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JFK Announcement: A Letter from the United MEC Officers

Date: June 16, 2015

Dear Flying Partners:

Despite the Contractual requirement to meet and discuss any proposed change in domicile status, with one hour’s notice before the public announcement was slated to be released to employees and the general public, management notified AFA of their intent to cease operations at JFK - closing the station and the domicile. 

Citing the end of the lease terms on the facilities at JFK as well as continuing losses in the premium p.s.™ markets, the company will discontinue service at JFK, effective October 25, 2015.  Beginning October 26, 2015, the company will introduce p.s.™ service in the SFO & LAX markets from our “powerhouse EWR hub.”

Based on the company’s position on this issue as contained in their Q & A documents and letter from James Compton, Vice Chairman and Chief Revenue Officer, the company has been planning this action for quite some time and has clearly orchestrated their plans to exclude the Union from any discussions on these changes. In fact, Jeff Smisek, when asked some weeks ago to comment on the expiration of the lease at JFK, declined to comment.

The JFK Q & A document is all about how these changes impact the corporation and there is very little information available for the more than 800 Flight Attendants and 270 Airport Operations employees whose lives will be dramatically impacted by the closure of the station.

While management continues to thank employees for “everything they do” and hollowly acknowledges that this is “very difficult news for our JFK-based employees”, the fact is their actions show a lack of respect for the employees and their elected representatives.  No matter how you look at their actions, they fall short of the highly principled Working Together Guidelines to which they hold their employees accountable.

United has indicated that they will maintain their 37 slots at New York’s LaGuardia airport.  In addition, management believes they have obtained value for the JFK slots they will no longer use in an exchange transaction with Delta Airlines.

Today, in a letter to Sam Risoli, MEC President Ken Diaz has advised management of our expectation that the terms of our Contract will be upheld and enforced. The Union is clear, no matter how management may attempt to characterize their actions, this is a domicile closure.  As additional information becomes available, we will get that to you.

Be assured, as Flight Attendants, we understand the impact these changes will have on all of our Members – affecting what we fly, how we get to work and, ultimately, the quality of our lives.  We also understand, had management elected to collaborate, the outcome and impact of this announcement could have been very different.  Regrettably, management has elected an alternative course of action. 

In Solidarity,

Officers of the United Master Executive Council

Ken Diaz

Andreas Curlee
Vice President

Jeffrey W. Heisey

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