Monday, December 24, 2007
For Immediate Release December 21, 2007
McCaskill Brokers Deal to Save 1,200 Jobs at American Airlines
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S Senator Claire McCaskill today brought some holiday cheer to the families of over 1,200 laid-off flight attendants for American Airlines who were about to face expiration of their recall rights. In a press conference today, McCaskill announced that American Airlines and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) have successfully concluded a new labor agreement for these workers.
The agreement was reached after Senator McCaskill initiated a ten-month series of negotiations in her Senate office on behalf of the men and women facing expiration of their recall rights after years of quality service to the company. American Airlines will extend for two years the option of laid-off flight attendants to get their jobs back at American Airlines. The airline has made a series of substantial hires in recent months, and Senator McCaskill has been assured that these 1,200 laid-off employees will be given a chance to return to the skies.
“American Airlines should be commended for doing what’s right – and I have no doubt that these returning workers will bring an exemplary level of service in the skies over Missouri,” said Sen. McCaskill. “This was an issue of fundamental fairness, and I am simply delighted that we were able to reach a successful resolution in the holiday season.”
"Not only has Sen. McCaskill saved and preserved jobs in Missouri with her actions, but also all across the nation. This workforce looks forward to returning to our jobs with American Airlines and serving the traveling public,” said Roger Graham, a former flight attendant affected by this announcement.
These employees were furloughed following the 9/11 attacks that devastated the airline industry. They were guaranteed a five-year right to reclaim their jobs from American if new hires were made, but the growth in the airline sector was slow and many furloughed employees were facing expiration of their recall rights, and loss of benefits.
Statement from Roger Graham
Of all the promises made to the former TWA Flight Attendants, all were broken but one. That promise was made by Senator Claire McCaskill, who promised to assist this workgroup to return to their jobs after the devastating events of 9/11.
With Senator McCaskill’s relentless negotiations with the respective parties, many former TWA flight attendants now have the opportunity to return to their career, leaving behind the destructive path of a merger and the events of 9/11. Senator McCaskill has successfully taken on some very serious challenges as she fills Harry Truman's Senate shoes with honor and dignity.
In less than one year in office, Senator McCaskill saved countless jobs in Missouri and all across the nation. In addition, Senator McCaskill successfully sponsored legislation protecting hundreds of thousands of employees that may one day face a merger within the airline industry. The economy of Missouri will prosper from her actions, and the results of mergers and acquisitions within the aviation industry, will soon be remarkably different.
This workforce looks forward to returning to our jobs with AA, and serving the traveling public. We owe a debt of gratitude and appreciation to many labor leaders, legislators and individuals including the TWA Flight Attendant "My Family". Special thanks to Senator Kit Bond (R-MO), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Ted Kennnedy (D-MA), their entire staff including those of Senator Claire McCaskill, representing the great state of Missouri.
Friday, December 21, 2007
TWA flight attendants should be flying again soon
By JIM SALTER The Associated Press
Sen. Claire McCaskill brokered a deal between American Airlines and the TWA flight attendants who lost their jobs after Sept. 11.
ST. LOUIS They took jobs as grocery workers, house painters, whatever they could to get by. But in the months to come, about 1,400 former Trans World Airline flight attendants who have been laid off for several years should be back to the skies.
Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri announced that she had brokered a deal between American Airlines and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants to extend the recall rights for the former TWA attendants for an additional two years.
At a news conference Friday, McCaskill said that with the upturn in the airline industry, the deal almost certainly means all of the attendants who want their jobs back will get them.
“In this line of work you have some dark days and then you have days like this,” McCaskill said, wiping a tear from her eye.
American bought TWA in 2001, just months before the airline industry was hit hard by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. As part of the merger, the former TWA employees went to the bottom of the seniority list. After the attacks, they were the first to go and the last to be recalled. All told, about 2,500 former TWA attendants were laid off.
Several hundred have since been recalled, but the recall rights for the rest were scheduled to end in November. McCaskill was able to get a brief extension and even threatened legislative action.
Eventually, American agreed to the extended recall rights. As part of the deal, the union withdrew grievances related to the handling of the layoffs. McCaskill lauded both sides, noting that the TWA attendants averaged 20 years of experience and would earn roughly 50 percent more than American would have had to pay beginners.
American spokeswoman Susan Gordon said, “I think we’re pleased to have been able to work through the issue and reach a mutually beneficial solution.”
Many TWA flight attendants were trained at the airline’s Breech Academy, which was at Lamar and Shawnee Mission Parkway in Overland Park. TWA’s headquarters also was in Kansas City, at 1735 Baltimore Ave., before it moved to New York in 1958 and then to St. Louis.
At Friday’s news conference, McCaskill jokingly told former attendant Roger Graham that he could stop calling her now. It was Graham who spearheaded the effort to extend the recall rights. “With Senator McCaskill’s help, many of the former TWA flight attendants will now have the opportunity to return to their career, leaving behind the destructive path of a merger and 9/11,” Graham said.
One of the attendants, John Linneman, said he took a job working on television towers before his recent recall. Others, he said, made do with low-paying jobs and financial insecurity as they tried to get by. "We all did what we could do, but we stayed together as a group," he said. McCaskill said many struggled to stay afloat. "There has been depression, financial ruin," McCaskill said. "There have been families torn apart, divorces. "Still, Graham said, there are no hard feelings toward the company. "We're a forgiving group," he said. "The only bitter feelings that remain are for 9-11."
Dec 20, 2007
WASHINGTON American Airlines has agreed to give about 1,200 former TWA flight attendants more time to get their jobs back. The ex-flight attendants were among more than 2,500 laid off in 2001, shortly after the two airlines merged.
Several hundred of the former TWA employees have been recalled in the past year, but the remaining 1,200 were close to losing their five-year recall rights.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., brokered the deal between the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and Fort Worth, Texas-based American to extend the recall rights for two more years.
"At the rate American Airlines is hiring employees, we expect that all employees on the recall list will have an opportunity to get their jobs back if they so desire," said Sean Kennedy, McCaskill's chief of staff. Kennedy said the deal was finalized on Thursday. "Sen. McCaskill is thrilled that she was able to bring closure to a dispute that's been simmering for five years now," Kennedy said.
McCaskill, who has been working on the deal for months, plans to announce details Friday at a 10:30 a.m. CST news conference at the Robert A. Young federal building in St. Louis.
The layoffs that began in 2001 were linked to the widespread problems the aviation industry faced after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The TWA employees were laid off in waves starting in 2001, and the last group to lose their jobs would have seen their five-year recall rights expire in July.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Thu Dec 13, 2007 4:40pm EST
CHICAGO, Dec 13 - AMR Corp's American Airlines said on Thursday it is sending recall notices to 247 furloughed flight attendants to address anticipated staffing needs and projected attrition for 2008.
The world's largest airline said it has recalled more than 900 flight attendants this year, including 900 former TWA and American Airlines flight attendants.
Although this represents good news for some furloughees, it still leaves little hope, beyond congressional intervention, to save the jobs of those flight attendants who have fallen or will soon fall off American's recall list.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Bond co-sponsors bill to extend airline workers' recall rights
© 2007 The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS — Laid-off American Airlines attendant Roger Graham is applauding a decision by Sen. Kit Bond to co-sponsor a bill that would extend recall rights at certain airlines. Graham, from St. Charles, is organizing the ex-TWA attendants who are fighting to get their old jobs back.
He says he's elated that Bond, a Republican, and Sen. ClaireMcCaskill, a Democrat, have joined forces on this nonpartisan issue."It makes me proud to be a Missourian," he said.
The bill, introduced by McCaskill, would extend recall rights to 10 years at airlines, including American, that received federal moneyafter Sept. 11, 2001.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
11/01/2007 12:00:00 AM
At last, 410 ex-TWA flight attendants who lost their jobs five years ago are getting some good news. Not their jobs back. Not yet. But a reprieve, at least, for two months, while American Airlines, their union and Sen. Claire McCaskill try and hash out a deal that would give them and 1,050 of their colleagues a shot at flying again.
Friday, in a news conference at Lambert Field, McCaskill will announce that American will extend the recall rights of 410 laid-off flight attendants that were due to expire today. The extension will run through the end of the year, she said, buying time for all sides to keep negotiating a permanent settlement.
The airline declined to comment before McCaskill's announcement, but a source there confirmed the news. It's the result of months of "shuttle diplomacy" between the senator, the airline and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants over the fate of some 1,460 ex-TWA attendants who lost their jobs after Sept. 11 and the company's merger, and who have been watching their five-year recall rights wind down.
There was enough progress in talks between the union and the airline, McCaskill said, that American agreed to keep the group laid off on Nov. 1, 2002 on the recall list for another two months."It's a major step forward on American's part," McCaskill said. She's been speaking up on the issue since her campaign for Senate in 2006, which was supported by many ex-TWA workers in Missouri. She has been working on measure to better manage airline mergers. And in July, she proposed a bill that would grant 10-year recall rights to any worker laid off after 9/11 by an airline, like American, that received federal assistance. So far, that bill has gained little traction in Congress, but it has strong labor support and helped start conversations between American and the APFA, McCaskill said.
Those led to a sit-down in her Washington office a few weeks ago with top executives from the airline and the union, and talks are continuing."I'm going to remain optimistic that both sides are going to do the right thing," McCaskill said. "And I am more than happy to use the pressure of my office to help these 1,400 people who've been treated very unfairly."For the ex-TWA flight attendants, who were put at the bottom of union seniority lists in the merger with American and all lost their jobs in the waves of layoffs after 9/11, the news was most welcome. About 1,000 have already fallen off the list and last week, 410 got letters saying they were next. Now that group has another chance.
"This is the most wonderful thing that could happen to those people," said Roger Graham, a flight attendant from St. Charles who's been leading the recall effort. "I'm at a loss for words."Graham says his group will keep up the pressure, and push for a deal that will make the extension permanent.
While American has recalled 660 flight attendants this year, some say it's been reluctant to extend recall rights because it would rather hire younger, less-expensive attendants after the last furloughees drop off the list in July. But it is entering negotiations with the APFA on a new contract, and may be able to cut a deal on something else. Both sides are watching the Federal Aviation Administration re-authorization bill, currently before Congress, and would like an ally in McCaskill, who sits on the Senate panel that oversees the airline industry.
Monday, October 22, 2007
By CHERYL WITTENAUER, AP
Posted: 2007-10-22 16:13:20
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Former TWA flight attendants who are fighting to get their old jobs back have made a plea to American Airlines' chief executive officer. In an Oct. 15 letter, they asked CEO Gerard Arpey to reach an agreement with their union to extend the recall rights of workers who were furloughed as a result of the September 2001 terrorist attacks.
American has discussed, but not come to an agreement with the union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, about extending recall rights, airline spokeswoman Tami McLallen said."We remain open to discussing this issue but are bound by the current collective bargaining agreement," she said.American recalled 460 ex-TWA flight attendants in August, but more than 400 will have their recall rights expire in November.
That's in addition to 1,500 flight attendants that American says already have lost their recall rights, including 663 former TWA flight attendants. The ex-TWA attendants say another 1,400 from their ranks will have their recall rights expire through next July. Laid-off attendant Roger Graham from St. Charles, who's organizing the ex-TWA attendants, said the age of the ex-TWA flight attendants - 40 to 73 - and length of time spent with the airlines - 15 to 40 years - make it difficult to find comparable jobs and pensions. "These same workers have exhausted their savings, lost their homes, filed bankruptcy, and (been) forced to relocate and downsize," he wrote to Arpey. "The hardships have been catastrophic."
Graham said the group supports a bill introduced by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., that would extend recall rights to 10 years at airlines, including American, that received federal money after Sept. 11, 2001.McCaskill spokeswoman Adrianne Marsh said Monday the bill is going to the Health Education Labor and Pensions Senate Committee. McLallen said American also has met with McCaskill. Graham said the former ex-TWA workers are hopeful that McCaskill's bill, mediation, or the "good nature of one man" will help them extend their recall rights."We're in the ninth inning," he said.
American parent AMR Corp. bought TWA out of bankruptcy in early 2001. The union representing American's flight attendants put their TWA counterparts at the bottom of the seniority ladder, meaning the TWA workers were first to lose their jobs as AMR slashed thousands of jobs.Last year, the ex-TWA flight attendants picketed their union, claiming it was not representing all its members fairly. The union later agreed to do what it could to get the ex-TWA attendants back to work. The union did not return a phone call seeking comment.
On the Net:
American Airlines: http://www.aa.com/.
Association of Professional Flight Attendants http://www.apfa.org/
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
MASSIVE EFFORTS EXPAND FOR RECALL EXTENSION, AS HUNDREDS MORE DROP OFF RECALL LISTS IN THE NEXT TEN DAYS!
Unions and the public support McCaskill proposal to extend recall rights of airline workers.
Thousands call the Congressional Switchboard in Washington D.C.
Contact the Congressional operator in the Nation's Capital. Please ask to be connected to YOUR Senator's office!
TOLL FREE NUMBER 800-828-0498!
An online petition to the U.S. Congress has collected more than 11,400 signatures in support of the legislation. To sign the petition, PLEASE VISIT: www.petitiononline.com/911AID/petition.html
Washington - Support is growing in organized labor for a bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) that would extend the recall rights of airline workers laid off in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The proposal Senate Bill 1992 would extend recall rights of airline workers to 10 years if the air carrier received more than $100 million after the attacks or future government bailouts. Former TWA flight attendants are elated with the legislation because more than 1,000 of them have been terminated from the recall list and thousands more will be receiving their termination letters between now and July 2008 from American Airlines, which bought Trans World Airlines in 2001.
Former TWA attendants have been campaigning since June 2006 to have their recall rights extended because of the extenuating circumstances of 9/11. “We should not be allowed to become the collateral damage of 9/11 or corporate greed,” said longtime attendant Toni Delia. “American Airlines has the ability to sign a letter of agreement with the Flight Attendants union to extend the recall rights,“ Delia said. “They have already gotten a government bailout and wage concessions and have saved millions since the terminations began, while the executives collected million-dollar bonuses. “Now they have the audacity to want something in exchange for extending the recall rights,“ she said.
After 9/11, thousands of airline workers were laid off and a proportionate number have been terminated from the recall list, with more to follow. Without the McCaskill proposal, industry veterans will be terminated from their jobs placing their pension, insurance and benefits in peril. “The taxpayer has bailed out this industry, and airline executives are collecting multi-million dollar bonuses as workers are being terminated from the recall list,“ said industry veteran Roger Graham. “It is time for Congress to take a stand.“
McCaskill's bill has the support of unions representing almost 4 million members. The unions, the Association of Flight Attendants, Association of Professional Flight Attendants, Communication Workers, Teamsters, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Jobs with Justice, Sheet Metal Workers Local 36, Transport Workers Local 530, Central Trades and Labor Council, Greater St. Louis Labor Council and the Uniform Fire Fighters Association of Greater New York.
“Prior to 9/11, five-year recall rights were considered the norm and acceptable within the airline industry,“ Graham said. “However, in a post-9/11 era, they are not. America is only as strong as its ability to preserve jobs.”
Thursday, September 13, 2007
AMERICAN AIRLINES RECALLS 460 FLIGHT ATTENDANTS BUT...
1,500 STILL AWAITING RECALL...430 MORE FALL OFF RECALL LIST, RECEIVE TERMINATION LETTERS IN NOVEMBER 2007
Many of these airline workers are without jobs, pensions and no health insurance! They have exhausted their life savings, cleaned out IRAs and 401 K's. These loyal airline workers should not become collateral damage of a terrorist act on our soil!
Immediately following 9/11, the airline industry received a government bailout in the form of cash payments and loan guarantees, costing U.S. taxpayers, billions of dollars. Since then, airline management paid hundreds of millions of dollars in executive bonuses. Airline employees have become economic victims of excessive executive compensation. (greed)
Senator McCaskill's Bill, S.1992, will remedy the situation for all AIRLINE workers. S. 1992 only provides an extension of recall rights for those aviation employees who were furloughed from air carriers (post 9/11) and whose respective carrier received U. S. Government compensation for closure of the nation's air transportation system. Plain and simple!
This legislation grants an extension of recall rights to certain groups of employees under very narrow and period certain circumstances. It does not impinge on any one union's collective bargaining agreement, nor, does it alter or in any other way change their current language. It only applies to the airline industry. Nothing more!
The Organizations named below, representing millions of their combined members, have committed their support to this bill. We look forward to your support of S.1992 , saving thousands of jobs, pensions and providing protection to the U.S. aviation workforce in the event of future attacks.
*ASSOCIATION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS (AFA) *
*AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES (AFSCME)
*ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL FLIGHT ATTENDANTS (APFA)
*COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA (CWA)
*INTERNATIONAL AIRCRAFT MECHANICS FRATERNAL ASSOCIATION (AMFA)
*BROTHERHOOD OF TEAMSTERS (IBT)
*TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION 530 (TWU)
*SHEET METAL WORKERS 36 (SMW)
*JOBS WITH JUSTICE (JWJ)
The GREATER ST. LOUIS LABOR COUNCIL, AFL-CIO-representing 150,000 members has endorsed S.1992 and represent the following:
*American Postal Workers Union and Automotive Lodge #777 CWA, Local #6310
*District #837 Fire Fighters, Local #2665 and IBEW, Local #1 Iron Workers, Local #396
*Labor Tribune M&I Institutional Trust Services and Machinists District No. 9
*Operating Engineers, Local #148 and Outreach & Extension University of MO
*Painters District #2 and Pattonville Fire Protection District
*Pulaski Bank St. Louis and Seafarers International Union SEIU, Local #1
*Sheet Metal Workers, Local #36 and Sprinkler Fitters, Local #268
*Teamsters, Local #610 and Teamsters, Local #688 UFCW, Local #655
Please visit their website at: http://www.stlouislabor.org/
PLEASE click on these links below to sign this online petition extending recall rights! Send a letter to your Senators!
(pre-written, just click and send!!)
or call the Capital Switchboard in Washington, D.C TOLL FREE, ASK FOR SUPPORT FOR S. 1992.
OPERATOR WILL ASK FOR YOUR ZIP CODE AND THAT'S IT...HOW EASY CAN IT GET?
Please take a moment, Call 1-800-828-0498
Send a letter directly to your Senators!
This petition is going straight to Congress. Time is of the essence!
Please do it now and forward to as many people as you are able to!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Please support Senate Bill S.1992 authored by Senator Claire McCaskill, D. Mo
Five year recall rights must be extended to ALL furloughees!
Monday, May 21, 2007
P.O. Box 6771 • St. Louis, MO 63144
Phone : 314-918-8683
6614 Blue Ridge Blvd. • Raytown, MO 64133
Mc Caskill Phone:
FOR U.S. SENATE
October 30, 2006
I am writing to express my public commitment to the issue of F/A furlough recall rights.
If I am elected as U.S. Senator from Missouri, I plan to pursue direct involvement in talks between APFA and American Airlines for the express purpose of extending furlough rights for those F/As affected by 9/11. This would include retroactive extension for F/As whose five years have already expired. It is apparent to me that American Airlines has received millions of dollars in post 9/11 recovery funds, and that the same recovery benefits have not been extended to those furloughed. I also plan, if elected, to investigate the possibility of legislation to correct this injustice.
TWA has a proud heritage in Missouri, and the former TWA employees can hold their heads high remembering their work. The unfair treatment of those same employees is an issue I hope I have the opportunity to address.
Paid for by McCaskill for Missouri.
Talent pledges to "send a letter to TWA" (but TWA has been gone for years)
Claire McCaskill, on the other hand gets to the point...millions given to AA after 9/11 to keep AA afloat...but AA refuses to recall or even extend 5 year recall rights to former TWA, now AA flight attendants!
Please click on the light blue link below:
Debate in St. Louis between Talent and McCaskill...the TWA question
Courtesy of KSDK, St. Louis
Then candidate Claire McCaskill, now Senator McCaskill, keeps her word to trump the opposition and vows to do the right thing...political pressure... and legislation...and keeps her word! Help former TWA flight attendants win an opportunity to return to their jobs!
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
AA Executive Bonuses Driven By Taxpayer Dollars
May 1, 2007
St. Louis - American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey and over 874 senior managers received millions in shares of stock based upon the April 18, 2007 closing stock price. The approximate $160 million payout leaves the laid-off employees of the former TWA fuming.
Immediately following the 9/11 attacks, American was on the verge of bankruptcy and received a government bailout in the form of cash payments and loan guarantees that totaled approximately $840 million, while simultaneously American Airlines was laying off the entire flight attendant work force of the newly acquired TWA.
Congress and the TWA employees were promised a fair and equitable integration of the work groups but managed to sidestep these promises once approval was given. Today, the very same former TWA employees are still without jobs and being permanently severed as their five-year recall rights to their positions expire.
Just days after American’s executives lined their pockets with an approximate $160 million in bonuses, CEO Gerard Arpey during a meeting with analysts hinted he holds little hope for these laid-off employees ever returning due to the contractual five year recall rights with American’s flight attendant union.
Roger Graham an 18-year veteran of the former TWA states, “Mr. Arpey knows full well that the issue of extending these recall rights of these employees (that were affected by 9/11) can easily be solved with a letter of agreement with the flight attendant union.”
The excessive bonuses coupled with terminated and laid-off employees may leave the U.S. taxpayer wondering how American Airlines spent their 9/11 taxpayer funded bailout. While labor strife abounds over the bonuses, the public should be questioning whether it was their tax dollars that saved the airline and elevated the stock price that is now becoming a windfall for a few corporate barons.
Graham stated, “Under a bill that the house began debating last month, shareholders would have the right to a non-binding vote on the pay packages of senior executives. Perhaps, it is now time, that taxpayers have the same vote when it comes to a government bailout.”
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
February 12, 2007
Local 530 of the Transport Workers Union of America supports the efforts of the former TWA Flight Attendants in their quest to have extended recall rights at American Airlines.
We recognize that the Flight Attendants were victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks that devastated this nation’s airlines. American Airlines furloughed all TWA Flight attendants and unfortunately their 5 year recall window has expired.
We believe recall rights for all Flight Attendants should be extended. We believe the extension would be a fair resolution to a travesty suffered by Flight Attendants affected by acts of terrorism.
The leadership of Local 530 would like to extend any help or advice that Mary Pat Taylor and her team may need in their efforts to secure an equitable resolution in this matter.
We are asking our membership to support us in helping our Brothers and Sisters.
Local 530 E-Board