You have reached the APFA weekly HotLine update for November 14, 2008. This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator.
We begin this week's HotLine update with a moment of reflection on two dates, one of which is of particular meaning to our members. The first, November 11, was Veteran's Day in the U.S. On this day, we remember not only our veterans of numerous armed conflicts past, but honor those who continue to serve our country - often in harms way in today's military. Many of our own Flight Attendant colleagues are veterans and a significant number serve currently, whether on active or reserve duty or in the National Guard. They are often on the front lines of ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Keep these colleagues in mind as you work your flights. And reflect on their sacrifices as they leave their homes, families and workplaces behind in answering the call to service.
The day following Veteran's Day, November 12, marked the seventh anniversary of the loss of the entire crew and passengers on flight 587, shortly after take-off from JFK airport in New York. Coming so soon after the tragedy of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the loss of our friends and co-workers, and the everlasting affect on their families and loved ones, can easily go unnoticed. Even those who might not have personally known one of the souls who perished must, on reflection, be moved by their loss. We honor them today and everyday.
November has another date to remember: November 18, the fifteenth anniversary of our historic strike against American Airlines. Remember November events are planned around the system. Union Reps will be spending the day in operations areas at all bases. In addition, members in DFW, JFK and DCA will be picketing from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. local base time. Refer to the Remember November page of the APFA web site for additional picket times and base ops activities. Click on the Remember November image or the link on the main page. All members are welcome to picket at any of these bases, or visit any base operations area. Help show management you are solidly behind your Negotiating Team.
Talks with American continue in the meantime. Negotiating subcommittees from both sides met and exchanged proposals and counter proposals. The Company presented proposals on Article 18 - Moving Expenses, Article 20 - Medical Appeals/Arbitration, Article 21 Hotels and Transportation, Article 22 - Joint Scheduling Committee, Article 23 ñ Emergency Assignments, Article 24 - Copies of Agreement, Article 31 - Union Security, Article 32 - Health and Safety Committees and Article 34 - Purser. The Company also presented counter proposals on Article 5 - Uniforms and Accessories and Article 12 - Filling of Vacancies. APFA presented the Company with a proposal on Article 27 - Bereavement/Personal/Emergency Leaves. Additionally, APFA Negotiators clarified their proposal on Article 19 - Leaves of Absence. Discussions over Article 10 ñ Reserve, continue both internally and between both the APFA and Company teams.
During a meeting with American, President Laura Glading advised management that APFA cannot entertain the Companyís offer regarding ìthreshold flying.î Due to the VBRs, leaves, attrition and capacity cuts, our Flight Attendants are having difficulty picking up their much needed extra time. This has created a great hardship on the membership. Therefore APFA is not in a position to agree to have the Flight Attendants fly a minimum number of hours to maintain employment.
The Wings Foundation, a non-profit organization formed and run by AA Flight Attendants for AA Flight Attendants has their own website at: www.wingsfoundation.com. Check out this site for information on how you can help Wings in their mission, as well as avenues of assistance they offer and base rep contact information.
Remember there are still 1,180 of our members on furlough and awaiting recall. And thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.
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MORE NEGOTIATIONS NEWS
On several occasions APFA President Laura Glading has asked the Company's team to move outside of the Dallas/Ft. Worth area; so far they have declined. On October 30, President Glading sent a letter to Taylor Vaughn, the Chairperson of AA's team, formally requesting our desire to move negotiations to a different city to minimize distractions caused by bargaining in the same locale as American's and APFA's headquarters. Laura believes the personal financial distress of the membership requires that we reach an agreement as soon as possible and that both parties will be more focused if we move outside Dallas, accelerating the bargaining process. Our team has agreed to remain in Dallas through the end of the year at which time we would move to another city. Should we be unable to reach an agreement on this issue, we feel our only recourse would be to apply to the National Mediation Board for the appointment of a mediator. The negotiations page of the APFA website contains a link to the copy of the letter. The Company continues to deny APFA's request.
DID YOU KNOW...?
The first collective bargaining agreement between American Airlines, Inc. and the Airline Stewards and Stewardesses Association International was first effective November 1, 1947, and had a duration of 1 year. The agreement was just 32 pages cover-to-cover and contained 25 articles. Article 7 - Hours of Service was one page and had 6 paragraphs. Currently, Article 7 - Hours of Service consists of 18 pages.
Many Flight Attendants have reported receiving a card from the U.S. Department of Transportation with a request to verify their status as an active Flight Attendant and their employing airline. As reported by the APFA Safety and Security Department in an October 10 HotLine alert, The FAA Civil Aero Medical Institute (CAMI) has received final approval to send out the Flight Attendant Fatigue Survey. APFA was instrumental in encouraging the Federal Government to fund this study. The FAA is utilizing approximately 60,000 Flight Attendant addresses obtained from the Federal Register. It is important that if you are selected and receive this post card, that you please fill out the card and return it immediately. Your confirmation can also be recorded in an online process explained on the card. Out of the 60,000 Flight Attendants that receive the post card, approximately 30,000 will be randomly selected by the FAA to complete the fatigue survey. Your assistance and participation in this survey is needed so the FAA can address Flight Attendant fatigue.
MEMBER INFORMATION UPDATE
The APFA Safety and Security Department would like to remind Flight Attendants that reports of crew bag searches continue to be on the rise at LHR. HM Customs and British Police are spot checking inbound crews from all airlines for contraband, for items over the limits and for reportable goods not claimed on the C909 form. APFA has encouraged Flight Service to provide Flight Attendants with the information they need to navigate not just British customs but any other foreign customs, as well as U.S. Please protect yourself by accurately completing all the required claim forms when entering a foreign destination or returning to the U.S. For those crew members traveling to the UK, the British government has published a guide, applicable to both passengers and crew, entitled: ìIf in Doubt, Leave it Out.î The two-part guide is available for download from the Safety and Security page of the APFA website.