Thursday, July 2, 2020
Philadelphia Flight Attendants,
Most of you have read yesterday’s communication from Jill Surdek. The Company also issued a press release announcing its international network adjustments through the summer of 2021. I want to address a few key points and how the changes might impact Philadelphia.
Many of us are based in Philadelphia as a result of base closures, and our hearts go out to the Raleigh- Durham and St. Louis based Flight Attendants. Many of us know what it feels like to hear your base is closing- it feels like a punch in the stomach. Please remember that many are suffering in different ways with all of yesterday’s news, and the outcome of the airline restructuring will affect all of us differently.
Your APFA leadership spent nearly four hours on a conference call yesterday, while management walked us through the plan for American Airlines over the next year. We will see base closures, a smaller network, and rebalancing of crew bases. The Company will be looking for every possible way to be more efficient, including reducing staffing complements on specific wide-body aircraft, sequence construction, and block hours allocation. There is a possibility of involuntary furloughs due to overages, which APFA will try to mitigate by way of early-out packages (VEOP’s) and extended leaves.
The Flight Attendant Bidding Resource Center (FABRC) will close on October 1, 2020. This did not go over well with your APFA leadership. We believe this is not a liability or an expense that can just be eliminated. FABRC is a resource that provides many services to our Flight Attendants, and the Company should re-evaluate this decision.
What does this mean for PHL? We do not know yet. A lot depends on when/ if the U.S Government grants PHL gateway entry status, and transatlantic travel is unrestricted to the EU. The Company has stated they are keeping PHL as a transatlantic gateway, but we will be flying a domestic operation for the foreseeable future. American’s Government Affairs team is working to have PHL added to the list of airports that accepts international flights.
The Company also informed us that PHL might see a moderate decrease in size. We are not yet sure what that looks like. APFA is working with the Company on VEOP and extended leave programs to help mitigate any potential involuntary furloughs or displacements. We hope to have more information on these options in the coming weeks.
We know this is not a place we ever thought we would find ourselves again, but here we are. Please do not fall prey to rumors. Seek out the facts, and do not believe everything you read on social media if it did not come directly from the Company or the Union. Sign up for APFA communications. Visit the APFA website, www.apfa.org, for updated and accurate information.
If you have anxiety, or start to become overwhelmed and stressed, please reach out to members of the Employee Assistance Program for support. PHL has a fantastic team who are here to help you through this time. Please reach out to our office with questions or concerns. We are here for you, and we will get through these difficult times together.
Deb McCormick (PHL EAP): 401-225-1459
Kathryn Bedrosian: 317-696-0544
Michael Gibson: 267-226-2744
Bill Ibarra: 267-693-6321
PHL Office: 215-360-3115
APFA PHL Base President
APFA PHL Base Vice President