End of the Year Update!



December 24, 2017

Dear AFA Member,

The items discussed in this Union Update are:

1)      Illegal retaliation against Union Officer

2)      Wear your AFA Pin—it is your legal right

3)      Poor Management Performance

4)   New Staff Travel/Standby Policy

5)   Comprehensive Negotiations Update and Road Shows starting January 2018

  1. Illegal Retaliation against Union Officer

Last month, management removed the GI, SUP and CC designation from Union Officer Katarzyna Mroczek over a Facebook post she made. In October, Katarzyna advised CCMs in a private Facebook group that we need the protections of a union contract rather than more pointless base meetings. The company’s actions are illegal under the Railway Labor Act because Katarzyna’s statement is protected speech. The AFA Legal department has given the company a deadline to reverse the decision but they have not yet responded. As a result, the AFA will be filing a lawsuit against the company in Federal Court. We hoped the company would have agreed to avoid another legal battle, but as usual, diplomacy has not worked. We have, however, received full support from AFA members and our colleagues in Europe. We will keep you updated once the lawsuit is filed.

  1. Wear your AFA Pin—it is your legal right!

It’s now time to show solidarity and wear your AFA pin. As stated in previous uniform guidelines, the union pin for U.S.-based cabin crew is a statutory right. The approved location on your uniform for the pin is your uniform jacket.

You have the legal right to wear your AFA pin today and for the rest of your career. If a member of management asks you to remove the pin, you must report this incident along with the manager’s name to the union immediately. Click on the link to the AFA Pin below to watch a video from AFA International President Sara Nelson explaining the importance of wearing your union pin: here.

  1. Poor Management Treatment and Performance

The union has received reports of unfair and harassing treatment of members from management here in the U.S. The unfair treatment ranges from ignoring emails to harassing and intimidating behavior. The union has begun the process of collecting reports from cabin crew on these matters and it’s very important for you to contact us immediately if you feel that you have been treated unjustly.

  1. New Staff Travel/Standby Policy

The initial reaction to the company’s discriminating staff travel policy was well-deserved. The outcry of employees all over the globe forced the company to immediately change their unfair and unjust policy to make it less discriminatory against single/unmarried employees. While the new/revised policy is not perfect, it’s a positive step in the right direction. As U.S. based cabin crew, we rely heavily upon the ability to bring friends with us while working due to our lack of days off and amount of vacation (10 days a year) versus other company employees (12 days off and at least 28 days of vacation a year). The company has also decided to start charging employees for staff travel (30 krone per flight plus a fuel surcharge) with the ability to increase the amount in the future. We know things may work differently in Europe, but charging employees to travel on our own airline isn’t right, even if it’s only a “nominal fee”. Until the company is able to offer competitive benefits that other airlines offer (e.g. ZED travel on other airlines or jump-seat agreements), your union is going to fight for a better staff travel policy in contract negotiations.

  1. Comprehensive Negotiations Update and Road Shows starting January 2018

In January, your union is going to release a comprehensive negotiations update that talks about what we have accomplished so far in negotiations. In this update, the union will also explain where we and the company currently stand on the outstanding issues yet to be agreed upon. Though we have sent summaries on negotiations sessions in our union updates, we plan on providing you with a chart to more easily demonstrate the full scope of what is going on in negotiations. We plan on updating the chart throughout 2018 so you can visually track the progress being made at the negotiating table.

At our last negotiations session in November, the union and the company discussed a new article “Reduction in Force/Furlough” but no progress has been made on any of our other outstanding articles. Our negotiations session in December was cancelled by the Federal Mediator because of lack of federal funding from the government. Our next negotiations session is scheduled in January, but that meeting may also be cancelled due to lack of federal funding.

Regardless of if the January meeting is cancelled or not, we will be sending out our status chart and holding base meetings to discuss the status of our contract negotiations in person as well as any other concerns or questions you may have. Attached is the current status of the negotiations.

We thank you for reading through this newsletter.

Stay Unified. Stay Professional. Stay Courteous to each other.

Most importantly, have a great holiday season and New Year!

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