December 30, 2016
The last month of 2016 started off with a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting. We worked on a variety of issues including the National Budget for 2017, Safety Initiative, Southwest Airlines (SWA) Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) Representative concerns, as well as updating the SWA ASAP MOU. We also discussed the Aircraft Engineers International (AEI) Annual Congress for 2017, and how we are working collectively with AEI to promote and protect the interests of Aircraft Maintenance Technicians worldwide.
Ballots for the Region II Director Special Election were mailed on December 29, 2016, and the tally will be on January 24, 2017. If you have any questions about this election, please contact the Administration Director at 720-744-6629.
The Region I Director, Alaska Airlines (ASA) Airline Representatives from Locals 14 and 32, and the Company have been working on final language to convert the Agreement in Principle (AIP) into a complete TA. The final language will be finished in the first two weeks of January and then emailed to each member’s company email address. After the members have the TA in hand, the AMFA Negotiating Committee will conduct a Q&A road show to answers questions and discuss the details of the TA with the membership. The mailing of ballots for the ratification vote is projected to take place mid-February and be completed at the beginning March. Negotiation updates for all sessions have been posted to the National Website.
SWA Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) negotiations continued this month in Dallas, Texas, and negotiation updates for all sessions have been posted to the National Website. The next scheduled session for the AMTs is January 5–6, 2017.
As many of you have already heard, AMFA filed a federal lawsuit on Friday, December 16, 2016, in the District Court in Phoenix against SWA. We heard intense displeasure with the Company’s actions from many of you, and we listened to the demands that your Union do everything possible put an end to SWA’s reprehensible conduct. The lawsuit was filed to address the bad faith bargaining tactics employed by the Company that have resulted in you being unjustly subject to more than four years of pay freezes while SWA continues to reap hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. The decision to file this lawsuit was not one made in haste or taken lightly; however, during the course of these protracted negotiations, your Negotiating Committee has been road-blocked by the Company’s unwillingness to compromise and continued take-it-or-leave-it approach.
We continue efforts to build a strong relationship with the SWAPA, the valuable support and backing of the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) builds the coalition. SWAPA President Jon Weaks sent a personal letter to AMFA to acknowledge they are siding with the Association over SWA management. The announced support comes as AMFA Representatives enter their 52nd month of contract negotiations.
On December 29, 2016, the SWA Facilities Maintenance Technicians (FMT) voted to reject the tentative agreement (TA). Please continue to monitor the National Website for further information regarding the ongoing negation process.
Later in the month of December, the NEC recommitted to our legislative efforts and working with our lobbying firm, Commonwealth Strategic Partners. With new US President soon to take office, we will be working diligently with our lobbying firm to stay proactive in promoting and protecting our profession. Commonwealth Strategic Partners and AMFA have also been working closely with the SWAPA. Our joint efforts will be critical in 2017 as the FAA Reauthorization Bill is up for input, and AMFA will have official comments to submit for introducing law. Additionally, AMFA has been fighting against Norwegian Air International (NAI) since 2014, and we have again had to oppose the recent decision by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to approve their foreign air carrier permit.
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 you in a continued line of communication and updates – please stay informed.
I want to wish you a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve, and I wish you the very best for 2017!