** REMINDER **OUR TURN Around Picketing Event **REMINDER **
Picketing events are scheduled around the system on Wednesday, November 18.
REMINDER - The only Flight Attendants to turn their disk to red are those notified by the union. Do NOT turn your disk to the Red side unless you are notified by an APFA Representative before your flight.
REMINDER - If you are approached by a member of management and asked to turn your disk back to the Yellow side or to remove the disk, do NOT engage in a debate. Comply with the request and notify APFA as soon as possible.
APFA weekly HotLine update for Friday, November 13, 2009
- Countdown to OUR TURN Around ñ November 18. Be there to show your unity.
- APFA attends the Future of U.S. Aviation Forum in Washington, DC
- FMLA corrections bill passes the Senate
- PLOA proffer opens for January to March 2010
- Focus on the Constitution - dues increase proposal explained
- AA 587 remembered (click here)
COUNTDOWN TO "OUR TURN" AROUND
APFA members are gearing up for the next phase of OUR TURN Around on Wednesday, November 18, with informational picketing and leafleting at base city airports around the system. Scheduled from 11 A.M. to 2 P.M., the demonstration of our unity and resolve coincides with the 16th anniversary of our strike against American in 1993. As they were then, APFA members remain willing, able and ready today to take the steps necessary to secure the contract we deserve, with needed improvements to pay, work rules and benefits. After more than six years struggling under sacrifices made to American to keep this company solvent, more than $1 million per day still flows to AA in savings through our concessions. Management continues to stall after more than 18 months at the bargaining table while AMR top executives have repeatedly taken bonuses, leaving front line workers to wonder where the (promised) shared gain for the (decidedly un-) shared pain has gone.
The necessary steps may well prove to be far more than just informational picketing. We did what we had to do 16 years ago when facing an intransigent company, and can do it again should that time come.
Our future actions may entirely depend on the outcome of a ten-day, "lockdown" bargaining session scheduled to commence on January 10 under NMB mediation. Accordingly, the APFA Board of Directors passed Resolution 12 at the Fall Meeting last week which will permit balloting the membership to approve a strike authorization, should it become necessary to progress to that step. All this should be deja vu to the company and our members alike. Need a reminder? Our Remember November - Photo Gallery and Video - compiled last year - remains available to view through our website. Find the link on APFA.org on the "About APFA" page or click here.
Whether you are working or marching on November 18, go online today and add your name to the APFA Virtual Picket line. Go to: apfavirtualpicket.com
Along with the Remember November video, share the APFA YouTube channel with your friends and family. Our several short videos describe our needs, our wants and our struggle. Go to: youtube.com/aaflightattendants
Click here to see APFA's press release on the November 18 action.
On November 6, in a letter to members of Congress, APFA President Laura Glading alerted Senators and Representatives of the House to the November 18 informational picketing, requesting they urge American to settle our contract dispute. Links to the letters are found on the Legislative Affairs page of APFA.org. While on the page, read about the mission and activities of the APFA Legislative Affairs program, including how you can participate through donations to the APFA Political Action Committee.
AIRLINE LABOR LEADERS / GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS MEET
On Thursday, November 12, APFA President Laura Glading participated in the Future of U.S. Aviation Forum at the Department of Transportation in Washington, DC. At the meeting - held at the urging of unions - President Glading joined other invited attendees including industry labor leaders; airline, airport and aircraft manufacturer representatives; business and general aviation trade consultants; Wall Street analysts; and top government officials, including the host of the event - U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood - and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt.
The forum and panel discussions on the current state of the industry, the events shaping the future of U.S. aviation and areas of focus for future work were followed by Secretary LaHood's announcement of the establishment of a Federal Advisory Committee to recommend actions to restore health to the ailing airline industry. In a statement following the announcement of the task force, President Glading praised Secretary LaHood's actions and added: "This review is long overdue. It's time solutions are put in place to improve the health and safety of the airline industry and the employees who serve the traveling public, and this is a strong first step."
One panelist at the forum was Jim Lardner, co-author of the Demos Group white paper: ìFlying Blind, Airline Deregulation Reconsideredîópart of a series of Demos Reports on Effective Regulation for the 21st Century. Co-commissioned months earlier by APFA and AFA-CWA, the report examines the effects of airline deregulation 30 years since its inception, raises questions over its current value and very perceptively states among its conclusions: "The White House and the Department of Transportation should take the lead in creating a task force to examine the industry's problems and propose solutions."
The Demos Report remains highly recommended reading for all APFA members and is available for download through a link to the Demos website on the main page of APFA.org. Click here to see the related APFA press release.
CORRECTIONS TO FMLA FOR CREW PASSES SENATE
In other news from Washington: Senate Bill S.1422, The Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act - recognizing and setting right the unfairness in applying the Federal Medical Leave Act to crewmembers - has passed the Senate on unanimous consent. There were two minor changes made from the House bill, so it will go back to the House of Representatives for final approval, which is expected easily. Since the campaign for this long sought correction began long ago with wide labor support, over three thousand advocacy messages were sent by APFA members to their Washington representatives urging its adoption. Thanks to all who took the action requested to make this a reality. Our voices do make a difference.
The FAA Reauthorization Legislation (S.1451) remains an issue on which members are requested to continue sending their messages of support to their Senators. This bill contains among its provisions long-sought OSHA protections for Flight Attendants. If you have not already sent your messages, click here to go to Capwiz and send your emails today.
PROFFERED LEAVES OF ABSENCE AVAILABLE FOR EARLY 2010
The company has opened a Leave of Absence (PLOA) proffer for the three month period January to March 2010 and advises that up to 500 awards are available. The PLOA proffer will close on Monday, November 30, 2009 at 0830 Central Time. The ballot is available on the Flight Service website and includes information regarding travel, benefits and seniority accrual on a PLOA. The APFA Contract Department includes these reminders: There is no D1 or other airline travel on a PLOA however other travel privileges remain the same. Occupational Seniority (OCC SEN) accrues for the first 180 days of a PLOA. Since this leave is only for 90 days OCC SEN will not be impacted unless the leave is consecutive with other leaves. If the leave is consecutive with other leaves (other than an Overage Leave of Absence) then the 180 days will be measured from the start date of the first leave.
APFA SAFETY / SECURITY DEPARTMENT ALERT
The APFA Safety / Security Department has posted on the APFA website additional information concerning the potable water contamination reported on certain 757 aircraft in October and addressed in a recent HI6 message from the company. The information is available through the Safety / Security page of APFA.org (under the National Departments menu) or click here to go to the page directly. Website login is required to access the department page and link.
FOCUS ON THE CONSTITUTION - DUES REFERENDUM
Last week's HotLine gave a brief recap of the five proposed changes to the APFA Constitution coming soon in a referendum to the APFA membership. Responding to concerns voiced by members across the system, these changes - overwhelmingly endorsed by the APFA Board of Directors at their Fall Meeting - are aimed at streamlining some of our basic union operations and strengthening our organization financially. In this week's HotLine, we will review Resolution 7 from the BOD meeting, addressing a proposed dues increase.
Under this proposal, monthly dues will be set at an amount equal to the hourly Domestic pay at step 12, though not less than $42 a month. At our current scale, this would amount to an increase of just $1.65 per month. Additionally, aligning the dues amount to a pay step is a smart way to effectively respond to APFA's cost of doing business. When the APFA membership hourly rates change, your monthly dues will be tied to the established pay step.
The fact is: we have seen a steady decline in Flight Attendant jobs at American - through attrition and cutbacks - resulting in a sharp and growing decline in the revenue needed to fund member services and our negotiations. Although we have reduced the number of representatives (and therefore that cost has not increased) the overall cost of running the organization continues to rise: from paper and printing, to professionals and building maintenance, expenses and taxes. The less than $20.00 per year we are requesting will ensure that we have all of the support and resources needed to fight for the best contract possible.
It costs just as much to negotiate a contract for 18,000 as it does for 25,000. While we do so, American continues to fund its negotiations war chest - and interminable stalling - with the $1 million per day reaped from our sacrifices. Meantime management continues to decimate our ranks with cutbacks and onerous work demands, further depleting our treasury. $1.65 per month is a small increase but can go far in our battle to win the contract improvements we need and deserve.
Your APFA leadership recommends that you vote to approve the dues increase.
Before closing this week's HotLine, a reminder of two events is in order. First, on Wednesday, November 11, Americans honored military veterans on Veterans Day. Begun in 1919 as Armistice Day to mark the signing of the armistice that ended World War I a year earlier (and still celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in many parts of the world), the holiday became Veterans Day by Congressional act in 1954. It honors veterans of all wars and military service, many of whom number in our ranks at APFA. We remember, honor and thank our veterans - and those who serve their country today - not just on November 11 but every day. Click here to learn more about Veterans Day through the US Department of Veterans Affairs website.
Second, the day following Veterans Day marked the 8th anniversary of the loss of the entire American Airlines crew, the passengers and several people on the ground in the crash of AA flight 587. The A300 crashed shortly after takeoff from JFK for SDQ on November 12, 2001. This loss was especially acute following as closely as it did the 9-11 terrorist attacks two months before. The "In Memory Of" link on the "About APFA" page of APFA.org has photos of the crew and the Flight 587 memorial or click here. Take a moment to view them and to reflect upon our fallen colleagues.
We at APFA Headquarters send a thank-you the United Airlines MEC at AFA-CWA for the thoughtful gift of flowers sent in memory of those lost. It is a reminder that Flight Attendants everywhere share a special bond regardless of our wings.
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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.