Monday, October 05, 2009

AFA-CWA Contract Status Updates

AFA-CWA Legal, Collective Bargaining Staff Attend Annual Meeting

The AFA-CWA Legal and Collective Bargaining Departments held a joint annual staff meeting last week at International headquarters. Here are some of the contract status highlights by carrier (reprinted from the October 1st AFA-CWA E-Newsletter):


The AFA-CWA Negotiating Committee is preparing for another negotiations session with management. Negotiations are moving into areas which have associated costs so forward progress has slowed somewhat. The Committee is rolling out its mobilizing effort and launching a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of a union contract and of wearing the AFA pin.

Air Wisconsin
Negotiations continued in Appleton, WI, September 10 and 11. The parties were able to reach a tentative agreement on Section 24- Agency Shop and Dues Check-off. Negotiations will resume October 20-22 in Appleton.

American Eagle
The AFA-CWA Negotiating Committee is in the process of finalizing opening proposals while establishing and gearing up the Mobilization Committee.

America West (US Airways-West)
America West (US Airways-West) flight attendants are mobilizing behind their Negotiating Committee which has petitioned the National Mediation Board to resume oversight of their negotiations under Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act. Negotiations under Section 6 had been in recess pending the outcome of negotiations over a merged agreement between US Airways East and West flight attendants. Those talks have stretched on for over three years and the West flight attendants need immediate economic relief. When presented with this information by the Negotiating Committee at a series of roadshows in August, many flight attendants eagerly signed up to be part of the West's VOICE Committee. VOICE stands for Volunteer Organizers for Information, Communication and Education.

In mid-September, VOICE Chair Scott Barnes and International Staff Representative Guy Bosworth held two initial committee trainings which covered the process for negotiations under the Railway Labor Act, the importance of mobilization in support of that process, the basics of any mobilization campaign, how to communicate one-on-one with their fellow flight attendants and the importance of solidarity and organized collective actions in support of negotiations. The group also spent time brainstorming ideas for solidarity building activities that could be performed over the next few months.

The VOICE Committee has doubled in size and continues to grow as its members begin educating and mobilizing the West flight attendants in support of their common goal of economic equality through a ratified contract.

Negotiations continued for a first flight attendant agreement September 15-17 in Denver, CO. The AFA-CWA Negotiating Committee was able to reach tentative agreements on two sections, including Employee Assistance and Professional Standards and Filling of Vacancies, as well as make progress on several other sections.

Recently negotiated Letters of Agreement memorializing certain current practices have been finalized. The Negotiating Committee just completed an agreement on the newly negotiated Split Line Flying Program which will give the flight attendants a much greater degree of schedule flexibility and allow the company relief on seasonal staffing levels (see Union Contract Secures Split Line Flying below). The organizing drive is in high gear.

The Piedmont Negotiating Committee met at AFA-CWA headquarters in Washington, DC, September 21 and 22. The committee spent this time continuing to shape the bargaining strategies and priorities it will employ when meetings with company resume on October 13 in Salisbury, MD. Pictured from the left, AFA-CWA Intl. Sr. Staff Negotiator Mark Littleton with Piedmont Negotiating Committee members Heather Rudy, Ray Robinson and Anita Jwanouskos, Chair.

The PSA Negotiating Committee will meet with PSA management October 20 - 22, 2009 for a third round of negotiations. During the last session some progress was made. The MEC is hopeful that the next session will be even more productive and that more meaningful sections such as scheduling will be discussed and agreed upon.

On August 7, 2009, United Airlines management and the AFA-CWA Negotiating Committee jointly petitioned the National Mediation Board for Assistance. Mediator John Livingood was assigned to the negotiations. On August 19, 2009, United management refused to proceed with direct negotiations unless AFA-CWA agreed to certain preconditions. AFA-CWA would not agree and direct negotiations ceased.

On September 9, 2009, AFA-CWA met with John Livingood and presented the status of the negotiation. United management met with Mediator Livingood the next day. Mediator Livingood scheduled a negotiation session for October 27-29, 2009, in Chicago. The parties will met September 22-24, 2009, to set the agenda for the upcoming direct negotiation with the mediator.

To date, the parties have completed a review of 31 of 35 sections of the collective bargaining agreement. There have been 15 sessions over the course of 19 weeks for a total of 40 days of direct negotiations. Only six sections have been closed in tentative agreements, five of which have been book. The amendable date of the agreement is January 7, 2010.

US Airways
Negotiations continued for a single agreement on August 9-11 in Phoenix, AZ with the discussion continuing to focus on scheduling issues.

Please visit for updated information on how AFA-CWA is working for you and for links to other useful sites for working families.

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