July 31, 2015
As you are hopefully aware, on July 6, 2015, we filed for mediation for the Southwest Airlines (SWA) Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) negotiations. After nearly three years of negotiations spent bargaining with a Company that is enjoying unprecedented profits yet advancing proposals that seek to mirror the concessionary work rules implemented at carriers that restructured in bankruptcy, your Negotiating Committee determined that it was time to request the assistance of the National Mediation Board (NMB). Our expectation is that the NMB’s involvement, with the guidance of a senior mediator in the process, will help us move toward a fair and equitable agreement. We have been in contact with our mediator and are scheduling meetings to initiate the process.
Mr. Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines CEO, responded to the letter I sent him last month requesting greater engagement from senior leadership in our negotiations by simply stating in part, "For us to continue to take great care of our People, we must update our work rules to meet the needs of a changed competitive environment. We are committed to the negotiation process and sincerely hope to see an agreement made in the near future.” Mr.Kelly made no response to the request for greater senior leadership involvement. On July 20, 2015, SWA Labor Relations put out an anonymous Company propaganda flier that sought to divide the employee groups; please read our response to this propaganda by clicking here. SWA Facility Maintenance Technician negotiations were postponed this month and will resume on August 12, 2015.
The Contract Proposal Prioritization Survey has been mailed to the Alaska Airlines (ASA) membership. This survey contains 62 proposals for members to rank each proposal’s priority, and the results of the survey will be used by the Negotiating Committee. Members should already have received their voting instructions and be in the process of completing the survey; the survey closes at 11:59PM on August 17, 2015.
Finally, I’d like to make a quick point about communications. This month I received a call from a member stating he would like more communications from the Association. I mentioned that we are putting out regular communications and asked the member if he had downloaded the AMFA App and signed up for updates on the National website. He informed me he was unaware that we had an AMFA App. This is extremely unfortunate because it has been available since early May and communicated by National and the Locals; being displayed prominently on both the National and Local websites. This highlights a very important issue: we as members also have a responsibility and must take an active role in staying informed. We will be mailing a notice and instructions for downloading the AMFA App to each member’s home in the near future because, unfortunately, less than 10% or our members have downloaded the AMFA App. In, the meantime, please inform your fellow members that the AMFA App is available and to be sure to sign up for the updates. This is especially important now that we have an SWA contract in mediation and ASA negotiations starting soon.
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.