Here and There – Mostly There. October Update

Hafa Adai Flyers,

September 18-19 the Executive Board of AFA met in Washington, DC.  “Advancing our Profession and Securing our Future,” was the theme as MEC Presidents of the 21 airlines represented by AFA attended.  We shared a lot of information about what is going on at other carriers.

Dan Akins, an airline financial analyst, addressed us.   He seemed to predict better days for the industry now that the Age of Alliances and Acquisitions is over.  We still have some turbulent trials ahead – but it is happening all over the industry.  In 1977 there were thirty American carriers.  Today there are seven.  The good news is that we seem poised to survive.

Doug Hofsass, Associate Administrator, TSA, told us about the new Known Crew Member system that is starting to be implemented.  It’s complicated, and not cheap at $2.75/FA/month, and it is only domestic, and only for FAs in uniform with the right badge. Michael Huerta, FAA Administrator, told us about the “NextGen”: new techonology, enhancing safety and efficiency in the air. 

CWA President Larry Cohen, and Steve Schembs, AFA Government Affairs Director talked about the importance of unions – and the fact that as labor unions have declined – so has the Middle Class.  The graph lines are right on top of each other.  And still unions struggle to survive with fewer members and less income.  Annie Hall, CWA Treasurer, suggested that the “choice was between hospice and re-hab.”  The labor movement must find new momentum, and grow if the Middle Class is to make it. The need to organize non-union Delta was discussed as was the value of unions forming partnerships. We passed a resolution supporting Marriage Equality, and agreed not to use Hyatt hotels in solidarity with Unite Here.

About Dues –  Please Do!  If you are not sure of your status – call this number: (800) 424-2401 extension 707.  There is a new dues check off form that will assist in paying past bills.  This form will deduct the usual dues payment of $48 each 16th of the month.  It can also deduct an additional $48 a month (totaling no more than $96), should you have a past-due amount. This deduction will continue until your past dues are paid off.

AFA is holding ENGAGEMENT SEMINARS to encourage membership involvement.  These 4 hour programs are being held all over the country – but none near us.  Yet.  For a list of locations and dates, go to afacwa.org.

September 25th I attended a briefing that Management presented to the CAL/CMI/UAL AFA leadership.  They told us that “the Pacific is the only entity doing well.”  But they have no plans for any expansion or changes!  We heard about Hedgefunds and the gamblers that have wreaked havoc on our industry with speculation and fast turn overs.  We looked at graphs showing how, now, most of our stock is owned by moderate investors who are in for a longer ride.  This is a good thing.

Meanwhile, back at the Table.  Your Negotiations Team continues to work on writing a record setting contract for the New United.   We are making steady progress at the right pace.   Kathleen, Cynthia and I are working comfortably with our CAL and UAL counterparts, and hope to have a comprehensive proposal to present the Company before Thanksgiving.

Problems here at home?  We have been handling dozens of issues ranging from contract violations to unjust discipline.   Please know that we are always a phone call or an email away. Email is best because it knows no time zone.

Questions? Comments?  Get in touch!  Meanwhile, enjoy your families and lifestyles; secure  in the knowledge that your union member will protect your job!

In Solidarity, Suzanne