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qqflyboy
Topic Author
Posts: 1635
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AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:55 am

Flight attendants union sues over work conditions
By Cary O'Reilly
Bloomberg News

A union for flight attendants sued the Federal Aviation Administration and
Labor Secretary Elaine Chao on Monday, claiming they failed to ensure the
health and safety of workers in the airline industry.

The suit, filed by the Association of Flight Attendants in federal court in
Washington, says that airline crews are subject to hazards such as
turbulence, sudden changes in cabin air pressure, unwieldy service carts,
exposure to toxic chemicals, unruly and sick passengers and terrorism
threats.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the secretary of labor
is empowered to ensure "safe and healthful working conditions," unless
another federal agency exercises authority. In 1975, the FAA asserted
control over the health and safety of crew members on civil aircraft.

"For 30 years, we've been trying to get the FAA to take responsibility,"
said Patricia Friend, president of the AFA, in a statement. "The FAA has
failed to recognize the aircraft cabin as a workplace."

FAA spokesman Greg Martin couldn't be reached to comment immediately. Labor Department spokeswoman Pamela Groover also couldn't be reached to comment.

The AFA said it filed a petition in 1990 asking the agency to adopt selected
OSHA safety rules. Seven years later, the FAA denied the petition because of
"budgetary constraints" and said the issue was not an immediate safety
concern, the AFA said.

The AFA asked the court to issue an order declaring that the FAA failed to
establish occupational health and safety standards for flight attendants and
crew members, and that the secretary of labor failed to fulfill her
statutory duty under OSHA to ensure healthful working conditions.

http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/business/12693079.htm
The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
 
Danny
Posts: 3753
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2002 3:44 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 2:59 am

So now the Labor Secretary should enforce that there is no turbulence??? Sorry but if you don't like it get another job.
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:36 am

Quoting Danny (Reply 1):
So now the Labor Secretary should enforce that there is no turbulence??? Sorry but if you don't like it get another job.

It has to do with applying OSHA (Occupational safety and ealh Adminisration) safety rules in the work place. FAA has refused to implement certain measures citing cost as one of the reasons. You in your shorthseightness just read "turbulence" and choose to make and idiotic comment such as the above quoted.

If it were not for Unions protectic Labor, the FA position would still be only available to single females under the age of 32. Unions made the position available to men, stop the airlines from firing a FA for being pregnant or getting married. We have made social advances with the times and improving the quality of our workplace is a priority. I am apalled at the kind of thinsg I have to read from uninformed people in this forums.
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 3:24 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:49 am

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 2):
It has to do with applying OSHA (Occupational safety and ealh Adminisration) safety rules in the work place. FAA has refused to implement certain measures citing cost as one of the reasons. You in your shorthseightness just read "turbulence" and choose to make and idiotic comment such as the above quoted.

I can understand the desire to have OSHA regulate unwieldy service carts and exposure to toxic chemicals. But just how is OSHA supposed to make your workplace safe from turbulence? From unruly and sick passengers? from sudden changes in cabin pressure? From terrorist threats?
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
FRA2DTW
Posts: 236
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:51 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:53 am

If pregnant flight attendants are working in these contraptions, it can't be all that dangerous?
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:01 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 3):
But just how is OSHA supposed to make your workplace safe from turbulence? From unruly and sick passengers? from sudden changes in cabin pressure? From terrorist threats?

We cannot, but change in language in the contract can be implemented to handle consequenses differrently. Do you realize that if we get hurt during turbulence and go on IOD (Injury on Duty) they deduct the time from our sick hour bank! We are not sick...we were injured as a result of hazards in the workplace!! Realize the difference. Often we are left with no sick time because of a work related incident and then when you are ill (which in cases can be for months due to illnesses like cancer) you DO NOT GET PAID a dime.

People outside the industry please start to understand how it works.... If its not in writing and with the right language in the Collective Bargain Agreement you get NO SUPPORT from Management.
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:04 am

Quoting FRA2DTW (Reply 4):
If pregnant flight attendants are working in these contraptions, it can't be all that dangerous?

They now get Maternity Leaves...30 years ago they got fired.
 
ha763
Posts: 3201
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 5:36 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 4:59 am

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 5):
Do you realize that if we get hurt during turbulence and go on IOD (Injury on Duty) they deduct the time from our sick hour bank!

Do you also realize that this is a common practice among companies? When an employee is injured and goes on worker's comp or needs to go on short-term disability for other reasons, they will wait until the sick leave is up before actually classifying them as worker's comp or short-term disability. Why? Because using sick leave will give a person 100% of their pay while worker's comp and short-term disability does not.

BTW, I learned this by interning in the benefits department of an airline and paying attention to the explanations given to employees about what will happen when they need to go out on worker's comp or short term disability.
 
Danny
Posts: 3753
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2002 3:44 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:38 am

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 2):
It has to do with applying OSHA (Occupational safety and ealh Adminisration) safety rules in the work place. FAA has refused to implement certain measures citing cost as one of the reasons. You in your shorthseightness just read "turbulence" and choose to make and idiotic comment such as the above quoted.

Idiotic are the unions asking now airlines for more money. Hopefully they'll end up likle AMFA at NW.
Again: no one is forced to be a flight attendant. Don't like it - don't do it.
 
gipper913
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:22 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:46 am

Quoting Ha763 (Reply 7):
Why? Because using sick leave will give a person 100% of their pay while worker's comp and short-term disability does not.

He has a point there, 777Purser.

Plus, while those of us not in the industry may not understand the issues as much as someone like you might, there is no need to classify us as shortsighted and idiotic. Any sane person reading that article would question whether OSHA should regulate for turbulence, air pressure changes, unruly pax, etc. Sounds a bit like a caddie arguing he works in an unsafe environment because of the threat of lightening or being struck by flying golf balls.

Your explanation has some merit, and we are enlightened by it, but there is no need for name calling.

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 2):
If it were not for Unions protectic Labor, the FA position would still be only available to single females under the age of 32. Unions made the position available to men, stop the airlines from firing a FA for being pregnant or getting married. We have made social advances with the times and improving the quality of our workplace is a priority. I am apalled at the kind of thinsg I have to read from uninformed people in this forums.



Quoting 777Purser (Reply 5):
If its not in writing and with the right language in the Collective Bargain Agreement you get NO SUPPORT from Management

Sorry, I am having trouble with your logic with these two quotes here because:

1.) You say the unions protect you yet you also say if it isn't in the CBA in writing, union members get screwed. Um, doesn't your union negotiate the CBA? If you want specific benefits for, say, getting injured in severe turbulence, isn't it the union's job to negotiate that into the CBA?

More fundamentally,

2.) It is the union movement that brought about CBAs. So, lauding that movement and then griping that one must abide by the letter of the CBA is a little tough to swallow, logically.

Again, I am an outsider - an attorney and a Freq Flier, not an FA. So, I may be off base and be missing a big piece of the puzzle here and I welcome your feedback - after all this is a discussion site. But I bear you no malice nor the FA unions, etc and certainly don't think I and my bretheren deserve being called idiotic. You don't have a law degree, but I would respect your layman's opinion, view and/or questions about various laws.

{edited for typos, what's with the spell checker not working?}

[Edited 2005-09-26 23:56:50]
The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern. --R. Reagan
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:49 am

Quoting Danny (Reply 8):
Idiotic are the unions asking now airlines for more money

Again, please get educated on facts before comming to this forums where some people do have information concerning aviation industry. Wannabes shoulld be more careful with their comments. No Union has asked any airline for MORE money. AMFA did not ask NWA for more money either. They do try to retain some of their wages, jobs and workrules though.

Again NO ONE has asked any airline for more money since 2001, with the excption of well deserved latest contract negotiated by Southwest Flight Attendants a couple years ago.
 
Danny
Posts: 3753
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2002 3:44 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:06 am

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 10):
Again, please get educated on facts before comming to this forums where some people do have information concerning aviation industry. Wannabes shoulld be more careful with their comments. No Union has asked any airline for MORE money.

What a laugh! What does implementing those "safety standards" invented in 70s means for an airline? It means millions of additional costs.

I suggest that you are more careful with your comments.
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:11 am

Quoting Gipper913 (Reply 9):
I and my bretheren deserve being called idiotic

The only comment (notice I say comment, not the person that writes the post) is:

Quote

"If you don't like it get another job"

That simple. Issues in discussion though are not as simple, and I truly aprecate your imput. Regarding your post:


Quoting Gipper913 (Reply 9):
1.) You say the unions protect you yet you also say if it isn't in the CBA in writing, union members get screwed. Um, doesn't your union negotiate the CBA? If you want specific benefits for, say, getting injured in severe turbulence, isn't it the union's job to negotiate that into the CBA?

Funny! The answer to this one is really simple: You can ask, but that does not mean you will get!!

On another point that I find interesting:

Quoting Ha763 (Reply 7):
using sick leave will give a person 100% of their pay while worker's comp and short-term disability does not.

True but Short Term Disability does not kick in until after three months out of work, which is equal to an average of 240 hours of sick time. The company credits you 34 hours of sick time for every year work. Do we see a problem here?

Additionaly, an injury suffered at the workplace should not be categorized as an illness nor count against your attendance record as it currently does. While I am not a lawyer, and I just hold a humble degree on Business from some foreign country...I'll tell you...some things are just not right!

Cheers!
777Purser
 
slider
Posts: 7715
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:42 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:33 am

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 2):
If it were not for Unions protectic Labor, the FA position would still be only available to single females under the age of 32.

Ah, how I long for the good old days.

Age and weight limits.

 Wink
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:34 am

Quoting Danny (Reply 11):
What does implementing those "safety standards" invented in 70s means for an airline? It means millions of additional costs.

Safety Standads are not invented, they are developed and implemented through the years. I believe it would be cheaper not to provide passsengers with seatbelts, lifevests, rafts, slides....maybe we can do away with the safety demo tape. While at it, lets just save TSA some money as well and quit screening passengers or checking bags for explosives...

Hmmm...lets turn the brain on before putting the mouth on gear.
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:36 am

Quoting Slider (Reply 13):
Quoting 777Purser (Reply 2):
If it were not for Unions protectic Labor, the FA position would still be only available to single females under the age of 32.

Ah, how I long for the good old days.

Age and weight limits.


What, you mean you don't like the sweet granny looking FA working the Narita trips? LOL!
 
ChiGB1973
Posts: 1394
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 6:39 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:46 am

I do think a lot of the items discussed here are between the union and the companies. The being paid sick time and all that for being injured is part of the unions duty.

Maybe an FAA rule to help prevent getting sick (hepa filters required in the A/C or some kind of disinfecting process) would help, but I don't really see any validity in this one. You are trained in first aid (a requirement of the job). Compare it to other health care workers. It is absolutely not feasible to pay (nor to be able to prove) that you got, say the common cold off of a patient (passenger) rather than your own kids, in the grocery store or anywhere else. A needle stick is something different and is OSHA regulated. When I was working for TZ, protective masks and gloves were available. Let me ask you, everytime you have someone vomit on the plane, do you wear your mask or just take them a vomit bag and some damp towels. As a purser, do you require or at least request in your pre-flight briefing with the crew that they do remember where their protective gear is and to use it with every sick person, remind your crew that if it starts to get bumpy to immediately secure the cabin and fasten their seat belts. Is there supposed to be some type of restraint system, that you wear constantly, that locks you to the floor if the aircraft hits a certain "G" force? That would be neat, except when you are trying to get out of the way of the cart flying down the aisle. Again, with the workman's comp issue and sick time, this has more to do with your contract. Really, AFA doesn't have much leverage these days. NW and UA have just proved that with their unions. Of course, if AFA had some balls to begin with, you might already have some of these things you want. Remember, you and/or your crewmembers voted in "your" contract.

Though I side with FAs and I would like to make this a perfect world and all that good stuff, but it just isn't feasible for a lot of these things to occur.

I also hate the statement that "if you don't like it, find another job," but if you did that, there are just as many faults in that job. So, you might as well stick it out and hope for some positive changes, write your congressperson (have you done that?) and hope that AFA will actually do something/anything.

M

P.S. I was going to comment on some of the spelling, but I see that the spell check is out of commission for some reason and I may have misspelled a few things.
 
JAXFLL
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:20 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:00 am

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 5):
We cannot, but change in language in the contract can be implemented to handle consequenses differrently. Do you realize that if we get hurt during turbulence and go on IOD (Injury on Duty) they deduct the time from our sick hour bank! We are not sick...we were injured as a result of hazards in the workplace!! Realize the difference. Often we are left with no sick time because of a work related incident and then when you are ill (which in cases can be for months due to illnesses like cancer) you DO NOT GET PAID a dime.

I'm not in "the industry" or a part of unionized labor, but amazingly, my job gives me the same benefit. This is a common practice in all business, not just for FAs.
 
HALFA
Posts: 1070
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2004 8:24 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:19 am

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 12):
The company credits you 34 hours of sick time for every year work. Do we see a problem here?

If that is all the sick time you accrue in a years time, you need new contract negotiators! Just noticed your profile and I assume you are with AA? Was the 34 hour accruel a giveback?
Here at HA, we get 84 hours per year.

HALFA
Hawaiian Airlines Since 1929...........
 
gipper913
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:22 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:24 am

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 12):
You can ask, but that does not mean you will get!!

True enough. But, if the union wasn't successful in negotiating what is important to its members into the contract, can't the union members vote down the contract? Furthermore, once agreed to and ratified by membership, any CBA is a freely bargained (well, actually, I might quibble with how freely bargained CBAs are as it is merely a two party process - not one open to the market, but let's put that aside for the moment) agreement and each side is held to the letter of the contract. Pray tell, what is wrong with that and isn’t that what the whole union movement wanted in the first place?

If the union can't effectively negotiate things that are important to its membership, then change your union leadership and/or negotiating committees. If the unions still cannot get what you want due to changes in the industry, competitive pressures, etc....well, why isn't that just a case of that's the way the cookie crumbles? The government cannot "protect" anyone from the facts of life, nor from a changing industry, nor from risks inherent in one's job. Indeed, would we want a government THAT omnipresent and omnipotent?

Take this from an outsider’s perspective: Working at a law firm involves insane hours and high stress, so for that reason I decided to work in a corporate counsel's office - doing both legal and business-related work at hours more akin to a business exec than to an attorney. Now, the better conditions here may change and if so, I can negotiate with my employer or decide to do something else, or I will decide the benefits outweigh the cons. What I won't do is ask the government to "protect me".

But, again, my employer/-ee relationship is based on a much looser 2 page contract, terminable at any time by either myself or my employer. This has pros and cons (frankly, I think more pros then cons) but what I still do not understand is how you can laud the union movement that brought about the letter-of-the-contract, highly litigious, highly confrontational CBA system and then turn around and complain when the very CBAs the unions pushed for (and negotiate the heck out of) do not give you the latitude nor the benefits you desire.

Just my 2 cents.

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 14):
Safety Standads are not invented, they are developed and implemented through the years. I believe it would be cheaper not to provide passsengers with seatbelts, lifevests, rafts, slides....maybe we can do away with the safety demo tape. While at it, lets just save TSA some money as well and quit screening passengers or checking bags for explosives...

I think the point is that ALL safety / health / HR regs, rules, procedures and habits in all areas of life are based on a cost-benefit analysis. One can easily take the opposite extreme positions in the same vein of your reductio ad absurdum argument to make the opposite point, such as: all pax planes shall henceforth be equipped with 5 inches of padding throughout the cabins to cut down on severe turbulence injuries; all pax will have physicals at the boarding lounge to determine if they have a contagious cold, flu, or worse; that all autos should have governors installed in the engines to keep everyone going no faster than 30mph to cut down on fatal accidents; all workers who work in remotely dangerous environments should have their tasks done by robots which they will control from a safe distance, in a bunker, hermetically sealed off from pollutants, allergens, and, God forbid, customers.

All that said, can we at least do away with the "this is how a seat belt works" part of the safety briefing? I mean, c'mon! That may have been developed and implemented over the years ....but it sure is silly.  

{edited for typos - damn that malfunctioning spellchecker...and my reliance thereupon}

[Edited 2005-09-27 01:27:50]
The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern. --R. Reagan
 
ASFlyer
Posts: 1799
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:25 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 8:55 am

777Purser -

I'm surprised that you haven't figure out yet, most at this site believe that we, airline personnel, should just take what we get and be happy with it. They don't care if we have a safe workplace or work 20 hour days for minimum wage. They could care less so long as their airfares are cheap and there are more airlines in the skies for them to look at while they sit at the end of the runways taking their pictures. You're preaching to a group that could care less. Somehow every argument here comes down to organized labor. This is not an argument about unions, this is an argument about the conditions in our workplace.
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 9:47 am

Quoting HALFA (Reply 18):
If that is all the sick time you accrue in a years time, you need new contract negotiators! Just noticed your profile and I assume you are with AA? Was the 34 hour accruel a giveback?
Here at HA, we get 84 hours per year.

Yeah...went down from 60 hr a year....we do not need new negotiators...WE NEED A MIRACLE! HAHAHA!!
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:23 am

Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 20):
I'm surprised that you haven't figure out yet, most at this site believe that we, airline personnel, should just take what we get and be happy with it. They don't care if we have a safe workplace or work 20 hour days for minimum wage. They could care less so long as their airfares are cheap and there are more airlines in the skies for them to look at while they sit at the end of the runways taking their pictures. You're preaching to a group that could care less. Somehow every argument here comes down to organized labor. This is not an argument about unions, this is an argument about the conditions in our workplace.

Sad, but true.
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:55 am

Quoting Gipper913 (Reply 19):
True enough. But, if the union wasn't successful in negotiating what is important to its members into the contract, can't the union members vote down the contract

Absolutely. The concessions were actually voted NO: However, through a very suspicious process a re vote was implemented and the outcome was a surprising YES. Following that, upon the disclosure of millionaire "retention bonuses" the very following day, the CEO was ousted as the labor groups threatened with rejecting the concessions.

Quoting Gipper913 (Reply 19):
If the union can't effectively negotiate things that are important to its membership, then change your union leadership and/or negotiating committees.

Right Again. Your suggestion comes late as our Union leadership was voted out shortly after.

Quoting Gipper913 (Reply 19):
The government cannot "protect" anyone from the facts of life, nor from a changing industry, nor from risks inherent in one's job. Indeed, would we want a government THAT omnipresent and omnipotent?

Correct Again. We realize that the state of the Industry cannot currently support industry leading contracts we have enjoyed in the past. We hope for better times ahead of us, in the mean time we will continue to serve you as friendly, efficiently and safely as the market conditions permit.

Quoting Gipper913 (Reply 19):
What I won't do is ask the government to "protect me".

Sure, unless an unforseen life changing event forces you to file personal bankruptcy, apply for unemployement or collect food stamps.

Quoting Gipper913 (Reply 19):
This has pros and cons (frankly, I think more pros then cons) but what I still do not understand is how you can laud the union movement that brought about the letter-of-the-contract, highly litigious, highly confrontational CBA system and then turn around and complain when the very CBAs the unions pushed for (and negotiate the heck out of) do not give you the latitude nor the benefits you desire.

Again, we understand the need for concessions and hope we can negotiate better terms in the future and remain commited to serve you to the best of our ability with the tools we are given.

Quoting Gipper913 (Reply 19):
One can easily take the opposite extreme positions in the same vein of your reductio ad absurdum argument to make the opposite point,

While I was talking in a humrous tone, you would be surprised how my statement is not all that far fetched. For instance, by definition an international flight is considered so based on wether it flies over water or not. The airline can utlize then domestic aircraft (not equipped with lifevests or rafts) and domestic Flight Attendants making lower, domestic wages on fights to Canada and Mexico.

Quoting Gipper913 (Reply 19):
All that said, can we at least do away with the "this is how a seat belt works" part of the safety briefing? I mean, c'mon! That may have been developed and implemented over the years ....but it sure is silly

Agreed. That tape is indeed silly, as you are obviously a person familiar with the process of flying. Other people are not so. I can tell you an anecdote when I had to rescue a passenger with an infant who, arriving from a poor developing country, suffered an accident in the escalator of the terminal. She had never seen one before. Compassion and understanding of different cultures does not hurt.

Hope you overcome your obvious dislike for Organized Labor, which I regard as important for American Middle Class.

Regards
777 Purser
 
ASFlyer
Posts: 1799
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 1:25 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:21 pm

Quoting Gipper913 (Reply 19):
All that said, can we at least do away with the "this is how a seat belt works" part of the safety briefing? I mean, c'mon! That may have been developed and implemented over the years ....but it sure is silly.

It has been PROVEN through studies of survivable accidents that a reminder in how to release your seat belt will save lives. Studies of certain accidents where there were casualties indicated that people were stuck in their seat when others in the same area were able to get out. Indications point to these victims not being able to release their seat belts. It might seem elementary to most but I, also, have had people that didn't know how to fasten or release their seat belt.
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:29 pm

Quoting ChiGB1973 (Reply 16):
I also hate the statement that "if you don't like it, find another job," but if you did that, there are just as many faults in that job. So, you might as well stick it out and hope for some positive changes, write your congressperson (have you done that?) and hope that AFA will actually do something/anything

Hi M,
Thank you for your simpathy. I sould clarify we are not repreesented ny AFA. We remain positive and hopeful for future improvements on our working conditions and regularly write our Congress Representatives. One of the main issues we are addressing right now is Flight Attendant fatigue.

ps. Spell check still out of order  Smile
 
fxra
Posts: 600
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 1999 1:03 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Tue Sep 27, 2005 1:20 pm

You guys seem to have a lot of issues with your union, and while in principle its may seem like a good idea, the issues the AFA are fighting there are lost causes. There is no way short of medical screening prior to boarding (and even then it may not work) that you can be protected from all communicable illnesses. Turbulence is uncontrollable and often undetectable (though we're getting better at it). Unruly passengers, perhaps a psychological screening prior to boarding?? ANd terrorism... well... i think everyone is susceptable to that one, not just flight attendants. What toxic chemicals are you subjected to?

ANd well, while your employer may be screwing you over on work rules, your CBA agreed to it. I don't think thats somethign OSHA and the FAA should be in on unless you're violating FAR's... in which case a not so hefty fine and a smack on the wrist will be firmly administered.

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 23):
While I was talking in a humrous tone, you would be surprised how my statement is not all that far fetched. For instance, by definition an international flight is considered so based on wether it flies over water or not. The airline can utlize then domestic aircraft (not equipped with lifevests or rafts) and domestic Flight Attendants making lower, domestic wages on fights to Canada and Mexico.

NOw, how did u guys manage that?? That has to be a contractually accepted item. As far as the FAA is concerned, its a international flight if u land outside the contigious 48. There may be exceptions i don't use. Overwater equipment is only required for more than 50 miles away from shore. (cause u could swim that far after ditching).

Your workmans comp issue, well... thats a standard (so i thought) that all your sick time was burned then short term or workers comp kicks in. I could be wrong, never checked into it.

Good luck with the fight, but i think the AFA is wasting its members dues on a futile lawsuit.. and that money could probably be better spent in negotiators.

just my $.02
Visualize Whirled Peas
 
skytony
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:25 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:47 am

Our flight attendants are a reflection of the customers we serve!
Lower your expectations! You will always be pleasantly surprised!
 
skytony
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:25 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:24 am

I have been flying for 11 years mostly internationally. I think it would be great to have government support in recognizing aircraft cabins as a "work place."

I absolutely love my job. I came to this job knowing that I will not be able to afford a lavish new home or a Mercedes-Benz in the driveway. What is do appreciate what AFA has done where the government has failed to impliment quickly: Smoking ban on flights. Cabin defense training, Emergency equipment on flights (ie slides, evac alarm, AED).

It would be nice to work in a cabin where we can breathe air that has no exhaust from the APU or fumes from insecticide that we must spray in the cabin with passengers on board at some international stops.

Yes, If we didn't have unions at air carriers you would be flying airplanes that would be unsafe and workers that are not qualified to get you off a plane in ninety seconds. Business is no friend to the little people.

Sorry but not all flight attendants in the United States are old, bitchy, fat and lazy. You have many that are professional, intelligent, attractive and work hard. We just want our "work place" to be safe for everyone.

Kudos to AFA!
Lower your expectations! You will always be pleasantly surprised!
 
kanebear
Posts: 852
Joined: Tue May 28, 2002 12:06 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Wed Sep 28, 2005 4:28 am

Quoting Squid (Reply 27):
And this is how most flight attendants evolved into over paid, over weight, bitter, complaining, sky nazis who no longer believe the jobs main concern is service provider but instead "safety professional". What a joke this jobs has become. No wonder NWA wants to replace them with Asian national flight attendants on international flights.

I'd describe F/As many many ways. One term that would NEVER make it into the description is overpaid. They may be many things but overpaid ain't one of 'em. As for 'sky-nazi's'... I've only had two bad experiences with surly FAs on AA. Both were in int'l F class and the rest of the crew were superb. I've encountered MUCH worse on BA (Eurofleet AND long-haul, F and C), LH, OK, LY (although that's expected), CO, AF and AZ. CX and KE have been perfect but IMO that's a cultural difference at work.

I fail to understand why people expect and demand flight attendants to be vacuous, smiling automatons that will take any abuse and smile brightly. They're human, just as you are. They encounter tons of upset, disgruntled people every day who're mad at the world and at the travel experience in general. Those folks can't take it out on the TSA so who gets it? The gate agents and flight attendants.

Now there's no excuse for rudeness and surly behavior, but I'd hazard a guess that 9 times out of 10 when a person complains of poor service from an FA it's because they're treating that FA as a servant and/or maid. I've seen it time and time again in my travels. If you want good service, try treating the person taking care of you with dignity, like a human being.

[Edited 2005-09-27 21:29:53]

[Edited 2005-09-27 21:34:15]
 
JAXFLL
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:20 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:50 am

Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 20):
I'm surprised that you haven't figure out yet, most at this site believe that we, airline personnel, should just take what we get and be happy with it. They don't care if we have a safe workplace or work 20 hour days for minimum wage. They could care less so long as their airfares are cheap and there are more airlines in the skies for them to look at while they sit at the end of the runways taking their pictures. You're preaching to a group that could care less. Somehow every argument here comes down to organized labor. This is not an argument about unions, this is an argument about the conditions in our workplace.

This does not just apply to the airline industry. For most, it applies to any other job (not your own) that you pay for directly or indirectly. For airline tickets, everyone knows that the ticket price goes to pay for the aircraft, fuel, wages, benefits, etc. As a consumer, I want the most value in what I purchase. That means, I want the best service for the lowest price.

Just like when I drive by McDonald's and they are hiring people for $7.50/hour. I think we can all agree that a job at McDonald's isn't the most challenging job in the world, so how can it be that you have to pay somone $7.50/hour. If I go into McDonalds, I'm not expecting gourmet food, so I want cheap, fast food.

Just expect that people will gripe about things.
 
skytony
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:25 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:10 am

Have you tried IN and OUT Burgers? They pay their workers a great starting hourly wage and benefits. Consistently, you get super friendly service, quick service and inexpensive good food. Its a testament that if you treat and train your employees well they will treat the customer well.
Unfortuately, in the airline business what is consistent is inconsistency.
Is it not interesting when the price of fuel goes up we pay more when we pay at the pump but in the airline industry we lower fares and blame it on the workers? Remember contracts between worker and airline companies were agreed to by management.

Remember airlines or for transportation not a charity.

May I also add no matter how much you pay for your ticket you are entitled to be treated politely and professionally. (However it doesn't give you license to mistreat airline professionals. I'm talking in general)
Lower your expectations! You will always be pleasantly surprised!
 
highguy76
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2003 10:38 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:15 am

Quoting JAXFLL (Reply 31):
Just like when I drive by McDonald's and they are hiring people for $7.50/hour. I think we can all agree that a job at McDonald's isn't the most challenging job in the world, so how can it be that you have to pay somone $7.50/hour. If I go into McDonalds, I'm not expecting gourmet food, so I want cheap, fast food.

So, people who work at McDonald's should not make minimum wage, is this the point you're trying to make?
Oh, thats right, they don't have bills to pay or familys to feed. They must not be real people. They put them in a closet when their shift is over and let them out the next day to start work again.
The problem with your last statement is that most travellers are expecting a gourmet travel experience for a fast food price. A change in what the public expects from an airline might solve that problem.
Highguy76
 
LMP737
Posts: 6227
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:11 am

Quoting Squid (Reply 27):
And this is how most flight attendants evolved into over paid, over weight, bitter, complaining, sky nazis who no longer believe the jobs main concern is service provider but instead "safety professional". What a joke this jobs has become. No wonder NWA wants to replace them with Asian national flight attendants on international flights.

Is this comment based on actual experience with every airline out there? Or is it based on some sort of negative stereo type you have heard or read about? Given your profile I would say it's based on a sterotype. And calling a particular group "nazis" is just vile. Think before you type.

[Edited 2005-09-28 04:16:45]
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:44 pm

Can anyone help stop "Squid" from insulting airline workers in this forums. Please help ask for the deleton of his posts or even prevent him from posting anymore. Terms like "airline nazis" should gives us an idea of the kind of hatred this individual has for airline workers. Why is he even here. Please help.
 
Squid
Posts: 192
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2005 4:21 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:48 pm

What? I post here because I like aviation. I am sick of these airline people who are ruining great airlines.
 
CTHEWORLD
Posts: 463
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:27 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:53 pm

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 12):
True but Short Term Disability does not kick in until after three months out of work, which is equal to an average of 240 hours of sick time. The company credits you 34 hours of sick time for every year work. Do we see a problem here?

Non-F/As and non-flying employees are subject to this as well, that is why they offer us suplemental insurance. Sueing Sec. Chao and and the FAA is only going to waste union member dues...something AFA is becoming VERY proficient at...one of the few things they are.
 
skytony
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:25 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:17 pm

Bad management ruins great airlines..not the workers!
Lower your expectations! You will always be pleasantly surprised!
 
skytony
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:25 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:37 pm

Squid

I am a flight attendant that works for a major airline. I love my job! I love aviation as well. I am professional, courteous and friendly with my passengers. Eventhough I maybe on a trip with a very long duty period I always try to manage a smile when I work. I think its really unfortuate that the public thinks that we are not human and that we don't have feelings as well. People say wow what an easy job. Your just a waitress in the sky. However, people dont understand that we get paid by the hour once the airplane releases its breaks at the gate and ends when the breaks are set at our destination. When we have a delay and passengers are needing attention on the ground, the crew is doing this for free. Also, waitress staff don't have to stay away from their home and family for long periods of time. Our wages are negotiated to offset the time away and for the extra responsiblities involved in the flight attendant profession, its more than passing out peanuts with a smile!

Airline workers get upset when the company is doing so well and don't share in the benefits when the company is doing so well. When there is a downturn they immediately go to the workers, blame the employees, and take their wages that the company had agreed to pay them. Eventhough the company isn't doing so well and just cut wages the people at the top gives themselves bonuses. How would that make you feel?

Really, what you are saying is throw in the towel when it gets tough and quit? Just because my job has changed? I am offended by your comments Squid. And I don't appreciate your hate towards the people working hard to make the industry to get back on its feet again. (by the way, what is up with the spell check not working?)
Lower your expectations! You will always be pleasantly surprised!
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 4:47 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:25 pm

Quoting Skytony (Reply 37):
Bad management ruins great airlines..not the workers

AMEN
 
LMP737
Posts: 6227
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:04 am

Quoting Squid (Reply 35):
What? I post here because I like aviation. I am sick of these airline people who are ruining great airlines.

If you like aviation so much why didn’t you go the airdale route when you joined the Navy? Airline people "ruining" great airlines? Is based on actual experience in the industry or some sort of preconceived notion based on personal prejudice? News flash squid "airline people" do not make decisions on how much fuel to hedge, what routes to fly or what aircraft to buy. That's left up to the people in the ivory tower.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
JAXFLL
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:20 am

RE: AFA Sues FAA, Labor Secretary

Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:06 am

Sorry it has taken me a while to respond to the comments others have left, but here I go.....

Quoting Skytony (Reply 31):
Have you tried IN and OUT Burgers?

I live in JAX...never heard of it. If they pay their workers a higher wage and you get treated well, then that is a value that adds to the experience. I don't expect the person at a fast food restaurant to do much more than provide me with a burger and fries. Most places you have to fill your own drink these days.

Quoting Skytony (Reply 31):
Is it not interesting when the price of fuel goes up we pay more when we pay at the pump but in the airline industry we lower fares and blame it on the workers? Remember contracts between worker and airline companies were agreed to by management.

I have never blamed it on the worker. Everyone in this world thinks that they don't make enough for the job that they do.

I pay, as airlines do, what the market bares for fuel. I have to get to work, and based on my choice of location of where to live relative to where I work the only practical way to get there is by automobile. I could choose not to pay for fuel, but I'd probably lose my job then, and have a hard time paying the rest of my bills.

The airline could refuse to pay for fuel, but then the distributor would not provide it to them. Then the aircraft would not fly, and no one would get anywhere. It's a vicious circle. There are a few expenses to operate an aircraft that cannot be avoided. Included in those are the price (or lease) of an aircraft, fuel, maintenance, and wages. Most airlines have eliminated the extras for passengers (including blanket and pillows on some airlines). Out of the costs, one that the airlines have a chance to change is wages.

As with any job, the salary that one earns is what the market will bear. If there are more people that want to do your job than jobs that are available, the cost of labor is pressured to lower. Because of my skill set, I was able to nearly double my salary over the last year. Why? Because the company that I work for needed someone with my skill set, and there aren't that many people with that skill set.

I agree that a contract was agreed to by both parties and that the contract should be honored by both parties. Assuming that airlines did that, how many would last during a downturn in the demand for travel (post 9/11) or a time in which there is overcapacity (today)? Not many. Then all would be out of a job. As much as I don't want anyone to lose their job (I've been there too), sometimes part must be sacrificed for the rest to survive. Many people in the airline industry (I used to be in it) have been through multiple downturns and changes in carriers that they work for. Due to the volitility of the airline industry, I chose to leave the industry. Those that choose to stay have to accept that as a part of life.

Quoting Skytony (Reply 31):
Remember airlines or for transportation not a charity.

I agree. That's why I pay to get on an aircraft, not just show up and demand a ticket. But transportation is a commodity (just like oil) in the economic sense. Once an aircraft lifts off, the chance to make money has disappeared forever. When two people offer virtually the same product, the decision for most comes down to price. If I have two airlines that fly the exact same route with all other things being virtually equal, I (like most) will choose the cheapest price. When I need gasoline, and three gas stations are at a street corner, I will go to the one with the cheapest price. Why? Because the product I am receiving is virtually the same. For a domestic flight in the US, virtually all airlines are the same. Some things will allow one to have a slight premium over another, DirecTV for example, but not a premium of $100/flight for example.

Airlines could add on to the cost of a ticket every time their costs go up, but then less people would fly. If the fares increase enough, another carrier with lower costs will come in and undercut the price (example: The Southwest Effect). Now you have less customers coming to use your service, but you have aircraft that cost you money and employees that cost you money. So revenue is less than expenses. That is a failing business. That is what the airline industry is going through with many legacy carriers in bankruptcy. The options for companies that experience this are Chapter 7 or 11. Since creditors like GE would rather have an airline using their aircraft than trying to find a new customer (depreciating the pricing power for used aircraft), they support airlines by giving DIP financing. Have some airlines abused the bankruptcy court? An argument can be made that they have, but I will not digress into that. For an airline to survive, costs MUST be less than expenses. If not, eventually chapter 7 comes. This is not just an airline industry concept, it is a business concept.

One time in the 1980s I heard the CEO of GM (General Motors) say basically (I'm paraphrasing) that GM is not in the business of making automobiles, GM is in the business of making money. This is true for airlines as well. Airlines are not in the business to fly people around the world. Airlines are in the business to make money. If they are not in the business of making money, soon, there will be no business to make money with.

Quoting Highguy76 (Reply 32):
So, people who work at McDonald's should not make minimum wage, is this the point you're trying to make?

No, and if you can find that in my statements let me know, because I'm pretty sure I didn't type that. It's amazing what people try to see vs. what is actually written. Minimum wage is a federally (and in some places state and locally) mandated wage for all jobs. A job that requires greater skills generates a greater salary.

What I am saying, as you and everyone else knows, is that the skill set required to work at McDonald's does not compare in level to the skill set for many other jobs in life.

Lets use an aviation example since this is an aviation forum. I would venture to say that all would agree that to be a pilot it requires a greater skill set than working at McDonalds. There are very few people in the world that could not work at McDonalds, but there are few people that can be pilots due to investment and time, money, effort; and due to basic skills required. This is why a pilot can demand a high salary.


I apologize for the length of the post, but I feel as though it was important to respond to all the comments that were made about my previous comments.

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