Dear AFA: March 07, 2014
Choose a different Dear AFA:
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. A democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Friday, March 7, 2014 and this is Allen Ward, reporting. I am a Member of Denver Council 9, and I stand with and will help protect all of my 685 Sisters and Brothers.
Spring Forward - This Sunday
Don't forget, to change your clocks this Sunday.
Daylight savings "Spring Forward" begins Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 0200 for the United States and Canada.
Late last year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) modified the regulatory airline policies relating to passenger use of portable electronic devices (PED) on board our aircraft. Specifically, they announced "airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance."
In continuing support of the related #NoCallsOnPlanes Campaign, and in order to help determine whether Flight Attendants have any specific concerns, or are experiencing problems related to cabin safety and/or passenger compliance as a result of these new guidelines or their implementation, Committees of our Union, specifically, MEC Safety, Health and Security, Government Affairs, and Communications, have developed a short online survey. Although the survey requests that you identify your airline and provide optional contact information, no personal identifying information will be provided to anyone outside of AFA.
Your experiences and perceptions as Flight Attendants are invaluable. Please take a few moments to answer the survey's questions and encourage your fellow Flight Attendants to do the same. At this time, a close date for this survey has not been announced.
The link to the survey is available through the link on our website.
"Gen Dec" Now Paperless
United announced in their "100th Issue" of the Inflight Services Weekly that starting March 1, 2014, the General Declarations (Gen Dec) form on most flights arriving and departing from the United States, will now be transmitted electronically for Customs and Border Protection. Paper Gen Decs will still be required for flights into CUN, GUM, KSA, LIR, MNL, ROR, ROP, PNI, POS, TKK and YAP. In the event of an unscheduled stop or flight diversion into one of these locations, the station will be able to print a paper Gen Dec.
Annual Purser Recurrent Preference Month Bidding is Underway
Preference month bidding for annual Purser recurrent qualification training is underway at all domiciles. This year's class will be a one day class (excluding travel) and will be held at EWR, IAD, ORD, IAH, LAX, SFO, GUM, HKG and LHR. Purser recurrent classes will be available during the months of May, June, October and September at each of these locations, and specific class dates will be bid in the month preceding the awarded preference month. Flight Attendants with a Purser qualification should be aware that preference month bidding is open as of February 27, 2014 through March 10, 2014 at 0700 CST.
Bids are submitted via Unimatic DIS*66063. Preference months will be awarded in seniority order. Awards will appear in your FAINFO screen in field 7 adjacent to the words "Purser LDR" by March 14, 2014.
The company has designated specific dates within each month on which this training will be conducted at each location. That information is available on our website.
International Women's Day 2014
This Saturday, March 8, 2014, is International Women's Day 2014. Our Flight Attendant Union's history is closely intertwined with that of women's rights; AFA has been on the forefront of many of the most critical fights for our profession, from passage of the Equal Rights Act in 1964 and banning weight restrictions and pregnancy rules in the 70s, to winning seniority protections and Federal FMLA coverage for Flight Attendants in 2009 and finally receiving OSHA protections on many of the safety and health standards on our aircraft in 2013.
This International Women's Day, we remember those who have given their lives for workplace safety. We remember how far we have come through the power of women standing in Solidarity together and how much farther we can go in ensuring we work in the safest possible work environment for our Members.
Stop the Threat to U.S. Airlines and U.S. Workers
On Tuesday, we informed you of the massive treat to U.S. Airlines and workers as Norwegian Air International (NAI) seeks to invade our air space. Norwegian Air International (NAI) is attempting to severely undercut our companies, threaten our jobs, and set a harmful precedent that would undermine US labor and safety rules, unless the U.S. Department of Transportation stops them.
With principal operations in Oslo, Norway, NAI wants to register to operate as an Irish airline, although it does not plan to operate flights from Ireland. It is a ploy to circumvent labor standards. Its pilots are contracted through a Singapore employment company, although NAI does not operate in Singapore.
Now, NAI is scheming to fly into the United States, avoiding regulatory oversight and labor accountability. By gaming the system to take advantage of the lowest labor costs and to circumvent regulations, NAI would drive U.S. air carriers out of the competition and would profit at the expense of tens of thousands of U.S. airline jobs– and to our recovering economy as a whole.
We need to defend the U.S. aviation industry and our jobs, and spread the word to friends and family.
Here is what you can do:
- Sign the petition that tells the Obama Administration to defend our U.S. airlines and U.S. airline workers.
- Tweet (on Twitter) demanding, the #Obama Administration #denyNAI's dangerous application to fly in the US & defend US airlines and US #jobs
- Change your status on Facebook to have your friends and family join the fight! Tell the Obama Administration to defend U.S. airlines and airline jobs. #DenyNAI's dangerous application to fly into the United States.
For more information please contact your Local Council Government Affairs Committee.
The Rugby Player
"The Rugby Player" features the life of Mark Bingham, an aggressive rugby player, University of California at California Berkeley alum, a public relations founder and son of Alice Hoagland, AFA retiree and outspoken advocate for aviation security and LGBT rights. We are all familiar with the pivotal role Mark assumed as, one of the heroes who died aboard United Airlines Flight 93 but not before fighting the terrorists before his death.
"The Rugby Player" has already won the best documentary audience award in several gay and lesbian film festivals, and the 2013 winner of the HBO best documentary audience award.
The majority of the film was shot by Bingham himself -- video clips from his camcorder documenting his life from high school to just a few weeks before Sept. 11, 2011. The film also touches on the moments he and three other brave men came up with a plan to overtake Flight 93 from hijackers.
Director Scott Gracheff, an Emmy award-winning director, hopes the film helps shatter stereotypes and provides insight into a family raised by a single mom, the importance of community, LGBT rights, and gay athletes in sports.
Upcoming screenings will held at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose on March 8th and 15th, 2014. Additional information is available on our website.
MEC Grievance 2-14
This past week, United management posted on the company's website, a letter in response to our request for expedited arbitration of MEC 2-14. A professional response to the United management, prepared by AFA Legal Counsel consistent with customary business etiquette, has been provided to the company.
We remain confident in our position on this issue and will not be disclosing our grievance and legal strategy in any public forum, nor will we engage in a public, non-productive discourse on the merits of the grievance or our actions in representing our Members. We continue to encourage the company to schedule the grievance for expedited arbitration to resolve the issue.
That's all for tonight and thank you for calling. Through strength and solidarity, we will continue building our collective future. After all, it's our future.