Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. A democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Tuesday, October 16, 2012 and this is Washington D.C. Council 21 Volunteer, Robbie Dwyer reporting.
Open Enrollment Closes Tuesday, October 23
Active employee Open Enrollment for our 2013 Benefits closes one week from today on October 23, 2012. We encourage you to review the information mailed to you from United regarding the 2013 health benefits, and remember the enrollment period closes earlier than usual this year.
Retired employees have a separate Open Enrollment period which begins October 24, through November 9, 2012.
UAL's YBR is easily accessed through the "Useful Websites Link" on our AFA website; or you may call the United Airlines Benefits Center with questions regarding enrolling or using YBR for your 2012 benefits at 800-651-1007. For more information on our Contractual Benefits please visit the Contract Education section of our website.
New Contracts Arrive at Domiciles
Our 2012-2016 Contracts are printed! Copies are available at some Domicile locations and should be available in all Domiciles soon.
Fall MEC Meeting Oct 23-25
Next week your 15 Local Council Presidents will be attending the 2013 Fall United Master Executive Council (MEC) meeting held October 23rd – 25th, 2012 at the Hyatt Rosemont in Chicago. Elections will take place at the upcoming Fall MEC Meeting for the following MEC Committee positions:
Candidates for the above positions must be active Members in good standing, and should submit a resume or a signed “Willingness to Serve” statement, preferably fifteen days prior to the election date. Interested candidates are encouraged, but not required, to give an in-person interview at the 2012 Fall MEC meeting. Any candidate who wishes to appear for an interview must do so at their personal expense.
For more information or to submit your resume and Willingness to Serve statement send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Indicate “MEC Election” in the subject line. You may also mail your resume and Willingness to Serve to:
Jeffrey W. Heisey, Secretary-Treasurer
AFA United Master Executive Council
6250 N. River Road, Suite 4020
Rosemont, IL 60018
We encourage you to attend if you are able to witness, as well participate in the democracy of our Union. All Members in good standing are welcome to attend.
Human Trafficking: Making a Difference
Human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor and unfortunately is a lucrative industry. It has been identified as the fastest growing criminal industry in the world and it is second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable illegal business in the world.
Each year, thousands of human trafficking victims are not permitted to leave upon arrival at their destination. They are held against their will through acts of coercion and forced to work or provide services to the trafficker or others. The work or services may include anything from bonded or forced labor to commercialized sexual exploitation; and unfortunately often include children.
Fortunately as a Union and individuals in the airline industry we are in a position to make a difference. As we all know, Flight Attendants are first responders and the last line of defense, and we’re also keenly aware of the activities of the passengers on our flights. Part of our training is the identification and procedures involved when we encounter a suspicious situation or person, but additional and specific training is necessary.
This past March, AFA was invited by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to participate in an initiative to involve aviation employees in the fight against the human trafficking epidemic. This program is a part of the DHS Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) “Blue Lighting” initiative.
Human trafficking is defined as:
- The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person by force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery; or
- Sex trafficking, in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion-or the person induced to perform such acts is under the age of 18.
The CBP agrees with us and believes Flight Attendants are uniquely positioned to identify human traffickers and assist their victims. Flight crews are skilled observers and with the appropriate training, they can be the frontline against trafficking. Along with AFA’s help, Blue Lightning is planning to roll out a training program tailored for Flight Attendants who fly U.S. bound International flying. Once the training has been developed AFA and DHS will solicit and encourage all commercial airlines to participate in this fight against trafficking.
2012 Election Teleconference Calls, Monday Oct 2nd
Much is at stake for Flight Attendants and our profession in the November Elections. AFA will be hosting a series of Town Hall style teleconference calls on Monday, October 22 to discuss how we can make a difference in this election.
While everyone is welcome, if you live in a battle ground state of: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia we’re looking for your help to get out the vote. It is important that we all take part in this election and do all that we can and ensure that we have a Flight Attendant friendly President, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. We’ll have more details for you on Friday, but plan ahead to save the date.
Second Presidential Debate Tonight
Tonight is the second Presidential Debate between President Obama and Governor Romney. The debate airs on all major networks from 2000 to 2130 Central Time. We encourage you to watch the debate and refine your opinions on where the candidates stand on issues that are important to Flight Attendants, who remains consistent in their message and who is credible. We encourage you to support the candidate with a proven track record for supporting the middle class and Flight Attendant interests.
That’s all for this evening! Thank you for calling. Remember: One Airline. One Contract. Building Our Future Together!