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APA Information Hotline

This is APA Communications Director Gregg Overman with the APA Information Hotline for Thursday, Nov. 1.

APA BOARD OF DIRECTORS FALL MEETING: The APA Board of Directors reconvened at 9 a.m. Central at union headquarters for its regularly scheduled fall meeting.

International Alliance Committee Chairman FO Rob Baker updated the board on his committee’s global outreach efforts, including ongoing union organizing support for the 4,300 pilots of Ryanair. He emphasized that it’s in the best interests of the profession — in particular, younger pilots — to help ensure that all Ryanair pilots achieve their goal of union representation. As Europe’s largest carrier, Ryanair wields considerable influence, and its past ability to exert downward pressure on wages and benefits has been a detriment to pilots worldwide. FO Baker also discussed other outreach efforts by his committee, including hosting the Oneworld Cockpit Crew Coalition (OCCC) last month at union headquarters. The OCCC is comprised of all of the unions representing pilots who fly for oneworld Alliance carriers. In addition, he addressed the threat posed by the atypical employment schemes in place at Norwegian Air International and other ultra-low-cost carriers. In FO Baker’s words, “The dark side of cheap tickets is the forced loss of employment rights. One in six EU pilots is not an airline employee, but a contract worker … similar to Uber drivers, asked to pretend to be independent, entrepreneurial, and happy without employment rights and benefits such as a pension, sick, maternity, and job security.”

Safety Committee Chairman CA Mike Michaelis began his briefing by assuring the board that APA Safety “is making an impact on all fronts, including American Airlines, the FAA, and Capitol Hill,” noting that the union “has led the industry on smoke and fumes.” Highlights from his report:

  • He characterized the ASAP Program as “extremely vital” and said “if you’re asking me whether it needs to be an ASAP, it needs to be an ASAP.”
  • “I’m a Captain for American Airlines. I don’t need anybody’s permission to put an entry into the maintenance log. Write it up, and maintenance will determine whether the aircraft is airworthy.” He emphasized the need to do all you can to ensure that our passengers get the safe and reliable travel experience that they rightly expect on our airline.

Following his briefing, CA Michaelis presented the 2018 APA Safety Award for Excellence to CA Anthony P. Kochenash and FO David Ditzel for their actions on Oct. 28, 2016, aboard American Airlines Flight 383. Their Boeing 767-323 suffered an uncontained failure in the right engine during the takeoff roll at ORD, which resulted in a wing fire. The pilots responded by initiating a rejected takeoff at around 100 knots. Of the two pilots, seven flight attendants, and 161 passengers on board, only one passenger received a serious injury, while one flight attendant and 19 passengers received minor injuries during the evacuation. You may read more details of the event here.

Membership Committee Chairman FO Clint Early reported that American Airlines is planning for a total of 25 new-hire classes this year, with an overall goal of 950 new pilots. He noted that the company would likely be hard-pressed to achieve that total, given training capacity constraints. Also, his committee has confirmed the feasibility of electronic voting during Telephone Town Hall Meetings to augment new-member votes during regular domicile meetings and facilitate the flow of APA membership applications. FO Early indicated he would provide a resolution to authorize that approach for the board’s consideration.

During his briefing, Hotel Committee Chairman FO Andrew Zahn reiterated the need for proper hotel contract language in our next contract. He expressed his appreciation to the APA IT Department and participating pilots for the 25,000 “30-Second Surveys” that APA is now receiving, on average, each month. Since that program’s inception, the union has received a total of 250,000 surveys, providing APA with important data to support our efforts to improve layover hotels.

Also today, Check Airman Committee Chairman CA Mark Miller and Deputy Chairman CA John Darrah made brief remarks in open session, then delivered the bulk of their report in closed session.

While in open session today, the board conducted the following business:

  • Approved a motion to waive policy and re-elect CA Kevin Ford as Strike Preparedness Committee Chairman.
  • Approved a motion to wave policy and re-elect FO Doug Hancock as Family Awareness Committee Chairman.
  • Approved a motion to waive policy and re-elect CA William (Billyray) Read to the PAC Steering Committee.
  • Approved a motion waiving policy to elect FO Calvin Dilks to the APA Safety Award for Excellence Committee.
  • Conducted the second round of Negotiating Committee nominations.
  • Approved a motion to waive policy and allow the final election of the Negotiating Committee to be two days after the preliminary nomination round.

The board also voted to approve the following resolutions:

  • R2018-35 Rev 2, “Executive Member Status.” This resolution would amend the APA Constitution and Bylaws and will therefore subject to the 100-day abeyance period.
  • R2018-59 Rev 3, “NextGen Scheduling Concepts Subcommittee.”

The board recessed shortly at 4:45 p.m. and will reconvene at 9 a.m. tomorrow. This week’s meeting is scheduled to continue through Friday. You will find the meeting agenda here.

In accordance with R2016-11, this hotline message includes a synopsis of today’s session reflecting all main motions and resolutions that the board addressed. In accordance with R2017-37 Rev 1, videos of the open portions of today’s session will soon be posted to AlliedPilots.org/BODMeetingRecordings.

That’s it for now. Thank you for checking this hotline.

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