Hello. Today is Friday, October 25, 2002. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA HotLine.
The current state of the airline industry has understandably created a great deal of concern among airline workers. American Airlines Flight Attendants are no exception. With the concern comes speculation and rumor. APFA urges everyone to avoid falling victim to speculation and rumor. Please stay abreast of Company and industry news through reliable sources such as the APFA HotLine, InfoRep HotLine, and the APFA Web site, especially the "Aviation Industry News" page. If you hear something that you cannot substantiate through these sources, please call it in or e-mail it to APFA Headquarters. One thing we would like to set straight today is that APFA has not been approached by American Airlines for any concessions.
There has been a great deal in the news lately regarding under funding of pension plans. We have included a great deal of information on the subject on the APFA Web site under "Retirement." This includes links to government agencies that regulate pensions and a recent Q and A regarding the pension plan.
From the Vice President's Office comes this news on the 777 arbitration. An Executive Session is planned on November 20, 2002, and APFA hopes to receive a decision on the 777 staffing arbitration before the end of the year.
APFA has mailed an information packet to all Flight Attendants who will be furloughed on November 1st. We encourage all furloughed Flight Attendants to visit the APFA Web site "Furlough Page" for useful information and links to valuable resources and job opportunities.
For those Flight Attendants who have been awarded Overage Leaves, please remember that you will not be provided the opportunity to pay your health insurance premiums month-to-month as with the leaves offered in 2001. You will be responsible for the accrued balance once you return to active status. If you have elected the medical reimbursement option, please keep in mind that you must continue to make deposits into this account throughout your leave in order to receive reimbursement funds. Also, APFA encourages all Flight Attendants who have Long Term Disability Coverage to maintain that coverage. If you allow it to lapse and would like to have it reinstated, you will be required to complete a statement of health.
Flight Attendants awarded Overage Leaves remain dues obligated to the APFA for the duration of their leave. The APFA Dues Department will soon be sending letters to all of those awarded Overage Leaves outlining payment options.
As we reported last week, a lawsuit has been filed in the Federal District Court in St. Louis by two TWA-LLC Flight Attendants protesting the transfer of flights from St. Louis and London and between St. Louis and Hawaii from the St. Louis Flight Attendant base to other bases. The complete text of the lawsuit has been posted on the APFA Web site under the "TWA-LLC" icon.
A memorial service will be held for the crew of American Airlines Flight 587 on Tuesday, November 12th at 1300. The service will be held at the JFK Ramada Plaza Hotel Grand Ballroom. The hotel is located at the entrance to JFK Airport off the Van Wyck Expressway.
From the APFA Safety Department: The National Transportation Safety Board will convene its public investigative hearing on the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 on October 29, 2002. The hearing, which is open to the public, will convene at 0900 Tuesday, October 29th, at the NTSB Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C. It will also be available by webcast on the Board's website, www.ntsb.gov.
The APFA Contract Department would like to remind all Flight Attendants that paid holidays for 2002 are Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The list of paid holidays can be found on page 11 of our contract. The compensation formula for holidays can be found on page 34. Thanksgiving will not become a paid holiday until 2003.
Retirement seminars are being conducted at various bases throughout the system. They are being presented by American Airlines retirement representatives along with a representative from the APFA. Seminars planned for the rest of this year are as follows:
DFW-October 28 and November 1. Sessions are scheduled for 1000, 1300, and 1530 in Terminal C Operations Conference Room.
LGA-November 4. Sessions are scheduled for 1500 and 1730 in the third floor Flight Service Conference Room.
JFK-November 5. Sessions are scheduled for 0900, 1100, and 1300 in the Passenger Service Group Room, 2nd Floor, Terminal 8.
BOS-November 6. Sessions are scheduled for 0800, 1200, and 1600.
Flight Attendants interested in attending one of the seminars should contact their local Flight Service office for meeting locations. Additional seminars are being planned for 2003. Please be sure to take your new APFA Retirement Book with you to the seminars. The retirement book is included in the center section of the October Skyword.
The deadline for 2003 benefits enrollment is right around the corner. If you have not already signed onto Jetnet to make your elections, please keep in mind that you have until October 31st. Enrollment must be done on-line through Jetnet at www.jetnet.aa.com. If you have never activated your password or experience a problem with your current password, call Employee Services at (800) 888-1696 or (817) 967-1770.
The APFA Hotel Department would like to remind everyone to complete the 2002 Hotel Survey located in the center section of the October Skyword. This is your opportunity to provide your opinion of our layover hotels. The information received will be used to evaluate properties when they come up for review. The survey can also be found on the Hotel Page on the APFA Web site.
The DFW Domestic Base Office will be moving to a new location effective November 1. The new address is 749 Port America Place, Suite 500, Grapevine, Texas 76051. The new phone number will be (817) 410-7227. The new fax number will be (817) 251-1500. The November DFW Base Meeting has been canceled due to schedule conflicts.
Effective November 28, 2002, J.P. Morgan/American Century will become the new record-keeper for the Super Saver 401(K) plan. According to information provided by American, there will be no significant changes to the current plans, and no action on the part of Super Saver participants will be required. Due to the transition, there will be what American classifies as a "quiet period" in which certain transactions will be restricted. This period runs from November 20th until December 2nd. Please see the APFA Web site "Hot Topics" for more details.
Tuesday, November 5th is Election Day! Bids are now finalized. If you are scheduled to work on the 5th, please contact the agency in your area in charge of voter registration to vote absentee. If early voting is an option in your state, please take advantage of it. This election is one of the most important and pivotal in decades for labor in general and airline labor specifically. Please take the time to cast your ballot for those candidates that support labor and Flight Attendant issues. If you are unsure where the candidates stand on issues such as safety and security, baseball arbitration for airline labor contracts, or extension of unemployment for airline workers, call their local campaign offices to inquire.
In Washington this week, the way in which the Airline Transportation Stabilization Board administers loan guarantees was scrutinized. Airlines accused the board of giving preference to larger carriers while labor and some members of Congress accused the board of interfering with labor-management relations by forcing the airlines to require cuts in labor pay and benefits as conditions for the loans.
We will return to Standard Time at 0200 on Sunday, October 27th. Remember to set your clocks back one hour prior to going to bed on Saturday night.
In Industry News:
American announced this week that it would move all American Airlines operations to terminals A and C beginning February 1, 2003. American Eagle will move its entire regional jet operation to Terminal B. Flights operated by turboprops will continue to use the satellite terminal on the East side of the airport. The airline said that the "de-peaking" of the DFW hub will free up enough gates in the East side terminals to accommodate all American Airline jet flights.
At United this week, AFA, the union representing United Flight Attendants, began talks with the company on cost cutting measures designed to keep the airline out of bankruptcy. AFA released an overview of their proposals to their membership this week. Among the concessions AFA is proposing is a 3.6% annual wage decrease from Flight Attendants with six years of service or more. United announced this week it will cut 1,250 jobs by closing reservations centers in San Francisco, Indianapolis, and Long Beach and closing the 757 maintenance lines in Indianapolis. The airline also announced that it would discontinue service to Santiago, Chile, Caracas, Venezuela, Dusseldorf, Germany, and Milan, Italy in January.
Airtran Airways posted a third quarter profit of $1.2 million this week. It also announced it would lease an additional 23 Boeing 717s. Twenty-two of those are aircraft American returned to Boeing.
Alaska Airlines announced a profit of $10.6 million for the third quarter on Wednesday.
Delta Air Lines told Flight Attendants at that airline that they will be closing their Seattle, Portland, Houston, New Orleans, and Chicago domiciles in 2003.
And at Northwest Airlines, Pilots have agreed to postpone contract talks with the company until September 2003. In addition, Northwest announced that it is in talks with Boeing, Airbus, and Bombardier to delay aircraft deliveries.
That's it for this week's edition of the APFA HotLine. For the latest APFA news, please visit the web site at www.apfa.org.
Remember, there are 1,728 Flight Attendants currently on furlough.