See US Together – Hear US Together
You will notice a new slogan with todays e-line. See US Together – Hear US Together is not just a slogan but the way that we will accomplish our goal of a single contract which all of us can support. We will stand together with a unified voice and show Doug Parker, US Airways Management and the NMB that we will not be divided.
As part of our on-going efforts to communicate the facts regarding our upcoming Strike Vote, AFA leadership and the Joint Negotiating Committee will participate in a live Webcast on October 29th at 1pm EST/10am PHX. We will review the options available to us under the Railway Labor Act, including the possible actions of the National Mediation Board, and the reasons that led us to call for a Strike Vote. We will also be answering your questions. You may submit questions in advance and throughout the webcast via the Q&A section of ourafa.org.
The webcast can be viewed live on ourafa.org and will be available afterwards for viewing.
Show of Solidarity – November 14!:
We are planning to hold our first Solidarity event, a System-wide Strike Vote Picket, which will be held in each base on November 14th at 2pm EST/ 12 noon PHX time. Picket signs and supplies will be provided. Wear your uniform as a reminder that we are proud First Responders who are standing together for a single contract that reflects our professional work at US Airways. A large turnout for this event will provide an opportunity for Management and its shareholders to See US Together and Hear US Together.
Questions and Answers
1) Why are we taking a strike vote?
The reason is simple. To go back to the bargaining table and credibly demand an improved offer, we need to demonstrate the support of the entire membership. An affirmative strike vote authorizes a legal strike once the Railway Labor Act Section Six negotiations process has been exhausted. But even before that point in negotiations a strike vote is a powerful tool for a union to demonstrate the full support of the membership for an improved contract.
2) Can we strike right away if members vote for it?
Taking a strike vote does not mean that we are able to strike right away. Under the Railway Labor Act, which governs negotiations in the airline industry, Flight Attendants are not free to strike until released by the National Mediation Board. We have not been released nor have we yet requested a release to strike.
3) Will the NMB release us to a 30-day-cooling off period and give us the right to strike if management fails to reach an agreement with us?
As we have indicated, getting a release from the National Mediation Board to strike will not be easy. It will require going in with a focused set of bargaining demands. It will also require us to mobilize and speak with one voice. We can’t control what the NMB will allow us to do, but we can control the message we send in what we are willing to do.
4) Do we have the right to strike in single contract negotiations?
Yes. When single contract negotiations began the status of each contract was different: the West contract was in Section Six negotiations and the East contract was closed. Single contract negotiations were not conducted under Section Six because only one contract was amendable, and US Airways Flight Attendants did not have the right to strike at that time in those negotiations. That changed when the East contract became eligible for negotiations with our contractual one year early opener on December 31, 2010. AFA filed for mediation right away and the contract became amendable the following year on December 31, 2011. The NMB combined the East and West negotiations cases and took control of the single contract negotiations under Section Six.
5) Assuming we vote for a strike, what would have to happen before we could strike?
6) What about the potential merger?
We cannot predict what will happen in the coming months. US Airways is actively involved in merger discussions and the situation may change. Our professionals are monitoring the situation closely and we will report the latest news to you. One thing is clear. US Airways Flight Attendants must join together to change our current experience and to ensure our voices are heard no matter what the future holds for our airline.
7) What was the framework that the NMB required for TA2 negotiations?
In order to produce that agreement that could be voted on, we had to get the National Mediation Board to schedule mediation sessions. We were able to do that within this framework:
• Negotiate based on the parameters of first Tentative Agreement – which included over $40 million annual increases.
• Identify the top priorities for Flight Attendants and narrow the negotiations to those issues.
• Agree to discuss specific issues associated with a future merger through subsequent negotiations – which also preserved the industry-leading Labor Protective Provisions within the Tentative Agreement.
In order to provide you with industry-leading job protections that extended to every US Airways Flight Attendant and with the option for top of scale wage increases at 13% on the East and nearly 26% on the West, we worked diligently through every angle to achieve an agreement for your consideration. We did not leave anything on the table.
It was not enough – we have to change the dynamics at the bargaining table.
8) Does the National Mediation Board retain jurisdiction over our negotiations?
Yes. We are in mediation under Section Six of the Railway Labor Act. Once the US Airways East contract became amendable and AFA petitioned for mediation in that case, the NMB combined the US Airways West mediation case with the US Airways East case. The NMB retains oversight of our Section Six negotiations process. The process only concludes with an agreement or self help (the union’s right to strike, the company’s right to lock out the workers).
9) Does taking a strike vote mean that we want to strike?
No. Taking a strike vote only authorizes a strike should it become necessary to reach an agreement that we can ratify. Even before we reach the point where we could legally strike, it sends a strong message of unity and support for addressing our issues at the bargaining table. A strong strike vote can be a game changer in negotiations.
Houston – Oct. 24, Noon – 4pm
Houston, Texas 77032
Parking is covered by AFA
Newark – Oct. 25, Noon – 4pm
570 Broad St., Suite 540
Newark, NJ 07102
Philadelphia – Oct. 26, Noon-4pm
76 Industrial Highway
Essington, PA 19029
Parking is covered by AFA
Phoenix – Nov 15, Noon-4pm
4450 East Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Free Shuttle from airport/Near Light Rail
Washington DC- Dec. 6, Noon-4pm
Washington National Airport
Terminal A, outside security
Second Floor Room # 264