October 21, 2016
Dear SWA Members:
The Company is once again attempting, to go around your elected Negotiating Committee in an effort to sway you to pressure your Union into putting the Company’s last take-it-or-leave-it offer out for a ratification vote. You must ask yourself one important question: Is the Company pressing this so hard because it wants what is best for you and your career, or because top leadership is pressuring the Company’s committee to secure a deal on its terms? The answer could not be clearer.
The Company’s latest propaganda push is neatly detailed in a handsome colored PowerPoint presentation and there is even a link to a YouTube drawing on a white board. We would prefer, as we assume all of you would as well, that the Company devote its time and resources into productive negotiations as opposed to development of colorful propaganda material. The Company presses one consistent piece of misinformation through all of its propaganda channels – they claim they are looking out for your best interest as opposed to your elected union Negotiating Committee, which (according to the Company) is harming you. Each and every member should be offended that the Company believes we, as professional aircraft mechanics, are gullible enough to accept such rhetoric. One thing is clear, we must watch what the Company does as opposed to what it says.
It is important to provide a brief recap of the Company’s recent history related to our group. In 2010 the Company took away our ability to move our holidays when it fell on a Day Trade. In the same year it removed our ability to “stack” holidays to our first day back from vacation. In 2011, we were forced into arbitration because the Company refused to abide by clear contractual language to bring a fourth line of heavy maintenance into Dallas. In 2012, the Company brought us the new term of “Operational Moves” and the Company unilaterally outsourced our Brake Riding work to vendors – despite decades of past practice and an agreed-upon System Board ruling. None of us will ever forget the Inspection Backfill language that was agreed upon in 2001, which had to be arbitrated three separate times for the Company to finally abide by clear contractual language. Most recently, this leadership forced the majority of our members to shave their facial hair for an overreaching respirator program that was arbitrary in its application. Your Union was, once again, forced to arbitrate that matter as well. Do these actions demonstrate a Company that has your best interest in mind – especially over that of your elected negotiators? Again, when we watch what the Company does – as opposed to what it says – its true colors shine brightly through.
We understand the frustration on the floor. We are equally frustrated with the Company’s bargaining tactics. With this in mind, your Committee has decided to produce informational abstracts detailing a negotiation subject that remains open. The concept is to keep these pieces short, but may vary in length depending on the subject matter. The goal with these pieces will be to dive deeper into each subject and provide relevant history leading to the issue’s current status so that our position can be better understood. We anticipate that through your Local General Membership Meetings, Negotiation Updates, and these new pieces of information you will have ample material to keep yourselves educated on your negotiations.
Your union has been informed that members of the Company’s negotiating committee are about to embark on station-to-station visits to engage you directly. While the Company is allowed under the RLA to discuss its position with you, it cannot negotiate directly with you; therefore, we ask each and every one of you to immediately reach out to your union representatives if you feel the Company, through management or these visits, is attempting to negotiate with you directly. Your input on this matter is of vital importance so that we may protect your federal rights under the Railway Labor Act.
Your Negotiation Committee