Flight attendants at US Airways are now represented by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants following a ruling on Tuesday by federal regulators.
The National Mediation Board certified APFA as the bargaining agent for all of the flight attendants at the merged company of American Airlines and US Airways. APFA, which represented American's flight attendants prior to the merger, will now have 24,000 members and represents about a quarter of American's total workforce.
"There is still a great amount of work to be done," APFA president Laura Glading said in a letter to members on Tuesday. "But today, we should all take a moment to appreciate how much we have accomplished to date. The Flight Attendants of the new American Airlines have succeeded in bringing together a $16 billion company and a 24,000-member union in a way that the industry has never before seen."
APFA is currently in joint contract talks with American and has a deadline of September 19 to reach an agreement. If no deal is reached, the two parties will go to binding arbitration to determine a new contract for American's flight attendants.
"We look forward to working with APFA as the representative of American’s 24,000 flight attendants," American said in a statement. "We also want to thank the AFA for more than 39 years of exemplary service representing the flight attendants of US Airways. The leadership and professionalism both unions have displayed have benefited their members and the merger process."
Keep reading for the full letter from APFA.
To All APFA Members,
Earlier today, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants was certified as the union representing the combined Flight Attendant workgroup at the new American Airlines. It is an honor and a privilege to welcome the 8,500 legacy US Airways (LUS) Flight Attendants to our organization. Today’s decision by the National Mediation Board is the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work on the part of the AFA-CWA, AFA-US Airways MEC, and APFA.
LUS Flight Attendants and the LUS bases will now transition into APFA’s existing organization. Preparations have been underway for several months to make this changeover as smooth as possible. Under the APFA/AFA Agreement on Bargaining and Representation, AFA-CWA will continue to administer the US Airways/AFA-CWA contract and all issues related to that contract should continue to be addressed with the appropriate AFA-CWA department. Non-contractual issues, including for example, government affairs and communications not related to the LUS contract, should be addressed with the appropriate APFA department. LUS Flight Attendants may sign up for access to the APFA website and receive login credentials immediately. Please note that AFA-CWA-managed websites will remain active for the time being while we continue to work on incorporating the information into a single resource at apfa.org. APFA will be sending out more information in a Welcome Packet to be mailed to LUS Flight Attendants’ addresses on file. The APFA Communications Department will also keep members up to date via the APFA Hotline. To sign up, visit: http://eepurl.com/be8WM. Once we have a Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) in effect, APFA will be responsible for administering it.
APFA and AFA-CWA have different schedules for dues collection. For APFA, dues are collected the same month that they are owed. For AFA-CWA, dues are collected the month after they are owed. For example, dues deducted from Legacy American (LAA) Flight Attendants' paychecks in June 2014 were for the dues owed in June 2014. The dues LUS Flight Attendants paid in June 2014 were dues owed for the month of May 2014. This difference in scheduling created a conflict for the transition of LUS Flight Attendants to APFA for the month of September 2014. Neither APFA nor AFA-CWA wanted LUS Flight Attendants to be responsible for both AFA-CWA August dues ($48) and APFA September dues ($41) in the same month. Therefore, APFA and AFA-CWA have agreed that the dues collected in the month of September 2014 will be the dues that are owed to AFA-CWA for August 2014. These will be the last AFA-CWA dues. APFA will not collect September dues from LUS Flight Attendants. APFA will begin collecting its dues ($41) in October 2014, with the dues applying to the month in which they are deducted.
As we work on the transition, among the programs APFA and AFA-CWA have worked to integrate are the APFA Flight Attendant Communication Team, or FACT, and the AFA-CWA Mobilizer program. These programs are comprised of dedicated Flight Attendants who have volunteered to help keep their colleagues informed. Led by Kelli Harrington (LAA) and Chris Housman (LUS), these groups are coming together to do the important work surrounding the LUS transition and negotiations for a JCBA. We are in the process of scheduling a telephone town hall meeting for all FACT Reps and Mobilizers to hear from and ask questions of negotiators and union leadership. We expect that to take place sometime in the next 10 days. To sign up to be a FACT Rep and participate in the teleconference, please email Kelli at FACTRep@apfa.org.
The Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC), now in its final month of bargaining, is working tirelessly to achieve the industry-leading contract our workgroup deserves. Following this final round of negotiations, members of the team and union leadership will complete a tour of each of the combined bases systemwide, meeting with Flight Attendants about the status of our negotiations and the next steps. Watch the APFA Hotline for details including dates and locations.
There is still a great amount of work to be done. But today, we should all take a moment to appreciate how much we have accomplished to date. The Flight Attendants of the new American Airlines have succeeded in bringing together a $16 billion company and a 24,000-member union in a way that the industry has never before seen. APFA wants to thank each and every one of those Flight Attendants for the role they played in making that possible.
Laura Glading, APFA National President
Marcus Gluth, APFA National Vice President
Jeff Pharr, APFA National Secretary
Greg Gunter, APFA National Treasurer