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Friday, August 25, 2017
You may have noticed in Jill Surdek’s latest communication today that the Company is doubling down on their plan to violate our contract by forging ahead with their timeline for Flight Attendant Operational Integration (FOI). This communication, like last week’s email entitled “The road ahead,” does not mention the relationship between the JCBA and the timeline for reaching FOI. The Company falsely believes that it alone can dictate our path to Full Operational Integration. Management is misguided. Our contract sets the sequence for implementing all the tools that comprise FOI. Just like TTS, ETB and ROTA, PBS must be in place by the time it occurs.
There is another simple truth that American omits and the contract compels – to be a single workforce, there must be a single way in which our work is scheduled. Today, we are divided among LUS and LAA bases, each subject to a different scheduling method. The primary objective of the JCBA was to eliminate that distinction and move all of us to PBS, so that we were all working under the same rules under the same contract. Now, the Company wants to establish a waystation between the status quo and FOI – to have us move from bases designated by their pre-merger identity to ones that are identified as PBS bases or non-PBS bases. We, however did not bargain for this detour to FOI.
No one could have anticipated that it would take American several years to have PBS in place system-wide. But a delay alone does not alter our contract or permit American to circumvent it. If management wants to follow a “road ahead” different from the one we agreed to, it can try to negotiate those adjustments. But until that happens and such changes are ratified, APFA will enforce the existing terms of the JCBA.
We are all in this together, and we must resist the temptation to allow this process to further divide us. Merger-mania may have resulted in a financial windfall for the airline industry, but it has exacted a great toll on the workgroups who are still struggling to integrate in the aftermath.
Our collective strength and resilience amid this struggle lies in our ability to remain united in our efforts to reach FOI in a way that upholds the intent of the contractual language while bringing the least amount of harm to the membership.
APFA National President
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