The American Airlines Retirees Committee (AMRRC) was formed by the retirees of American Airlines, for the retirees, to provide representation for all work groups at American Airlines past, present, or future.. As an organization, we will create the affiliations and partnerships necessary to gather the communication and education needed to ensure each and every retiree’s interests are protected. We are committed to being one voice for many faces.
On Friday, April 18, 2014, in a long anticipated ruling in the American Airlines bankruptcy case in federal bankruptcy court, Judge Seal Lane ruled in favor of the American Airlines' retirees for the vast majority of retirees. American Airlines had filed a motion in 2012 for summary judgement in its bid to make retirees pay for 100% of the cost of their retiree benefits.
Although this is a victory for the majority of the retirees involved in this case, it is not necessarily the end of American's efforts to take away benefits from it's retirees. American could now decide to bring this matter to a full trial or they could choose to appeal Judge Lane's ruling on the summary judgement to the federal appellate court. Whatever American Airlines decides to do going forward with this case, this is a huge victory for most of the retirees involved in this suit. It means that for at least a while longer, they will continue to receive the medical and life insurance benefits that they were promised when they retired.
However, American continues in its efforts to devalue and downgrade retiree travel benefits as announced on January 2 this year. This ruling has no effect on American's moves in that area.
Below you will find a link to an article in the Dallas Morning News concerning this ruling, as well as a link to the full ruling issued by the court.
The AMRRC is an all volunteer, non-profit organization. We do have legal, distribution, communication, and other types of operating expenses. Your help is needed if we are to continue our mission.
Dues are voluntary, but we suggest $25 annually. Please help keep AMRRC going with any donation you could provide. Payment may be made by check or by credit card. If you pay by check, make the check out to AMRRC and mail to:
PO Box 1178
Bedford, TX 76095
If you wish to pay by credit card, go to this page and follow the instructions.http://www.amrrc.net/amr-support.php
In May, leaders from a variety of retiree groups met with Cari Ulrich and Chris Ducey to discuss the company rationale behind the new pass policy. Those retiree leaders will be sending a request tomorrow asking for a second meeting and additional data. There was very little data given at the first meeting, with no data given dealing with legacy US Air D1 equivalent and D2 equivalent pass travel, no data on D1 usage at legacy AA and limited data on D2 usage at legacy AA. AMRRC would also would like AA to allow us to release some of the numbers to our membership. It is difficult to give our membership the facts, without being able to give them the facts.
In addition to data we want from AA at our next meeting, we want to present them with some data as well.
We would like to get a sampling of our readers/members and their feeling about the new policy.
Please send the following information to AMRRCretireetravel@gmail.com
We have been sent information concerning an upcoming picketing event. This event is being organized by United retirees, but will be a joint event for both United and American retirees to advocate for retirees being treated fairly by our former employers in the area of retiree benefits.
Our brother and sister retirees at United have been in this fight since their travel benefits were downgraded and devalued by United in 2012.
The picketing event is in Los Angeles on July 28 and July 29. Although this is not an AMRRC event, we did want to pass this information along. Doug Parker from AA and Jeff Smisek from United will be featured speakers at the Global Business Travel Association Convention.
Mr. Parker will be speaking on the 29th and Mr. Smisek will be speaking on the 28th.
For more detailed information about times and logistics, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
General information about the conventions is below. GBTA Convention 2014 Dates July 26 – July 30, 2014
Los Angeles Convention Center Address:
1201 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015.
A new AMRRC interactive Facebook page has been started. We hope to have more real time information and the capability of interaction between members of the page. The page is open to employees and retirees of legacy AA, and legacy US Air including all merged and acquired companies under these corporate umbrellas. If you want to join the page, go to the page and ask to join. You will be added by one of the administrators. Once you are added, we ask that you post your company affiliation, whether you are an active or a retiree, and list what your most recent job with the company. We want to make sure that the page is just for employees and retirees. If the administrators cannot tell by your Facebook profile/friends list that you are a company retiree or employee, they will send you a private message asking those questions. In addition, a requirement of the page is professional demeanor- no profanity, name calling, and adherence to civil discourse. The page is called AMRRC American Retirees. The page is a closed group, which means that although nonmembers can see who belongs, only members can read what is posted there.
This is from the APFA Hotline dated June 27, 2014:
“APFA Files Presidential Grievance on Prefunding Match After months of discussions with the Company regarding the distribution of the prefunding contributions made by American Airlines to the APFA VEBA to match the pre-funding amounts contributed by active Flight Attendants to the VEBA, the Company has taken the position that they are not required to distribute to Flight Attendants the pre-funding contributions made by American. APFA has filed a Presidential Grievance protesting the Company's position. This would include all Flight Attendants that were active at the time of the LBFO ratification and had their own prefunding contributions returned to them.
APFA believes that the Company’s position is inconsistent with the parties’ commitments as embodied in the LBFO and subsequent agreements, and that the Company is obligated to distribute its matching prefunding contributions or, at minimum, use those monies to defray the retiree health costs for active Flight Attendants when they retire.”
In the past few months, retirees have received emails from members of AA management that discuss the fact that it is a new day at AA, and that retirees should have realized changes could and would happen. Certainly all retirees were aware that change is a given in the airline industry. After all, the one constant about working for an airline is that nothing stays the same. Certainly we knew that boarding could change from FCFS to seniority based.
But, retirees believed that in the area of travel policy, they could count on two things- that the New American would honor the decades old policy that whatever level of travel you had as an active employee, the reward for a lifetime career at AA was that travel benefits remained the same as the active employee who took your place.
Lifelong service was honored with lifelong travel on par with the new person in your old job.
Never in past mergers or the virtual bankruptcy of 2003 or the actual bankruptcy of 2011 or in the merger conditions detailed in the bankruptcy Plan of Reorganization had the company even suggested that retiree travel be devalued or downgraded to put a retiree in a status lower in any category than their active employee counterpart.
And, secondly, retirees felt they could count on the answers and promises made to them about travel when the merger was announced.
Upon announcing the merger in February, 2013, as a part of asking for employee support for the merger and to assuage employee and retiree concerns about the future of a combined travel policy, a QA was put out on Jetnet concerning future travel policy.
Below are questions 3 and 4 copy /pasted from the Jetnet QA on travel policy and the promises/commitments made in the answers given to those questions. These questions also appeared in the Dallas Morning News on March 2, 2013. Here is that link. http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2013/03/heres-some-information-about-employee-travel-at-us-airways-and-american-airlines.html/#more-12792Question 3 from Jetnet:
What happens after the merger is approved?
A. Upon the closing of the merger, we plan to
- thoroughly evaluate both travel programs
- and seek feedback from our people as we develop the new program.
Broken Promise 1- The "thorough evaluation upon closing the merger" took about three weeks between the merger closing on December 9, 2013 and implementation and software update of phase one of the policy on January 2, 2014 and that time frame includes the days in which offices were closed for Christmas and New Years, On January 2, 2014, 33% of employee D3s and 67% of retiree D 3 passes disappeared from their pass bank, and AA legacy retirees learned they would no longer qualify for D2 boarding priority travel, but instead would go behind employees, whether active or on personal leave of absence, behind spouses, registered companions who can be anyone, related or not, parents, parents in law, foreign exchange students living with employees, step children from previous spouses, and dependent children.
The three week "thorough evaluation" also resulted in retirees learning on January 2 that in 2015, they would no longer enjoy the same number of D1 passes as actives but would have 50% fewer than active employees. Legacy US Air retirees learned that they also had been demoted from past policy to a status of boarding behind all employee eligible travelers who travel by themselves, a severe devaluation of their previous boarding priority.
Broken Promise 2: Seek Feedback Did you get a chance to tell management your views or answer a survey? Active employees got a vote on tail paint but got to say not one word concerning one of the biggest benefits of being an airline employee. And, retirees were blindsided and given no opportunity to give input. When America West and US Air merged, employees of both carriers were asked for input concerning future travel policy.
This is a quote from US Air management in their letter to their employees upon announcing the new merged America West/US Air travel policy on January 30, 2007: “Today after more than a year of suggestions, opinions, debate”. They took a year to talk to the two employee groups. Don't the two groups in this merger deserve the same consideration instead of imposing an arbitrary decision that obtained less employee input than a one week survey on tail paint- an airplane livery decision which had no affect on anyone?
The arbitrary decision with no input and hasty evaluation has resulted in grievances from AA unions, unhappy employees at town hall meetings, thousands of letters and emails requesting the company reconsider its decision, petitions against the new policy with thousands of signatures, and picketing at the AA Board of Directors meeting in June in New York.
Question 4 from Jetnet QA:
4. What will be included in the long-term travel program?
The details of the long-term travel program have yet to be determined. As part of the integration process after the merger closes, features of each carrier’s programs will eventually have to be harmonized. Both carriers agree that, in any case, we should not make changes that treat one carrier’s people less favorably than the other’s.
Broken Promise 3: "we should not make changes that treat one carrier’s people less favorably than the other’s." Retirees from legacy AA will lose all access to D2 boarding priority travel, will get fewer D1s than actives, and will get 50% fewer d3 passes than actives. However, a group of approximately 1000 legacy US Air retiree flight attendants with 25 years of company seniority will continue to have parity with active employees and retain their D2 boarding priority, and will get the same D1 and D3 passes as an active employee.
Here is the language guaranteeing those flight attendants their status:
“A flight attendant who has completed twenty-five (25) years of service with the company as a flight attendant and has attained the age of forty-five(45) and who leaves the company shall be eligible for the on-line passes in accordance with Company policy as if she/he were still in an active status.”
In addition, based on this contract US Air signed with their flight attendants at the same time (February, 2013), the Company made the above promise about parity of treatment between the two groups, any future legacy US Air flight attendant retirees that meet the age 45/25 years company seniority are guaranteed that benefit as well. The company made a promise to those legacy US Air flight attendants in February, 2013 while at the same time promising legacy AA retirees that the company would not allow US Air retirees to be treated better than AA retirees in travel benefits. Yet, Legacy AA retirees with 25,30,35,40 years of company service will sit at the back of the line as D2R travelers, treated less favorably, watching while a group of the other carrier's people are treated more favorably as D2 travelers. No wonder AA retirees were blindsided-they counted on the company commitment made when this merger was announced.
In addition, all Legacy AA upper management retirees and Board of Directors retirees will continue to receive their pass benefits as if they remained as active status employees, while legacy US Air and legacy AA rank and file retirees will be treated less favorably and will lose their the long held AA company travel benefit of retaining active status for pass travel upon retirement. A group from legacy AA is being treated more favorably and retaining active status for passes, while rank and file retirees from US Air and AA are downgraded and devalued.
The company promised one carrier’s people would not be treated less favorably than the other carrier’s people. We are asking them to honor that commitment. Active status for pass privileges is a time honored tradition at the old AA, the new travel policy extends that status to only a few. It should be extended to all retirees.