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(CAL) Thank you from my heart!

Date: November 2, 2015

Dear Flight Attendants,

I have dedicated most of my 23 year career at Continental to representing our Flight Attendants, through both the good times and the bad. I have predicated my leadership on the core principles of doing the right things, for the right reasons, and for the right people.

Your team at the MEC has done incredible things for our Flight Attendants in the face of unrelenting adversity. We have saved and created jobs, won record grievance awards, negotiated a contract extension, negotiated a record early out payment, secured our profit sharing, opened new bases and routes, negotiated a proven and industry leading Labor Management Partnership, and so much more.

I have always espoused that our purpose for doing the good work we do surpasses all personal aspirations. Our purpose is simple, it is each other. A principle I have unwaveringly adhered to – even when it is personally painful.

The last thing that I am able to do for you is to delay the elimination of your MEC and the severe consequences that come from such an elimination. I have been able to come to an agreement with the International that, in exchange for my resignation, they will not attempt to merge the MEC’s until there is a ratified joint contract. Therefore, I have agreed to resign as your MEC President effective at 5pm on Friday, November 6, 2015.

A core principle of leadership is recognizing the opportunities to affect positive change, and conversely, recognizing when you can’t. The last thing I can do for you is to protect your voice to the best of my ability and that is what I have chosen to do.

I want to thank each of you for giving me the absolute privilege of representing us for so many years, both pre and post merger. You are my coworkers, but more importantly, you are my family and I will do whatever is necessary to protect you – this was my final ability to do so in this capacity and by doing so – a necessary ending has come for me.

We are taught in business school that endings are a fact of life and to embrace the necessary endings so that we can then recognize our new beginnings. These endings are the guideposts to finding our purpose. It is through purpose that we inspire others to follow. It is hearing our calling and rising to our God given potential – it is there we find our comfort and hope. Hope and purpose are essential for sustaining life. We have hope, purpose, and each other – that should always be our comfort – especially when the days may seem the darkest.

It is really bittersweet. While we have done great things, there are so many things we were unable to do, such as securing your right direct membership voting at all levels of our union and negotiating a joint contract that preserves your flexibility and provides us with a prosperous and sustainable future.

I am really looking forward to seeing you on the line and it will be nice to be free of the crushing burdens this merger has placed upon me. Onward and upward we go together. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Your friend and coworker,

Marcus N. Valentino
Continental Master Executive Council
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA

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