January 31, 2017
We kicked off the New Year with a Joint Advisory Council Meeting and National Executive Council Meeting in Phoenix, AZ where we discussed a variety of issues including the budget for 2017, the Safety Initiative, policies, the Aircraft Engineers International Annual Congress for 2016, and our ongoing efforts to gather current member contact information at both the local and National levels. We also discussed the status of negotiations at both Southwest and Alaska Airlines.
The Region II Director Special Election concluded on January 24, 2017. Wilbur “Will” Abbott will be sworn in on March 1, 2017, as Region II Director. I want to thank Mike Nelson for his years of service as Region II Director and for filling the vacancy while the special election was conducted. Mike has been a dedicated and hardworking leader and an immense asset to AMFA. Mike will assist Will until mid-March for a smooth transition of duties, to include attending Southwest Airlines Negotiations.
The Region I Director, Alaska Airlines (ASA) Airline Representatives from Locals 14 and 32, and the Company finalized language for a complete AMFA?ASA Tentative Agreement (TA). The language was emailed to each member’s company email address on January 10, 2017. Also on January 10, the Negotiating Committee started a system-wide road show to discuss details of the TA and to answers questions from the membership. Ballots for the AMFA? ASA TA Referendum will be mailed on February 7, 2017, and the tally will be March 3, 2017.
Southwest Airlines (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 sessions for the AMTs are February 7-9, and February 14-16, in Dallas, TX.
AMFA filed a federal lawsuit against SWA in December 2016 in the District Court in Phoenix, AZ. We are fully committed to this course of action to change the Company’s bad faith negotiation tactics. We are in daily contact with our legal firm in regards to this lawsuit, and we will continue to keep you informed as these proceedings move forward.
We continue efforts to build strong valuable relationships with the Pilots of SWAPA, Flight Attendants of TWU Local 556, and Ground Service Agents of TWU Local 555. SWAPA President Jon Weaks, TWU Local 556 President Audrey Stone, and TWU Local 555 President Gary Puriski each sent personal letters acknowledging they are siding with AMFA over SWA management. The announced support comes as AMFA Representatives enter our 4 ½ years, 1681 days of contract negotiations, while in the fourth quarter of 2016, SWA set another record $522 million in earnings. SWA continues to make record profits of $2.24 billion for the full-year of 2016, compared to $2.18 billion in 2015.
What is SWAs really trying to achieve by dragging their plan out? Discouragement is one of the effective tools SWA uses against their employees. Discouragement twists the truth. Discouragement builds fear and doubt. Discouragement brings a sense of defeat and hopelessness. Please stay informed and thank you for your continued full support of your Negotiation Committee.
On December 29, 2016, the SWA Facilities Maintenance Technicians (FMT) voted to reject the TA. We are in the midst of polling the membership on the reasons for rejecting the TA. Please continue to monitor the National Website for further information regarding the ongoing negotiation process.
The NEC continues to working with our lobbying firm, Commonwealth Strategic Partners. With the new US President taking office and new appointed leadership in the Department of Transportation (DOT), we will be working diligently to stay proactive in promoting and protecting our profession. AMFA has been fighting against Norwegian Air International (NAI) since 2014, and we have again had to oppose the recent decision by the DOT to approve their foreign air carrier permit. On January 24, 2017, AMFA supported SWAPA and attended a Pilots’ Rally - DENY NAI - in Washington, DC, which aimed to address concerns of foreign outsourcing.
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.