Hello. Today is Friday, December 13, 2002. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline.
Last Friday night, AMR CEO Don Carty proposed that APFA "forgo" our scheduled January 1, 2003, 3% wage increase, and an increase in Purser pay due to go into effect in July 2003. The request is outlined in a letter, which is posted on the APFA Web site. APFA President John Ward has asked our financial analysts to review the Company's books and prepare a comprehensive report for the APFA Board of Directors. Once this process is complete, the APFA Board of Directors will convene to review the findings. The union will take whatever time is necessary in order to make a determination in this matter. We will keep you updated throughout this process as information becomes available.
There is the possibility a transit strike may be called at 0001 Monday, December 16th in New York City. The Company is currently working on alternative transportation arrangements to assist crewmembers in the event a strike is called. The APFA will keep you updated via the web site on the status of this situation. We encourage all Flight Attendants living in the New York area to monitor local news for up-to-the-minute information.
The Overage Leave and Partnership Flying Proffer opened on December 11th and will close at 0800 Central Time on January 7, 2003. The leaves are for 12-month key blocks beginning February 2003 through January 2004 and 6-month key blocks beginning February 2003 through July 2003. Auxiliary blocks may also be offered in 3-month and 9- month blocks for the 12-month key blocks and 3-month and 3-month blocks for the 6-month key blocks. Partnership Flying may also be offered for the period February through April 2003. Awards should be posted on or about January 10, 2003. If you are interested in Partnership Flying, the APFA Partner Finder is up and running on the APFA Web site to assist you in finding a partner at your base.
Willingness-to-Serve Notifications for the positions of APFA Base Chair, Vice Chair, and Operational Council Representatives (OCR) for all bases and Ad Hoc member of the Executive Committee Place #5 are contained in the November/December issue of Skyword mailed to all Flight Attendants last week. Completed Willingness forms for Base Chair, Vice Chair, and OCRs must be received by 1000 Central Time on January 21st. Ballots will be mailed on February 8th and will be due by 0900 Central Time on March 11th. Completed Willingness forms for Ad Hoc must be received in the designated post office box by 1000 Central Time on February 11th.
Please list the position you are running for in the area designated for "Slate Information."
The Wall Street Journal incorrectly reported this week that the APFA had agreed to drop requirements for better rest accommodations on the 767. In fact, APFA President John Ward recently reached an agreement with management which accelerated the installation of the new crew rest seats by fifteen months on the 767. The Letter of Agreement on crew rest is posted on the APFA Web site "Hot Topics Page."
The Bush Administration this week proposed sweeping changes to the rules governing pensions. These new rules would not affect the way American administers the Flight Attendant pension plan due to the fact our defined pension plan is governed by the provisions of our collective bargaining agreement.
From the Vice President's Department, the Family Leave Arbitration concluded Wednesday in DFW. This is a very important case for the APFA, and a great deal of work was put into its presentation. We will keep you updated on the status of the case. Speaking of decisions, we are anticipating an award on the 777 staffing matter by the end of the year or shortly thereafter.
Minutes from the APFA Board Meeting in Washington, D.C., in November will be posted on the APFA Web site early next week. This will include the minutes, all resolutions, and voting tallies. This information will be posted on the web site for all future Board meetings and teleconference calls.
The APFA Health Department needs assistance from 777 qualified international Flight Attendants. If you have encountered fumes or odd smells while occupying the crew bunks, we need for you to document each occurrence and send it to the APFA. You should include the date, aircraft number, city of departure and destination, and a detailed description of the incident. You should also include whether you became ill as a result. Please send all documentation to APFA Health Department, 1004 West Euless Blvd., Euless, Texas 76040.
The Dues Department has published an updated list of those Flight Attendants in Dues/Fees arrears on the APFA Web site and in the November/December Skyword. If you are on an Overage Leave, please remember that you are dues obligated for the duration of your leave. You may pay the total amount owed upon your return. If you would like to avoid accumulating a large balance and would like to pay monthly, please contact the APFA Dues Department at 1-800-395- 2732, extension 8151 to make payment arrangements.
As a reminder, all posts to the APFA Bulletin Board must comply with the stated rules governing its use. Remember, only APFA members in good standing have access to the board. Posts made to the APFA Bulletin Board remain on the board for fourteen days at which time they automatically fall off in order to make room for more timely posts. Posts may also fall off the board if a particular thread exceeds a certain number of posts.
In industry news:
Mediated contract talks between the APA and American will resume the week of January 6th. The focus at the moment is on the issue of small jets. APFA is monitoring the status of these talks very carefully. We will keep you updated as information becomes available.
American and British Airways this week got a little good news from the U.S. Senate. Thirty-seven key Senators signed a letter addressed to Norm Mineta, Secretary of Transportation, endorsing a proposed codeshare agreement between American and British Airways. The agreement would allow American to place its code on flights beyond the U.K. and British to do the same on American flights within the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin America. It would not permit the carriers to put their codes on flights to and from London. American is the only U.S. carrier that has not been granted codeshare rights with its European partner.
This week, American settled a lawsuit filed against the carrier by a passenger who suffered blood clotting after a transatlantic flight. The phenomena is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) blood clotting, which claimants blame on sitting in cramped aircraft cabins for long periods. There are over 50 cases currently documented. This settlement could open the door for more lawsuits against as many as 27 other airlines.
In a stunning move this week, the National Mediation Board published a ruling, which denies Delta Flight Attendants another chance to vote for union representation by the Association of Flight Attendants. In October 2001, the Board ruled Delta management had interfered with the election process. Earlier this summer, two Republican members were added to the Board. The Board decided to limit the investigation to a one-year period preceding the actual election in essence nullifying a great deal of evidence that led to the original ruling. In a rare dissenting opinion, board member Harry Hoglander stated, "In their decision today, the Board majority fails to explain that their decision is a significant departure from Board precedent. In an attempt to justify and accept conduct which unquestionably `tainted laboratory conditions,' the Board majority states they are `troubled' and `disturbed' by Delta's conduct. The majority's decision now creates a gray area of legally allowable conduct: that which is `troubling,' but does not constitute interference. I am at a loss to understand this tortured reasoning." AFA was quick to issue a statement by President Pat Friend, which stated, "It appears this Board lacks any independence whatsoever and is, instead, in lockstep with the White House's pro- corporation agenda."
Various airline management told Congress this week that the airlines can no longer pass on additional security costs to passengers. They said that they must have tax relief or other carriers will face bankruptcy while some may not survive altogether. Congress may consider additional assistance next year.
Unions at United met Thursday with that airline's CEO to discuss proposals for more aggressive wage cuts and drastic overhaul of work rules. The airline is looking for deeper cuts than were originally agreed to as part of the federal loan application. United also began unveiling some of their new business plan this week. The airline is planning to restart their West Coast shuttle next year using 737s and A320 aircraft in an effort to compete against Southwest and Jetblue.
US Airways Pilots reached a deal this week with their carrier for an additional $100 million in concessions. The agreement grants US Airways some relief in the area of underfunded pension obligations. Other unions at US Airways are in talks with the company regarding additional cost cuts.
For more industry news, please see the "Aviation Daily News Page" on the APFA Web site.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. Please visit the APFA Web site for the latest information.
Remember, there are 2,124 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.