APFA Negotiating Team isn't Unified; One Member Criticizes Laura Glading's 6% Extension Offer
This leaked email from a member of the APFA Negotiating Team (Diana Dunn or Ray Baylis) suggests that Laura Glading is grasping at straws in an effort to move the flight attendants toward another contract. Apparently the recent "6% Solution" offer made by Laura Glading was done without the involvement of the Elected Negotiating Team. This is an exact repeat of 2003: First we saw Laura Glading’s letter outlining the company’s dismal financial outlook, and now we’re seeing a Side Letter offer to extend the 2003 Restructuring Agreement, offered up without the involvement of those we elected to negotiate for us.
Understanding that American and APFA can now use side letters in place of a contract, this means that the voice of the membership has been virtually eliminated from the process and replaced with the voice of the leadership. APFA is quickly becoming an autocracy; and as we know, this type system is ripe for corruption.
My only question here is why the outrage over the side letter system now? Where was the outrage when our contract was gutted by a side letter of agreement, or for that matter all of the side letters that have been implemented since — Recall Extensions, Mandarin Speakers, Forfeiture of Manning Positions, Attendance — all of these side letters have made significant changes to our 1998 Agreement. The only explanation is that both Ms. Dunn and Mr, Baylis supported John Ward’s reelection, which means that this is letter could have some political motivations even though I absolutely agree with the problems outlined.
To: APFA Officers, Chairs, Vice Chairs, Ad Hocs, Negotiators
From: XXXXXXXXXXX, Negotiator
Our interests and values have been truly tested by President Laura Glading and her administration; she has time and time again gone against APFA Policy and Constitution.
I respectfully ask to be placed on the agenda for the next EC / Board of Directors meeting to address the topic of negotiations, and to seek an immediate internal remedy. I respectfully request that that meeting be scheduled for this week. It is in the best interests of APFA if that we meet as expeditiously as possible.
This is but a thumbnail sketch of a few of the events that cause me grave concern: Most concerning, is a series of events beginning Tuesday, 5 April 2011, when the "6% solution" was turned down and "true" negotiations began. It culminated with the narrow escape of a concessionary contract on Friday, 8 April 2011.
These events include, but are not limited to: an "almost TA" that did not contained any sort of retro pay, raised the schedule max, and provided a whole host of concessions that gave the company everything that they failed to take during restructuring in 2003.
This "offered TA", if accepted by the company, was done in the worst haste, with no cost outs numbers to show the millions of dollars of concessionary givebacks.
When this so called, "Mediator's Proposal," was forced upon the entire team by Laura, the lack of adequate details was appalling.
I would also like to address the "6% solution", its origin and the skullduggery surrounding it. The "6% solution" and its events will pale in comparison to the events of this past week, when the facts become known.
Truth is a perilous commodity, but so is ignorance. Ms. Glading would like all of us to remain in ignorance. President Glading's leadership has now almost resulted in disaster, twice, in a month. Most of us are completely unaware because of the selective way in which the APFA Board is informed of these events.
Ms. Glading fails to inform, she never attempts consensus, and she uses a "Strategic Committee" outside of policy and the APFA Constitution, to dictate her wishes and attempt to make them law.
If we are true to the membership, who elected us, then we must all ask questions and understand the events of the past weeks and months then, together, find a collective solution that we can work with in unity.
Barack O' Bama recently said, "... leadership is not simply a matter of going it alone ... Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners ... "
In closing, let me reiterate, it is my sincere hope and desire to find an internal remedy to the problems created by President Glading's leadership and her policy of ignoring and disenfranchising negotiating team members. I fear that President Glading will continue to imperil these negotiations with her fears and her policies of withholding information from both her negotiating team and the APFA Board, while she seeks her own concessionary ends.