Good evening Ladies
and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. Today is Friday, January 7th, and
this is Denver Council 9 Volunteer Allen Ward, reporting.
Day of Action Brings Unprecedented Show of Solidarity
Our third Day of Action was a great success We expected hundreds, however the turnout far
exceeded our expectations as Flight Attendants around the world protested the pace
of negotiations and demonstrated Solidarity in reaching a new Collective
Bargaining Agreement. It has been 99
days since the merger was completed and more than 7 months since the
announcement of the merge with Continental.
Sadly, we have seen no meaningful change at the negotiating table. The honeymoon is now over and it is time for
management to get to work at reaching a new Agreement so we can all move
forward onto the next set of negotiations to bring United and Continental
Today we joined in Solidarity with our Sisters and Brothers
from ALPA along with other work groups at the new United. In addition, Flight Attendants, Pilots,
Mechanics and other work groups from American, Southwest, US Airways, American
Eagle, Delta, Continental and various other airlines joined us on the picket
line in support of our cause. We are
incredibly grateful for all of the support.
You have said from the beginning of this process that we will accept no
more concessions and you will do whatever IT Takes! to get an Industry Leading
Contract. Today you put that promise
Much like the old, the new United management revels in the
idea of making us work harder for less. We
have been struggling with less pay, destroyed working conditions, cancelled
pensions and more time away from our families for the last eight years, while
executives continue to take millions in bonuses and pay raises every year and
have managed to create the world’s largest airline with their mega-merger in a
fraction of the time spent negotiating with their labor groups. The concessions we were forced to endure
during bankruptcy were scheduled to conclude with a new Contract available a
year ago on the amendable date – January 7, 2010.
Every day past our amendable date, a new Collective
Bargaining Agreement becomes more expensive.
Management needs to abandon their delay tactics and get down to the
business of negotiating a new Flight Attendant Contract. Today we made it clear we stand firmly behind
our Negotiating Committee. We demand the
improvements we have identified as important to all of us. And, we set the tone for our action moving
forward. Our fight is not easy, anything
that’s worth fighting for rarely is. Our
Solidarity and commitment to secure the improvements contained within our
proposals will build our power and through our collective action we will make
them do what they don’t want to do.
Take a moment to view pictures and video our third Day of Action. If you were on the picket line yesterday relive
the amazing feeling of standing together and take a look at your flying
partners who stood with you in cities all over the world. If you were working yesterday, imagine what
it will feel like to join our next protest on your day off. Pictures and video of the day are posted on www.unitedafa.org. We have received so many pictures we haven’t
been able to get all of them posted so continue to check them out into next
Urgent Call to Action this Weekend– Tell Illinois Legislators to Back off
We are sending out an urgent call to action this weekend as
lawmakers in Illinois are set to dismantle the state’s Worker’s Compensation
system as early as this Sunday. This is
a serious threat to the Worker’s Compensation benefits we all count on. We are reaching out to all Members worldwide
since per our Collective Bargaining Agreement the state of Illinois (or at an
individual’s choice any other state or country) has jurisdiction for Worker’s
The changes being proposed could potentially:
- Allow United Airlines to
choose the doctor you visit
- Eliminate pre-existing
conditions and repetitive trauma injuries
- Reduce payment to doctors
and hospitals limiting your access to quality medical care
- Limit how much medical
treatment injured workers get
Do not let the Illinois State Legislature play roulette with
our Worker’s Compensation benefits. If
you live in Illinois call your State Senator and Representative. If you live outside of Illinois, contact
Senate President John Cullerton and House Speaker Michael Madigan. For contact details
and the message that needs to be delivered, check our website. It is imperative that legislators in both the
House and Senate hear Labor’s message that these significant changes are not
acceptable to Labor. Don’t delay. Call today and throughout the weekend as
action on this legislation could happen as early as this Sunday, January 9th.
Contact your U.S. Senators – End Senate Gridlock
After you make your calls to the Illinois Legislature, we
have another critical call to action, urging the U.S. Senate to fix the archaic
rules under which they do business. The
current rules that govern the United States Senate are hurting our
democracy. Secret holds and filibuster
abuse allow a handful of Senators to stop the rest of the Senate from moving
forward on vital legislative issues and important nominations.
In recent years, the rules of the U.S. Senate have been
abused to prevent the passage of laws that support working families. The Senate secret hold allows Senators to
anonymously block bills or confirmation of presidential nominees. As you may recall, a secret hold was placed
on the Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act (our Family Leave
legislation), because one Senator was concerned that commute time would count
towards Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) eligibility hours. The Senate should not be run by a minority –
every bill should get an up or down vote.
Every Senator’s position should be public record.
Please call each of your
Senators and urge them to vote YES to change the rules that permit a
minority to obstruct the will of the majority.
More information is available on our website.
Negotiations Survey Open until January 18
As has been the case since the beginning of Negotiations,
our Negotiating Committee is guided by the feedback provided by you to set our
priorities at the negotiating table. There
can be no doubt in management’s mind about who they are negotiating with and
that our community of Flight Attendants stands behind our proposals built upon
our collective priorities. That is why
we place so much importance on the value of continually soliciting your
feedback and will continue to do so throughout the Section 6 process and
eventually once our Flight Attendant groups are combined. Your constant feedback is important to
us. Make sure you take the time to fill
out the latest Negotiations
Survey before January 18th.
Partnership Bids Open
The Partnership Flying Program was negotiated by AFA in an
effort to save jobs and further reduce the need for involuntary furloughs. The current partnership program was
implemented on August 31, 2010. Many of
our flying partners have taken advantage of the flexibility of the program and
helped save the jobs of others who might have been impacted by an involuntary
We are pleased to announce that United has agreed to
continue the partnership program for another 6-month period. The current partnership program ends on March
1, 2011, and a new bid of partnerships commenced yesterday, January 6, 2011.
You must find a partner to bid with to participate in the
program. If you are looking for a
partner, you may use the POSTRD option in Unimatic, and likewise if you are
looking for a partner, you may search via TRDBRD. All current partnerships will need to be
re-bid if you wish to participate in the program for another six months. For additional information, visit our website.
Welcome to our New AFA International Officers
January 1st marked the beginning of a new administration
for our newly elected AFA International Officers: Veda Shook,
Sara Nelson and Kevin Creighan. Veda
Shook, an Alaska Airlines Flight Attendant since 1991 and the former
International Vice-President is our new International President. Veda has always been a strong advocate for
Flight Attendants, working tirelessly on our behalf. Sara Nelson, a Union Activist since the
beginning of her career at United Airlines in 1996 and our former MEC
Communications Chairperson, will be a tremendous asset to the International
Office. She was elected International Vice-President. Kevin Creighan, former London Council 7 Local
Council President at United Airlines, has held the office of International
Secretary-Treasurer since 2005. Kevin’s
skills and experience make him uniquely qualified for the position of
Secretary-Treasurer. Please join us in
sending a warm welcome to our newly elected AFA International Officers.
American Flight Attendants Negotiations Update
After announcing a news blackout (in other words, there
would be no public comments during the negotiations session), the Flight
Attendants at American Airlines returned to the negotiating table this
week. They hadn’t formally met since May
of 2010. Unfortunately, three days of
federally mediated negotiations ended with no deal. The APFA has made strong pleas to the
National Mediation Board (NMB) to declare an impasse and release them from
further mediation so they can exercise their rights and escalate the fight for
the Contract they deserve. The NMB has not
yet granted this request.
That’s all for this evening!
Thank you for calling and remain informed as we stand strong together to
it takes! to achieve an
industry leading Contract!