Afa-cwa Merge Or Go It Along

Another opinion of the merger (from an AFA rep). Read these folks, you are setting yourself up for something you'll have trouble dumping later. Curious, do you suppose if ALL the UAL flight attendants decide to become "NON AFA" members (and pay our pittance dues...$7.00??) that AFA will fold? That would be nice. hmmmmmmmmmm. I suppose it doesn't really matter because AFA is going to say we voted "YES" regardless of what we ACTUALLY vote anyway (they ALWAYS do) Electronic Vote! Sure, that's secure.........NOT


Ladies and Gentleman of Hong Kong.
After returning from the BOD meeting in Boston an old
Chinese proverb keeps playing in my head.

Serving the powerful is like sleeping with a tiger.

Let me give you a little background....
I don't need to expound on the virtues of the proposed
merger with CWA, the International Office has done a
very good job with the special edition of Flightline,
articles and other mailings which I am sure by now you
have all received. I want to tell you the other side.
What happened at the BOD is the other side of the
story. It needs to be told. You will need all the
information available to make an educated and
responsible choice.

You know the main agenda of the BOD this year was to
decide if AFA will remain autonomous, an independent,
single craft union organized by flight attendants, for
flight attendants..Or is it in our best interest to
join forces with the CWA, Communication Workers of
America, with a membership 700,000. This is the
position endorsed by the International Office of AFA.
Feelings and opinions ran deep on both sides.

In an interesting turn of events, prior to the
meeting, International Secretary-Treasurer Paul
MacKinnon came forward to the UAL MEC before the BOD
began and revealed that the union is not in the
financial crisis it feared. This was news to all of
us. Paul told us AFA currently expects to break even
at the end of this year. All the monies loaned to us
by CWA have been returned. He feels that by
reallocating our funds we are in a position to remain
independent... By cutting costs across the board and
tightening our belts, he believes this is our best
course of action. He also stated that he supports a
$6.00 dues increase. We have not had a dues increase
in 10 years.

So after much debate the BOD votes were counted. Each
president voting on behalf of the members in their
The final vote: 22710 Votes to endorse a "merger"
10323 Votes to defeat a "merger"
This agenda needed a 2/3s vote to pass, as it changes
our constitution and bylaws. It was very close. If 689
MEMBER votes had been cast not to support this merger
it would have failed .We would not be voting on the
proposed merger.
Hong Kong cast their 384 votes AGAINST this proposal.

The next agenda item was to pass a balanced budget for
2004. The financial committee did an excellent job of
preparing a number of diverse budgets and worked long
into the night to give the BOD a number of options...
After much debate and a proposal that started at a
$10.00 increase (this was withdrawn),a $6.00 dues
increase was voted in by the same BOD members who
voted to endorse the CWA merger.
So the choice going out to the membership is: Vote
FOR CWA OR Vote for a $6.00 dues increase. This was
passed by the same folks that supported the merger.

Earlier in the discussion of a budget increase, before
it was decided that it had to be for/or a dues
increase.. Karen Maser ,President of EWR (Newark)
stated" for the price of a sandwich, you get to retain
control of your union, of the amount of dues you will
pay, and the priorities that AFA members demand."
Somehow in the for/or a dues increase this point in
this proposal was lost. Some members of the BOD
thought that if it was not written ON the ballot the
flight attendants would not know there would be a dues

It was the opinion of the officers of HKG 26 and all
the members present at our pre- BOD local meeting in
HKG that the proposed merger had many unanswered
questions and holes in its draft state. I went to the
BOD with this in mind, and, after listening to all of
the discussions at the BOD I voted not to support the
CWA merger as it is presently written.
Here is why...
When questioned repeatedly on the floor of the BOD
about the intention of the merger agenda item to
support the CWA merger, Pat Friend admitted that it
was her intention to PASS this agenda item at the BOD
and NOT send it to the membership for a vote ** see
Special edition Flightlog, page 5 >3.flight attendants
deciding our own destiny.I find this
I voted no..

I voted NO because I see too many items that are open
to interpretation, IE; unclear and vague pieces of the
proposal that could come back to haunt us in years to
come. For instance, the role of the governing bodies
and the structure of AFA will change if the proposed
draft merger agreement with CWA is approved. The CWA
agreement would allow control over our organization,
resources and future dues increases. Once the draft
merger is sent out to the membership for a vote it is
too late to change the terms and this draft becomes a
tentative agreement and cannot be changed.
The only information against this proposal prior to
the vote was Paul MacKinnon, Secretary Treasurer
coming forward at the MEC to say that AFA is NOT in a
grave financial state. I don't believe that this was
news to the International Office. This is the same
office that has suffered little with regard to wage
cuts,while the rest of AFA has taken big cuts. The
International Office's budget included a 5.12%
reduction in salary and benefits, no salary reduction
for staff and no reduction in the number of staff and
no change in the workload. The assistant to the
President had kindly given up her spousal benefits,
however she has no spouse.

In a democratic organization all sides get a voice,all
information is shared, all opinions are heard, with
no one voting out of fear. All questions are back to my reoccurring proverb...

Serving the powerful is like sleeping with a tiger.

It is the opinion of the officers of HKG 26 that the
merger is first and foremost in the best interest of
the IO. That the IO have presented the merger in such
a way to the BOD and membership that other options
,more research into the actual changes that might take
place are brushed aside,dismissed with a disapproving
look. That to disagree is to question the credibility
and leadership of the IO and could lead to a falling
out of favor, especially among the small carriers who
depend on the IO for almost everything.....WE do have
options here. Perhaps CWA is the best path for AFA,
but not without getting specific answers to all our
concerns. Lets not be backed into the corner to vote
for this merge NOW because the IO says so.What is the
hurry? CWA said in a speech to the BOD.We are here for
you now and we will be in the future. Please consider
all the information you have. Your vote will determine
the future of our union forever... It's the entire
membership who should decide, not just the powerful.

Please watch our yahoo groups for informational
meetings and any updates we receive. HKG 26 pledges to
give you the truth, the whole truth so that you can
make an educated decision. It's up to you. It's your
union. Please vote,information on how,when, and where
to vote is on the way to us now.We will keep you

In Solidarity,
Xxxxx Xxxxxxxx
Now look at this.....ahhhhhhhh! I would think that the reported wording of the Merger Ballot would be reason to stop this Vote if it was for a AFA Contract with UAL....

However, this is not a vote that would receive such protection...because it is considered an "In House" problem....

The vote should be stopped now for the wording alone ....

Phoning in votes? Here is what you are asked.....verbatim:

Press 1 to vote YES and assure no dues increase for four

Press 2 for NO and accept a 6 dollar dues increase.

You have got to be kidding me :shock:

With the Hardships of a Concessionary contract ....

The wording festers the financial concerns of AFA Flight
Attendant to vote under "Duress".....

At this point I would say that the line of decency has been crossed ...

And the legal definition of "Under Duress" has been met...

I believe this Ballot should be challenged by UA AFA....

And .......Stopped Now....

This is an outrage !!!

Just my opinion...

I am not "For Sale"

Pat Friend is trying to buy our vote.

The voting should be STOPPED TODAY!!!!!!

The verbage is incomplete. One sided. Tons of issues besides money.


If the LEC & MEC can hear me "HOW CAN YOU LET THIS HAPPEN?"

Be fair. Do not let Pat "Play The Money Card".
Fly said:
Curious, do you suppose if ALL the UAL flight attendants decide to become "NON AFA" members (and pay our pittance dues...$7.00??)...
Fly, is AFA dues only $7.00 at United?
I wish's $39. But if you "quit" they only charge you about $! So you pay for nothing...yipes
If the LEC & MEC can hear me "HOW CAN YOU LET THIS HAPPEN?"

Be fair. Do not let Pat "Play The Money Card"

I guess our LEC does not want to comment.

I hope everyone will start asking the same questions.

My vote is not for sale.



Back to the top............VOTE NO!!!!!!
I cannot believe how AFA is going about this. I have been paying dues for 12 years to them and I am floored as to how they are basically lying to achieve this merger. A friend of mine works for Northwest and she said that when their union was Teamsters, it was outright worthless because they represented so many different work groups. To get the best representation we need specifically a FLIGHT ATTENDANT union. If AFA is not able to do the job then we need to either get another flight attendant union or we need to oust the officers who cannot get the job done.
It's appears that Usair's union leaders are powerless at the AFA head office.

Pat Friend and UAL is running the show.

PitBull will not even comment on the wording used by Pat (again).

It is Wrong.

Pat Friend and UAL is running the show.

UAL?!? Are you serious? We are the group most likely to vote NO in unison. The UAL group wants to dump AFA completely OR keep it a Flight Attendant only union.
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I have taken a position already. You have not been reading. No I do not agree with the wording at all. However, there are two viable options to consider. Both keep the union going.
IMHO, one of the main driving forces for the AFA-CWA merger is Pat Friend's desire to organize Delta.

Without CWA resources, she will not have the funds to pursue Delta.

Get this back on top were it belongs.

Remeber to vote NO Remember: once they take this from us, we will NEVER get rid of them. We will lose the ability to vote people out of office. We will be at their mercy with no recourse.

Do Not Let This Happen. :angry:
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  • #59

What the heck are you talking about....who did you get out of office lately without any merger in the mix?

Get off it already. Merger or no merger the constitution is intact. Nothing changes. You can pull anyone out of office you desire. All you need is the ability to organize your group or peers to do so. Good luck with that.

PS: Are you happy? I brought it back up to the top. :D
PITbull Posted on Nov 19 2003, 12:32 AM
PS: Are you happy? I brought it back up to the top.
Yep! :up:

now check this out. Nothing like bribing people for a vote. AFA stoops to even lower levels.


Get Out the Vote Campaign…from the Officers of Council 9

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Over the weekend, we received an email that contained the following announcement posted on the Alaska Airlines AFA MEC website:


Your Voice - Your Vote - Your Future
On-line and Telephone Voting: 11/06-12/01

We need your HELP assisting your fellow crew-members in the process of our current AFA/CWA union merge election. Did you even know that we're in the middle of a ground breaking, history making--UNIONIZING?
Check out:, read all about it; then vote--DO IT NOW!

In the meantime, we are in need of your assistance in getting everyone's vote counted for the possible merge of the Communication Workers of America and your Association of Flight Attendants.

Have no time? Can't get your trip traded?

We can help with scheduling changes and trip drops in exchange for your volunteer commitment.

Don't let this rare opportunity pass you by--our future depends on our action!

Direct your telephone calls and e-mails to our SEA Get Out The Vote chair.


We found this message troubling as it appears incentives are now in place for anyone voting in favor of CWA. We question how this would impact not only the integrity of the vote, but the integrity of our organization.

This morning, we inquired about the funding incentives to the AFA International Secretary-Treasurer Paul MacKinnon. Mr. MacKinnon explains that AFA is conducting a "Get Out the Vote" Campaign for this AFA-CWA merger ballot, and CWA intends reimburse all flight-pay-loss and expenses for AFA members' efforts supporting a vote “FOR†throughout this campaign.

None of the Council Presidents who support an AGAINST vote were informed of this AFA campaign, and the AFA BOD has not been apprised if CWA will reimburse AFA for this financial liability should the vote fail.

Below is Mr. MacKinnon's response to our initial inquiry about the information posted on the Alaska MEC website…


Dear President Meehleis:

Thank you for your inquiry regarding the FPL expenses being paid for the conduct of the AFA-CWA GOTV. While I was not familiar with this specific solicitation on the ALA MEC website, I am aware that volunteers are being utilized at many locations. The cost of all expenses, including FPL associated with the GOTV are being paid by CWA. Initially, the bills are paid by AFA and then invoiced to CWA for reimbursement.

Certainly, if Council 9 were willing to provide volunteers to conduct phone banking/ GOTV in DEN in support of the AFA-CWA merger, application for expense reimbursement could be made through the Office of the International President.

By action of the 2003 Board of Directors, a recommendation to merge with the CWA was approved. Therefore, Union funds may be appropriately used in support of such a campaign.

I shall verify this information and specifically the ALA MEC solicitation upon my return the office on Monday. If any of the facts are different from what I have responded here, then I will so inform you.

Should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to call me.

In solidarity,

Paul G. MacKinnon
International Secretary Treasurer


While it certainly is appropriate that expenses incurred during a “GOTV†campaign are submitted for reimbursement, in this case, CWA is only providing funds that enable those volunteers in support of the merger to have trip drops in exchange for their assistance.

We must take our Union back the way that it was founded, with the conviction and passion of volunteers who believe our representation should mirror the strength of the people within our profession; through a strong Union that is of, by and for Flight Attendants.

In the mean time, it is imperative that the AFA Membership mobilize to ensure that this vote is representative of YOUR wishes. As the International Office says in all of its communications, "do not let someone else make this decision for you!"

Here in Denver we have tried very hard to give you information from both sides of the merger question before casting your ballot, therefore, you must be the conduit to the Membership for an opposing view. It’s up to all of us to help preserve our democratic process and ensure that all AFA Members are aware that our autonomy as a Flight Attendant Union is in jeopardy.

Call your friends at:

America West,
Air Tran,
Air Wisconsin,
American Eagle,
Miami Air,
Pan Am,
US Airways, and

to make sure that they have the same information you have.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the deadline for voting on the current AFA merger ballot is December 1 and Council 9 need your help to “Get Out The Vote!†Volunteers are needed to help with a telephone tree & leafleting, however, we will not be able to provide the same scheduling benefits as those afforded to other AFA councils.

Please contact us immediately to volunteer for the “Get Out the Vote Campaignâ€, as we are sure you are committed that Denver has a 100% voter turn-out.

Call the Council Office at 303-342-9005 or the “Get Out The Vote†campaign manager, Ken Kyle at 303-894-9044 for more information.

In Solidarity,

Sheri, Raul, and Gina
The Officers of Council 9