August was another busy month for AMFA. I want to celebrate the representation election that concluded on August 21, 2019, where the craft and class of mechanics and related employees of Horizon Air Industries, Inc. voted in AMFA as their collective bargaining agent. We wish to congratulate and welcome Horizon Air Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) to AMFA membership. AMFA National and Local 14 officers have hit the ground running during this transition period, visiting Horizon Air stations at Portland and Seattle last week. Thank you for your patience while we continue informational station visits to the remaining Horizon stations.
Until an election is conducted, Local 14 has appointed Tom Imlah, Portland AMT, as Interim Airline Representative (ALR) to oversee contract enforcement. Local 14 will be seeking Area and Shop Representative volunteers during station visits over the next several weeks. I can’t thank the members enough who have already stepped up and volunteered to bridge the gap during the interim period until these positions are filled by a vote of the affected membership – you. Please visit the Horizon Air Updates page of the AMFA National website for the Welcome Package and as well as the latest AMFA–Horizon Air news and information.
The AMFA–Alaska Airlines Transition Agreement was ratified by the membership back in July, but we are still awaiting the National Mediation Board determination of Single Carrier Status. Please monitor the Alaska Airlines Updates page of the AMFA National website for further details.
The games continue by Southwest Airlines (SWA) senior executives in regards to the stayed pending lawsuits. Many of you recall my August 8 update about the failure to reach agreement with the Company in mediation that we hoped would end all of the federal litigation between AMFA, personally suing individual employees or former officers, and the Company. The Company seemed fine with settling for years, but recently changed its position after the ratification of the agreement. They now want to wage a legal war with you, the Mechanics. We all know that is bad for us, but that decision is really bad for SWA too.
This should be a time when both parties enter the next chapter of working together as mutual stakeholders and working collaboratively to resolve issues like the recent reports of the MAX software suggesting further delays in returning to the sky, the largest operator of relaunching the 70 SWA 737MAX grounded aircrafts, impending software updates to the 737 MAX, LEAP Engine revisions, Boeing training update for the MAX, DOT-OIG Audit of FAA-SWA collusion, and major safety/security challenges the flying public, Pilots, Flight Attendants and Mechanics all face in this aviation industry today. These pending litigations will only foster the hostility of war, the “us against them” ideology, between frontline employees and management, which has been exuded by SWA management for years. Sadly, these strong-arm tactics and bad business decision making only reflects abusive demands on you individually as well as SWA employees as a whole.
Unfortunately, this is the Company’s doing! Why is SWA not willing to settle and why are they wanting to be going into court to continue this legal battle? Understand, the Company has made outrageous unrealistic demands that NO union or party would ever accept. September 1 was a trigger for the lawsuits to come out of a stay and to be scheduled by the Federal Judge for trial. AMFA must now defend itself from two separate federal lawsuits by Southwest against its own Mechanics and Inspectors filed before we reached agreement on the new contract. A new webpage has been created on the AMFA National website, Legal Updates (Members Only); please visit this page for further legal developments.
The NEC continues to conduct station visits and GMM visits throughout the system at Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, and Southwest Airlines. The NEC also continues our efforts with assistance from our social media team to achieve the best communication practices to reach and inform our membership. Tools are in place for our members to acquire latest news and updates regarding current events throughout the Association via the National website, AMFA App, and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Thank you for your continued support in this membership outreach and communication campaign.
Reminder: All Members, the FAA Hotline reporting system may be utilized to report concerns of aviation safety: https://hotline.faa.gov/. We must realize our grave responsibility as FAA certified airman to exercise our judgement on the airworthiness of aircraft and equipment. We, therefore, pledge unyielding adherence to these precepts for the advancement of public safety of aviation and for the dignity for our craft.
As always, I ask you please be safe and to stay engaged with your union and officers. 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.
Safety in the Air Begins with Quality Maintenance on the Ground
Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association
7853 E. Arapahoe Court, Suite 1100
Centennial, CO 80112
Phone: 303-752-AMFA (2632)