Thursday, May 6, 2021
Flight Attendant work lives are more difficult than ever. We continue to deal with full flights and issues between crews and fellow passengers over mask non-compliance. Our workspaces have turned from safety and service to flying pressure cookers, with Flight Attendants being verbally assaulted multiple times per day. We have witnessed physical assaults over the federal mask mandate, and CERS reports are coming in fast and furiously.
We do not need to remind you of the sacrifices made over the past year: we have faced involuntary furloughs, displacements, base closures, signed up for extended leaves to help the company with staffing overages, unacceptably high reserve numbers, and exhausting trip sequences to keep this airline running. In conjunction with other Unions such as AFA-CWA and TWU-556, we all worked tirelessly to ensure that airlines had access to the money contained in each extension of the Payroll Support Program. Flight Attendants made thousands of phone calls and sent thousands of e-mails to their elected representatives, and showed up at picketing events across the country. Billions of dollars were secured through these programs. American has that money available, and CEO Doug Parker has clarified that we are in an enviable cash position.
Earlier this week, on the monthly APFA allocations conference call, your Base Presidents made it crystal clear to American that the reserve numbers are unacceptable, and trip construction is exhausting. Company excuses ranged from vaccine removals to historical storm activity. The company had no clear answer for the outrageous numbers and instead promised to send APFA their data.
To make matters worse, earlier this week, all Flight Attendants received an insulting company communication attempting to remind us of ‘Moments that Matter’ for the Flight Attendant workgroup. It now seems that skipping food runs on the way to the airplane and monitoring traffic patterns should be our new normal. This company continues to demonstrate just how out-of-touch they are with Flight Attendants, ignoring the fatigue-inducing trip construction and the constant battles over mask compliance. American sees this as a golden opportunity to make our lives more difficult by increasing reserve seniority and throwing 27% of a crew base on reserve instead of working to make our lives easier in this challenging environment.
American Airlines seems to have forgotten that Flight Attendants spend the most time with our customers. Flight Attendants have done an outstanding job of welcoming our new leisure travelers that make up a good portion of our revenue and stand ready to welcome back our business travelers, all while attempting to maintain a safe cabin environment. It is time that we are recognized for our work and our sacrifices instead of receiving a callous communication asking us to skip a meal while on duty.
It is time for American Airlines to treat Flight Attendants with dignity and recognize the sacrifices we have made to restore American to profitability.
APFA National President