Backroom Deals at American Heighten Arbitration Anxiety

APFA lawyer made backroom deals with American Airlines management
Backroom Deals at American Heighten Arbitration Anxiety

Arbitration Alert: Backroom Deals 

For years we’ve relayed the goings on between American Airlines management and the previous administration of APFA, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the union that represents American’s flight attendants.

More bizarre information about Laura Glading, the disgraced former APFA President who was driven from office, is circulating as flight attendants wait for a ruling following recent arbitration hearings involving their contract. The details, gathered from multiple witnesses and sources, add yet another player to the list of those who’ve accepted union dollars while conspiring against AA flight attendants. People are talking about how Mady Gilson, a highly paid lawyer for the union, actually made secret deals with American Airlines management against the flight attendants she was being paid to fight for.

The sordid behind-the-scenes details that have American Airlines flight attendants seething 

· This is one of the largest arbitrations in years with $300 million at stake

· At issue is whether AA will be industry average (below industry leader UAL) which is APFA’s position (and get an 8.2% increase) or whether the AA contract will be below average )and get only a 1.6% increase.)

· The arbitration revealed corrupt, secret negotiations between APFA’s current general counsel Mady Gilson and AA General Counsel Paul Jones back in the summer of 2013.

· Laura Glading lied to the Flight Attendants about the existence of a second arbitration procedure tied to the UAL agreement back in June of 2013. Paul Jones testified that the CLA did not include a provision for a second arbitration and that Mady Gilson entered into secret negotiations.

· The company’s main defense is during these secret negotiations Gilson agreed not to reset based on a true market average including Delta and UAL, agreeing AA flight Attendants should be below market.

· These negotiations were unauthorized by the APFA BOD, kept secret from APFA and AFA members, and APFA negotiators, and not authorized by AA creditors or the bankruptcy court.

· Gilson and Jones conspired to rescue Laura Glading from being caught in her lies and in doing so interfere in the potential representation dispute. In other words, this makes it clear the Company wanted APFA to be the prevailing union rather than AFA.

· AFA insisted on a Negotiations Protocol Agreement which had a true market based standard and that is what the union is relying on in this arbitration.

· It was clear at the hearing that AA General Counsel Jones’ testimony blindsided the union and Gilson had not briefed the union prior to the case. Why Gilson decided to let the company sandbag the union she is supposed to represent is unclear.

APFA may still win the case but if they do, it will be because of AFA’s support. This current arbitration would not be happening if AFA had not pushed for and supported this position through preparation and testimony.



Gailen David is co-host of the nationally syndicated travel talk show, "The Jet Set" with over 1.8M weekly viewers in over 200 television markets in 12 countries. A former flight attendant, he leads a global discussion about "Jetiquette", the rules or code of civilized travel. Gailen is a frequent contributor to CNN, HLN and USA Today on topics related to the airline travel experience and of course, Jetiquette. Visit Gailen's website

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