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Update 2002-4

April 29, 2002

Hello deltafa.org Friends:

Item 1

As you can tell, we have not been publishing regularly. We are still in idle mode after our group handed the AFA the largest defeat in RLA history. The National Mediation Board's (NMB) investigation is ongoing and hopefully the NMB will come to a decision soon. We are hopeful that the investigation proves that the AFA’s charges of interference were greatly exaggerated and dismiss the interference charges. However, we will be ready for round two if it occurs.

Item 2

We have noticed how our aircraft are returning to normal as most AFA supporters have taken off their pins and joined together with the majority of us. Only the most die-hard of the activists are still wearing pins and spouting venom. Hopefully, they will soon realize that the AFA holds no promise for us and leave the drama and argumentativeness at home.

Item 3

The evidence that the AFA drive is losing support even among its most militant is growing. This year at the Shareholders meeting, there were no AFA activists asking silly questions. Although there were a couple of lone AFA supporters in the audience, they were mercifully quiet. Hopefully, this means that they are going to throw in the towel and we can get back to the business of operating an airline profitably without the distraction the AFA. If you want to listen to a replay of the webcast of the Shareholder's Meeting, go to http://www.delta.com/inside/investors/index.jsp

It will be available until May 26, 2002 Note: the webcast will last about 1:30

Item 4

In other AFA organizing news, our friends at Frontier Airlines are experiencing yet another AFA election. This the AFA’s attempt number three. Unfortunately for the AFA, some courageous Frontier flight attendants are speaking out against the AFA. We wish them luck in their struggle against the big poorly run union from Washington, D.C.

Item 5

As an example of just how poorly the AFA is run, the AFA has not filed its 2001 LM-2 with the Department of Labor. This form was due in April, yet the AFA has yet to file it. Could it be that this LM-2 is going to show a massive loss, and the AFA does not want its members to know how much of the AFA’s resources that it squandered on its bloated bureaucracy and this disastrous attempt to organize Delta? We do not know. It could just be the typical AFA incompetence in taking care of its business. After all, the AFA filed the LM-2 for the year 2000 in July, three months late.

Item 6

On a sad note, the Flight Attendants for Independent Representation (FAIR) at United Airlines has temporally suspended its attempt to replace the AFA with a more effective, APFA - style independent union. Unfortunately, this will most likely result in FAIR being disbanded in the future. The only bright side is the UAL flight attendants are beginning to show a bit of independence. When the AFA at UAL shut down the union sponsored discussion board, an independently minded UAL flight attendant started a replacement board immediately. This board is only for UAL flight attendants and is password protected.

If you are a UAL flight attendant and have not found the new message board, visit the Private UAL Flight Attendant Message Board

Item 7

Many of you remember that our pilot ground instructors organized under the TWU Banner in late 1999.  As a result, they did not participate in the 3% raise that all non contract personnel received in 2000.  Additionally, they were not eligible to participate in the voluntary plans offered in the Delta Recovery package.  

Well, their saga continues.   It is April 2002, over two years from their organizing, and they still do not have a contract.   But wait, it gets better.   The TWU is now facing an attempt by a group of pilot ground instructors to decertify it.  Read more about the trials and tribulations of the newest union at Delta on their homepage.   Also read the Important Letter from the TWU Local President.  At Deltafa.org, we are very glad that we do not have his job.

It is important to note that the AFA and its activists always downplayed the length of time that it takes to get a first contract.     If we had elected the AFA in February and met the same company opposition, we would not have a contract until 2005 at the earliest. 

Item 9

Remember the AFA activists mantra that we need the "dignity and respect of a legally binding contract that is enforceable in a court of law?"  Remember our activists pointing to the contractual protections that our pilots enjoyed?    Recently, an arbitrator reminded us just how illusory these protections are.  

Our pilots had a legally binding provision in their contract that prevented the Company for furloughing pilots, a "no furlough" clause.   As we are all aware, pilots have been furloughed and close to 1,400 of them could eventually be out on the street.   

Last week, an arbitrator said that this furlough was legal under the contract's "force majeure" clause.

Here, we see that a contract is a double edged sword.  ALPA made concessions to get a no furlough clause, yet when its members needed the no furlough protections, management was able to legally circumvent the contract.

This is at the same time when Delta's non-contract personnel were offered generous leaves, retirement and voluntary severance packages.  Clearly, the non-contract employees have faired better than the contract employees at Delta.

When we look to our AFA protected counterparts, we are hands down in a better position.   We had no furloughs while 10,000 AFA members, some of them protected by "no furlough" clauses were out of work.

Clearly, Delta flight attendants have been treated with more dignity and respect than either our contractually protected pilots or the AFA protected flight attendants at other carriers.

Item 10

We are getting a little more activity on deltafa.org talk. Feel free to join the discussion if only to annoy the AFA’s organizing department. They visit us regularly.

Item 11

We are soliciting opinions on what to do with this site after the NMB returns its decision. Feel free to e-mail us your opinion.

Fly safe,





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Last modified: December 13, 2008