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APFA State of the Union – 8.12.15

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 With only eight months remaining in my term as APFA president, I remain committed to doing everything I can in the time I have left in office to help our workgroup and promote the Flight Attendant profession. 

So, the question is: What can be accomplished by April 1, 2016?

And the answer is: A great deal.

APFA will continue to do the daily work of the Union for our members to the highest possible standards. That requires the efforts of approximately 40 people at headquarters – from National Officers – to Department Chairs – to those who take the calls from Flight Attendants about the contract, scheduling, health issues and hotels – to our full-time office staff. In any given week, APFA handles hundreds of calls from the membership and submits as many as20 Notices of Dispute protesting management’s misapplication of our contract. It is hard work that requires dedicated union reps and staff. It is an honor to work with these people day in and day out and I will miss them greatly when it comes time to leave.

In terms of our contract, APFA must remain vigilant. We cannot and will not relent in pushing the company to fix the Electronic Trade Board and ISAP, and make the necessary adjustments to the PBS monthly line average for Legacy US Flight Attendants. Today, these are LUS problems, but soon these will affect the entire workgroup. The process is coming along, but it is not where it should be by any means. We need to make sure it is done correctly – and we will.

And even though we have seen the majority of our contract’s value already implemented, the company still has not programmed the JCBA pay protection for LAA Flight Attendants. Getting this important provision in place is another top priority for APFA over the next several months.

Most of the scheduling work is in the hands of the Joint Implementation Resolution Committee (JIRC) and the combined Joint Scheduling Implementation Committee (JSIC). The JIRC and JSIC committees work tirelessly every day to resolve the many issues the Flight Attendants have experienced over the past several months and to resolve programming and implementation issues. I want to thank the members of these committees for their selfless dedication. 

Last week’s record second quarter was the most profitable AA has ever seen. Although we recognize that the Company still has debt and many years of neglecting the necessary upgrades needed to compete, it is clear that we would not be enjoying these profits and the ability to make these improvements absent the valuable contribution of our work group. We deserve to be recognized and rewarded for our contribution and have started this discussion with the company. 

APFA is constantly working to improve communications between the leadership and the membership. I want to make sure ALL Flight Attendants have the most up-to-date information as well as a direct line of communication with their elected leaders in order to raise questions and concerns. We recently simplified our Hotline format, created a Facebook group to give members another place for their questions to be answered, and are in the process of redeveloping the APFA mobile app for ALL Flight Attendants to use on their Apple and Android devices.

Good communication is predicated on an understanding of our workgroup’s changing demographics. For the past decade, hiring at both of our legacy carriers was practically stagnant. Now, approximately 20 percent of the membership joined our workgroup in the past three years. Many of these new hires were not previously members of a union, making their experience as a Flight Attendant totally new. APFA is launching a program to bring new hires together at their local bases so they can learn about their union up close – learn what a union does, and what they can do to make APFA an even stronger labor organization.

APFA will continue to actively pursue our legislative agenda in Washington DC. Among our top priorities is establishing and improving regulations to address Flight Attendant Fatigue. This is a huge health and safety issue for our workgroup and one APFA has been working on for several years. I want to see the next FAA bill finally take a meaningful step to address it as well as other important health issues like cabin air quality. APFA is also fighting hard to enforce the Open Skies agreements that guarantee fair competition in our industry. As workers’ rights abuses persist at airlines around the world, we will continue to bring those violations to light because an attack on any Flight Attendant is an attack on us all. In addition, APFA is a proud partner of Airline Ambassadors International, led by our own Nancy Rivard, and together we are fighting to rid our industry of the horrors of human trafficking. I encourage all flight attendants to join the government affairs team to help APFA push our important agenda. Email Julie Frederick at [email protected] for more information.

Finally, we must remain ever vigilant against those who would undermine our union for their own gain. APFA has succeeded as an independent union for 38 years by remaining focused on one thing above all – the Flight Attendants of American Airlines. We have learned so much over that time, but one lesson is particularly clear – no one can represent us better than ourselves. We went on Strike in ’93, we battled for an industry-leading contract in 2001, we navigated through the straits of concessionary bargaining and bankruptcy, we played a vital role in a merger that created the largest airline in the world, and today we have a contract with industry-leading wages and work rules.

Our profession is one that is filled with uncertainty. Despite which carrier you started with, we can all recall that we were told we need to be flexible. We all understood and accepted changing routes and schedules. But too much uncertainty – like the change brought about by the bk and the merger – can cause tremendous anxiety. The good news is that we now have job security and far more flying opportunities. More certainty will come when the implementation of the scheduling and works rules are done completely and correctly. We are working to do that as quickly as possible.

In these final months of my tenure I will continue to listen and work with you to make APFA the best that it can be for you today and in to the future. While our opinions may differ, we share a common purpose – to do everything possible to advance our profession and improve the lives of the 25,000 Flight Attendants at American Airlines. 

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Events

Currently, no scheduled events...

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