United Airlines AFA MEC Website

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

E-Lines: March 17, 2017

Date: March 17, 2017
Type: Dear AFA

Update on Crew Meals

In recent weeks, since the crew meal provisions of the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement were implemented, our MEC Grievance Committees have received a number of questions on the proper application of the language in our Contract.

We’ve received a number of reports that appear to indicate a misunderstanding exists about the meaning of “business class quality or better.”  In some cases, it appears these inquiries are a direct result of the manner in which the food is presented on the crew trays.  Due to the space/galley restrictions, Chefs have designed a crew meal specification which includes the business components traditionally served in First/Business class but that fits on a tray and into the designated galley.

If you have concerns about any crew meals, please direct those to your Local Council office.  We will continue to work to address any areas where there is an actual or perceived inadequacy.

United Discontinues Inflight Duty-Free Sales

United announced this week, effective March 31, 2017, we will no longer offer duty-free merchandise on any United flights. United made this decision based on declining sales revenue for both United and Duty Free World. All Flight Attendant commission inquires must be reconciled by June 1, 2017. As well as, if you were assigned a duty-free key you should return the key to Inflight no later than April 30, 2017.

While the retail catalogs will remain on board the aircraft through the end of June, there will be no sales onboard as of March 31, 2017.

If you have further questions, please contact your base supervisor.

Awarding Cabin Jumpseat Authority (CJA)

At the Fall 2016, Regular Meeting of the United Master Executive Council, the United MEC directed the MEC President to engage management in discussions aimed at advancing the process by which the award of the Cabin Jumpseat (CJA) is accomplished.  In particular, the efforts are directed at awarding CJA consistent with the terms of the JCBA – by company or bidding seniority, whichever is earliest.

These discussions with management have taken place with an agreeable outcome.  Work is underway to implement this change in the near future.   As additional information becomes available, we will share it with you.

Check-in and Aircraft Boarding Times

Recently, we have received some inquiries about Flight Attendant check-in and boarding, as well as, passenger boarding times.  Currently we are working under our pre-merger contracts when it comes to check-in times, Flight Attendant and passenger boarding times.  To alleviate any further confusion, we have created a chart based upon each of the three (3) pre-merger contracts which will remain in effect until we are on a Common Crew Management System (CMS). 

Pre-Merger CAL Contract Section 5.B. and Pre-Merger CMI Contract Section 7.B.

Pre-Merger UAL Contract Section 7.I. and Section 12.N.

NOTE: Section 12.N.1. provides for an increase of up to :45 minutes to our Commencement of Duty, at home and/or at a layover point, for specific departing international flights provided this information is published in the lines and monthly bid package cover letter prior to bidding.  Check the monthly key pages for your actual International check-in times.

The purpose of the time between Flight Attendant boarding and passenger boarding is to support the work we do as safety professionals on board the aircraft and prepare for the boarding of passengers in an efficient and organized fashion.

Remember to conduct a thorough briefing with the CSR prior to boarding the aircraft. Establish the boarding time expectation clearly, and confirm the understanding of the CSR as to when boarding will begin.

If you are asked commence passenger boarding earlier than what is listed in your Inflight Policy and Procedures Manual (P&P), do not hesitate to politely decline if you believe boarding early will compromise the completion of your safety checks and the preparation for passenger boarding.   

If you are improperly required to board passengers before the boarding times listed in the P&P or on your IBS, and you are directed by management to board early, clearly state your objection. If the issue is not resolved with the CSR, you should contact a local Inflight supervisor for assistance. If one is not available, you should file a (UAL) Local Council Worksheet (CAL) Grievance Investigation Form with your Local Council.

Secondhand Smoke Exposure Research Study

The Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI) in Denver, Colorado is conducting a research study on the effects of Secondhand Smoke Exposure on Pre-ban Flight Attendants.  Currently the FAMRI is conducting screenings/interviews as part of their research study to increase understanding of how exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke on pre-ban Flight Attendants has affected their quality of life, use of healthcare resources, decline in lung function, and development of cardiovascular and sinus disease over time.

The screening/interviews take around three (3) hours to complete, while trying to assess the development of lung disease in Flight Attendants who have worked for airlines prior to the domestic and international smoking bans.  The FAMRI is also looking to recruit Flight Attendants and non-Flight Attendant participants over 50 years of age as control participates. 

If you are interested in participating in this study and would like more information please contact the FAMRI at (303) 724-6066/7. 

OSHA Enforcement in Jeopardy

Tell your Senator that health and safety protections matter! OSHA enforcement is in jeopardy of being stripped out of our workplace altogether. The House of Representatives has already passed this bill.

The Senate is now considering the legislation and may vote on it as early as next week.

Late last year, the Obama administration formally reiterated a 45-year-old OSHA rule that companies must simply keep accurate injury records. Without these records, courts have found that OSHA cannot hold companies responsible for failing to keep records of workplace injuries and illnesses-essential information needed to improve workplace safety.

Unbelievably, the GOP is initiating an attack on these protections by dumping OSHA reporting and allowing companies to hide from their safety records! We can’t let this happen.

All that stands between a safe and unsafe workplace is us!

Call the Capitol Switchboard (202-224-3121) and tell your Senators to stand with working families and OPPOSE SJ. Res 27!

Rally for Rest Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

Next week, AFA Government Affairs activists will be in Washington, D.C. to advocate on Capitol Hill for 10 hours minimum rest, a Fatigue Risk Management plan, and enforcement of our Open Skies Agreements. Government Affairs activists will meet with more than 100 Congressional offices to advocate on behalf of all Flight Attendants on Tuesday. To kick off the advocacy day, AFA Government Affairs activists will hold a Rally for Rest at the House Triangle at 10 a.m. eastern with several elected officials.

AFA invites all Flight Attendants to attend the rally on Tuesday morning. For more information, email info@afacwa.org.

Trump Proposes Budget Cuts to Post 9/11 Security and Small Aviation Markets

“We are extremely concerned that the [proposed Trump] budget guts the Essential Air Service (EAS) Program. These cuts would harm rural and underserved communities that lack access to a fully-mature transportation system, and rely on subsidized air transportation services or face further economic isolation.”

"The budget also siphons critical funding from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a move that would effectively reduce the number of security professionals on the frontlines of protecting Americans from safety and security threats in our airports."

Read the full statement from the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO

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