Five years ago an American Airlines flight attendant grabbed a passenger’s stroller and nearly hit her baby. The whole thing was filmed. Then-flight attendants union head Bob Ross put out a statement that the real story about putting this woman’s child in danger is about the passengers who stuck up for her – because they’re the ones suffering from ‘air rage’ and should be prosecuted. It was a classic ‘but your honor, his face got in the way of my fist’ move.
Ross was elected to head the flight attendants union after Laura Glading was run out of the union for working closely with US Airways management on the takeover of the airline and on the contract that would be imposed on flight attendants after the merger if something better wasn’t agreed to and accepted (the ‘JCBA’). Glading was accused of impropriety because she’s related to former US Airways and then American Airlines executive Tom Weir. She’s now Executive Director of the Office of Labor and Employee Relations at the FAA.
The union has been weak and arguably mismanaged and rife with infighting. Sara Nelson, head of the rival Association of Flight Attendants which used to represent US Airways flight attendants, has been salivating about taking over.
Recently former APFA President Bob Ross was found to have misappropriated funds while running the union. An arbitrator’s award covered charges he billed a family vacation to the union credit card, improperly billed his personal furniture (and bedding and even toilet paper) to the union, and having the union pay for a personal office he wasn’t entitled to among other alleged misdeeds.
Ross has filed suit to overturn the arbitrator’s judgment. He had previously argued, in effect, that he shouldn’t be singled out among past union Presidents for financial impropriety, and that his improper financial practices had been approved by his subordinates.
Now he’s arguing, among other claims, that the accusations against him are all part of Sara Nelson’s plot.
A power struggle ensued between the AFA and APFA in which AFA ended up infiltrating APFA with their eye on a merger of the two unions. The result has been the use of APFA’s Disciplinary Procedures as a method of victimizing those within APFA’s union that stand against a merger between AFA and APFA.
…Since the day after Ross was elected APFA National President, his administration and supporters were met with stonewalling tactics, disparaging remarks, and conflict from those APFA members who remain loyal to the AFA agenda seeking a merger and ultimate takeover of APFA (“AFA/APFA”).
Some of the people who don’t like Bob Ross may be motivated by a desire to deliver the Association of Professional Flight Attendants into Sara Nelson’s hands. But when they’re gunning for you it’s even more important not to give them ammunition like diverting flight attendant dues to personal use, as the arbitrator found.
Meanwhile Delta flight attendants aren’t stuck dealing with any of these people.