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Update 2002-7

July 29, 2002

Its July and hotter then the desert where everyone is parking aircraft. 

Item 1   

The Second Quarter results for the airlines have been posted.  It was not pretty.   The scary part is that the Third and Fourth Quarter results are projected to be weaker for the industry.  Time to go to Sam's and buy a fifty pound bag of rice.

Here are the results:


495 Million


139 Million


186 Million




341 Million

U.S. Airways

248 Million


Okay.  They made money.  

If you want to hear our guy give Delta's  results, go to the Delta investor relations site to listen to the results webcast.

Item 1   "Oops,  I did it again."

Speaking of financial results, the AFA finally got around to filing the mandatory Government disclosures required by the Department of Labor.  While everyone else had a deadline of last April.   The AFA finally got around to filing its LM-2 near the end of June.   Remember, if the AFA cannot comply with government laws in a timely manner, what makes you think that the AFA can timely handle our grievances?

We think that we know why the AFA waited so long to file its last LM-2.   Why, you ask?   Because this LM-2 showed a $565,883 deficit.   That's a whole lot of pizza, cool-aid and activist slumber parties.

Other Highlights from the 2001 LM-2:

·         AFA International President Patricia Friend received a raise in her base salary. Her 2000 salary was $90,768, and her 2001 salary was $105,989. This does not include the $16,911 that she received this year for “Disbursements for Official Business.” 

·         The AFA had $981,912 in cash at the start of 2001.  It ended with $416,029.  

·         In 2001, the AFA received a total of $22,468,525 while it disbursed a total of $23,034,408.  This is a deficit of $565,883.  

·         The AFL-CIO gave the AFA a grant of $567,884.   (Hint: these last two are related)

Another downside is this bailout is second AFA bailout by the AFL-CIO.   Two out of the last three years Pat Friend has had to go crawling into the AFL-CIO headquarters, hat in hand, to  beg for money to meet the AFA's income deficit.    

How can we expect the general public to respect our profession and us as individuals if the largest flight attendant union cannot manage its finances?  AFA members should be ashamed of the AFA International leadership.  They make us all look bad.

In our unsolicited opinion, it is the AFA International leadership's gamble to organize Delta flight attendants that ruined the AFA's finances.   This leadership gambled with the financial security of its current membership base and lost. In a time when all of its members need the AFA, it is getting financial support from the AFL-CIO.

This October, it is time for the AFA membership to change its leadership.  Without the reckless Delta adventure and an  Organizing Department that is looking for places to spend money, the AFA might get back on track and become a respectable union like APFA.

Click here to see the 2001 AFA LM-2


Item 1   "How much is that Organizer in the window?"

Just what does an Organizing Department cost?  Well, we have compiled a list of  salaries and "Disbursements for Official Business."  It does not include the cushy AFA staff employee benefit package.  It does not include the office space in Atlanta leased through 2003.  It does not include the payments to member/volunteers that came to Atlanta to help with the efforts.  It does not include phone surveys, postage, printing, electricity, and other items.  It also excludes pizza.

Let us remember that so far this year, the AFA Organizing Department is 0 and 2. (that is 0 wins and 2 losses for you ballet/opera people).

Here is the chart of all of the AFA employees that had the word "Organizer" as their  position.


Gross Salary

Disbursements for Official Business



Lenk, Nancy





Edelson, C





Boyer, E





Frederick, K.





Rafferty, K





Wallace-Harg, T.





Grosz, V.










Item 1 

We have been waiting for the results of the NMB investigation.  So has everyone else.  It looks like we will be kept waiting.  We hate waiting.  We guess that the AFA's claims of "massive interference"  must call for a massive wait.  Either that, or the NMB is waiting to have its third seat on the board filled.   We hope that we get a nice shiny new Republican that will not have a Big Labor agenda.

Item 1           "Got Cash?"

Where O' Where did the AFA's  electronic presence go?  Few Jointogether Digests are being published.   The deltaafa.org website is infrequently updated.

After seeing the LM-2, we think that we know.

Item 1           Say "PFAA"

Last month, we talked about the HBO Documentary American Standoff.  It explores a lengthy strike by the Teamsters against Overnite Express.    The Teamsters are in the news again.    A group of Northwest flight attendants have formed the Professional Flight Attendants Association (PFAA). Apparently, these flight attendants feel that the Teamsters are too big to properly represent Northwest flight attendants.  

In response to PFAA, the Teamsters have been heavy handed.   They removed the local union leadership when Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa (not that one) felt the local leadership was not doing enough to fight the PFAA movement.   For more information visit the PFAA website.  

We have included an article by the Star Tribune

Flight attendant union leaders sue Teamsters over removal from office

Star Tribune
Published Jul 26, 2002

Elected leaders of Teamsters Local 2000 sued Teamsters President James P. Hoffa in federal court Thursday, contending Hoffa illegally removed them from office July 1.

Local 2000 represents more than 11,500 flight attendants at Northwest Airlines and Sun Country Airlines. Hoffa ousted all seven members of the Local 2000 executive board after they refused to follow his directives to fight an organizing effort by some Northwest attendants trying to form an independent union.

Twin Cities-based flight attendant Mollie Reiley was appointed trustee of the local after President Danny Campbell and other leaders were relieved of their duties.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, calls for reinstatement of the elected leaders and withdrawal of the trusteeship.

Meanwhile, Teamsters officials today will conduct a hearing in Minneapolis to consider whether Local 2000 should remain in a trusteeship. A hearing panel, appointed by Hoffa, will take testimony from Local 2000 members.

Teamsters spokesman Brian Rainville called the lawsuit a "campaign stunt to draw attention away from the legitimate hearing."

Campbell, who has returned to his job as a flight attendant, said he plans to participate in the hearing. However, he said, that he and other members of the executive board proceeded with the lawsuit because they believe Hoffa violated the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. He also said the removal violated his free-speech rights.

"Essentially that law was designed to provide a more democratic infrastructure in local unions," Campbell said. He argues that top Teamsters officials "removed us from office for political reasons, rather than what they cited we were unwilling to do."

In mid-June, some flight attendants revealed plans for an independent union, the Professional Flight Attendants Association (PFAA). They asked attendants to sign cards authorizing a representational election, which would allow them to choose between the Teamsters and the PFAA.

Hoffa called on Local 2000 leaders to denounce the organizing campaign and take eight specific actions. In response, Campbell, Vice President Anne Meyer and Secretary-Treasurer Bob Krabbe sought a meeting with Hoffa to discuss an alternative strategy. In the 28-page complaint, the plaintiffs said, "Hoffa never engaged in two-way communication, face-to-face or in any other way."

Barbara Harvey, a Detroit attorney representing the plaintiffs, said the Local 2000 officers had a "free speech right to refuse to endorse the policies and tactics of the international union."

She added, "It looks very much to the members and to me that this trusteeship has been imposed as an excuse to remove from office some of the most effective and prominent remaining opponents of the Hoffa administration."

Joining Harvey as co-counsel on the case is Betty Grdina, who served as an attorney in the administration of former Teamsters President Ron Carey.

Teamsters spokesman Rainville disputed Harvey's assertion. He said Local 2000 officials were removed from office because of "their absolute refusal to do anything about the raid" by the PFAA. "Instead of taking affirmative steps to inform the membership of the serious threat this raid posed to their collective bargaining agreement and their local union and their ability to be protected, they did nothing."

Rainville said the elected leaders tried to "use the raid to gain further advantage for their political aspirations." He said the behavior of the Local 2000 leaders has given "aid and comfort to the PFAA."

On Thursday, PFAA spokesman Gary Helton issued a statement of support for the lawsuit.

"Once again, the Teamster president failed to listen to the leadership of the Northwest Airlines flight attendants," Helton said, adding that the attendants are "sick and tired of being dictated to and are reaching out by the thousands in support of PFAA." Helton said, "This has never been an issue of PFAA vs. Local 2000. It has been, and always will be, an issue of the NWA flight attendants against the Teamsters."

The PFAA needs at least half of the flight attendants to sign cards before the National Mediation Board will call an election.

Today's trusteeship hearing is open to Local 2000 members, but closed to the public. The hearing panel is not expected to issue an immediate decision.

Item 1

Last month, we reported that US Airways was in serious financial trouble and was looking at bankruptcy.    US Airways management has been working with its unions in an attempt to remain viable.  The tentative agreement with the AFA is now on line. We have posted a few highlights.

  1. Wage rates for years 6 and above will be reduced by 8.4% effective July 1, 2002.
  2. Crew Meals eliminated.
  3. Work rule efficiencies.
  4. The current no-furlough clause in Section 1.E of the contract will be deleted and replaced with a guaranteed minimum fleet size of 275, provided the carrier stays out of bankruptcy. If the Company goes into bankruptcy, the fleet size could be reduced to 245.
  5. New health insurance provider insurance  - premiums will increase.
  6. Profit sharing plan styled on Southwest's plan.
  7. Section 1113 letter (protection from further cuts).
  8. New Regional Jet subsidiary.

It is never easy to agree to cuts.  Hopefully, these agreements will allow their company to return to profitability.

In other US Airways news, it will be offering  (4) 737-300s, (3) 737-400s, (33) 757-200s and (4) 767-200ERs for sale or lease.   

You can also read the  USAirways AFA website E-lines for more US Airways AFA news.

Item 1 

As our colleagues at US airways are taking pay cuts, benefit reductions, and are paying more for its health insurance, we should remember that the staff members at AFA International are somewhat protected from the economic downturn.   For a look back at their benefits and salaries, look at Finally, A Good AFA Contract

Item 1   "What we have here is failure to communicate . . . "

Pat Friend speaks on cabin security and the recent bills passed in the House and Senate: 

“Once again, the training and tools necessary for flight attendants to minimize risks in the passenger cabin and potentially save lives have been blatantly ignored,” said AFA International President Patricia Friend. “Under the current system, we are no better prepared to fight off an attacker in the cabin than we were on September 11, and that is unacceptable.” 

Delta flight attendants are better prepared.  We can already attend paid self defense training.    We see no union advantage.

We do note that if the AFA had not come out in opposition to arming the pilots, maybe ALPA would have helped the AFA get some language into the bill that would protect flight attendants.  Review Update 2002-05 to see how the AFA's position has devolved. 

Item 1

If you thought that losing 341 Million dollars in the last quarter was enough bad news for UAL employees, it gets worse.  The IAM now has the mortgage for UAL HQ and other property.  

UAL mortgages HQ for machinists' back pay - Collateral includes other holdings

July 15, 2002
By Paul Merrion

United Airlines parent UAL Corp. has put up its Elk Grove Township world headquarters building for collateral to secure a half-billion-dollar back-pay obligation to the machinists union.

In addition, the troubled carrier has pledged several major real estate holdings in Denver and Honolulu, as well as flight simulators, spare engines, parts and even ground vehicles.

The collateral, required under labor contracts reached earlier this year, doesn't provide new financing for the troubled carrier, but it does ease some current cash needs by deferring retroactive pay increases won by the union.

"They have a seat on the board; now, they have a mortgage on the building. How symbolic," says Philip Baggaley, airline bond analyst at New York credit rating firm Standard & Poor's.

Mechanics and ramp workers won $495 million in retroactive pay increases in labor agreements earlier this year, normally payable in a lump sum. But, given the airline's tremendous financial losses, the union agreed to spread payment over the next two years if United would put up collateral.

"It's a prudent way to approach a large obligation," says a spokesman for the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). "We certainly expect United to fulfill its obligation, but it's appropriate to protect our members' interests."

The IAM views the deferral of retroactive pay as a significant contribution to United's recovery, part of the reason it refused wage concessions that would have given the carrier some
financial lift.

However, employee concessions may be critical to UAL's
application for a $1.8-billion federal guarantee to obtain a lower interest rate for a $2-billion secured loan, which the airline has said it needs for loan repayments and future cash needs.

While the company collateralized much of its properties and equipment, it avoided using aircraft, gates or other assets that airlines traditionally borrow against, keeping them available when UAL taps the commercial markets in the future.

"They wanted to look for assets other than planes," says an IAM spokesman. "Planes would have worked just as well for us."

A UAL spokesman says the type of collateral was "just agreed to by both sides," but he declines to elaborate.

The IAM local representing mechanics and airplane cleaners, District 141-M, is owed $239 million in deferred retroactive pay increases, according to an IAM spokesman, while District 141, which represents baggage handlers, gate agents and
other ground workers, is owed $260 million.

District 141-M has a lien on the headquarters building, plus United's flight training center and reservations center in Denver, an office building in nearby Englewood and UAL's Seaside Hotel in Honolulu. Mechanics also have "duly perfected security interests" in 20 flight simulators and specified auxiliary power unit engines and related spare parts.

District 141's collateral comprises numerous pieces of ground equipment and ground vehicles, according to a message posted on the union's Web site by S. Randy Canale, president of that IAM branch and the union's representative on the board of directors of UAL, which is 55%-owned by employees.

"Members are advised to drive and care for this equipment as if they owned it," he adds.

Item 1

Speaking of UAL, they did receive a pay raise as a result of their recent wage arbitration.   A panel found that UAL flight attendants were compensated below the average of their peers at the other major airlines.   To rectify this, they will receive a 5.9% pay increase to bring them up to industry average pay. click here to read it on the UAL website.  

Item 1

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Last modified: December 13, 2008