Friday, August 28, 2020
Good Day CLT Flight Attendants,
Tuesday, August 25, 2020, marked a dark day in the history of our airline. The Company announced that 8,099 of our Union Sisters and Brothers here at American Airlines would be involuntarily furloughed on October 3. We had over 25,000 active Flight Attendants on property before the COVID-19 pandemic decimated our industry. In the past few months, we have worked to secure leaves of absences and retirement packages for those who wanted to take time off or close out their careers.
The Federal Government provided some relief with the passage of the CARES Act and the Payroll Support Program (PSP), which ends on October 1. Tuesday’s announcement in a reduction of almost 14,000 Flight Attendants was shocking, to say the least. With earlier predictions of about half that number, the Company reevaluated its position and decided more massive cuts were necessary, sending many more to the unemployment line than expected.
Many of our Flight Attendants have decided to take a retirement package and wrap up their careers without the usual bells and whistles send-off celebrations for a job well done. We will miss all the laughs, jumpseat smiles, and overnight adventures we shared. We wish you the best in the next phase of your lives.
We share the pain and sadness with those who will be involuntarily furloughed. We have set up an Involuntary Furlough Process Q&A Guide on the Contract Department page at APFA.org. Also, APFA hosted two Involuntary Furlough Virtual Town Halls to answer your questions regarding the recent furlough announcement. You will find the recent APFA Town Halls at APFA.org > Departments > Communications Department > APFA Town Halls.
We hope that our furloughed Flight Attendant’s absence will be short. Your CLT APFA Team wants you to have all the support you need through this difficult time. Please know that we are here to support you. If you have questions or need someone to talk to, reach out to us on the local line at 704-665-7474. You can also reach out to the 24-hour Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) hotline at 800-998-8194. And, the APFA EAP Representatives can be reached at 817-540-0108 ext. 8701.
Before them, Congress has an extension of the PSP bill that can mitigate the furloughs and provide relief for over 75,000 airline workers. We are asking every employee to reach out to your congressional representatives urging support for the PSP. The Charlotte airport employs almost 18,000 workers. The cuts to our airline will ripple through the entire airport community. This extension helps protect jobs and healthcare, while all of us navigate the coming months of uncertainty concerning the COVID-19 virus. Click here to contact your congressional leadership.
For those of us flying through this pandemic, we continue to face everyday challenges. We will continue to fight against the constant attacks to our Contract and insist on a safe working environment for everyone. APFA Safety, Health & Security will seek any opportunity to improve our risk factors for contracting the virus. We will continue to work with health officials, the FAA, and the CDC on the best ways to protect our workers until the day comes when we can all take our face coverings off with confidence.
In the next few weeks, we will be facing a new reality. The Company is currently constructing trips for October. The plan is that there will be 14,000 fewer Flight Attendants on property. The schedule is also being decided based on passenger demand, which has dropped after the summer months. There are new safety protocols to be added, and the financial stability of the airline going forward will dictate how turbulent the next few months will fair.
We will get through this, both as a nation and as an airline. However, it will take time. We are hurting for our American Airlines family members affected by the furloughs and layoffs. We will miss those who have chosen to leave early voluntarily. We are faced with some tough times ahead of us. The one thing I know about our Charlotte Flight Attendants is this…
We are resilient. We will overcome the hurt. We will beat the huge obstacles we are facing.
Nonetheless, it will take time.
Take care of yourselves and each other. ~ The Charlotte APFA Team
APFA CLT Base President
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