Friday, April 10, 2020
An Update from Your New National Officers
It has been just over a week since your new officers officially took office. We promised to hit the ground running, and we have. A month ago, no one could have imagined the circumstances in which we find ourselves, our company, our industry, and our country.
Every single day, we, along with the Safety Chair and the Health Chair, have continued to press the company to make the health and safety of our Flight Attendants their number one priority. As a result, they have finally started distributing masks in the bases. We are not finished. We will continue to press them until our Flight Attendants have adequate protection to combat this invisible enemy.
We have been meeting with the company by phone/teleconference multiple times each day to work towards solutions to the multitude of complex issues facing our members. We have been in communication with your Base Presidents every step of the way. We have also had a daily Board Briefing call for the full extended leadership of our Union. At every turn, we have sought input from your elected leaders on how best to address the issues. Each of them has been very thorough in communicating what they believe to be in the best interests of all their members.
We have heard from Flight Attendants of all seniorities regarding the situation for PBS bidding for May. The volume of emails is so great that we will not be able to answer each individual email. We will however compile a list of the questions that you have asked and put together a Q&A document so that everyone may receive answers. Even though your APFA leadership proposed many ideas to the company to work through the overage for May, the time constraints severely limited the number of viable options, while adhering to the JCBA
We know that Flight Attendants have different priorities as we navigate through this pandemic: some need to work to support families, and some need to have peace of mind, which means flexibility of leaves with all of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. We will continue to work to identify and offer options for everyone.
We are keeping a close eye on Capitol Hill and the CARES Act airline payroll grant process. On day one, we sent a joint letter to Secretary Mnuchin ensuring that payroll grants for airlines would be issued without undermining the spirit of the grants, which is a direct pass-through to workers to keep us connected to our pay and benefits. Flight Attendants also helped with a ‘call to action’ to Secretary Mnuchin’s office, making it clear that payroll grants should put the front-line workers first.
At the same time, the business of your Union continues. The Executive Committee has just approved, and we have announced, the appointment of the Chairs and Regional Representatives. The Scheduling Chair and JCBA Specialist continue to hold the company to our contractual language for the trips that have failed continuity and needed to be repaired for April. We continue to make sure that the company does not use this current crisis as an excuse to ignore the fact that they have a legally binding contract with us, which must continue to be followed.
In closing, thank you for your support during this ongoing time of uncertainty. We will get through this together and we will be stronger for it.