Hello. Today is Friday, December 19, 2003. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline.
We would like to begin this week's hotline by extending holiday greetings to each member and their families on behalf of the officers, representatives, and staff of the APFA. We realize that many of you will, by the very nature of our job, be spending the holiday in the air or on layovers. Through your work as safety professionals, many families, including many military families, will get the opportunity to come together, in many cases for the first time in a very long time.
Ballots for the APFA National Officer election will be mailed on December 29, 2003 and must be returned by 0900 Central Time on January 29, 2004. Questions regarding the election should be directed to the APFA National Ballot Committee at 1-800-395-2732, extension 8311. Candidates and their supporters are encouraged to read the letter posted on the opening page of the web site from the NBC, which deals with rules and regulations governing union elections. To cast a valid vote in the election, you must be dues current no later than five days prior to the ballot count. To make payment arrangements for dues owed, please contact the APFA Dues Department at 1-800-395-2732, Extension 8151.
Flight Attendants living in the northern Illinois area should be aware of an issue between Advocate Health Care and United Healthcare. As a result of the fact that Advocate and United Healthcare have been unable to reach agreement, there is a possibility that Advocate facilities and some affiliated physicians will consider patients in the United Healthcare Point of Service or Preferred Provider Network as out-of-network as of January 1, 2004. American is aware of this conflict and the potential result. The Company has notified the APFA that if Advocate and United Healthcare do not reach agreement before the end of the year, employees that are affected will be offered the ability to make new elections to the health plans. Additional information on this situation has been posted on the ORD and IOR Base Pages and the Health page of the APFA Web site. As more information becomes available, we will update this hotline and the web site.
The APFA has reached an understanding with the Company on measures that will be afforded Flight Attendants affected by the snowstorm in the northeast from December 5-7, 2003. The following will apply:
Any regularly scheduled Flight Attendant who incurred a cancellation is required to follow the provisions outlined in Article 9.P. and Article I.9.P. of the AAL/APFA Agreement.
Any regularly scheduled Flight Attendant who received a TM (trip missed) during the timeframe outlined above will have the TM changed to XX and be permitted to make up the time.
Any reserve Flight Attendant who incurred a TM (trip missed) during the timeframe outlined above will have the TM changed to XX and may elect to use a PVD to protect their guarantee.
Any PO (personal off) granted within the timeframe listed above will be considered non-actionable under the Lost Time Policy.
Any RL (report late) incurred during the timeframe listed above will be considered non-actionable.
All other situations arising as a direct result of this incident will be reviewed on an individual basis by the applicable Base Manager. A copy of the Letter of Understanding has been posted on the APFA Web site under "Hot Topics."
From the Contract Desk: American has notified the APFA it intends to conduct a monthly base seniority shuffle. This shuffle adds Flight Attendants returning from leaves, IOD, and sick to the seniority list. It will also remove Flight Attendants who have left the Company. The monthly base seniority shuffle will be in addition to the contractual system seniority shuffle conducted each year in June.
From the Safety Department: Some A300 qualified Flight Attendants scheduled to complete EPTs in early December were unable to do required drills on the A300 trainer because the trainer was broken. Flight Attendants that were affected will be brought back to the Flight Academy to complete their drills. If they complete the training on a DO, they will be paid 5 hours of pay and credit. Flight Attendants completing the training on a reserve or available day will be paid the max daily credit. TAFB will also be paid at the applicable rate. Affected Flight Attendants will be able to bid the A300 for the month of January.
American Airlines has created a new Furlough Update as part of the JetNews Hotline. The information included on this message will be updated at the beginning of each month. American's Furlough Update can be accessed by calling 1-800-JetNews or 817-963-8122 and follow the prompts.
The APFA has been informed by representatives of the states of Missouri, Texas, and New York who process Unemployment Insurance claims that Flight Attendants furloughed on July 2, 2003 do not qualify for the Temporary Extended Unemployment Compensation or TEUC-A, which is an extension of Unemployment Insurance specifically for airline employees. This extension is over and above the standard 26-weeks of Unemployment Insurance. Furloughed Flight Attendants should contact their local Unemployment Offices for final determination of eligibility for all Unemployment Insurance Benefits.
The Rumor Control of the APFA Web site was updated again this week. APFA encourages all Flight Attendants to not only call the hotline each week, but also visit the various pages of the web site for the very latest and factual information.
It is important that APFA make perfectly clear that no one can or should engage in job actions, slowdowns, or similar activities of any kind during the upcoming holiday period or at any other time. Such action is unlawful and can result in disciplinary action by the Company, including discharge. The Union does not and cannot condone, support, or in any way encourage any such activity. If anyone engages in any such activity, they are putting their jobs at jeopardy, as well as harming their fellow crewmembers by causing reassignments and understaffed flights. To repeat, any such conduct would be unacceptable and unlawful and can result in extremely serious consequences. We regret having to be so blunt, but this is something as to which there should be no doubt or uncertainty.
In Industry News:
United Airlines has reportedly secured $2 billion in exit financing from JP Morgan and Citigroup. United will now file for guarantees for the loans by the Transportation Stabilization Board. The loans from JP Morgan and Citigroup would pave the way for United to emerge from bankruptcy.
The Pilots at US Airways have called for the ouster of US Airways CEO David Siegel. Representatives of ALPA, the union representing US Airways Pilots, say that Siegel has failed to produce positive results despite the fact that employees at the airline have given multiple rounds of concessions.
America West and its Pilots have reached a new tentative agreement just two weeks after the Pilots narrowly rejected a previous agreement. The new agreement does not include additional money, but does include additional block hours Pilots will be required to fly each month.
Pilots at Northwest have signaled their willingness to provide that airline with concessions. The Pilots have said that such concessions would be in return for an equity stake in the Company. There are no formal talks scheduled between the Pilots and Northwest management.
Boeing has announced it would offer the new Boeing 7E7 airliner. The 7E7 would replace the 757 and 767 model and compete with the Airbus A330. Delivery of the new more cost-efficient Boeing jet will begin in 2008.
For more on the airline industry, please visit the News and Events page of the APFA Web site.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. For the latest information and past editions of the hotline, visit the APFA Web site at www.apfa.org.
The APFA Offices will be closed on December 24th and 25th in observance of the Christmas. An officer on duty will be available to take emergency calls. If you have an emergency during that period, please call APFA Headquarters at 1-800-395-2732 and follow the voice prompts carefully. All calls of a non-emergency nature will be forwarded to the appropriate department or representative for response during business hours.
There are 5,760 American Airlines Flight Attendants on currently on furlough.