APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, October 30, 2009.

QUICK ALERTS

  • APFA backs AA's filing for anti-trust immunity with BA/IB, oneworld
  • Negotiating Team prepares for resumption of talks
  • COBRA benefit subsidy update
  • 2010 Benefits Enrollment draws to a close
  • Fall 2009 APFA Board of Directors meeting, November 3 and 4

APFA LENDS SUPPORT TO ANTI-TRUST IMMUNITY FILING

As governmental review of the anti-trust immunity filing by American for its intended alliance with British Airways, Iberia and other oneworld members reaches the anticipated October 31 deadline, APFA has issued a press release in support of the proposal. Formally announcing the Union's declaration in favor of granting the immunity request - such as that in place for many years in the competing Star Alliance, headed by United and Lufthansa, and SkyTeam, headed by Delta/Northwest and Air France/KLM - APFA President Laura Glading commented:

"[APFA's] in-depth review of the application by American and other members of the oneworld alliance make it clear that these airlines need the immunity to have a long-term competitive outlook. The best prospects for maintaining and creating jobs for our members lies with approval of anti-trust immunity and the strengthening of the oneworld brand and network, including our continued relationship with JAL."

In letters backing the anti-trust immunity filing sent to the US Department of Transportation as well as the European Commission on Competition, President Glading detailed the Unionís own examination process and conclusions resulting in the announcement of support:

"our due diligence took into account the results experienced by airlines that have already entered into such alliances. In each of these cases we find that the impact on domestic job growth and revenue have been overwhelmingly positive. Over the past five years, transatlantic capacity grew significantly more for carriers in other alliances compared to American Airlines. This puts American at an unfair competitive disadvantage. If granted the requested anti-trust immunity, we anticipate that similar progress for American Airlines and its partners would result from the proposed oneworld alliance."

APFA has put together a Question and Answer document for members who may have more questions regarding what the anti-trust immunity means and the reasoning behind the decision of support. (click here to view)

Copies of the press release as well as the letters to the US Department of Transportation and the European Commission on Competition are available from the 2009 Press Releases page of APFA.org.

NEGOTIATIONS UPDATE

As the focus of bargaining turns towards the all-important issue of pay, the APFA Negotiating Team met internally this week to continue review of our economic and legal experts' cost-out reports on various proposals and article TAs and to continue strategizing for upcoming joint and mediated meetings with the company. APFAís support of the AA/BA anti-trust immunity filing in no way means our eyes are off the prize at the bargaining table. This was clearly highlighted in the Union press release where President Glading stated:

"This [anti-trust immunity filing] is a crucial juncture in the competitive life of the company," Glading said. "On this issue, we're willing to work cooperatively with management. Now it's time for American management to show that same spirit of cooperation, instead of continuing to drag its feet in bargaining."

The Negotiations Update pamphlet created by the APFA Negotiating Team and mailed to all members should have started arriving in mailboxes this week. The 12 pages, also downloadable through a link on the main page of APFA.org (or click here), detail where we stand in talks and the actions we plan to take to achieve our goal of restoring our standard of living through improvements to our pay, work rules and benefits. The last page titled "OUR TURN - The Next Step" is required reading for everyone. Mark your calendars for our picketing and leafleting at every base city on November 18, the 16th anniversary of our 1993 strike.

Be sure you are armed with the facts and with your GOT UNION / GOT GUTS yellow and red disk for your union pin. Wear only your APFA pin - with the yellow GOT UNION side of the disk behind it- and your Flight Attendant wings on your uniform. Now is the time to show clearly that we stand together and behind our Negotiating Team and our Union. Request a replacement for your pin and/or disk through the Membership Department by emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling headquarters extension 8153.

While online, if your name is not yet on the APFA Virtual Picket line, add it today. Go to: apfavirtualpicket.com

Share the APFA YouTube channel with your friends and family. Our several short videos describe our needs, our wants and our struggle. Visit: youtube.com/aaflightattendants

UPDATE ON COBRA SUBSIDY

We received an update from Human Resources for those Flight Attendants that started an Overage Leave after 9/1/2008 but prior to 8/31/2009 concerning their eligibility for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) COBRA subsidy. Letters should be going into the mail to eligible Flight Attendants by the end of next week. If you commenced an Overage Leave during this time frame and elected to continue and pay for health benefits as of 3/1/09 when the subsidy went into effect you may receive a refund via direct deposit for the difference in the full cost of your benefits and the subsidized COBRA amounts. This refund should be processed no later than mid-December. The letter will provide additional details.

2010 BENEFITS ENROLLMENT CLOSES 10/31

The 2010 Benefits Enrollment period ends midnight Central Time on Saturday, October 31. The APFA Health Department recommends that members go online and review their benefits selections. Keep a printed copy of both your current (2009) elections and your elections for the coming year.

Note that the preferred Health Care Administrator will be changing in nine states: AZ (Arizona), CO (Colorado), ME (Maine), MA (Massachusetts), MT (Montana), NH (New Hampshire), NJ (New Jersey), NY (New York), and VT (Vermont). If you live in one of these states and are on the Point of Service (POS) plan, it is important to make sure that your doctors are in the network that you select. Employees who elect the POS plan will have the option of choosing any of the three plan administrators. Employees who elect the Standard plan will be covered by the preferred plan administrator for their state.

Please review the plans carefully to determine which is best suited to your needs. Additional information is available in the 2010 Benefits Decision Guide that was sent out to all employees. The information is also available on Jetnet.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING

The Fall 2009 APFA Board of Directors meeting will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 3 and 4, starting at 9:30 A.M. each day. The place is the Holiday Inn DFW South (click for map). Members in good standing are welcome to attend all open portions of the meeting.

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Remember that there are currently 1,415 members on furlough and awaiting recall.

Visit the links under the heading "APFA Supports" on the main page of APFA.org, including:

Wings Foundation // Airline Ambassadors // UNICEF/Change for Good

Join your fellow Flight Attendants in donating, or contributing your time and efforts toward these worthy causes.
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APFA is located at 1004 W. Euless Blvd., Euless, TX 76040 tel. 817.540.0108