Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Union Members Seek Federal Probe
Exclusive To the Crew Report Blog
The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), which represents flight attendants from American Airlines (AMR) convened last week to remove the voting rights of its laid off workers. The Constitutional referendum, if approved, would require those on furlough to begin paying union dues or risk having their voting rights extinguished.

The move comes during the union's heated negotiations with American Airlines amid fears its laid off workers would vote against a tentative agreement in retaliation for having their seniority stripped from them. The laid off workers are comprised entirely of former Trans World Airlines (TWA) flight attendants who lost their seniority and placed on the bottom of the seniority list by the union, APFA, in 2001, after American acquired TWA.

Robert Applegate, a former contract negotiator for the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and past Business Agent for the International Association of Machinists (IAM) who is currently furloughed from the airline, blasted the union's actions.

"It has taken decades to cultivate union democracy in this country and only one rogue union to set it back light years. APFA has now embraced retaliation, in exchange, for monetary gain; a contract. APFA has taken (former TWA) seniority, jobs and now disguised as a dues assessment, the intent to take away the most valuable thing a man or woman can have: the right to vote." Applegate stated.

The former TWA flight attendants have asked the Department of Labor to investigate the matter and exercise the agency's authority to safeguard the workers against retaliation, improper discipline and dues assessment, a protection afforded by the Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959.

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