April 13, 2013
Dear Flight Attendants:
As you know, AFA recently distributed pin backers to be worn behind our AFA pin that states “Show Us the Money.” On April 10, 2013, in compliance with the AFA Constitution and By-Laws, the Alaska Master Executive Council (MEC) passed a resolution adopting the pin and its backer as our official union pin/insignia.
Yesterday, Vice President of Inflight Services Andy Schneider requested the MEC to rescind the pin backer. We subsequently received notice that management would issue directives to Flight Attendants prohibiting them from wearing the AFA pin with the “Show Me the Money” pin backer. The MEC unanimously voted to retain the new pin design and informed her as such this morning.
In yesterday’s meeting, Andy stated that Flight Attendants who refuse to comply with the directive by removing the pin backer would be disciplined. Inflight bulletin #2013-0081 “Uniform Standards Update” was subsequently issued as a “must-read” around 1pm Pacific Time today. The bulletin more or less states the same, although the disciplinary aspect is not overtly indicated but rather implied.
How can management be so concerned over a small plastic disc? The intent was for Flight Attendants to wear as a sign of support for our Negotiating Committee and to express dissatisfaction with management’s disappointing compensation proposal last session and our expectation that future proposals be greatly improved. Obviously, it is not the backer itself or even the message on it that is the cause of such anxiety. The truth is that management is scared of our solidarity!
While the MEC believes that Flight Attendants have a legal right to wear the authorized union pin while on duty, we also do not want Flight Attendants to be disciplined. Please comply with any directive issued to you. AFA will address the issue through the grievance procedure or other appropriate legal means. You cannot be issued a directive to remove the pin itself. You can and should continue to wear your AFA pin without the backer.
We disagree with management in regards to wearing this harmless little plastic disc. However, absolutely AFA agrees with the following statement (from the bulletin): “Another thing that is very important to us is that we retain and continue our exemplary award winning company service.” This is very true. One of the best things you can do to assist the Negotiating Committee is to continue to provide the same level of award-winning service each and every day—while wearing your now “classic” AFA pin, of course! 😉
At the end of the day, it really does not matter what the legal outcome of the pin backer may be because its purpose has already been fulfilled. (However, be assured that we will not just let the issue drop!) The message was delivered loud and clear to management: we expect them to come to the table with proposals that your Negotiating Committee can actually work with and we will not hesitate to make our displeasure more widely known if our expectations are not met.
If you have any questions, please contact a VOICE representative or one of your local officers. If you are questioned or disciplined about your wearing of the pin or backer, contact a grievance representative immediately.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Terry Taylor, Yvette Gesch, Melanie Buker, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn and Sandra Morrow
Your Negotiating Committee – MEC President Jeffrey Peterson, Brian Tracy, Karina Cameron-Fetters, Jake Jones and AFA Staff Negotiator Paula Mastrangelo
Your VOICE Committee – Adam Clarey, Lisa Pinkston, Shannon Hyde, Shawn Grill, Stacey Uebelhor and all the men and women who help get out the word
“Five Bases, One Voice”