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Friday, September 4, 2015
LUS Jumpseat Weight Restriction
Many of you are aware of the Company communication sent out earlier today announcing the change to the LUS Weight Restriction for Flight Attendants. Understanding the importance of this issue the APFA vigorously fought to keep this provision during negotiations. As we all know, the Company eventually prevailed – the Pilots had already lost the provision as the Company did not want to remove a passenger for a jumpseat rider. Initially, the Company wanted to implement the change far earlier, but last March the APFA was able to get them to agree to wait until Flight Attendant Operational Integration (FOI) in 2017. This was understood and clearly conveyed by both the Company and the Union. But just this week, the Company blindsided us by making this restriction effective on October 17, 2015 in line with the Single Passenger Service System.
The only language in the 2014 JCBA that protects us during a weight restriction is as follows:
“If the Company agrees that Pilots may not be removed/denied boarding for weight restrictions then such provision shall apply to Flight Attendants as well. Any policy for removal/denial for weight restriction reasons shall be non-discriminatory as it relates to Pilots and Flight Attendants.”
Effective October 17, neither LUS pilots or Flight Attendants will be afforded the weight restriction protections both workgroups had in their previous collective bargaining agreements. The Company also stated, “Until FOI, in the rare event you are denied the jumpseat due to a weight restriction, it will be an excused absence above and beyond what is already provided under the commuter policy.”
APFA will be filing a Presidential Grievance on the early implementation.
In addition to the early loss of the Weight Restriction provision, we fully recognize that since the PBS implementation, our CLT, DCA, PHL and PHX Flight Attendants have heard many excuses from the Company concerning the frequent problems with the Crew Portal and Electronic Trade Board Systems. The promises to make it right next time have not always been kept, causing a loss of trust. When trust is lost in a workforce, it makes it that more difficult to restore over time.
By now, you are familiar with the latest Company slogan, “Going for Great. Challenge Accepted.” It’s a great slogan, if it were actually true for both the Customers and the Employees. Our Flight Attendants want this airline to succeed and to be the biggest and the best in the world. How can we forget the day back in September of 2013 when US Airways and American Airlines Flight Attendants stood together on Capitol Hill in support of the merger carrying signs that read, “Let Us Compete. Together!” As front line employees we spend the most time with the customer and can have the largest impact, yet the Company doesn’t show that they truly value the Flight Attendants. Maybe the Company slogan should actually read, “Still Trying for Good. Challenges Continue for the New American Flight Attendants.”
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