Dear John Letters

TWAnr

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
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www.usaviation.com
April 17, 2003

Mr. John Ward, President
Association of Professional Flight Attendants
1004 Euless Blvd.
Euless, TX
Re: TA Ratification

Dear John:

It should become increasingly clear to those who supported the vote count extension that there is a ground swell movement beginning from the rank-and-file. Most of us were advised by our members of the senior management pension problem before the vote ended on April 16. Perhaps you were too busy campaigning for ratification that you failed to notice that extremely important development. Had Greg and I been allowed to participate in the telephone conference, we would have been more than happy to tell you.

It has now been reported that TWU is considering not signing off on the Agreement based on this information. I have yet to hear any official position from the leadership of this organization. The silence is deafening.

I know that you do not care to hear this but when I was part of negotiating team at TWA, we had copies of senior management pensions which we used to negotiate improvements to our own pension plans. This is not Monday morning quarterbacking. As you may recall, there was a resolution that was defeated which would have set up committees to review various items. I was asked by some of you (privately) if I would agree to participate in the pension and bankruptcy committees if they were established. I agreed to do so. This would have been an obvious item to ask for and review. You have made it extremely obvious that you did not care to listen to anything I might have to say or offer. If this weren’t so tragic for the membership, I would find it amusing. I can assure you that I do not find any humor in this situation.

I restate my opposition to the Board resolution of April 15, 2003. Thirteen of you elected to ignore a valid count and turned over the election process to American Airlines. Please let me know how you intend to explain to your membership why they should take pay cuts and continue with an underfunded plan while senior management uses that money to indirectly fund its own.

I am waiting.

Please accept this letter as a formal request to call an Emergency Board of Directors meeting.


Sherry Cooper – STL Base Chair



April 18, 2003

Mr. John Ward, President
Association of Professional Flight Attendants
1004 Euless Blvd.
Euless, TX

Re: Re-vote

Dear John:

I just received a telephone message that you now wanted feedback from the Board of Directors concerning a possible re-vote. Is this for real?

Let’s recap what has happened. On April 15, 2003, the voting period expired. The TA was turned down. Thirteen of the Directors voted to extend the voting. It was extended to April 16, 2003. To no one’s surprise, especially in light of what transpired when the Union turned over the voting process to American Airlines, the vote changed to a ratification of the TA.

A resolution was presented and subsequently withdrawn that would have reinstated the April 15, 2003 results. You announced the vote count to the world.

Last night, I sent a facsimile letter to you with a copy to the Board of Directors and Executive Committee requesting that an Emergency Board of Directors meeting be convened for the purpose of re-instating the April 15, 2003 results. I receive word from Linda Lanning that it was “too late†because you had already signed off on the TA.

As stated before, whether you will admit it publicly or not, you had knowledge of the pension issue before the final vote. It was posted on the Union bulletin by one of your members on April 15, 2003, prior to the resolution to extend the vote count.

Now, you are asking for a consensus from the Board as to whether or not its members want to call for a re-vote in its entirety?

Answer the following questions first:

(1) First of all, did you or did you not sign off on the TA?

(2) Secondly, if a re-vote is approved by the majority of the Board, will American Airlines accept the results of the re-vote if the vote is now NO?

(3) If not, what legal action would you take, if any, to force American Airlines to accept the re-vote? What action will you take when American Airlines begins implementation of the new Tentative Agreement?

(4) What procedures would you put in place for the re-vote? From what I have heard from Flight Attendants, AAA has conducted what can only be called questionable voting practices. (I am being kind here because I believe that there may be both civil and criminal violations).

(5) Has American Airlines indicated that it will file for bankruptcy if you announce a re-vote?

(6) If so, what legal procedures do you have in place for that scenario?

I don’t want a re-vote. What I want – and wanted – was a certification of the vote count that closed on April 15, 2003.

I would also like answers to the questions I raised in my letter to you. This is not a game. I will not engage in fruitless exercises. I will be very blunt here. I do not trust your motives. If you are looking to raise this issue – only to salvage your Presidency, I think you’re 3 days too late.

Sherry Cooper STL Base Chair

cc: APFA Board of Directors
APFA Executive Committee



April 19, 2003

Mr. John Ward, President
Association of Professional Flight Attendants
1004 Euless Blvd.
Euless, TX

Re: Your Hotline; Press Announcement

Dear John:

Did I miss a Board of Directors meeting? If so, when was it called? What type of notice was given? Did you fax it to me? Who attended?

I just received a Press Announcement so I do know that my fax machine is working. In that announcement, you stated that there would be a re-vote. Excuse me, but where is a copy of the Resolution that was passed by the Board of Directors? In your hotline, it is clear that you are laying blame on the Board of Directors for adopting a resolution approving the extension. At the same time, you are taking credit for the re-vote. What is going on here? Does the APFA have a Constitution or not? Regardless of how I may personally feel about what the majority of this Board did on April 15, 2003, there are still procedures that must be followed. This is more than just procedure. There are extremely serious legal consequences for this organization and its membership.

Let me restate my position so that there is no misunderstanding. My letters of April 17 and April 18 stand as my official position.

I sent a letter last night asking what I believe are valid questions. I have yet to receive a reply. American Airlines has stated that it doesn’t matter if there is a revote because they have a signed TA. What legal action do you intend to take? How do you intend to enforce a revote when you know that the new vote will be NO? What legal advice are you getting on this? Do you understand the legal ramifications of your premature announcement? Are you agreeing to indemnify the Board of Directors based on your unilateral action and announcement?

To the rest of you, you had better wake up. I am not in the habit of dispensing indiscriminate legal advice. I suggest you get your own counsel.

I am angry at the posturing and more disturbed by what you are doing to this membership. They now think that a revote will cure the problem. It will not. They don’t need this roller coaster ride you are taking them on. It is time to stop and take responsibility for the mess that has been created. Your press release and announcement only makes matters worse – not better.

If any of you care to respond, let me know.

Sherry Cooper STL Base Chair
 

L1011Ret

Veteran
Oct 31, 2002
1,326
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AA says they have a valid agreement. APFA is saying the process was flawed. Then there is the matter of the "secret" executive compensation. There are groups trying to recall Carty and Ward. And it seems like everybody is angry and disgusted about this mess. Is there an outcome in sight?
 

stlslim

Member
Aug 20, 2002
24
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It would seem that Mr. Ward has more on his plate to worry about than a few dollars in an AA pension plan.
 

L1011Ret

Veteran
Oct 31, 2002
1,326
0
Knowing a bit about discrimination and the law, any good consultant will tell you that if someone brings charges against you because of alleged or proven harm, it is best to behave in a manner that does not invite further charges that are likely to result in retaliation charges. Cases are often made on the retaliation charge when the original discrimination charge lacked sufficient support. It seems to an outside observer that APFA is setting itself up by retaliating and these letters will serve as long paper trail that will confirm Ms. Cooper''s original charge. APFA''s behavior appears as risky.
 
OP
TWAnr

TWAnr

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
1,003
0
www.usaviation.com
VIA FACSIMILE

May 2, 2003


Mr. John Ward, President
Association of Professional Flight Attendants
1004 W. Euless Blvd.
Euless, TX

Re: Your Letter of May 2, 2003

Dear John:

Several minutes ago, I received a letter from you in which you stated that you did not know whether or not American Airlines’ announced plan to transfer AA Flight Attendants constituted a breach of the Integration Agreement.

I am copying pertinent portions of the APFA hotline dated April 29, 2003 for your review since it would appear that you have been out of touch with what has been happening over the past several days. The hotline was prepared by Liz Geiss, DFW InfoRep Captain for APFA. In that hotline, she states:

â€Today the APFA was formally notified by American Airlines via the WARN letter that an overage of just under 5,000 Flight Attendants will exist, effective July 2003.

Because of the expected impact this overage will have at the STL base, the Company anticipates a need for approximately 1,000 Flight Attendants in STL, effective July 2003. American Airlines Flight Attendants may submit their transfer request for STL. Your request must be on file by Monday, May 12th, 2003 at 0800 CDT. Please refer to HIDIR for instructions on how to submit your request. If a shortage still exists in STL after transfers have been processed, assignments will be made in reverse seniority order from bases where an overage exists. For more information, please refer to Art. 16C, page 186 of the contract.â€

You may not know this due to your absence but APFA is instructing AA Flight Attendants how to submit transfer requests to the STL base. It would be fair to infer that if APFA believed that there was a violation of the Integration Agreement, it would not be helping Flight Attendants complete transfer requests. I know of no union that has ever volunteered to help the Company violate a Collective Bargaining Agreement before. Then again, I have never witnessed a Union deliberately violating its own Constitution before.

You complained that I had set an arbitrary deadline for your response. My imposed deadline to you was based, in part, to the Union’s directive to Flight Attendants to complete transfer requests to STL no later than May 12, 2003. The hotline further explains that there will be involuntary relocation of Flight Attendants if sufficient transfers are not submitted. If APFA believes that there is a violation of the Integration Agreement, you have an absolute obligation to instruct those same Flight Attendants that APFA disputes American Airlines interpretation of the Agreement and that you will do whatever is necessary to protect those Flight Attendants who are “forced†to transfer.

As I explained to you in my letter, I was advised by the Vice President of APFA that neither you nor he believed that there was a violation of the Integration Agreement. I know that he does not intend to file a Grievance. Under the APFA Constitution, he would be responsible for filing such a Grievance. You have not refuted that statement nor have you made any statement whatsoever to the Flight Attendants that this is, in fact, a violation. In speaking with American Airlines management, I have been advised that you did not object to American’s proposal to transfer AA Flight Attendants to STL. I was further advised that you participated in the conference call concerning the upcoming furlough and that you “signed on†to the timing of the transfer piece.

You indicated that you were not aware of any time frame for which to file a grievance. For your information, the Presidential Grievance information is contained on Page 268. Under the CBA, Presidential Grievances must be filed within 45 days following ascertainment of the Company’s violation. The question becomes whether or not you knew that AA was going to transfer AA Flight Attendants to STL during negotiations of the TA. It would be safe to assume that you did. Finally, under the Integration Agreement, disputes concerning the Integration Agreement are to be afforded expedited treatment.

You stated that you did not have time to read my letter to Jane Allen that you received on March 28, 2003 because you were too busy saving American Airlines from bankruptcy. You have not provided a satisfactory answer for why you have disregarded the letter for over a month since that time.

I will not discuss with you whether or not this is a minor dispute under the Railway Labor Act. What I am very aware of is that under a Duty of Fair Representation lawsuit, I am not required to exhaust internal Union remedies when it would be fruitless to do so.

The Integration Agreement is five (5) pages long. How much time do you think you will need to re-read that document? Assuming that you read one (1) page a day, that would give you five (5) more days to decide whether or not you believe there is a violation. I believe that is sufficient time for you to make a decision and override Liz Geiss. I am not going to engage in games with you. People’s lives and livelihoods are at stake. I have instructed my attorneys to add an additional DFR count over this issue if we do not hear from you by May 8, 2003.

KINDLY GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.

Sherry Cooper – APFA STL Base Chair
cc: Robert Lanza, Esq.
APFA Executive Committee
APFA Board of Directors