I am as apolitical a creature as exists on Earth. The sentiments and actions evoked by the political process are anathema to my being, so I shun the process and generally shy away from its practitioners. I limit my participation in politics to expressing my voice and opinion with my vote. I frequently can be found encouraging others to do likewise. However, to live and to participate in life, one must occasionally reach conclusions on critical issues and take action that might seem "unnatural". Here's how I see it:
The AFA's election process is one in which we, the individual voting Flight Attendants, have very little direct power. Within this framework, the majority of our local power is vested in the LEC President. In fact, the only opportunity that a typical AFA member has to cast a direct vote is for or against a tentative agreement (also known as "TA" or contract proposal) and to elect local officers, as we prepare to do now. We have local council elections once every 3 years and ratification votes even more rarely. So, the opportunity to make our voices heard through direct vote is extremely limited. It is imperative that we capitalize on every opportunity.
In the case of a tentative agreement vote, the membership is only afforded the opportunity to vote if the TA is approved for a ratification vote by the MEC (Master Council comprised of LEC Presidents). Essentially, the office of LEC President holds the lion's share of the power in the AFA (whether it be CAL, CMI, OR UAL AFA, the structure is the same).
To put it simply: THIS IS OUR CHANCE!
The office of LECP (LEC President) is exceptionally powerful and wields considerable control over our work life as it is affected by our union. It is incumbent upon us, to make sure that that individual, into whom we vest our trust and our voting power, is the best possible representative of the prevailing sentiments of our workgroup. Further, s/he should conduct him/herself in an impeccable, respectful and respectable fashion and should strive to be above reproach. This individual should be knowledgable, persuasive, approachable, fair-minded and unsensational in his/her dealings with AFA peers, with our company and with the membership (you and me).
At LEC 64, we have reached a particularly crucial point in our workgroup's history. While we seek to maintain the lifestyle, benefits and privileges we have previously enjoyed as represented by our last few contracts, the inevitability of a consolidation with our sisters and brothers from legacy UNITED is in a pending state. The longer we remain in that pending "limbo" state, the more fractious the relationship between these two groups, destined to ultimately become one, grows. I mention these considerations because they are critical to our future success and the speed with which we reach it.
We are fortunate to have an array of candidates vying for our vote in LEC 64. While every elected office is important to the operation of our "local", the office of LECP is the most critical and demands the most thoughtful consideration. Confusing matters somewhat, most candidates have organized themselves into "slates" which are essentially like-minded individuals who are running together to fill the available offices of President, Vice President and Secretary as a team.
Although these candidates may offer themselves as part of a slate, it is NOT required that you vote for an entire slate. You, the voter, are free to choose the candidate that you feel to be BEST-QUALIFIED to fill a given office, regardless of who you might select for any other office.
SLATE A: SLATE B: SLATE C:
President. President. President
Vice President. Vice President. Vice President
Secretary. Secretary. Secretary
Let's say that you feel that the candidate for President is strongest on Slate B but prefer the Vice President and Treasurer candidates from Slate C. You are free to choose as you wish; one candidate per office, regardless of slate-affiliation. If a slate doesn't have announced candidate funning for a particular office, simply choose one of the candidates from the other slates.
Whatever your considerations, whomever you choose to support with your vote, one action is ABSOLUTELY critical:
VOTE! Let your voice be heard. Voting commences March 14, 2014.
For more information about voting:
For problems with voting credentials:
Call 1 800 424-2401. Press "1", then extension "706"