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Update 2002-10

October 30, 2002


Item 1

We are out of pithy comments.   The news this month has been horrible.   The industry and our company are awash in an ocean of red ink.  Delta has made decisions - decisions that will negatively impact our lives. 

Many of us are now in the position where we will have to make decisions of our own.  Do we commute to the east coast from the west?  Do we take a leave to try to maintain some benefits, instead of being furloughed?  Do we uproot our family and move to the east? Is it time to retire?  How many more years can we handle on reserve, or should we just go ahead and take the severance? 

The announcements this October affect all of us.  Some more than others.  Remember,  we are not alone out there on the line.  Someone will share our circumstances.  Talk.   We survived 7.5.  We will survive this.

Item 2

Here is the scorecard of airline financial performance.  With the exception of Southwest, all of the majors posted significant losses.

Third Quarter 2002 Financial Results 


Net Loss

American $ 924 Million
Continental $  37 Million
Delta $ 326 Million
Northwest $  46 Million
Southwest $74.9 Million (profit)
United $ 889 Million


Item 3

To save our arthritic, calloused fingers, we are going to start utilizing hot links to DeltaNet information instead of doing the old cuss and paste thingy.  So, you will now need Intranet access to fully appreciate us.

For those of you actually employed by Delta, you can sign up by following this link.      This Link

Item 4

Bad news on from the DeltaNet:

DL closing five IFS bases, six CTOs 
Delta will close five of its flight attendant bases – Houston, New Orleans, Chicago, Portland and Seattle – effective with the March 2003 flight attendant bid. DL also will close six of 35 City Ticket Offices in North America. "While these are very difficult decisions because of the impact on employees and their families, such decisions are necessary to ensure the company’s continued viability and recovery," said Fred Reid, president.

Memo on the Closings

Frontline Job Reduction Range for In-Flight Service

October 24, 2002 -- In-Flight Service is expected to reduce flight attendant jobs by 2000 to 2300 positions.  As you’ll remember, we started with an expected number of 1,500 flight attendants with the possibility that the number could increase.  We now know more about the network.  The new range is based on our reduced capacity, the grounding of our MD-11 aircraft and the deferral of all future mainline aircraft deliveries through 2004.

Delta’s merit (salary and administrative) staff must reduce up to 1,212 jobs.  We do not have the exact IFS merit employee reduction numbers at this time.

For more information on the voluntary Delta WorkForce Programs, click here.


Item 5

Take our money, we want our stripes back.


While things are not so rosy here at Delta, our AFA represented peers are not doing well either.   The only ones that seem to be thriving are AFA staff members. Back in Update 2002-07, we discussed the 8.4% pay cut that AFA represented US Airways flight attendants took. This month, we have some details on the deal that AFA represented United Airlines will be taking.  Here are the highlights of the proposal: Look for items of self-serving AFA officer graft highlighted in red.


The following items represent AFA’s proposal for UAL  Flight Attendant 
participation in the recovery plan:

Effective Date and Duration:

The effective date for all changes would be on the first day of the
month after the loans are secured. The Contract amendable date will be
five and one half years from the effective date.

Reductions in Hourly Rates of Pay:

The current “Book Rates” for years 1-5 of the pay scale would not be
reduced. Book Rates for years 6 - 14 of the pay scale would be reduced
by 3.6% until the amendable date. Flight Attendants would continue to
progress through the pay levels. The hourly rates of pay would be built
back in 2006 by 3.9% and 2007, by 3.9%. Funding for pension benefits
would continue to be based on the contractual Book Rates and not the
reduced hourly rates.

Scheduled Future Pay Increases:

All Flight Attendants would forego the lump sum payments scheduled for
March 2003 and March 2005. The 2% Book Rate increase scheduled for 2004, would only apply to those in years 1 - 5 of the pay scale. The increase in the domestic narrow-body purser pay scheduled for August 2003 and the increases in language qualified and language incentive pay scheduled for August 2004 would be postponed until the amendable date. The Wage Arbitrations for 2003 - 2006 would be canceled.

“Me Too” Vacation Improvement:

The current vacation accrual listed in Section 18.A. would remain the
same. The new vacation accruals obtained as part of our “me too”
contractual language would be delayed until bidding vacations for 2009.

E/Y Understaffing:

Until the amendable date, understaffing pay will be paid based on the
total number of Flight Attendants on a flight versus E/Y assignments.
No Flight Attendant can be required to move from their bid position.


Until the amendable date, the requirement to be at a downtown or
downtown-like location would change from 13 hours to 14 hours.


The allocation of uniform points would be reduced by fifty percent (50%)
per year until the amendable date.


Flight Attendants would be provided with the following contractual
improvements and protections in return for concessions.

Trades with Open Flying:

AFA is proposing to eliminate allocations on trades with open flying.
The Company would not deny trades unless they are illegal.


There would no longer be a monthly limit on the number of RDO’s.
Flight Attendants would have the ability to opt an additional 5 hours
per month using the RDO process. This would not cause a reduction in
our workforce nor should it have a significant impact on Reserves.

Early Out Retirement Program:

Should there be a furlough before the amendable date, an early out
Retirement Program would be negotiated.

Discipline Exemptions:

Flight Attendants would not be disciplined for legitimate use of sick
leave. Also, in recognition of the reduction in wages, no discipline
for wage garnishments unless all avenues have been exhausted.

Returns on Investments:

• Revenue/Profit Sharing: A revenue sharing program would be
instituted to provide that Flight Attendants as well as other employees
would benefit from an increase in revenue by the Company.

• Equity: Stock options would be provided consistent with those
provided to other employees.

• Bankruptcy Protection-Section 1113: The Section 1113 letter
provides that United would not request additional cuts should they file
for bankruptcy.

• Governance: Governance provisions would be provided consistent
with the terms provided to other employee groups.

• Successorship: A sideletter would provide protections in the
event there is a change in ownership of the Company, wet lease, or sale
of assets and incorporates the AFA merger policy.

Foreign Nationals:

The Sideletter on page 256 allowing the hiring of Foreign
Nationals based in SINSW and BKKSW, would be deleted.


Our MEC Grievance regarding Avolar would be resolved. The
Company would pay AFA $13,350. Should United pursue ventures of this
type in the future, negotiations will take place with AFA to resolve
all issues. If negotiations are not successful, the open issue(s) would
be resolved by expedited arbitration at the System Board.


Section 5.K, COLA, has reached its maximum of $48 per month.
AFA’s proposal would base COLA on the CPI (Consumer Price Index) but
would not have a maximum. This change would become effective on the
amendable date.

Reporting Requirements:

Quarterly reports of actual Flight Attendant Savings as a result
of our participation would be provided to AFA.


• AFA Flight Pay Loss: Currently the Company charges AFA a fringe override for all AFA volunteers who take an AFA trip drop. The current override would be eliminated.

• Make-Up AFA: AFA volunteers would have the ability to make-up AFA Flight Pay Loss using the RDO process.

• AFA Staff Travel: The current Sideletter on page 226 provides 6 positive space tickets for use by employees of AFA. The change would result in unlimited travel as long as the AFA employee conducts business for United Flight Attendants.

• Grievance: A Letter of Understanding would provide for improvements in the grievance process at all levels.

• Uniforms: In recognition of our status as Inflight Safety Professionals, stripes would once again be added to the cuff of our
uniform jackets.

• Purser Meetings: Purser meetings would be canceled until the
amendable date. Purser selection will be deleted and pursers would be
trained to proficiency.

• Furlough Benefits: Flight Attendants involuntarily furloughed
during the life of this agreement would receive medical, dental and
on-line pass benefits as if they remained on active status.

• Early Opener: We will begin negotiating a new Agreement one year
before the amendable date of this new agreement which is 5-31-08 and if
an agreement is not reached by the amendable date, a 5% pay raise will
be implemented the day after the amendable date.


We see that the dignity and respect of the AFA-negotiated 10 year contract did not prevent UAL flight attendant concessions.   Remember this quote from June 21, 2002

"Our Contract is closed, we are not paid on par with other employees at our airline, and contract violations have not been addressed," said AFA United Master Executive Council President-elect Greg Davidowitch. "Flight attendants will not discuss concessions with United under these circumstances."

We see that after this rhetoric of no concessions from the UAL AFA leadership, they caved.   


We also see, that in this time of financial hardship among its membership, the AFA is trying to negotiate more perks for its officers while its members take a pay cut and are facing furlough. 


This is a prime example of the real law of management - union relations: when push comes to shove, management gets what it wants.    Union protection is illusory.   Real job security come from working for an efficiently run and well managed company.  We should be glad that we are not paying $39.00 for nothing.  




Item 6

The AFA had its board of directors meeting this month.  We were amused at some of the results.  We also see the some of the same self dealing behavior is not limited to the UAL MEC.  Look at some of the items that the AFA Board of Directors adopted.

Items adopted:

Adding negotiating priority for FMLA to AFA Constitution and Bylaws (Hey, we have FMLA already)

Increase Initiation Fee  (They want our money.)

Increase Mileage Allowance  (AFA officer graft - it's more economical to operate a  BMW when the membership subsidizes it.)

Increase in Meal Allowances (at least the AFA officers will be eating, while some of the AFA membership is in line at  a soup kitchen)

Ada Brown Greenfield Lifetime Achievement Award  (Yeah, you go girl.)

Organization allocation lowered from $2.50 to $0.75, to $.23 per month.  (Does this mean the AFA has less money to spend on us?   We feel cheap.   Very cheap.)

Items rejected:

Balanced Budget Submitted to AFA BOD for approval. (more running in the red under Ms. Friend's leadership)

AFA Budget Approval prior to adjournment (Ms. Friend can now make back room deals.)

Direct Membership Election of International Officers (Not very democratic)

Direct Membership Election of MEC Officers (also not very democratic)

The AFA also re-elected Pat Friend to another four year term.  She received 21,524 of 39,360 eligible votes (does this mean that the AFA is now down to 39,360 members?).  Her competition received 17,793.  

We are sure that Admiral Loy is breathing a sigh of relief that he still has a pen pal.

Item 7

We added a new forum entitled "Flight Attendant Survival - How to get by in the Lean times."  Click here to post your thoughts

Item 8

It's almost November.  The NMB has still not released the results of its investigation.   

This was an ugly month for all Delta employees.  We are glad it is over.






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Last modified: December 13, 2008