Participants for AMFA:
Earl Clark – Region I Director
Bob Cramer – Local 4 Airline Representative
Matt Townsend – Local 11 Airline Representative
Shane Flachman – Local 18 Airline Representative
Mike Young – Local 32 Airline Representative
Lucas Middlebrook – AMFA Counsel
Participants for Southwest Airlines:
Jim Sokol – VP, Maintenance Operations
Michelle Jordon – Director, Labor Relations
Gerry Anderson – Sr Director, Labor Relations
Mark Lyon – Sr Manager, Labor Relations
Sam Moser – Manager, Financial Planning
Christina Bennett – Southwest Counsel
Dean Griffin – Maintenance Supervisor
Kerry Amsbrough – Maintenance Supervisor
The Negotiating Committee is providing this update to the AMFA Membership at Southwest Airlines. This report is the only official authorized written source of negotiating communications by the Committee.
On Wednesday March, 12, 2014, we began our scheduled two-day session in Dallas for the Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) agreement. It started with a review of where we left off from the February session in San Antonio. We then discussed our last proposal on Article 24, General and Miscellaneous, which included language to protect the current rights to both jumpseats, language that restricts supervisors from working on the aircraft, pay at the applicable rate for time spent renewing or acquiring a SIDA badge, and reimbursement for parking if not provided by the Company. The Company then explained their reason for proposing language limiting Inspectors from day trading with anyone other than Inspectors, which is all about overtime. The Company again expressed that their proposal for a twenty-hour duty day will affect some language in Article 24. We then spent time discussing reimbursement for parking when not provided by the Company, to which the Company stated they have no intention of paying for parking.
We spent the rest of the day working on language, in an interest based bargaining process, on our proposal for pay for time spent renewing or acquiring a SIDA badge; our one sentence proposal turned into three paragraphs that took nearly eight (8) hours to reach a draft. The fact that this language took so long to complete led to a discussion of where the parties’ negotiating relationship exists at this point in time, and AMFA made it clear that the Company’s actions of violating our agreement and forcing us to protect our contract in countless arbitrations over the past few years has led to the current bargaining relationship.
On Thursday the Company started by proposing language designed to address concerns with our proposal for jumpseat protection, though they explained that the language still required corporate review. They then presented their counter proposals for Article 12, Leaves of Absence and Article 13, Sick Leave and On-The-Job Injuries. In Article 12 the Company reinserted language to limit all leaves of absence to three (3) years except for military leaves, which the company believes is current policy outlined in the Guideline for Employees. In Article 13 they struck the majority of our proposals and added "vacations" to the language that requires ninety (90) hours worked in a month in order to get your accruals. They also changed the word "physical" to "medical" in the paragraph where the Company requires an employee to submit to a fit-for-duty examination. Within their proposal they also inserted language for Transitional Duty for Occupational Injuries. Our Committee then re-countered both articles. In Article 12 we struck the three (3) year limit on leaves and explained that our language has no limit and allows for seniority to accrue during the entire leave; this puts the language back to what it was when we tentatively agreed to it on January 10, 2013. In Article 13, we inserted all our proposals except for the one, and had a lengthy conversation related to why the Company refuses to allow our members the right to use accrued sick leave to care for a sick child or family member.
The Company then explained the four problems they have in Article 8, Field Service. To end this session we had a short discussion on the Company’s proposal in Article 5, Hours of Service to expand start times on all shifts. Thursday’s session ended at 2:15 p.m. when your Committee asked the Company whether it had anything else to present, to which the Company responded, "No, we are not prepared for anything else – sorry."
Our side continues to be committed to making a concerted effort to reach an agreement that addresses our members’ concerns. Our Committee would like to thank the observers that took the time to attend. Remember, the most important word in the language of the working class is solidarity – stay engaged, remain informed – the membership solidarity is what fuels your Committee. Thank you for your support.
Upcoming Negotiation Date – Location To Be Determined: April 16-17, 2014