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Update 2003-01

March 29, 2002


It's March.  Pollen Sucks.

Item 1

Winning is Everything.

In December, the National Mediation Board in split decision found that Delta did not interfere in our election.  Therefore, they ordered no re-run election.  Naturally, Pat Friend, International President of the Busted Association of Flight Attendants, did not like the result.

For Deltafa.org analysis of the result, follow the link.


Unfortunately, our Delta AFA Activists could not take the hint.  See the newsletter that the AFA is bankrolling.  

It's over people.  Time to move on.

Item 3

"Will serve peanuts for Food"

Oh, those conceptual topics.

The AFA is having financial problems.  So much, in fact, that Patricia Friend is talking about merging the busted AFA into another union.  According to the AFA International website, the AFA is looking at a merger into the Communication Workers of America. ("CWA")

The AFA cites a 1.3 Million dollar shortfall in last year's budget as the driving force behind the merger talks.  The AFA says that it has made cutbacks, but it still has financial problems. 

The bottom line is that the AFA is a poorly run union.  It required AFL-CIO bailouts in 1999, and 2001.  It had a 1.3 Million dollar shortfall last year.  Coincidentally, in all of these years the AFA was engaged in a multi-million dollar campaign to organize Delta.  We are sure that there is no connection between the busted, failed Delta organizing campaign and the busted, bankrupt state of Association of Fight Attendants. Yeah,  Right.  Whatever.

Here is a breakdown of the potential partners and their  pros and cons.

Union Pro's Con's
Airline Pilots Association Well financed, well respected, owns the AFA's office space.


Wants nothing to do with the AFA; Would have AFA members bring coffee to them every 15 minutes so ALPA members stay hydrated.
American Federation of Teachers Arithmetic would be improved so AFA would not spend more money than it takes in.

Passengers would feel compelled to bring apples for Flight Attendants.

Wants nothing to do with the AFA.

Potentially lethal cat fights at annual convention.  

Troubling SOL issue. (Not that "SOL")

Association of Professional Flight Attendants Effective, efficient, militant. Would not return AFA phone calls
International Association of Machinists Has money, militant. Does not play nicely with others, including the AFA, i.e   IAM is from Mars; AFA is from Venus sort of thing..
Transport Workers Union Well financed. Would dissolve AFA
Teamsters  John Gotti, Tony Soprano They are cons. Retirement is permanent.
Communication Workers of America Have really nifty logo, actually wants AFA Doesn't matter.  CWA is all that is left.

As you can see, the CWA is the natural choice for the AFA.  During the first part of April, the AFA Executive Board will determine if flight attendants will be represented by switchboard operators and linemen.

A special word of thanks should go out to Patricia Friend who let her Delta dreams bust a 60 year old union into oblivion. 


Item 3

But just who is experiencing the cutbacks?

The AFA says that it is cutting back.   But are they cutting back  the things that really matter?  From our point of view, the AFA is still a fat, bureaucratic union with lots of perks for AFA International staff employees.   

To us, it seems that AFA International leadership is more interested in protecting their own benefits and those of their staff members than that of the rank and file AFA member.

Look at the FY2001 and FY2000 LM-2's.  Count the staff positions.  Look at the salaries.

During the campaign, we wrote an article on the contracts that these people enjoy.  They have many benefits that the AFA - represented line flight attendant will never see.   Read the article, A Good AFA Contract  

Don't believe us.   Read the exempt employee contract, and then read the non exempt employee contract.  

Warning: Make a copy to show your friends.  The last time we linked to these contracts, they were "mysteriously" taken down.

We do not think that it is ethical that the AFA requires members to pay dues for the first three months of furlough while the bureaucrats that feed off these dues continue to have top of the line benefits.

These AFA ethics seem to come straight from a "Business Ethics" book authored by Steve Wolf and Frank Lorenzo.

Item 4

I wanna be elected.

Enough Northwest Flight attendants have signed authorization cards to call for a representative election.  The small but efficient group at the Professional Flight Attendants Association has overcome fierce opposition by the Teamsters to get to this point.  Look at their website and wish them well. www.pfaa.com

Item 5

I wanna be elected too.

It seems that the International Association of Machinists do not represent Flight Attendants very well either.  Stop by http://www.coffeeregular.com to read about Continental Flight attendant problems with their "democratic" union.

Item 6

Just the facts, ma'am.

In this time in our industry, we all need to be informed.  Subscribe to the ATA SmartBrief.  Its free, and it keeps you up to speed.  Sign up here.


Item 7

For information on the UAL Bankruptcy, follow the link. Remember all of the AFA Activist talk of how a union can protect you in a downturn?  Remember "legally binding in court of law?

Visit this page, "Debtors' Motion To Reject Their Collective Bargaining Agreements Pursuant To Section 1113(c)(Filed 3/17/2003)."  That's legalese for "It's hammer time."

Item 8

Time to become a bankruptcy lawyer.

Bankruptcy is facing other carriers, and AMR employees are offering concessions to try to  avoid bankruptcy.  

More AMR news, also see the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.


From Yahoo

UPDATE - American Air scores more wage concession deals
Saturday March 29, 10:34 pm ET
By Jon Herskovitz


DALLAS, March 29 (Reuters) - More labor groups at financially strapped American Airlines reached wage concession deals with the airline on Saturday, as banking sources said the world's largest carrier may file for bankruptcy next week.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) said it reached tentative deals with American, a division of AMR Corp. (NYSE:AMR - News), for five of its eight working groups, representing about 2,260 workers.

The TWU represents about 34,500 workers in eight groups at American and the airline said earlier this week it had reached a tentative agreement with 16,300 TWU fleet service workers.

The TWU said its stock clerks, technical specialists, dispatchers, meteorologists and simulator technicians have reached tentative agreements with the airline. Terms of the deals were not released.

"One consideration driving our discussions is the simple fact confirmed in our (talks) with the company officials that American's potential debtor-in-possession finances will demand at least half a billion more in employee concessions if the company files for bankruptcy," Jim Little, director of the TWU's Air Transport Division, wrote on the union's Web site.

"It was also made clear that without such loans the company could not operate," he said.

The union is in expedited talks with American on deals for its other work groups. The largest remaining TWU group without a deal are the 16,200 mechanics represented by the union.

"We are pleased with these additional tentative agreements and appreciate the TWU's intent and seriousness," said American spokesman Bruce Hicks. He said progress is being made and the negotiations are continuing around the clock.

The TWU is one of the three major unions at American, which has about 101,000 employees.

The union representing 26,000 flight attendants at American said on Friday it presented the carrier with a concession deal that will meet the airline's goal of achieving $340 million in cuts it is seeking from the group. American said it was looking over the deal's numbers along with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.

The union representing 13,500 American pilots said they expect to have a deal by Monday that they will send to union leadership for a vote.

AMR has said it needs to cut structural costs by about $4 billion a year to avoid bankruptcy. It is in talks with all three of its major unions over a call it made for $1.8 billion in annual wage concessions from its employees.

Banking sources told Reuters on Thursday the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier had ramped up discussions for $1.5 billion in debtor-in-possession financing and could file for bankruptcy protection as early as next week.

Discussions among the bank groups were continuing over the weekend, the sources said, including debates on where the potentially massive Chapter 11 filing -- the largest in global aviation history -- would take place: in New York or Texas.

Analysts agreed time was of the essence in the case of AMR given the decline in air travel since the Iraq war began.

Item 9




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