SPECIAL MEETING TO RECALL THE MEC PRESIDENT
A special meeting of the MEC was held Friday at the AFA International office in DCA to consider a recall of MEC President Teddy Xidas. The meeting was called by Councils 41, 70 and 89. The meeting was chaired by MEC Vice President Buddy Brannon and all councils were represented.
The recall of any officer is a serious undertaking and the decision to call the meeting was not taken lightly by me, Laura Albert (Council 70) or Alin Boswell (Council 41). I believe there were valid reasons for calling the meeting and our concerns were legitimate. I was fully aware that some would see this action as personally or politically motivated and not part of our union's legitimate process. While our Constitution and Bylaws do allow for the recall of an officer without cause I would never be part of such a recall. I would not be a party to what some have called "frivolous backstabbing". I realize there was a time our MEC engaged in recalls purely satisfying personal goals and interests. While I had no interest in repeating the past I believed this action was necessary to express several causes of concern that had gone unheard.
As you know the company is struggling to exit bankruptcy and upon reorganization will begin the process of merging with America West. AFA attorneys will be representing our interests in bankruptcy court. The MEC is scheduled to begin talks with our America West counterparts and management regarding a fence agreement later this month. America West members have expressed concern over the "seniority disadvantage" they believe exits. It is my feeling that our MEC will need to remain stable and consistent throughout the merger process. As we begin discussions with America West it is obvious to even the casual observer some consideration had to be given to the fact Ms. Xidas will begin her VFLR in December. I disagree with those who think this meeting was not in keeping with proper union business. After all we have been through; anything regarding our future or our leadership is indeed union business.
The meeting allowed the MEC to hear a complete discussion of the above concern, as well as other issues regarding Ms. Xidas that had formulated the basis for a recall consideration. All members of the MEC in attendance expressed their views freely and openly. The discussion included concrete examples and exhibits specific to those issues under consideration. While a recall consideration obviously produces negatives our job was to examine all of the concerns and reach a decision that was fair and just. After several hours of discussion it became clear to the entire MEC that some action was warranted. My belief is that any action the MEC takes must be in the best interest of the membership and not in the interest any individual officer.
With regard to the transition issue the unanimous decision of the MEC was to ask for Ms. Xidas resignation, to be effective October 16, 2005, and in the interim to conduct an election for MEC President on August 16, 2005. This will allow for a two month transition period. Ms. Xidas agreed to tender her resignation and to the following directives of the MEC:
The President Elect will be included in all meetings and/or conversations with US Airways or America West management.
The President Elect will be included in all meetings and/or conversations with the America West MEC.
The President Elect will be included in all meetings and/or conversations with the negotiating committee charged with the implementation of the contract.
The President Elect will be included in all meetings and/or conversations with counsel for US Airways AFA pursuant to the current bankruptcy case.
The President elect will be included in all conference calls with the Unsecured Creditors Committee (subject to approval by the committee.)
The President Elect will thus be an active participant in the merger process from the beginning as well as the continuing implementation of our new agreement and the bankruptcy case. This unanimous decision by the MEC will send a message to all that we are prepared to attain the best possible outcome for the membership in all endeavors.
With regard to the other issues of concern expressed at the meeting, the openness of the discussion allowed the entire MEC to become fully aware of those issues. Steps will be taken to address those matters. As a matter of protocol, since there was not a recall vote or a recall, those specific issues will remain in the record but will not be disseminated in a public forum. Any further discussion of the meeting with individual members will be left up to the discretion of each officer. The MEC did its job and has created a plan for the future that benefits the membership.
I have received several comments regarding the financial irresponsibility in calling a meeting to consider these issues. In the past these meetings went on for days at great expense both in terms of "union dollars" and "union time". For this meeting I arrived in DCA at 9:00 am Friday and returned to CLT that evening at 9:00 pm. There was no additional or extraordinary expense to the membership as a result of this meeting. In addition, I have received comments from a few expressing displeasure regarding the need or timing of this meeting. I respect your opinions and have tried to express my reasons. I have tried to answer all of you but if you still have questions or comments please feel free to call me. I must reiterate this was not motivated by anything other than my concern for our membership. This meeting was called to address the MEC with serious concerns and issues. I believe that is my job. In closing I believe it is important for me to share my perspective of myself; I am a flight attendant and union member first and a union officer second.