Vicious TruthsDelta F/A e-mail Newsletter #6                 June 6, 2001


Nancy C. Lenk, afa’s Director of Organizing sent out an e-mail to pro-afa F/As in which she informed them that Delta “…has a right to search [your bags and your car] for stolen items, drugs and alcohol” and warned them “Do not carry items that are not legitimate for you to have in your possession at work.”  What in the world does she think of these F/As?!  It follows that she thinks these F/As aren’t intelligent enough to realize they shouldn’t have stolen property, drugs, or alcohol in their possession at work.  Note: she did not express concern about F/As stealing, doing drugs, etc., just about their getting caught - gotta protect potential afa votes, you know. This reinforces what we’ve been saying about the afa all along, namely that it doesn’t give a rodent’s rear about F/As, it just covets their money. 


This just in: 

“I just turned in an afa DAL F/A for soliciting union cards, passing out afa propaganda, and dissing the senior management.  I respect everyone’s free speech privileges, but the problem was that she was doing it during my crew briefing and she was coordinator!  What gall!

Then she broadcast the whole incident on the DAL/FA website describing how Delta gave her a Formal Warning Letter in her file for discussing afa during work.  What she failed to mention was that she was in the leadership position and was conducting the crew briefing at the same time!  This gross breach of ethics was bad enough, but to deliberately omit material facts to make her look like a martyr to her cronies shows what kind of people the afa is made of.” 

afa TAKES ON twu 

            Robert Hunter, who claims to be a sympathetic US Airways F/A (more on this later) responded to Greg Love’s letters knocking the afa and trying to generate support for the twu.  Here are some of his comments – followed by ours [in brackets like these]: 

bullet“There are, it is true, big differences between how the two unions work. Without getting into absolute specifics about where money goes, let’s begin with the philosophy between the two.” [In other words, he cannot refute Love’s charge that the afa will not commit to returning any dues money whatsoever to local control so he changes the subject]
bullet“CHAOS, which was created by AFA has proven to be a tremendously powerful tool in negotiations and has virtually rendered the ‘OLD FASHIONED STRIKE’ obsolete.” [The only part of CHAOS that the afa created was its name.  Unions have been employing wildcat strikes for decades.  If CHAOS is so powerful, why did the afa capitulate in its recent negotiations with US Airways when it had NMB approval to strike? The answer, as pointed out in Vicious Truths # 56, is US Airways management spelled the death knell for CHAOS by announcing that it would shut down completely if agreement was not reached by the strike deadline. To repeat what we said in Vicious Truths #58: “…the afa does not have a strike fund and its net worth after going $800,000 in the hole last year [1999], is just $2.3 million.  That’s about what US Airways F/As earn in three days!  The afa had been planning to assess working F/As to reimburse those who strike, but there aren’t going to be any working US Airways F/As if the afa strikes!”   Under the circumstances, the afa threw in the towel and settled for “…a 5% signing bonus - an amount insufficient to reimburse F/As for the dues they had to pay during the four years they went without a contract - and 11% in raises over the next 5 years.  Since US Airways F/As hadn’t had an increase in four years, the settlement is actually for nine years. Over that period, F/As’ increases will average less than 1.8% per year.” The negotiations were a huge success, however, for the afa which stands to rake in $42 million in dues during its term. ]
bullet“AFA believes that by pooling our moneys we as F/A’s [sic] from many air carriers can hire the best when it comes to supporting our efforts locally, at each carrier, as well as nationally.  AFA hires and retains the best labor lawyers as full time staff.  The same for negotiators. [Best labor lawyers?  In 1999, the afa’s last LM-2 report, showed that the afa had a grand total of nine attorneys on its staff, including general counsel David Borer. Five of them were paid less than $60,000 and, consequently, less than many Delta F/As.  Only Borer was paid over $100,000.  Sorry Mr. Hunter, but “best labor lawyers” earn multiples of Mr. Borer’s salary.  So do top notch negotiators. Insofar as the negotiators are concerned, the afa’s LM-2 lists three – and they are all paid less than $90,000. Speaking of retaining negotiators, the only one around long enough to have been on the afa’s negotiating team at United in 1993, was Roberte Francis and he was so highly regarded that he was listed as a “Labor Relations Associate.” Even more significant than pay, of course, is performance.  The afa’s negotiating debacles at US Airways and United offer thunderous repudiation of Hunter’s claim that the afa hires the best negotiators].
bullet“They [the twu] were years behind where we are now and WE’RE NOT EVEN THERE YET! [Yet another admission that is music to our ears].
bullet“AFA has been getting stronger over the years…”  [The afa’s membership grew in recent years because the airline business was booming and new F/As at union carriers were forced to join. Nonetheless, the afa’s financial clout hasn’t grown appreciably. Its $2.3 million net worth is pitiful for a national union.  In contrast, the twu Hunter is vilifying has a net worth of over $40 million.  Further, if “growing stronger” means becoming more effective, the afa’s recent negotiation failures certainly refute that.]
bullet“…negotiations throughout the years have almost always yielded benefits that were greater than the amount of the yearly dues! [Almost always?  What about the four years US Airways F/As went without a contract and the first four years of the current United agreement which froze wage ranges? It’s more accurate to say that  afa members’ gains have often been insufficient to reimburse them for their dues.].
bulletIn this and previous e-mails, Robert Hunter does not identify himself as an afa official and tries to come across as simply an afa member who is concerned about Delta F/As. Something he said, however, calls that into question.  “Would you be willing to vote for a contract that didn’t make paying the $39.00 well worth it?  Do you think we realize that?”  [He means “Don’t you think we realize that?” but that is immaterial.  The “we” in this statement is material. It identifies him as someone in the afa ranks, and not just as a concerned fellow F/A.  He must have thought he’d come across better if not identifiable as someone with an axe to grind.



Lynne Atwood, IAH 610, Editor    ¨    P.O. Box 19484, Houston, TX 77224    ¨




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