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Taking an Expressway to Where?

Date: September 9, 2022

This afternoon’s message to Flight Attendants from the Senior Vice President of Inflight & the Managing Director of Crew Planning, Scheduling and Administration contains information of which the Union is completely unaware as it pertains to how the company plans to address reassignments under Section 7.Q.1. of our Contract.  Suffice it to say, while we are unaware of the content of the message and the associated communications, we’ve gotten to a point in Union/Labor Relations where we aren’t completely surprised by the lack of collaboration.

While management continues to focus on the solutions they “proposed” to AFA to help decrease call wait times, there is a noticeable absence of any acknowledgement that AFA offered “counter-proposals”. While their proposal might address their issues, inherent in reaching any modification to the Contract is the need to address priorities for all parties involved.  Collectively, we’ve elected a Union leadership responsible acting in the best interest of our Members.

The record is clear; our AFA leadership made a deliberate effort to review what was proposed and, in good faith, counter proposed solutions.  Our counter proposals were intended to address the Union’s concerns about the impact of what was being proposed by management, not only on our industry leading reassignment language, but also Flight Attendant quality of life.  Ultimately, the parties were unable to reach agreement.  Said another way, we had competing priorities and disagreed.  Veiled under the guise of acting in “…the best interest of Flight Attendants...” management seeks to unilaterally offer their solution absent, at a minimum, discussion with the Union to advise elected representatives of the plan.  In reaching any conclusion on their motives, one can’t avoid a healthy dose of skepticism.

Given that the Union has had no opportunity to review the implications of the information contained in the message that was e-mailed to all of us at 4:46 PM CT today, we have not had the opportunity to fully vet what the company plans to implement for contractual consistency.  The company spent significant time developing the CCS Tutorial Series and an FAQ on the subject, yet the Union was not afforded the courtesy of an opportunity to review and comment on the information contained therein.

From our initial review of the documents, it is clear the company does not plan to implement these changes until the October bid month.  Until such time as the Union has had the opportunity to fully vet what is being contemplated by this “voluntary opt in” and the impact on our reassignment language, we are left with no alternative but to strongly recommend that you avoid the expressway entrance ramp and take the well-traveled side streets.  This is particularly important because once you “turn on” the opt-in selection, you cannot turn it off at any time during that current bid month.  To be clear, our recommendation is that you not elect to opt-in to receive CCS priority messages for 7.Q.1. reassignments.

Instead, we recommend that you make plans to join us for our Day of Action on September 27, 2022 where we will collectively communicate to management our clear expectation that “My Union speaks for me” and that you expect management to engage in conversations with the Union to find mutually agreeable solutions that address our collective concerns rather than imposing their view of what is in our best interest.  Frankly, we’re quite capable of deciding what those are for ourselves.

Next week we will begin publishing information specific to our Day of Action at each location with respective start and end times.  Keep an eye out for these updates!


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