April started off with National Secretary/Treasurer Justin Madden, Region I Director Earl Clark, and I travelling to Washington DC to meet with our legislative firm. We met with Nile Elam, Lobbyit.com primary lobbyist to review progress on our legislative initiatives and determine direction on future efforts. Nile had scheduled a full day of meetings for us with members of both the House and Senate on April 9, 2014. The meetings were very successful; please click here to read an article about these meetings on the AMFA National Website.
The following week I traveled to Phoenix, Arizona to attend the SWA Aircraft Maintenance Technician negotiations. The Committee’s update on items discussed at this session have been posted to the AMFA National Website. Additionally, I would like to highlight the point that this is the first negotiation session outside of the state of Texas. This proved to be very successful and we had many member observers attend over the course of two days. During committee caucus, the observers had the opportunity to ask questions of their representatives covering specific contractual items as well as the process in general. This opportunity provided a better perspective for our members and we are enthusiastic that the Company is agreeable to holding some future meetings at other stations around the system. The Facilities Maintenance Technician negotiations resumed on April 29 – 30, 2014.
On April 23, 2014, Region I Director Earl Clark, Local 14 ASA ALR Jason Munson, L32 ASA ALR Marc Sheldon, and I held a conference call to formalize our response to Alaska Airlines regarding the Article 23, R Annual Wage Review process. Our goal is to capture the intent of how the process works in writing so the annual review is simply a math calculation and there is no maneuvering, from year-to-year, on how to properly conduct the review as it relates to our annual pay increases.
The SWA Labor Coalition met at SWAPA’s headquarters in Dallas on April 24, 2014. AMFA was in attendance along with most of the other labor groups on property. After a review of individual issues, discussions ensued regarding the Company’s current handling of the labor contracts and their lack of commitment to maintain the "Southwest Culture." Initial dialog of internally uniting our Professional Standards Committees took place and will be further explored at the next meeting. All labor groups attended the SWA Quarterly Meeting, hosted by Gary Kelly, and together raised concerns regarding his cost neutral initiative and its negative consequences for our culture, for both external customers as well as the internal employee groups. We look forward to attending the next meeting in July.
For more carrier specific updates and further information regarding AMFA and the airline industry, please visit the AMFA National Website at www.AMFANational.org. Our most determined efforts will only succeed with your continued support and participation – Please stay informed.