Council 25 Newsletter Logo

May 2, 2016

Inside this issue:Use Of Known Crewmember While Traveling International
Vacation Reduction Resulting from Occupational Leaves of Absence
#DenyNAI We Must Take Action to Protect Our Jobs! ACT NOW!
787 Settlement Fund Distribution
Merged Seniority List Compiled According to Process in AFA-CWA Constitution
Local Meeting

Use Known Crewmember While Traveling International

In the upcoming weeks, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will implement new changes to the Known Crewmember (KCM) program for crew members traveling to international destination on personal travel.  

The TSA policy changes is as follows:

Crew members traveling as a passenger for personal travel from a U.S. location to an international location, must be screened as a passenger through the passenger screening checkpoint prior to entering into the airport sterile area.  Crew members are no longer allowed to use the KCM access point for personal travel from the U.S. to an international location.

Crew members traveling from the U.S. to international locations on company business may continue to use the KCM access points. 

Company business includes; but is not limited to, the following:

  •  Flight Operations
  •  Training
  •  Crew Positioning
  •  Dead Heading
  • Other Company Business

Vacation Reduction Resulting from Occupational Leaves of Absence

Many of you have been waiting for quite some time for resolution of the issue affecting the reduction of your vacation accrual as a result of an Occupational Leave of Absence.  We are happy to report that we are in the process of verifying the information provided by the company regarding those individuals who experienced a reduction in their vacation allocation as a result of an Occupational Leave of Absence.  If you have previously provided specific information about your occupational leave that resulted in a reduction in your vacation accrual, no action is required. 

As soon as the verification of this information is completed, we will be working with the company to finalize the calculations for these payments and to get these issued as soon as practical.

We trust you understand there was a great deal of manual work that was required in compiling this information and appreciate your continue patience as we work toward accomplishing this final resolution.


#DenyNAI We Must Take Action to Protect Our Jobs! ACT NOW!

The NAI scheme threatens our careers and the future of the U.S. aviation industry. This business model allows NAI to cut costs well below industry norms. The result will be severe downward pressure on fares, operating costs, and ultimately wages. As we have already seen in the U.S. shipping industry, flags-of-convenience, if adopted widely, eventually force U.S.-flagged-companies out of the market. U.S. seafarers have lost more than 97,000 jobs since 1950 even as the total tonnage shipped on maritime vessels has increased exponentially. Should NAI be allowed to operate into the U.S., we are potentially looking at a similar result for Flight Attendant jobs. 

In order to make sure the DOT and White House hear us, we need thousands of calls, tweets and messages. That requires every single Flight Attendant to speak up and encourage our friends and family to do the same. 

We only have a few weeks to stop this threat to our jobs!

Here’s what you and your friends and family can do: 

  1. Send a message directly to United States Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx
    Visit our website to fill out the form to register your objection to the DOT ruling to allow Norwegian Air International to operate on an Irish certificate and trample labor standards in the U.S. and E.U. our comments directly to the United States Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx. We need our voices recorded to form the official record of comments by May 6, 2016.
  2. By Phone
    You can call the Capitol switchboard number at 202-224-3121 and ask to speak with your specific State Senator or Representative. 

    Tell your member of Congress: 

    "I am a Flight Attendant and constituent. I am calling to ask my (Representative/Senator) to Stop the DOT from approving a foreign air carrier permit for Norwegian Air International because it will set up a flag of convenience model for aviation. This model destroyed U.S. shipping and good U.S. jobs. The same will happen to aviation unless Congress stops it. This is about my job, our nation's economy and our safety and security.”
  3. By Twitter
    If you have a Twitter account, we ask that you please Tweet one of the following: 

    Killing U.S. aviation jobs, hurting competition & undermining fair labor standards is not okay. #DenyNAI
    Click to automatically tweet:

    Going, going, gone. Soon to be our labor standards & U.S.#aviation jobs if Norwegian Air gets its way. #DenyNAI
    Click to automatically tweet:
  4. Join the picket line in front of the White House on May 12, 2016 
    Join our Sister and Brother Unions and show our unity and strength in opposition to the recent tentative approval of NAI.


Airline Workers Mobilize to #DenyNAI


Thursday, May 12 at 12:00pm ET


Lafayette Park (In Front of the White House)

1601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC


Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA)

Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA)

International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)

Transport Workers Union of America (TWU)

The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD)




787 Settlement Fund Distribution

Over the course of the past several days, the company has provided AFA with information and updates on the process of distributing the 787 Settlement Fund. 

As you will recall from our previous publications, $3 million dollars was set aside in a settlement fund to be distributed to Flight Attendants who were on the System Seniority List as of March 31, 2016 and who had earnings during the period from August 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016.  The fund will be distributed on a pro rata basis based on each individual’s earnings as a percentage of the total earnings paid during this same period.

We are pleased to report that a great deal of work has been accomplished and we are well on the way for a timely distribution of the entire settlement fund by May 16th as set forth in the Letter of Settlement.

Merged Seniority List Compiled According to Process in AFA-CWA Constitution

The merged seniority list is compiled as reported to AFA members since the merger of United/Continental/Continental Micronesia was first announced in 2010. The Constitution is clear and backed up by federal law. Nothing has changed and nothing can change about your seniority protections.

The Seniority Merger Integration Committee (SMIC) has done the work necessary for implementation of a merged seniority list once we have a ratified joint contract. The committee continues its work until implementation since the list continues to evolve with new hires or various reasons that Flight Attendants exit the seniority list. The list is posted upon implementation.

The Seniority Merger Integration Committee (SMIC) consists of representatives from each of our pre-merger airlines. The AFA-CWA Constitution and Bylaws (C&B), which is also reinforced by U.S. law, provides clear instruction on the committee role and authority in merging the three seniority lists to be implemented at the point of a ratified, single Flight Attendant contract at United Airlines.

The work of the committee is transparent as defined by the Constitution, although the committee discussions and the list itself remain confidential until the point of ratification. There is no mystery, however, since the Constitution is very straight-forward for the process and methodology utilized to merge the list.

The principle of ‘date-of-hire’ is codified in the constitution to integrate the list according to the value that what someone brought to the merger is what they will have once the merger is complete. The only two (2) items constitutionally required for resolution by the committee include:

  1. methodology for integration of same day seniority dates, and
  2. applying credit for initial training while maintaining relative seniority on each respective list.

The committee will report out on this work and the on-going work required (new hires, retirements, etc.) up to implementation at the time of ratification.

A flood at Continental in the late 90’s destroyed employment data and made the work of the committee challenging, but through historical research, verified documentation recovered from individuals and the assistance of statistical professionals the committee has been able to determine necessary adjustments for initial training. The training adjustments will be applied in compliance with the Constitution.

The committee will report to the Joint MEC when they are in session at the end of May.

‘Date-of-Hire’ Principle Used, ‘Bidding Seniority’ Actual Term

Section X.C.2.a. of the C&B ensures that, “…the ‘seniority date’ of a Flight Attendant shall be the date from which each Flight Attendant accrues competitive (bidding) seniority as a Flight Attendant as of the date of the merger agreement between the affected airlines.” The term “date-of-hire” is common terminology among Flight Attendants and is the principle contained within the C&B. This term describes our principle but not the actual wording that refers to bidding seniority.

Prior Integrations, Contractual Requirements and Training Days

The SMIC may not alter former seniority integrations. There have been court awards, arbitrated decisions and settlements that have determined seniority dates and established the relative order of Flight Attendants at all three subsidiaries. These prior rulings and decisions are binding upon the Union, so we are not empowered to make changes to these seniority dates.

Additionally, we must follow the terms of the contracts. Twice a year, the seniority section of each contract provides an opportunity to challenge the seniority list should there be a discrepancy in placement on each individual seniority list. The AFA Seniority Merger Integration Process does not provide for adjustments to seniority dates that should otherwise be handled through a grievance.

In fact, the C&B strictly prohibits changes, other than to adjust for initial Flight Attendant training. Section X.C.3.c. of the C&B states, “the only adjustment to seniority date as defined in Section C.2.a., being reconciliation of differences in policies on the respective carriers relating to seniority accrual for training days so that each Flight Attendant on the merged seniority list receives credit for her/his training days.”

U.S. Law Requires Enforcement of AFA Seniority Integration Policy

AFA’s seniority policy is also reinforced by US law. After the TWA Flight Attendants were stapled to the bottom of the seniority list at American, our union advocated for a change to the law that would provide a “fair and equitable” seniority integration for all airline workers affected by a merger. Again, fair and equitable is a process, but it does not ensure a “fair” outcome.

If seniority is left up to an arbitrator, all arguments and positions made by the parties involved will eventually be decided by someone who has no claim or stake in the end result. That is why we ensured that the law would also protect our union’s seniority integration policy. The McCaskill-Bond law states:

“if the same collective bargaining agent represents the combining crafts or classes at each of the covered air carriers, that collective bargaining agent’s internal policies regarding integration, if any, will not be affected by and will supersede the requirements of this section;”

This law affirms that our AFA seniority integration policy is the process that must be used when AFA is the representative of Flight Attendants at the merged airline.

AFA Seniority Integration Policy Used in Each Mega-Merger

In both the Delta and American mergers, AFA’s merger policy set the standard for Flight Attendant seniority integration. At Delta, management knew that Flight Attendants would have one more big reason to vote for a union unless management provided the same seniority security that AFA’s policy would provide. The Northwest and Delta lists were integrated according to AFA’s seniority integration principle.

AFA had the cleanest seniority list in the industry at US Airways, where many mergers took place based on AFA’s seniority integration principle. Further, our union had gained seniority protections under the law. In the American merger, APFA agreed to a seniority integration that mirrors AFA’s constitutional merger policy, protecting both pre-merger US Airways and American Flight Attendants.

Our merger policy was put in place nearly 25 years ago following mergers where the issue of seniority did nothing more than create division. This division plays out at a time when it is especially critical for Flight Attendants to stand together in unity. In mergers, our focus needs to be on making our seniority count with the best job security, pay, benefits, work rules and quality of life at the merged airline. Our policy provides a defined and transparent procedure for seniority integration.

The fate of our seniority should never hinge on a corporate decision that is outside of our control. With a detailed process in black and white we can focus our attention on our unity and work towards a single contract that reflects our valuable contributions to the airline.

Local Council Meeting

Please RSVP at Hope to see you there.



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