October 30, 2015
On October 6, 2015, we conducted our Article 23, Par. R, Annual Wage Review at Alaska Airlines (ASA). This year’s wage review was the last wage review during the duration of our current Agreement, which becomes amendable in October 2016. In accordance with the terms of the review process, our pay increase this October was 1.5%, which went into effect on October 17, 2015. Please read the Committee’s update on our website for more details. There has been no follow-up from Alaska Airlines regarding the letter they had sent concerning discussions for a possible contract extension of the current Agreement, and we have filed our Section 6 Notice informing the Company that we intend to initiate full contract negotiations. As mentioned last month, Delta Airlines announced that they were going to give their employees a 14.5% pay increase, and just last week United Airlines announced that they had reached a Tentative Agreement with their mechanic and related employees that, “…would boost top pay immediately by 25 percent to an industry-leading $46.15 per hour, and result in 33 percent higher pay by the end of the six-year contract…” These announcements will play a significant role in our upcoming contract negotiations.
Technician pay rates have been suppressed in the airline industry for far too long and it is time that we negotiate pay rates that properly compensate us for the highly technical, and safety critical, job that we perform. Our AMFA contracts at Southwest Airlines (SWA) and ASA were number one and number two, respectively, when they were signed. Now the industry is not only catching us, they are passing us. As we continue negotiations at Southwest and start negotiations at Alaska, we must negotiate terms that reward our members for making our companies as successful as they are today.
There were no negotiations this month for the SWA Aircraft Maintenance Technicians as we wait for mediated negotiations to start on November 30, 2015. The Facilities Maintenance Technician negotiations resumed this month and the Committee’s update has been posted and distributed. This month we attended the SWA Labor Summit in Dallas, Texas. Most unions on property were in attendance and shared valuable insights into the issues they are currently dealing with. It is unfortunately very clear that SWA management is taking a very firm stance with most of the labor groups, and it is certainly not only our group that is feeling the frustration and dissatisfaction with their new management philosophy. These deteriorating relationships may very well be a turning point in SWA’s history, if not corrected.
For more carrier specific updates and further information regarding AMFA and the airline industry, please visit the AMFA National Website at www.AMFANational.org and download the AMFA App to your smartphone. Our most determined efforts will only succeed with your continued support and participation – please stay informed.