Stop Positive Space A5 Travel for Retiring Union Officers
Mr. Parker, Mr. Kirby and Ms. Eberwein:
On behalf of the vast majority of the flight attendant corps of American Airlines the accompanying petition is in reference to a very important issue. Currently American Airlines allows retired/retiring APFA and other Union Officers to maintain the positive space A5 pass travel status they have as active employees. This was, at one time, an unknown "perk" as no Officers had retired in office. On May 1, 2008, two former APFA Officers retired. It is important to note these Officers' terms ended March 31, 2008 and they returned to active flight attendant status April 1, 2008 so as of the date of their retirement they were rank-and-file flight attendants. Four years later there was another retirement, this time by a person still in APFA Officer status. To date, we are only aware of these three specific cases.
When it came to the attention of the APFA Board of Directors some were concerned while others stood silently by due to political loyalties. It is important to note there are many of us in protest of this practice who currently have allies/friends in Officer positions at APFA yet feel strongly that we cannot allow those alliances to distract us from doing what is right.
There are those in official positions at APFA who decided to take a public stand on record, of this gross injustice to our rank-and-file members yet nothing has been addressed by American Airlines. We continue to believe to this day that NO RETIRING UNION OFFICER should EVER receive a benefit not afforded every rank-and-file member they represent. As an advocate for the membership, this practice gives the appearance of a conflict of interest and an over-reaching relationship between the company and the union.
To add insult to injury in August 2014 American Airlines decided to downgrade our rank-and-file retirees' pass privileges to a lower D2-R status. This was "the straw that broke the camel's back" for us. To see our colleagues' benefit reduced while retired/retiring Officers maintain a higher positive space A5 pass priority for life is, quite simply, intolerable.
Fundamental union tenets are based on fairness, equity and a willingness to serve the membership without the promise of any financial gain or "perk". In Section 5 of the APFA Policy Manual the Policy Statement specifically says:
The APFA encourages the voluntary participation of all members in the day-to-day running of the organization. It is anticipated that members who participate in APFA activities and functions will do so from a desire to help improve their working conditions and to better their Union.
The APFA recognizes that the organization cannot function solely by the voluntary efforts of its members. Financial policies herein are structured to diminish any financial penalty that a member may incur as a result of providing Union services to Flight Attendants. It is not the intent of this policy for any individual to experience financial gain.
Clearly, service-charge-free first class travel is just that....a financial gain. This special treatment of retired/retiring Officers violates every union principle and we can no longer sit idly by waiting for someone to do the right thing. We assure you, we have nearly all of the membership behind us on this issue and are circulating this petition to lend credence to what we believe is glaringly obvious….this practice must stop.
We will continue to pursue this issue as rank-and-file members and we also will continue to demand our representatives on the APFA Board of Directors move forward addressing this issue until it has been resolved to our satisfaction and all retired/retiring non-management employees have the same pass classification. In 2014 you showed you have no issue changing retiree travel pass classification as the sweeping change also impacted those who had already retired...now is the logical time to close the apparent loop hole that gives a select few enhanced benefits in their retirement.
We, the undersigned, all active or retired flight attendants of LAA/LUS American Airlines respectfully request a complete review of American Airlines pass privilege policy for employees who have retired/will retire as Union Officers. We further request American Airlines immediately repeal positive space A5 travel for all retired/retiring Union Officers of APFA past, present and future and provide them the equitable pass priority of every other retired flight attendant at American Airlines.
**** You must be an active or retired LAA/LUS American Airlines Flight Attendant to sign this petition (if you are a retiree please include the word RETIRE after your employee number.)****
Eugenio Vargas Contact the author of the petition
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