5 October 2021
RE: AA Vaccine Mandate
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
Today the Association leadership meet via conference call with American Airlines leaders for an update on the Vaccine Mandate Policy and the potential enforcement process. The company explained the accommodation procedures, as it is currently being considered by the carrier, and is urging employees to file requests for such accommodations. The company will actively engage in processing and approving the requests on an individual basis in a reasonable manner. Although American Airlines is still in the process of determining what these accommodations will be, what is certain, unpaid leaves of absences are off the table.
It was further discussed that when an employee has submitted a request and awaiting the approval process, the employee can continue to work as normally scheduled. Once an approval has been granted and depending on the accommodation procedure, the employee will continue perform the work they are accommodated to perform without concern of violating the mandate.
This entire vaccine process will be updated regularly as things may change and we will continue to keep everyone posted on the latest events as they are known. We continue to encourage our members who can receive the vaccine to do so, but also believe it is a choice a person needs to make without fear of losing their livelihood. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we navigate through these very challenging times.
First Association vs American Airlines Fleet Arbitration Case
April 20, 2021
The Association presented its first arbitration case. At issue is the Control Crew Chief work that American Airlines transitioned from Crew Chiefs to management. Testimony was given by representatives of the TWU and the IAM far-reaching from across the country, from Charlotte to Dallas and Los Angeles to Phoenix.
The Association strongly defended the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement and our membership. We anticipate receiving the arbitrator’s decision sometime in mid to late summer.
We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who was involved in the preparation and presentation of the case, including the Local Presidents, Assistant General Chairs, Crew Chiefs, Fleet Service Agents, and the law firm of Phillips, Richard, and Rind, P.A. The firm put on an aggressive, comprehensive, and hard-fought case, as our members deserve.
While this was an Association Fleet dispute, it was fully supported by all elements of our Association.
February 23, 2021
Sisters and Brothers,
This communication is being shared to address the concerns that will arise from the fact that the Fleet Service “Allocator” Arbitration was not heard today. We are all well aware of the challenges we face while dealing with this pandemic, but at the same time we have developed proper and safe methods to conduct a hearing like this and we believe this should have happened today. The information we have received regarding the arbitrator, Steven Crable, was that he was unable to conduct the hearing in person since he has not yet received his second Covid-19 shot. The Association had agreed in advance to an in-person arbitration, but also that if presenting the case in-person wasn’t a viable option, that video conferencing would be administered. It appears that the company insisted on the in-person ideology, with the arbitrator present with them and the Association presenting our case remotely. The company’s flawed arbitration philosophy is both completely unacceptable and will never be tolerated, since it would only work to their advantage.
We fully recognize just how important this issue is for our members and that this grievance will be presented and heard in an arbitration. We believe this move by the company is a complete overreach to gain ownership of covered work, which we will argue was never relinquished or negotiated from the Association. It is truly troublesome that a ratified agreement that is nearing its one-year anniversary is continuing to be renegotiated by some individuals in management who have changed positions and were not present at the bargaining table throughout negotiations. This issue, along with a few others, have placed some serious questions around the company’s integrity and understanding of bargaining in good faith; including their ability to understand what they actually agreed to. We will not allow the language in the ratified agreement to be trampled on or dismissed, simply because the carrier can’t accept the true meaning and true intent reached in negotiations. There are mechanisms of protection for our members in the agreement that must be upheld, even if it comes with added cost to the company.
The Association remains committed to supporting the membership and we will take all required steps necessary to fully represent the contract and the members covered by the agreement. We have constantly recognized and appreciated you, the members, for your support and understanding as we are forced to fight through the growing pains of a new contract. Rest assured, we will never give up fighting for our members’ contractual rights. We will always take the fight where it needs to go and to whom it needs to be with. The rescheduled date for this case to be heard is now March 30 & 31, 2021. The new date was proposed by the arbitrator to the Association and American. As more information is further known, it will be communicated to the membership.
American to Conduct Recalls
With the recent approval of the Payroll Support Program (PSP2), we have been working to make sure Association represented employees who were impacted in the October reductions are recalled in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreements. After several discussions with American Airlines management, your Association Leadership has been informed that, beginning Tuesday, January 19, 2021, notices for Article (6) preferential recall will be sent via FedEx to those members who were reduced, displaced, bumped or furloughed.
A few key highlights that members need to be aware of:
- This recall process was not a given and several hours were spent by the Association Leadership working to make sure all affected Association represented employees are recalled to their station in accordance with Article (6) of their Collective Bargaining Agreement where they had Station Protection.
- Association represented employees who were affected under Article (6) and have remained active may accept preferential recall under Article (6) or they may decline such offer and stay in their current status, classification and location. However, by declining, they will forfeit their Article (6) preferential recall for any future openings.
- Association represented employees who were affected under Article (6) and have accepted furlough will also receive preferential recall notices under Article (6). In some locations where furloughed members are being recalled, those furloughed members may choose a Voluntary Personal Leave of Absence (VPLOA), as described in the Collective Bargaining Agreements, where the Company determines the full recalled manpower is not operationally necessary. Such VPLOA is determined by the Company using Classification seniority of those who are recalled from furlough only.
- Association represented employees who were affected under Article (6) from the Mechanic and Related or Material Logistics Specialists agreements from FLL and SJU will not be recalled at this time and will remain in their current status and location since the Company has determined they do not intend to reopen those two locations at this time.
Association Local & District leaders were briefed on many of these recall details on a conference call yesterday afternoon; however, at that time we did not yet have the date recall notices would be sent out. Please contact these leaders with any questions you may have. We hope this information is helpful and want to thank our members for their solidarity and in welcoming all of these members back to their home stations.
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