Julie Hedrick was elected APFA president in April.
Affiliation of Skilled Flight Attendants
For the airline trade, the advanced strategy of constructing October flight schedules is meant to start subsequent week. Flight planners would go first, then crew schedulers. Then, within the first week of September, flight attendants and pilots would bid for October journeys. For every day in October, American Airways
alone would arrange about 4,000 flights.
However for now, American and different airways can’t plan.
As an alternative, they await Congressional motion on an financial stimulus invoice that may be anticipated to incorporate about $25 billion to maintain airline employees on the payroll till March 30. With out the funding, an estimated 76,000 airline employees could possibly be laid off on Oct. 1 – maybe all on the identical day.
At American, 25,000 staff have acquired layoff warnings. American is providing voluntary leaves and early out packages, however with out understanding whether or not the destiny of payroll safety, it’s onerous to know whether or not to take one. Final week, American prolonged the applying window till 11:59 p.m. Monday, Aug. 17.
“We’re at a critical point now — It can’t wait any longer,” Julie Hedrick, president of the Affiliation of Skilled Flight Attendants, stated Friday. “Our schedules are made up a month in advance. There’s a lot that has to happen in a short period of time.”
To stop chaos, Hedrick stated, “Congress has to get back to the table and negotiate. We have been reaching out, telling them how important this is.” However for the second, no talks are scheduled in Washington.
Furlough warning notices have gone out to 9,500 of the 27,000 American flight attendants represented by APFA. With out the stimulus invoice, Hedrick stated, “There could be massive furloughs across our 13 flight attendant bases.”
Working to construct a flight schedule is intense work, stated American spokesman Matt Miller stated.
For October schedules, he stated, “the process starts in late August. Those opting into voluntary (layoff and leave) programs need to be moved out of the list of available crew members. There’s an obvious challenge if you don’t know which flight attendants would be available.”
The identical process applies within the case of American’s 15,000 pilots, of whom 2,500 have been issued furlough warnings.
Hedrick took over as APFA president on April 1 after successful a February election. Based mostly in Los Angeles, she started her profession as an Air Cal reservations agent, turning into a flight attendant in 1982. At APFA, she has been on the negotiating committee and has additionally labored on the committee that mixed flight attendant work teams following the 2013 American/US Airways merger.
For the previous 4 and a half months, it has largely been all coronavirus disaster on a regular basis.
On April 1, Hedrick recalled, “Our headquarters was shut down; everything was shut down. We had to start remotely, working from home. We had video calls with (about 100 union officers) every day for the first five weeks. After that it was three days a week for the next month.” These calls now happen weekly.
Moreover, Hedrick and different labor union leaders meet each two weeks with CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom. “It’s a chance for all of us to talk our minds she stated. At different occasions, she contacts executives instantly. In July, APFA negotiated the voluntary early out and go away packages that members at the moment are contemplating.
In March, APFA joined within the historic union effort to win airline pay safety, a part of the $2 trillion monetary stimulus permitted by Congress. As unions search a second package deal, APFA alone generated about 50,000 emails. “We know we have bipartisan support; we have 16 Republican Senators who signed on, but we need the bill to happen,” Hedrick stated.
It has been a tough time for flight attendants who have interaction each day with passengers, attempt to keep away from getting sick and sometimes discovering themselves in the course of the tradition conflict over face masks.
“It’s not an easy job today,” Hedrick stated. “Within the first month, we pressed the corporate to require face coverings not just for flight attendants but additionally for passengers and others within the airport.
“We were able to achieve that (but) we have been disappointed in the lack of leadership” on masks by the Division of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, she stated, noting “The airlines have had to do it on their own.”
American pilots, members of the Allied Pilots Affiliation, are in the identical scenario as flight attendants.
“We’re looking ahead to October and people see an impending crisis when it comes to layoffs,” stated APA spokesman Dennis Tajer. “Having the sort of uncertainty, we have now proper now’s like flying with out radar – You’re simply hoping issues prove.
“You can’t fly that way,” Tajer stated.