The Thankful Time

Hafa Adai Flyers,
As we head into the traditional time of Thanksgiving, may you each find that your blessings greatly outnumber your troubles!

We will be holding a union meeting next Tuesday, November 19th, at Wendy’s in upper Tumon. 4:30 – 6:30.      This is a test as we seek a comfortable, convenient and inexpensive meeting place. We have already paid for the minimum $50 worth of food – so please come! Our agenda will simply be to update you on Negotiations, grievances and anything else that is on your mind. Please come share your thoughts and concerns.

Kathleen is doing well. She will leave the hospital today, two weeks after her bone-breaking fall. She is diligently following her physical therapy routine and will continue her rehab and recuperation with family in the States. She sends deep appreciation for all the contacts, best wishes, teddy bears and prayers.

Crossing Over to CAL: Armed with copies of previous Cross Over Letters, Cynthia and I sat with Sam Risoli last week and brought our request to his attention. Sam explained that, even as the new CAL bases are being set up, Continental is currently overstaffed. They are no longer hiring – and are anticipating many hundreds of voluntary furloughs on the subsidiary UAL side. It doesn’t look like there are going to be any openings at this time. Sam said he would get back to us and asked how many we thought might be interested. We guesstimated between 7 and 27!

Hong Kong Hotel Changes: Yes, we have lost the complimentary breakfast and train tickets to town. Clarissa explained that these amenities were not part of the new contract negotiated with the hotel.

RTDY: Quick conversations with our local Managers has clarified that when a Lineholder loses a trip and is not immediately reassigned as per the Contract, that FA may pick up another trip that becomes available on the same day(s) and be paid for both the lost trip and the pick-up.

Turn off those devices for the duration of the trip! Yes, passengers may now keep some of them on to watch movies, play games, and write letters. But we may not! The Company considers this to be an extremely serious violation of policy.

The “United Travel Experience Survey” that the Company is sending to passengers is generating problems all over the system. This electronic request for information encourages people to report on their flights. It is a simple and convenient form that should not be a threat to our hard working, dedicated flight attendants. However, various reports are now being submitted by passengers who were less than pleased with their travels; FAs talking in the galley, reading, using electronic devices, or not giving them enough attention. So please be advised.

Written Reports: If you are told to submit a detailed report on something that occurred on your flight – please give your Grievance Team an opportunity to look it over before turning it in to the Company. When most of you are asked to file these reports – it is a first time experience. Let us help you tweak your writing to provide the required information while protecting you from unintended consequences.

Negotiation News: Not much new on this front. We met with the Company last week in Chicago as we continue the process of proposing and counter proposing the issues that you told us were important. Read the official report on the official site:
Your JNC will convene again in Chicago December 2nd to prepare for our next session with the Company in New York starting on the 8th.

A Special Joint Meeting of all the Local council presidents from around the system was held this week. This is an AFA requirement: contract proposals that are to be presented to the Company must first be reviewed, amended and approved by these elected leaders. Frustration was expressed at the pace of negotiations, and the fact that the Company doesn’t seem to be very eager to negotiate with us at this time.

All that said, we still get to live on Guam!
As you gather with loved ones to feast and count your blessings, please know that I count you high among mine! This job, that you elected me to do, is mentally and physically exhausting. I am jumping across 14 timezones to spend two or three weeks in the battle zone every month. It is important work that I am dedicated and proud to be doing. Thank you for putting me here!
I, and my well qualified and experienced team, are fighting to secure a brighter future – while striving to protect you now, in the present.    Come meet with us Tuesday afternoon!
Fly safely – and with Thanksgiving!

In Sincere Solidarity, Suzanne