Wednesday, January 23, 2013

AFA to fight merger election

This might be the best piece of news I've heard in a long time.  I've spent the last several days confirming and reconfirming, and two knowledgeable people (in a position to know) tell me that the AFA is gearing up to fight to represent a combined American-US Airways flight attendant group.

I'm still not in favor of a merger, but if it's going to happen we might as well get something big out of it.  This will be our chance to get rid of Glading once and for all.

Right now the AFA represents about 6,700 FA's at US Airways, and the APFA represents about 15,000 of us at American.  At first the numbers would seem to be overwhelmingly in APFA's favor.  But strong support of AFA at US Airways, and growing unhappiness with APFA leadership at American, have convinced AFA leadership to challenge the APFA for representation rights for the combined group.

No doubt Laura and her cronies will pull every dirty trick they can think of to hold on to power.  But there is enough dissatisfaction among AA FA's that we have a shot of kicking them out, with AFA's help.

Come on, AFA!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

APFA membership and the MOU

It won't be any surprise to regular readers of this blog, but I have a bone to pick with APFA leadership.

Everyone knows that last year we came to an agreement with US Airways about pay and benefits after a merger (if that happens, which looks more and more likely).  Earlier this month we reached a MOU (memorandum of understanding) about the merger. This document was negotiated in secret, and is being kept secret from APFA members, with no opportunity for us to vote on it or even discuss its terms.

Why does our leadership insist on operating in secret?  And why should we trust that these "leaders" like Laura Glading really have our best interests at heart?  A very reliable source told me that some of Laura's people were out shopping for new office space recently.  Is that where their focus is - on securing the new corner office?  By all appearances they do not give a damn about the membership!

The APFA Code of Conduct states that "The APFA seeks an atmosphere wherein all flight attendants conduct themselves in a manner which promotes unity and strength..."  Where is the unity in negotiating a secret agreement?  Where is the strength in keeping members totally in the dark?

Union are supposed to be democratic entities.  And a merger would be a very big deal for our careers.  We deserve a vote on the MOU, bottom line!

Maybe if there had been a merger vote in 2000, the TWA flight attendants would not have been screwed.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

EX-TWA flight attendants in rebellion

This has been brewing for a very long time, so I'm not surprised to see that ex-TWA FA's are in full blown rebellion over how they were treated during the TWA "merger".

To recap (and for those not as familiar with the story), American bought TWA out of bankruptcy in 2000.  At the time, there were minimal protections for seniority during airline mergers.  The good folks of TWA had their names stapled to the bottom of the AA seniority list.  That meant that the highest seniority people from TWA were still lower than the lowest seniority person at AA.  In a job where seniority determines things like when you work, where you work, and when you can take vacation, this was a huge blow.

Now, with the prospect of another merger (with US Air) on the horizon, the former TWA'ers are asking Congress to intervene.  Our dear Laura had this to say:

"The union in question, the APFA, has acknowledged that it 'really screwed up' on the integration of the TWA employees when American acquired its company.

'When we merged with TWA, the company did give them top pay but we stapled them to the bottom of our seniority list,' APFA President Laura Glading said in an interview last year with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 'That was a mistake. But we did.'

The APFA says now that it is doing 'everything possible to protect the interests of each of our members,' including the former TWA flight attendants."

What a load of crap!

It's nice that Laura admits that it was a mistake to marginalize the TWA flight attendants.  But she is now the APFA President. She could right this wrong with a stroke of her pen.

While I'm not a TWA'er, I totally support their cause, and wish them luck in pursuing this with members of Congress.  Lord knows Laura Glading isn't going to lift a finger to fix this problem.