May 29, 2015
It was with great sadness that we announced this month the passing of our founder and former National Director O.V. Delle-Femine, affectionately known as “Dell.” Over 50 years ago the vision of a craft specific union for Aircraft Maintenance Technicians and Related employees became a reality, due in large part to Dell. He worked tirelessly to create AMFA and to promote and defend the craft. Dell succumbed to illness on May 7, 2015, after putting up the toughest fight of his life. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and supporters during this difficult time. A special edition of the Grapevine was mailed to each member’s home to commemorate and honor Dell’s long commitment to our craft and its members.
On Tuesday, May 19, 2015, AMFA Legal and Southwest Airlines (SWA) attorneys concluded a four-day arbitration related to the Company’s violation of the AMFA-SWA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) as it relates to the Company’s decision to unilaterally alter decades of established past practice by having third party vendors and other non-AMFA individuals perform the task of brake riding. AMFA acted quickly to protect the CBA and its members’ work by invoking the expedited arbitration procedures contained in Article 2 of the Agreement. The expedited arbitration was heard by Arbitrator Richard Bloch and a decision is expected by the end of July.
There were no negotiations this month at SWA; the next scheduled session for the Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMT) is June 2, 2015, and the Facilities Maintenance Technicians (FMT) is June 3 – 4, 2015. I am profoundly disappointed in SWA’s attitude toward our ongoing negotiations, their lack of commitment to uphold and outright disregard for the contract both parties agreed to abide by, and their lack of common sense when they one-sidedly push initiatives such as the recent respirator policy. Now is the time for us to inform management we will not accept continued disregard for our workgroup, and we demand that they come to the negotiation table and worksite prepared to address our concerns. I have scheduled a meeting for the Local Presidents in early June to discuss and develop our collective response. It is vital that you stay informed as we continue forward.
At Alaska Airlines (ASA), Local 14 conducted a special meeting on May 27, 2015, for the members to endorse the proposals they want taken forward. Their proposals will be combined with the proposals Local 32 endorses. Local 32 will be working on their endorsement process very soon. It is anticipated that the combined proposals will be sent out for a system-wide prioritization survey of the ASA members in late June.
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 newly released AMFA App to your smartphone. Our most determined efforts will only succeed with your continued support and participation – please stay informed.