According to the American Airlines flight attendants union 32% of members are behind in their union dues.
The union is doing two things to collect,
- Sending flight attendants to collection
My account has been sent to collections. How do I make payments?
Reach out to our outside collections agency, Diversified Credit Systems, at [redacted], to further discuss your account.
- Threatening to have them fired
If you are in dues arrears, you will receive an “alert” letter with your dues status and how it will impact your employment at American Airlines….you can be terminated for not paying dues.
It’s shocking to learn that 32% of flight attendants aren’t current on their union dues, since union dues generally come out of pay. Some of this is recent. Flight attendants who were furloughed in October and November 2020 and not paid for those months wouldn’t have been paying dues but my understanding is that those are forgiven once the crewmember returns to work. Flight attendants on leave wouldn’t have dues withheld, but that doesn’t make up the bulk of this.
Interesting most of the issue seems to be with legacy American Airlines flight attendants. When crew were merged into the APFA, legacy dues in arrears to the US Airways flight attendants union wouldn’t have carried over to APFA dues. Much of this does appear to be legacy dues from American Airlines flight attendants, from past leaves and furloughs involving furlough pay, though it’s surprising to see a strong showing by Charlotte. In some cases American may have just failed to withhold dues, or didn’t have the required dues withholding form on file.
So what could happen here? After formal notification and a 30 day period in which to become current, a flight attendant still in arrears is supposed to face the start of discharge proceedings.
If, upon the expiration of the thirty (30) day period, the Flight Attendant still remains delinquent, the APFA National President shall certify, in writing, to the Vice President of Labor Relations, copy to the Flight Attendant, that the Flight Attendant has failed to remit payment within the grace period allowed and is, therefore, to be discharged. The Vice President of Labor Relations shall then take proper steps to discharge such employee from the service of the Company.
That’s challenging because in the fall American Airlines lacked sufficient crew to operate flights, which is why they paid massive attendance bonuses and premium pay for picking up trips over the Thanksgiving through New Years period.
- It’s a tough spot to be in for the flight attendants union to try to get its members fired. The union reports it plans to seek “[t]he ability to pay arrears via payroll deduction..in negotiations” which isn’t a key item in improving compensation or working conditions for flight attendants as much as for the convenience and budgetary health of the union itself.
- Meanwhile it’s the airline that will be looking out for flight attendants, slow-walking any such discharged procedures, because they can’t afford to lose large numbers of crew.
It’s particularly galling to send flight attendants to collections and threaten termination over their dues within days of reporting to those same flight attendants that their former union president misappropriated their dues for personal gain. And doubly so since the union flight attendants are paying for is so weak.