Weekly Update for March 30, 2001

Brothers and Sisters,

I have been out of the office all week and it has reminded me how much I like the office. It is much easier to get things done when I am in DC than it is to try and take care of everything by e-mail and pager. I stayed in Reno Monday night as the conference there ended Saturday night and it seemed foolish to part with my husband, fly all the back to DC on Sunday just to fly to LAS on Monday. In addition to two extra wonderful days with my husband, it also gave me chance to see if I could still ski.

I arrived in LAS at the crack of dawn, loaded down with papers for the NEB meeting. The meeting went well and I donít want to repeat the highlights that John included in is post, so my update will be short enough to win the TV.

While in LAS, I had the opportunity to visit North Las Vegas tower. They are undergoing a major expansion, which includes a new runway (at least someone is getting one), terminal, and a new tower. It was a good visit and the Fac Rep gave me a copy of an editorial that ran in the Las Vegas Journal-Review advocating ATC privatization. They are working every front, so it is important that we do not let our guard down. The recent progress is something to be proud of, but this battle will not be over any time soon.

On the bright side, when I returned to the office, I found clippings of controllers across the US who are getting their letters to the editors published. Keep up the good work. We need to keep putting the anti-privatization message out in every corner of the country! Congratulations to those who have been published. Your newspapers want to hear from you more than they want a letter from DC, they know we donít subscribe to their paper or patronize their advertisers Ė you do.

In and amongst the meeting issues, I was constantly in touch with the office, fielding calls about personnel issues, trademark infringement, and communications. I spent my evenings (except for a few moments to win $200.00 in slots) doing such exciting things like proof reading articles for publication and approving text on promotional materials. I took a red-eye back Thursday night and while at the airport I had time to return some pages. My apologies to those who got a page from me at 2 am on Friday.

Thursday night brought 2 plane crashes, one in Aspen and one in Charlotte. Luckily, we have many trained activists and staff so my role was limited to making sure the bases were covered. They were. Tom Farrier kept me in the loop with reports on each. We got party status and made sure CISD was notified. Doug Church and I prepared for any press calls. Fortunately, we only got one. You never know what half baked theory a reporter may be trying to advance when it comes to a plane crash, but you can be sure they are not calling to say they heard the controllers did a great job.

Friday morning, I grabbed a quick shower and it was off to the office to review the LM-2 with our auditors and our general counsel (who is schedule to increase the population of the earth by one next week). This was far from a painless process. Luckily, my years as ZMA treasurer taught me all of the ins and out of disbursement reporting, which makes no sense in the regular world of taxes and accounting. The treasurers out there should sympathize. The LM is a disclosure report, not a financial report per se. For example, if I gave you a dollar for coffee today and you pay me back tomorrow, the LM-2 would show it as $1.00 disbursed to you. The fact that it came back does not.

This is the first year NMI has shown up on our report as well. Since we transitioned into the building in 2000 and the organizational structure of NMI was still being formalized there was some question as to how it should be reported. We determined that it is appropriately a subsidiary organization.

I also met with several employees on both internal and external issues. Had several discussions with Christine and Jose about the hearings last week and their sense of the impact it will have our position related to privatizing and contracting. Hopefully this economic downturn coupled with the airlines wiliness to cancel flights in preparation for labor disputes will help the delay season, however, I continue to pray for good weather. Our ability to keep the privatization wolves at bay will depend largely on the performance of the system this spring and summer. You donít here anyone saying you should invest social security in the stock market anymore because no one is singing the praises of the Dow at the moment.

At 7:00, I had gotten through all of the e-mails that I was going to so I went home and got some sleep.

In solidarity,

Ruth Marlin




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