September 2, 2014
Dear US Airways AFA Members:
This year the AFA Board of Directors voted unanimously to provide special honorary lifetime AFA membership for all pre-merger US Airways Flight Attendants. Your contributions to our union deserve this recognition. It is also a symbol of our continued commitment to each other to move our careers forward.
Today, in line with our AFA/APFA Agreement on Bargaining and Representation (ABR), the National Mediation Board (NMB) certified APFA as the representative of Flight Attendants at the New American. APFA is now the representative, but our historic and cooperative agreement provides that our two unions work together to reach a single contract and AFA, including your former AFA leaders who now hold positions within the APFA structure, remains in place to work with established Committees and AFA staff to enforce the pre-merger US Airways contract and resolve outstanding disputes.
Key points about this phase of the merger and our AFA/APFA ABR:
It has been an absolute privilege to work with US Airways Flight Attendants over the past two years as you fought to best position yourselves for this merger. When management sought to define your representation and future contract, you mobilized and united to share an inspiring message of working together to utilize the leverage of the two unions to get management to agree to a different bargaining process. You preserved your contract, your seniority and your right to benefit from the merger.
Over 66 years in our union you have been a major part of shaping our careers and building the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. You were a part of reaching out to other Flight Attendants to join AFA to build our collective power to address the issues that matter to Flight Attendants. US Airways AFA members have served in every office of our union. Together we faced numerous horrific accidents and the depths of deregulation. Through seven mergers you helped set the industry’s gold standard for seniority integration, utilizing a date-of-hire process for each of those mergers. Your insistence to recognize the years of service Flight Attendants bring to any corporate transaction has denied a common union-busting tactic by management to utilize disparate treatment as a tactic to divide us. You led by example with absolute unity and this is the standard we live by today.
AFA US Airways members pushed our union forward to shape the industry-leading programs that make a real difference for Flight Attendants. Enclosed is an example of our collective work related to safe, clean air on our planes. You have been integral to promoting resolution to this issue. Use the reference card to help identify and report any air quality incident. AFA continues to fund research, coordinate advocacy with other unions world-wide for regulations that prohibit bleed air circulation or filter out contaminates and bring public attention to the issue to get proper care for those affected.
US Airways has had a long and proud history, and AFA is proud to have represented US Airways Flight Attendants at every step along the way. That legacy will remain part of AFA history, and part of Flight Attendant history, forever.
Part of that history occurred in 1958 when Mohawk Airlines became the first airline to hire an African American Flight Attendant. Our Mohawk colleague left us just six months later, another victim of the no-marriage rule that the union eventually defeated.
When Allegheny and Mohawk merged in 1972 to form what became USAir, AFA was there with thousands of airline workers in dozens of mergers.
In subsequent mergers, with Piedmont Airlines, Pacific Southwest Airlines, the US Airways Shuttle, America West and others, AFA was always there to protect Flight Attendant seniority and contracts. In a series of bankruptcies we worked hard, more than once, to ensure the survival of the airline. Together we navigated through all the twists and turns of one of the industry’s truly great airlines.
Through decades of collective bargaining, we built the US Airways Flight Attendant contract into one of the premier agreements for our profession. We walked picket lines together, we weathered strikes together and we mobilized in more than one CHAOS™ campaign in support of our negotiating team. Time after time the US Airways Flight Attendants achieved important “firsts” at the bargaining table, helping to move our entire profession forward.
We are all stronger and our careers are better because of the contributions of US Airways AFA members. We stand by you throughout this bargaining process and your equal partnership in shaping your careers at the New American. You are ambassadors of unity and I know we will be together again.
Thank you for all you do every day for each other.
Fly safe and stronger together.
Sara Nelson, International President
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO