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E-Lines: April 05, 2020

Date: April 5, 2020

Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

In the midst of the worldwide crisis brought about by COVID-19, people everywhere are being faced with and challenged by incredible adversity. To say that people are hurting would be an understatement. We’re quickly reaching a point where almost all of us know someone who has been impacted by  COVID-19.  In addition to the anxiety of worry about a loved one or family member with symptoms brought about by the virus, there are those of us who have suffered the loss of a friend or family member. 

 

The conditions in the United States and around the world are nothing the aviation industry has ever experienced. Given the recent success of our airline, who would ever have thought that we’d be talking about holding our airline together while almost 90% or more of flights stay on the ground?

 

As we move the focus from the broader issues to our own interests during this unprecedented time, we have to think about our Contract, the protections it provides in not only the near term but also what it offers on the other side of the pandemic.

 

Yesterday’s announcement about the reduction of the flight schedule in New York and New Jersey is but one example of the issues facing us.  We must recognize that there is not going to be flying available and that this is a problem that started last month under the worst possible circumstances. The uncertainty of what was going to operate for the April bid continues into the operation. This uncertainty continues as we prepare for the May bid. In April, because of the immediacy of the issues with which we were presented without notice, your Union leadership was faced with a number of decisions that had to be made in response to the circumstances. But allowing the lines to continue to be built below 69 hours has broader ramifications.  Not only is there a loss of pay, there are potential implications on the accrual of vacation, sick and accrual of eligibility for Family Medical Leave. 

 

The Union is working to ensure as many people as possible are getting paid in order to meet their personal obligations and to care for their families. This past week, based on the direction of the United Master Executive Council, we expect the company will meet the requirements related to line averages at each domicile where flying is available. The United Master Executive Council, of which your Local Council  President is a voting memberdetermined the company must return to the contractual line averages of 69 hours. 

 

The result of us taking this position is that Flight Attendants will:

1. Be paid for all work performed when picking up or trading trips ( the practical result is people aren’t working for free).

2. Accrue vacation, sick and family medical leave for use next year based on work performed

3. High time flyers will qualify for incentive pay.

 

We will continue to advocate for your best interests given the uncertainty resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. There will continue to be significant challenges for all of us as a result of the crisis. Planned flying is always changing, which will have an impact on the May bid.  Daily operational changes will continue to affect the flying that we do.

 

Crew Planning expects to receive the May aircraft schedule early next week. As the process unfolds, additional information about our May flying schedules will be available in the Committee section of the MEC website in our Central Schedule Committee Reports. 

 

Please take care of yourselves and each other as we continue to confront the challenges head on. We will get through this – together.


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