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Dear AFA: April 15, 2014

Date: April 15, 2014

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to Dear AFA. We are a democratic, Member driven Union of Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Today is Tuesday, April 15, 2014 and this is Peter Snow, reporting. I am a Member at Chicago Council 8 and I stand with all of my 685 Sisters and Brothers.

United Relocates Bid Package Information

We've received reports from some Members who expressed frustration with United's recent move of the monthly bid information, without clearly communicating where to now find it. To locate the cover letter and bid package, go to United's Flying Together Website. Go to Departments > Operations > Inflight Services > Bases; and then select your Domicile.

Aflac Enrollment Open Through April 25

Open enrollment for Aflac/CAIC voluntary insurance will continue through Friday, April 25, 2014. Enrollment can be done online or over the phone. The Aflac insurance is available for United Flight Attendants only. This insurance is different than the National Group Protection (NGP) enrollment for Continental Flight Attendants which took place in their crew rooms for the 3-day period of March 14-17. These are two separate programs, offered through two separate providers, each specific to either United or Continental subsidiary Flight Attendants.

The Aflac Insurance plans include Short Term Disability, Accident, Critical Illness (including cancer coverage), and Hospital Indemnity.

If you are returning to work from a furlough, you can enroll upon your return to work. Flight Attendants enrolling in this open enrollment will have a June 1, 2014 effective date for their policies.

On the enrollment website you will find plan summaries, a Questions and Answers document, and information on plans including pricing. You also have the ability to add and view beneficiaries, and are able to access claim forms. The enrollment site has an online chat feature for asking questions from an enrollment representative. The toll free number to talk to an enrollment representative is (855) 236-9743; they are open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time.

Flight Attendants who have previously enrolled in Aflac group insurance plans (in 2011) will be able to go onto the website to make changes to coverage, if desired. In addition, these individuals will also need to update their payment information by adding it to this site, as there will be a change to the payee administrator effective June 2014. A letter has been mailed out to those Flight Attendants enrolled in the affected plans from Aflac. We hope to have a payroll deduction feature for these plans with United in the future. We have provided a Q&A in anticipation of any questions you may have. For issues not covered in our Q&A, please contact the enrollment representative at the number listed above.

Merger Discord At American/US Airways

It's a state of affairs we know all too well. Airline management makes lots of lofty proclamations and promises to gain approval for a merger, then promptly fails to deliver on them.

On August 31, labor Unions at US Airways will meet with CEO Doug Parker to review "critical issues" that remain unresolved, five months after the merger closed. Flight Attendants, pilots, machinists, fleet service and mechanical workers, dispatchers and simulator engineers have all said that they "expect management to move forward immediately to keep its commitments to all of its employees and make this the best airline in the world."

Meanwhile, the IAM, representing the mechanics and fleet service workers has asked the National Mediation Board (NMB) to be released from Contract talks, which could potentially lead to a strike. Customer service agents have said that vendors working for American are encroaching on their work, which has spurred multiple grievances.

It would seem that American's CEO doesn't know much more than our own about successfully merging two large airlines into one gigantic carrier. Our management's heavy-handed approach has resulted in a series of major, yet avoidable, failures. The greatest failure of all is their unwillingness to negotiate equitable Contracts with many of the Unions, thereby making it impossible to realize the promised benefits of the merger. A merger that closed 42 months ago.

We hope the corporate leadership at American learns from the errors made by our own management and works to quickly resolve the issues facing the very people whose hard work will be essential to American's future success, their Union employees.

Boston Marathon Tribute

Today, Boston honored Marathon survivors and first responders in a tribute, one year after the marathon bombings. After the tribute, the survivors, family members of survivors and first responders walked to the finish line and observed a moment of silence.

Media reports indicate that at 2:49pm ET, the time the first bomb exploded, only the sound of raindrops hitting umbrellas could be heard. Church bells rang and an American flag was raised.

Themes of resilience, community and strength were the message of the day – messages our Flight Attendant community of Safety Professionals and First Responders understand most deeply. To all of our Boston flying partners, friends and family today, our compassion and Solidarity are with you.

That's all for tonight and thank you for calling. Through strength and solidarity, we will continue building our collective future. After all, it's our future.

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