Vicious Truths – Delta F/A e-mail Newsletter #11 July 19, 2001
The afa gaggle is trying to make a big deal out of the settlement
American offered its F/As, saying in a recent e-mail “here is some
‘stuff’ about the new American Flight Attendant contract…in case DAL
management starts to ‘spin’ out of control how the lousy unions can’t do a
thing for you.” The e-mail
goes on to quote APFA president John Ward who explains the main features of the
offer and summarizes “These increases will make the American Flight
Attendants the top paid flight attendants in the industry on January 1st,
2002.” That’s impressive, but as Mr. Ward acknowledges, not as much as
we’re currently being paid. How much more will they make next year? We don’t
have the contract language yet, but based upon the information provided, it
looks as if they will barely squeak by us.
(With Delta’s commitment to keep our compensation as high or higher
than the rest of the industry, chances are slim that American F/As will actually
receive industry-leading compensation come January 1st.)
Left unsaid is the fact that American F/As owe this generous offer to
Delta. In negotiations, the
APFA cited our compensation, not the unions’, as industry-leading. Remember
this from Vicious e-Truths #7?
Dallas, June 6 (Reuters)
– “American Airlines has said it is offering an industry-leading contract,
but the union has said the proposed base pay falls short of what Delta Air
Lines pays its flight attendants…”
How far short? “Union president John Ward last week said differences
remain on salary, minimum pay and health and life insurance with a gap of
about $200 million.
afa, of course, maintains that everything considered, our pay is not
industry-leading (they rank us 4th). That may be deluding some
gullible Delta F/As, but the APFA obviously knows better.
So do the Teamsters. When
they negotiated for NW F/As they also cited our pay as industry-leading.
Why is American’s offer so
generous? It had to be to catch up
with what Delta is paying us. When the APFA established the obvious, namely
that “industry-leading” meant Delta, rather than unionized carriers,
American had to fork out another $200 million or so to make good its claim of
offering industry-leading compensation. We’re sure American was thrilled after
losing $507 million in the second quarter.
Predictably, the afa gaggle is now bellowing that we could get a comparable agreement with the afa. Unable to cite an industry-leading contract the afa itself has negotiated, the afa gaggle is trying to hitch-hike on a settlement the APFA reached. As we pointed out in Vicious Truths #73, they tried the same tactic in May, implying they could get settlements comparable to ALPA . The afa has to cite other unions’ accomplishments because it has never negotiated anything nearly as substantial as either of these agreements and, by comparison, it has negotiated agreements at United and US Airways that are abysmal. Incidentally, we find it amusing that the afa is trying to ride the APFA’s coat-tails when the APFA was formed by former afa members who were so disenchanted with the afa that they bolted and formed their own union.
American F/As have Delta to thank for
the size of the raise they are receiving and, since United’s pay is to be
equal to the industry average for the next five years, they will have both
American and Delta to thank for raising the industry average and therefore their
AIRWAYS F/As LIKELY TO TAKE HUGE P
Following the death of
the United/US Airways merger, the latter’s management has announced that it
will keep the airline in tact rather than break it up and sell off its assets. The main reasons cited for its perilous financial condition
are the economic slowdown (the “recession” in candid circles), high labor
costs, escalating fuel costs, and restrictive work rules. US Airways management
cannot do anything about the economy or fuel costs so in order to survive
it’ll undoubtedly have to go to the unions and negotiate substantial pay cuts
and eliminate restrictive work rules. The
latter will further reduce F/A income. The unions will agree – there have no
alternative. Otherwise the airline will have to shut down and employees will
lose their jobs at one of the worst times since the depression (unemployment
claims for the week ending July 7 rose to 444,000, the four week running average
is well over 400,000, and well over 3 million people are looking for jobs!).
The afa, which is already in shaky financial condition simply cannot
afford to lose thousands of dues payers and, as previously mentioned, it has
nothing to lose by agreeing to pay cuts, etc., because dues remain the same even
if F/A compensation nosedives.
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