened a hearing to examine the proposed merger of US Airways and American Airlines. Prior to the hearing, APFA President Laura Glading sent a letter supporting the merger to each of the Members of the Subcommittee. APFA’s support was reiterated in testimony given by Stephen Johnson of US Airways, as well as Laura Glading’s own testimony which was submitted for the record following the hearing. Finally, APFA members and national officers attended the hearing in uniform to demonstrate their support. They sat alongside our colleagues at APA as well as our future colleagues – the pilots and flight attendants of US Airways. Members of the Subcommittee expressed bipartisan support for the merger and cited the strong backing of the companies’ unions – more proof that unity pays!


Photo: APFA Vice President Marcus Gluth, DCA Vice Chair Robert Valenta, APFA Secretary Jeff Pharr and Stephen Johnson, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Government Affairs, with US Airways Flight Attendants at the Merger Hearing.

Letter to Chairman Bachus
APFA President Laura Glading’s Testimony
US Airways/AA Joint Washington Post Ad
Hearing Transcript in its Entirety
Click here for Hearing Information from the Committee on the Judiciary
Watch the full hearing on CSPAN


 PROTECTIONS 

On behalf of Flight Attendants, APFA President Laura Glading wrote to Congressman Rick Larsen, thanking him for his recent comments on new OSHA protections for flight attendants and his commitment to see them implemented.

Here is an excerpt of the opening statement of Aviation Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Rick Larsen at the hearing on the Federal Aviation Administration held February 27, 2013.

“… I want to praise Administrator Huerta and his staff for their efforts to extend occupational safety and health protections to flight attendants in their high-altitude workplace, as mandated by the FAA bill.

Democrats on this Committee fought to include that mandate in the final conference report, and I was pleased that the FAA published a proposed policy statement last December and solicited public comments. I hope a final policy statement will be adopted in short order, and I look forward to hearing from Administrator Huerta on where we stand now in extending long-overdue legal protections to tens of thousands of flight attendants. I look forward to receiving a status report on how all these important provisions are being implemented.”

SEQUESTRATION
With Congress at an impasse in the debate over how to begin to balance the federal budget, automatic spending cuts known as “sequestration” are looming and set to take effect on March 1. Absent Congressional action to avoid it, sequestration will result an across-the-board spending cuts that will affect virtually all federal agencies.

 

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said publicly that should sequestration take place, airport delays would be inevitable. Customs and Border control could see waits of four to five hours and TSA checkpoints could take well over an hour. Cuts in staffing at TSA and the Federal Air Marshall program are expected.

 

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said publicly that should sequestration take place, airport delays would be inevitable. Customs and Border control could see waits of four to five hours and TSA checkpoints could take well over an hour. Cuts in staffing at TSA and the Federal Air Marshall program are expected.

Last week FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said that the $600M cut in funds would force the FAA to lay off 47,000 employees for up to two days a month. While Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said safety would not be compromised as a result of sequestration, he also expressed concerns about lengthy delays at airports and the need to close some air traffic control towers.

Flight Attendants will not see immediate effects, but by April 1 the cuts could have devastating effects on air travel.  Clearly, it is in the best interest of our industry, the economy, and our nation to have Congress reach an agreement.

APFA will keep you informed and provide more details regarding sequestration’s impact on Flight Attendants.
 

FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT – FINAL HEARING
When the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was passed in 1993, an unintended oversight left millions of crewmembers without the opportunity to quality for Family Leave. A correction to that legislation was passed in 2009.

The US Department of Labor recently issued a Final Rule implementing the amendments made to the Family and Medical Leave Act by the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act of 2009. The Final Rule provides clarity to employers and employees and emphasizes the distinction between the eligibility requirements and calculation of FMLA leave for airline flight crews (flight attendants and pilots) and all other employees. Additionally, the Final Rule adopts a uniform entitlement for airline flight crew employees for one or more of the FMLA-qualifying reasons as well as military caregiver leave. The Final Rule also sets specific record-keeping requirements for flight crew employers.

APFA is currently reviewing the revised language and will meet with the company to determine its effect on our members. For more information:
http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/
http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs28j
 

APFA Legislative Affairs

Julie Frederick-Tandy
legislation@apfa.org

Account


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