Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

10.11.13 – (LAA) Merger Update / Benefits Enrollment / Speakers / Reserves / DOMA / Q&As / Roadshow Locations


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Merger / Antitrust Lawsuit Update
On Thursday, Special Master Richard Levie (appointed by Judge Kollar-Kotelly to assist in the expedition of the case) issued two rulings regarding discovery disputes. While they are only recommendations, they will likely be adopted by Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. In the first dispute, American and US Airways sought various documents from the DOJ regarding its investigation and approval of other recent airline mergers. The Special Master ruled that, with one exception, the documents were privileged and did not have to be produced. In the second dispute, American and US Airways sought the names of everyone who the DOJ interviewed during its investigation of the challenged American-US Airways merger. The Special Master ruled this information was privileged and did not have to be produced under the work-product doctrine, which protects material prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial.
 
Also this week, the TWU’s request to be an intervener in support of the airlines in the DOJ’s lawsuit was opposed by US Airways and AA and denied by the judge. The parties cited the possible delay of prompt resolution to this case if TWU were granted its amended motion. TWU agreed and requested to appear as “amicus curiae.” Click here to read more.
 
Below are some of the articles published this week and posted on the Merger page at www.apfa.org.

AMR-US Airways Merger Suffers New Setbacks (Wall Street Journal) – 10.10.13
Why airline mergers are inevitable (Reuters) – 10.09.13
Judge tells TWU it can be a friend of the court, but not an intervenor in American Airlines-US Airways case (Dallas Morning News) – 10.09.13
Early Turbulence Won’t Ground DOJ’s Airline Merger Fight (Law360) – 10.08.13
Airlines Fight TWU Bid to Join Merger Suit as Threat to Case (Bloomberg) – 10.08.13
Will More State AGs Drop Their Opposition to the Airline Merger? (Motley Fool) – 10.07.13
American unions continue to pressure state AGs to drop out of antitrust lawsuit (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) – 10.07.13
 
For more information on the merger, click here.
 
2014 Benefits Enrollment
Information regarding AA’s 2014 Benefits Plan options is now available online at www.my.aa.com. Benefits enrollment for 2014 will open on November 1, 2013 and close at midnight central time on November 15, 2013.
 
This year AA will not be mailing a benefits overview to each employee’s home, so please take the time to review all of the options carefully in order to make the best decisions for yourself and your family. When reviewing your options, please take the time to ensure that your HR contact and beneficiary information is up to date.
 
The deadline for open enrollment is midnight central time on Friday, November 15, 2013.
 
Foreign Language Staffing
One of the problems that arose during the last decade of stagnation was a lack of speakers to cover the flying that existed in AA’s network. In 2005, a speaker test was conducted and resulted in a temporary reduction in speakers on some aircraft as outlined in the February 10, 2006, Requirements for Foreign Language Qualifications letter. The company made it clear in this letter that they intended to return to the contractual provisions in Article 11.C. once they began to hire and had a sufficient number of foreign language qualified Flight Attendants. Over the past year many of the Flight Attendants hired are foreign language qualified. As a result, the company has notified APFA that they plan to return to the contractual provisions for speaker staffing effective January 1, 2014. APFA will be meeting with Flight Service to discuss the actual transition back to the contractual provisions prior to implementation in January.
 
Reserves Scheduled for November and December
For FAs scheduled to serve Reserve in November, don’t forget that it’s entirely possible that a senior FA(S) could bump you from your Reserve rotation. In order to avoid being pulled onto Reserve in December, one option is to bid onto Reserve in November. Also, if you are near the bottom of the Reserve list, it’s always a good idea to back yourself up with some regular bids. If you are bumped off Reserve, you are subject to Reserve the following month (seniority requiring). Please review Article 10.S.2 for the contractual language.
 
If you are considering bidding onto Reserve, you must indicate as much on your bid ballot as well as actually bidding Reserve selections. Simply bidding Reserve selections is not enough. Also, as a reminder: bidding onto Reserve in a month with a known planned absence (vacation or bid leave) will NOT satisfy your Reserve obligation.
 
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
New rulings have recently been issued as a result of the Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that found Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. These rulings impact Social Security benefits, healthcare benefits, spousal benefits in retirement and imputed income. American Airlines management expects to send letters to those employees who currently have same-sex domestic partners advising of the resulting changes for those that are indeed married and therefore affected by the changes. This letter will be mailed next week. Information will be made available on Jetnet and updated as the government provides details.
 
APFA Q&As – October 11, 2013
APFA President Laura Glading answered the following questions in various email responses over the past few days. If you have a question you’d like to see answered on this hotline, please email comm1@apfa.org.
 
Q: Why did APFA agree to binding arbitration if negotiations does not result in a quick agreement?
A: The only winner in protracted negotiations is management. AA Flight Attendants had been negotiating a new contract since 2008, well before our company filed for bankruptcy in 2011. We requested a release from the National Mediation Board (NMB) in 2009. We never received a response to that request. APFA’s strike in 1993 – twenty years ago – was the last release of our work group.  The US Airways Flight Attendants spent even longer in their last round of negotiations – the West was negotiating for 12 years. The Railway Labor Act is not working and there is no quick fix. We can and will fight to change things, but for now we must protect ourselves.
 
Under the current circumstances, a union could spend years and years trying to negotiate a contract if it didn’t have a backstop that forced management to an agreement. In addition to providing long overdue improvements to our compensation, binding arbitration will allow our companies to complete the merger quickly, which, in turn, will allow Flight Attendants to realize the merger’s benefits sooner. 
 
APFA agreed to expedited negotiations and the binding arbitration backstop after five days of intensely secret negotiations in Phoenix. The purpose is to achieve a Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) that is “market-based in the aggregate.” Achieving a JCBA as quickly as possible will benefit all Flight Attendants at the new American. We agreed to the backstop because we knew all too well the pain Flight Attendants were suffering at other airlines because they had no path to a fair contract after bankruptcy and no plan to combine workforces following mergers. Most of our colleagues across the industry had taken 20 percent cuts and, for some, negotiations for a joint contract still drag on today.
 
Let me be clear: APFA will be working toward an industry-leading contract. APFA helped create the biggest and best airline in the world and our compensation must reflect that. The Conditional Labor Agreement assures that if we wind up in arbitration, we will be guaranteed an industry contract. That is our floor, our baseline for negotiations, and our insurance that we will not be lagging behind the Flight Attendants at other large carriers indefinitely and helplessly. Further, we have agreement that if the United Flight Attendants achieve a better contract in their negotiations, we will open our contract for the purpose of adding that value. The United/Continental merger closed in May 2012 but the Flight Attendants have yet to successfully negotiate a JCBA and their unification under a single contract. This is exactly the situation we are trying to avoid. 
 
Right now, APFA is hard at work preparing for the day that we win the antitrust suit, emerge victorious, and the new American finally arrives. It is APFA’s intention to take the best of both contracts and improve on what we each have individually. Our new negotiating team is working diligently. With the agreements we have in place, APFA will be ready to capitalize on the new American’s success immediately.
 
Q: How will the seniority of the US Airways and American Flight Attendants be integrated?
A: With regard to the seniority integration for AFA and APFA members, our seniority lists will be integrated based on date of occupational seniority (which is called “date of hire” at US Airways). The only adjustment will be to ensure that American Flight Attendants get credit for initial training – as US Airways Flight Attendants do. APFA has done an enormous amount of research to determine the average number of days American Airlines Flight Attendants spent in training. We will be coming up with a number of days to adjust the seniority of American Flight Attendants to put them on an even footing with US Airways Flight Attendants. No changes will be made to APFA members’ seniority in relation to each other – what is referred to as “relative seniority.”
 
Q: Why am I hearing that APFA refuses to accept mailed-in dues payments from Flight Attendants?
A: Occasionally, a member sends the union a check and asks that the payment be credited to a particular dues period. In accordance with APFA’s long-standing practice and consistent with standard accounting procedures, we apply dues payments received directly from members to the oldest dues balance – whether for active or inactive status dues. (The only exception to this would be if the Flight Attendant were facing termination for non-payment of active-status dues.) If a Flight Attendant indicates that s/he wants the payment credited to a particular dues period, we explain our long-standing practice and return the check to the member. APFA does not want to cash a member’s check against her/his wishes. Also, we explain to the Flight Attendant that s/he should not submit checks to APFA if s/he does not wish the payment to be applied to his/her oldest balance.
 
2013 APFA Roadshow Schedule and Locations

Listed below are the specific meeting locations for the upcoming APFA Roadshow schedule with Laura Glading, the Negotiating Team, APFA reps and advisors. We look forward to seeing as many of you on the road as possible as we discuss the antitrust lawsuit, the merger timeline,

DFW—October 22
Grapevine Convention Center
1209 South Main Street Grapevine, TX  76051
817/410-3459
Parking complimentary
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  
 
RDU—October 28
Hilton Garden Inn Raleigh-Durham/Research Triangle Park
4620 South Miami Blvd.
Durham, NC  27703
919/941-6066
Shuttle Service to/from hotel and parking complimentary
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  
 
STL—October 30
Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel
9801 Natural Bridge Road
Saint Louis, MO  63134-3307
314/429-1100
Shuttle service to/from airport and parking complimentary
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  
 
DCA—October 31
Radisson Hotel Reagan National Airport
2020 Jefferson Davis Highway
Arlington, VA  22202
703/920-8600
Parking—Discounted rate of $10 / Vouchers will be provided as APFA will pay for parking
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  
 
LAX—November 5
Hilton Los Angeles Airport
5711 West Century Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA  90045
310/410-4000
Shuttle service to/from Los Angeles Airport–Complimentary
Parking—Discounted rate of $12 / Vouchers will be provided as APFA will pay for parking
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  
 
SFO—November 6
Embassy Suites South San Francisco
250 Gateway Blvd. South
San Francisco, CA  94080
650/589-3400
Shuttle Service to/from airport—Complimentary
Parking—Discounted rate of $12 / Vouchers will be provided as APFA will pay for parking
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Note start time is an hour earlier)  
 
JFK—November 12
Hilton New York JFK Airport
144-02 135th Avenue
Jamaica, NY  11436
718/659-0200
Shuttle service to/from JFK Airport—Complimentary
Parking—Discounted rate of $7 / Vouchers will be provided as APFA will pay for parking
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  
 
MIA—November 13
Miami International Airport
CONCOURSE “D” AUDITORIUM—LEVEL 4 (located above the American Airlines Credit Union)
NW 20th Street & Le Jeune Road
Miami, FL  33122
305/871-4100
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  
 
ORD—November 19
Hyatt Regency O’Hare
9300 Bryn Mawr Avenue
Rosemont, IL  60018
847/696-1234    
Shuttle service to/from O’Hare Airport—Complimentary
Parking—Discounted rate of $10 / Vouchers will be provided as APFA will pay for parking
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  
 
BOS—November 20
Embassy Suites Boston at Logan Airport
207 Porter Street
Boston, MA  02128
617/567-5000
Shuttle service to/from Boston Logan Airport—Complimentary
Parking—Discounted rate of $12 / Vouchers will be provided as APFA will pay for parking
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

AmericanAirlines US Airways 
“MERGE!”

Leslie Mayo
APFA National Communications Coordinator

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