March 10, 2015
Participants for AMFA:
Earl Clark – Region I Director
Michael Nelson – Region II Director
Bob Cramer – Airline Representative Local 4
Matt Townsend – Airline Representative Local 11
Shane Flachman – Airline Representative Local 18
Mike Young – Airline Representative Local 32
Danny York – Facility Maintenance DAL
Lucas Middlebrook – Legal Counsel
Participants for Southwest Airlines:
Mike Ryan - VP, Labor Relations
Gerry Anderson - Sr Director, Labor Relations
Cindy Nagle – Sr Director, Labor Relations
John Zuzu - Sr Director, Corporate Facilities
Robert Dorsey - Director, Corporate Facilities
Tim Hooyman - Sr Manager, Corporate Facilities
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.
We met with the Company in Dallas, Texas on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. We were prepared to receive the Company’s counter proposals to the five (5) articles we presented at the last session: Article 4: Classifications, Article 5: Hours of Service, Article 6: Overtime and Holidays, Article 9: Seniority, and Article 10: Filling of Vacancies. Although we were making progress on finding common ground on these articles following the established procedure, for some reason the Company decided to redirect the process by presenting us with a "Supposal" that listed 14 items they felt were the main obstacles in these five (5) articles.
Of these "Open Issues," the Company did agree with some of the items from our last group of counter offers. The first item that the Company "supposedly" agreed with us was from our Article 9 offer stating that a furloughed employee would remain on the seniority list for ten (10) years. The next item the Company agreed to was in Article 10 where an employee would assume his awarded position (for pay purposes) on the date a bid is awarded as opposed to the Company’s proposal making it effective the day he arrives at his new position. The next two items in which the Company agreed with our last proposal was in Article 6 where they agreed to the "easy hour" concept and to related language allowing a Technician to finish a job if it is anticipated the job will be finished in one hour after the conclusion of his normal shift. The Company also agreed to our Article 6 proposed language, which included double-Time and triple-time.
There were a few items identified in the Company’s "Supposal" which we were able to reach an agreement during this session. The first item was the day shift start time window as described in Article 5 where we agreed that the day shift start time would be between 5:00 AM and 7:30 AM. We were also able to settle on a 30 day notification if the Company is required to cancel the "Flex-shift," as described in Article 5, should operational problems arise. We also came to an agreement regarding restrictions the Company wanted to place on bidding to another station if a Technician is currently at the disciplinary level of "Final Letter of Warning." The final item we were able to agree on this session centered on the "Vacancy Abolishment" language in Article 10. We notified the Company that the Article 2: Scope language that is tentatively agreed (TA) to provided adequate job protections in regards to Vacancy Abolishments and vendor activity at a particular station.
Although we worked with the Company regarding their concerns on major issues within Article 4, the Company insists on disregarding seniority and establishing a subjective "selection process" for a Technician bidding for a Lead position. Notwithstanding that any Technician bidding into a Lead position has a ninety (90) day evaluation period, this management group refuses to accept the added responsibility to a process that has worked for more than forty (40) years in other groups on property. Another item that we were unable to reach an agreement on during this session was honoring a Technician’s seniority when he is affected by a Reduction in Force. The most important benefit of being a unionized workforce is Seniority recognition. Again, this management group does not seem to understand another basic philosophy of unionism, and they want us to allow language into the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) enabling them to hit the easy button and assign a displaced Technician to a vacancy that they choose, regardless of what harm and inconveniences it puts on the Technician and his family. The final two items the Company would not accept were in Article 6 where we tried to reach common ground and revised our original proposal to 8 Holidays and 3 Floating Holidays, although the Company refused to work with us and give this group any more paid days off than they are currently receiving. We see the Company’s reluctance to move on this topic being driven by a management group that simply does not want its employees to have any more holidays than the managers. The last item the Company has chosen to disregard any of our solutions is regarding a 16-hour duty limit. Although there are many resources available to the management team to control how long a Technician remains on the clock, the Company again chooses the course of unnecessary CBA restrictions instead of managing a situation and working with us to reach an agreement for the Facility Maintenance Technicians.
Obstructionism during this session on behalf of a management team inexperienced with basic concepts of unionism halted the progress that had been recognized between the parties during the course of these negotiations. It is our genuine hope that Southwest Labor Relations will take greater responsibility in guiding and educating the Facilities Maintenance management team as to the basic core concepts of a unionized workforce so that we can move forward in a productive manner.
Our next scheduled two-day session is to commence on April 21, 2015. If you have any questions, please call your Local Representative or your Region Director.
Your Negotiating Committee