September 30, 2016
On September 13, 2016, the Association held a Joint Advisory Council (JAC) meeting in Nashville, Tennessee where National Officers, Local Presidents, and an Airline Representative from Alaska Airlines met to discuss our agenda items. We addressed an array of issues including the Aircraft Accident Investigation Team Guidelines, National Officer transition, the GrievTrac database, and carrier contract negotiations to name a few.
The AMFA National Officer Election protest concluded this month and a memo was posted on September 20, 2016. The newly elected officers are anticipated to be installed on Monday, October 3, 2016.
On September 2, 2016, the Southwest Airlines (SWA) Facility Maintenance Technician negotiations reached an Agreement in Principal and voting should begin soon. There were no Aircraft Maintenance Technician negotiations this month; they are scheduled to resume the first week of October in Dallas, Texas. On September 23, 2016, Locals 4, 11, 18, and 32 held informational picketing events to demonstrate their extreme discontentment with the Company’s insolence toward our ongoing negotiations. Hopefully, at the upcoming negotiations, positive progress can be made.
On September 27-29, 2016, the Alaska Airlines contract negotiations continued in Seattle, WA where we worked through open language issues including LOA #12, Vacation Buy Back. We also spent a considerable amount of time reviewing the current state of the airline industry as various aircraft maintenance technician contracts continue to change. The Committee’s full update will be posted to the National Website soon. Our next session is scheduled for October 11-13, 2016. This month the Department of Justice requested additional time to review the Alaska/Virgin America merger; nonetheless, Alaska Airlines still expects that the approval will be granted in the fourth quarter of 2016.
This month’s report will be my last as your National Director, and I want to tell you it has been a great honor to serve the membership of AMFA for the past 18 years, with the last 16 years at the National level. AMFA only represented two small regional carriers when Alaska joined them in 1998. It was an exciting time to help AMFA grow to represent multiple airlines and at one time over 18,000 members. I have learned so much over the years advocating for members through representation elections, multiple contract negotiations, aircraft accident investigations, a bitter NWA strike, airline bankruptcies, and mergers. And one thing I’ve learned for certain is that change is always imminent and the next big challenge is just around the corner. With that being said, the new leadership of AMFA National will certainly need your support in order to succeed.
As I return to work at Alaska Airlines I know that the future for our industry is very exciting and I’m looking forward to the next adventure as I continue to play my part. Please stay safe and remember our three pillars: Knowledge, Skill, and Integrity.