Our Mission Statement
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.
JUDGE RULES FOR RETIREES
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.
In our last briefing, The American Airlines Retiree Clubs and Organizations Committee and the Three Diamond Society extended an invitation to all AA retirees (and future retirees) to attend a presentation by John McDonald, American Airlines Vice President - Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Thursday evening, April 10, 2014, in Williamsburg, Virginia, titled " The New American Airlines - An Update".
However, in a surprise appearance at the Williamsburg event, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker gave the scheduled update. In addition, he answered questions concerning the recent devaluation of retiree travel. The AMRRC wishes to thank Mr. Parker, Mr. MacDonald, Ms. Ulrich, and Mr. Ducey for attending and answering retiree questions.
Mr. Parker was presented a notebook filled with letters from retirees and active employees from the recent AMRRC TWO TIMES TWO campaign asking the Company NOT to devalue and downgrade retiree travel benefits. The AMRRC Communications's Committee wishes to thank everyone who sent copies of their letters. In addition, a petition filled with thousands of signatures was also given to Mr. Parker asking him to return retiree pass policy to the pre merger policy of equity and parity with active employees. We are encouraging our members to sign this petition if you have not already done so, and to pass the link on to your friends and family asking them to sign. If we succeed in getting a meeting with senior management to discuss the downgrade of retiree travel, we want to add any new signatures to those we gave him on April 10. Here is a link to this petition.http://www.coworker.org/petitions/american-airlines-retiree-travel-changes-return-to-previous-travel-policy-prior-to-aa-us-merger?bucket&source=facebook-share-button&time=1396526952
We also encourage you to watch the video of the QA at Williamsburg. To find the video, sign on to Jetnet and then go to this link: https://newjetnet.aa.com/docs/DOC-3969
Or, the hot path is to sign in to Jetnet, go to News, then in left column under Recent Content, click on "Doug Parker visits with legacy AA retirees".
Here is the intro to that video as posted on Jetnet:
" Some retirees still have questions about the new travel policy shared in January. Recently Doug flew to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia to attend the annual banquet of the AA Three Diamond Society, a group comprised mainly of legacy AA retirees. Along with John McDonald, VP Communications and Public Affairs; Cari Ulrich, MD People; and Chris Ducey, MD Compensation and Vendor Management, Doug addressed concerns that were top of mind for many retirees in attendance. The overall philosophy of the new policy is to balance the program for all users. With over 700,000 active and retired employees, and their eligible travelers, this is not an easy task. The event was recorded so click the links below to take a look at what Doug had to say on everything from D1 pass availability to the future of new American."
One thing that was surprising in Mr. Parker's answers was a change in direction on company rationale for the downgrade to D2R category. One of the company rationales for downgrading retirees to D2r status had been that the operation was jeopardized because commuters might not get to work. Mr. Parker had mentioned this in a previous town hall video and many retirees had received the commuter rationale in letters from senior management. In Mr. Parker's answer to a question about this, he answered in a very different way- that the new policy had nothing to do with commuters, but instead was about not making any of the legacy US Air employees have to compete for a seat with retirees.
In his introduction, Mr. Parker discusses the difficulty of merging two travel policies. Although we at legacy AA understand our own policy, we thought it would be helpful to post a chart showing boarding priority at legacy US Air.
Here is that chart:
You will notice that retirees have received an additional downgrade from past US Air policy. Under the current US Air policy had it been adopted, retirees are in the same boarding category as employee eligible travelers who are traveling without the employee. In the future AA retiree policy, retirees will ALWAYS be BELOW those eligible family members, whether the family member or RC is traveling with the employee or not. Mr. Parker discusses this in the video.
In addition, you will find a question in the video concerning D1 travel. The question addresses why the new AA policy has retirees with fewer D1 passes than active employees, and why if we are to have the best pass policy of all airlines and one modeled on other airlines, United retirees have 8 D1 passes. The Company has said they used other airline policies as a guide for modeling the new AA travel policy. Below you will find the link to the United retiree pass policy. Earlier this year, because travel is such a critical benefit in hiring, retaining, and motivating airline employees, United felt it was smart to periodically take retiree and employee input on their likes and dislikes concerning travel policy. Therefore, United did so in the form of a survey administered by an outside agency, The Hay Group. We think American should consider doing the same. Here is the link to the United retiree travel policy. You will notice, United retirees have 8 D1 type passes, passes that have the highest boarding priority for nonrev leisure travel.http://www.ruaea.org/resources/pdf_loader.asp?fn=Travel-Policy-Overview-August-2012.pdf
As we go forward in our fight to retain retiree parity and equality in travel benefits with active employees, our next goal is to try to meet with Mr. Ducey and Ms. Ulrich, the two managing directors who attended the meeting in Williamsburg with Mr. Parker. With that in mind, we ask that you write a quick letter or email asking senior management to meet with representatives of some of the retiree groups represented at the Williamsburg meeting, including AMRRC. The goal of the meeting would be to present our case for the return to retiree travel benefits that reflect the life long dedication and service of American Airlines and US Air retirees. Please remind management that in February, 2013, on both the US Air employee website and on Jetnet, the Company promised to take employee input. From Jetnet : "upon the closing of the merger, we plan to thoroughly evaluate both programs and seek feedback from our people as we develop the new program."
So, the theme of our next letter writing campaign is "Let's Talk". Please put #Let's Talk in your subject line. Include the above quote in your letter or email and ask why no feedback was taken from the various stakeholders before deciding on policy. And, ask the Company to put implementation on hold until they take the time to meet with retiree representatives, unions, and other employee groups. Remind them of their promise to include their people in this critical and important decision. Your voice deserves to be heard.
Please copy in AMRRC on this correspondence and if you belong to a union, please copy in your union president.
On the 1114 medical insurance front that is still waiting for Judge Lane's decision on American' adversarial motion, attorney for the retirees Catherine Steege disagreed with American's recent statement that the Company had the right to end those benefits without a Judge Lane's ruling in the Company's favor. Here is a link to an article in the Dallas Morning News with more details of Ms. Steeges' response. As of this writing, no ruling has been issued from Judge Lane.http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2014/04/retirees-attorney-hey-judge-american-airlines-cant-unilaterally-cut-off-our-health-benefits-and-were-not-really-talking-settlement.html/
Please write your letter for the Let's Talk" campaign and please forward the link to this briefing to your friends and past coworkers. Your letters are having an impact. Senior management came to Williamsburg to listen. Without your letters- had you been silent, that would not have happened. Now, let's encourage them to sit down at the table and "Let's Talk".