This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Thursday, November 2, 2006.
APFA News: In the past five years, APFA has filed two Presidential Grievances (FML I and FML II) on the unilateral changes AA made to its Family Leave policy in 2001 and again in 2004, as well as filing additional requests with the arbitrator on the remedy piece from the of FML I arbitrator's Award.
The FML I Presidential Grievance Award was issued in 2003. The FML I Remedy Award was issued on July 28, 2006, and the FML II Award was issued on September 1, 2006. Both of these Awards, along with the FML I Award - are available in their entirety on the APFA Web site. Accompanying these Awards is a brief timeline of AA's FML Policy and the Government's Family Medical Leave Act. The FML II Award resulted in an extensive FML Medical Review and Appeal process that is also explained in a separate document available at apfa.org.
Those Flight Attendants affected by the FML II Award should receive an HI6 message from the Company today, November 2nd.
Please be patient as APFA and the Company work together to determine each individual case that may be affected by the FML I Remedy Award. You will be notified once the identification process has been completed.
Q. I just received a letter from AA regarding our pension plans. Is AA trying to hand over our pensions to the PBGC like United Airlines did?
A. No. AA did not issue this letter to communicate its intentions to default on our pension plans. AA sent a letter to all participants of AA's Pension Plans in order to communicate its plan to take advantage of new legislation and extend its pension payments in accordance with the Pension Reform regulations recently signed into law.
VOTE! As the sole union representing more than 20,000 Flight Attendants of American Airlines, it is incumbent upon APFA to promote and protect the Flight Attendant career. In the past several years, Congress' action (or inaction) has had a direct impact on many issues that affect our daily work life. Issues such as Crew Rest, Pension Protection rules, Bankruptcy and Flight Attendant Fatigue are key issues that WILL affect our careers.
One example of how quickly things can change, just last year, the FAA considered allowing cell phones in-flight. Flight Attendants took action by writing members of Congress and the idea was all but dismissed on the Hill. However, this week, Rep. John Mica - Florida (R), announced his support FOR cell phone usage in-flight. Rep. Mica happens to be the Chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee. If Chairman Mica is reelected, he would be in line for promotion to the Chair of the Transportation Committee prompting him to continue listening to corporate interests rather than the interests of in-flight safety.
This Committee makes decisions on such things as aviation safety, labor relations and the TSA. Rep. James Oberstar - Minnesota (D), has always been a huge proponent of Flight Attendant-friendly issues and is up for re-election in the Eight District of Minnesota. If the Democratic Party becomes the majority Party in the House come November 7th, as the ranking Democratic member of the House Transportation Committee, Rep. Oberstar will be the Chair of the Transportation Committee.
As a Union member, it's worth taking the time to research each candidate's labor-friendliness. If a candidate is or has been an elected member of Congress, you may view her/his voting record by going online to aflcio.org and clicking on the appropriate link on the left. Bottom line, APFA is not telling anyone how to vote. However, it would be irresponsible for APFA to turn a blind eye on something that will have such a huge impact on the 20,000 members it represents. If you haven't already voted absentee, don't forget to vote on Tuesday, November 7th.
Fuel Watch: As of Wednesday, November 2nd, a barrel of crude oil cost $58.34, down .64 cents from last week's price. The crack spread price was $10.02, down $3.04 from last week's price. This brings the cost of one barrel of jet fuel to $68.73 - down $4.78 from the price of jet fuel a week ago.
The total for one barrel of jet fuel a year ago November was $71.02 about $2 more than the price of a barrel of jet fuel today.
Please remember that we still have 2,680 APFA members still on furlough.
Thatís it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.