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National Director's February 2017 Update
Feb 28, 2017

February 28, 2017

Dear Members:

Enhancing communication has been a top priority for the National Executive Council (NEC) since taking office this past October. We have done a system-wide quest to update member contact information at both the Local and National levels. We are very pleased with the daily increase in the number of registrations with the National Website, AMFA App downloads, and the social media invitation acceptances. In our collaborative efforts we have nearly doubled contact information in just three months. The tools are in place for our members to acquire updates and push notifications regarding current events throughout the Association. We will continue our efforts to achieve the best communication practices to reach you. Remember, updates are archived on the carrier specific pages of the National website at www.AMFANational.org.

I would like to send out another reminder to Alaska Airline (ASA) Technicians to vote in the Tentative Agreement (TA) Referendum. The polls close at 10:00 am et this Friday, March 3. In January and into early February, the Negotiating Committee conducted a system-wide road show to 14 stations to discuss details of the TA and to answers questions from the membership. They also held a Zoom conference call to answer questions from members stationed at OKC and GSO. Thank you all again for your time and asking the questions in your decision making process. Any member eligible to vote in this referendum who has not received a ballot in the mail, or anyone with questions about the voting process, should contact the Administration Director at 720-744-6629.

The NEC continues working with our lobbying firm in Washington, DC – Commonwealth Strategic Partners. The NEC continues to prioritize our efforts and support of the FAA Reauthorization bill. While we wait for new administration appointees to assume their respective position, the FAA Extension bill, more specifically the Alcohol and Controlled Substances Testing and Background Investigations provisions found in Section 2112, Repair Stations Located Outside United States, has been on hold. In the past, AMFA has been proactively pursuing a voice and taking a stake in addressing the FAA Reauthorization bill to reinforce “safety is the cornerstone of the pact between the aircraft maintenance technician and the American flying public. Recognizing there is a safety gap with our foreign counterparts.” AMFA’s former leadership actively pursued policies in the FAA Authorization to institute a mandatory drug and alcohol testing policy and establish a pre-employment background investigation requirement of foreign repair station employees. We continue to keep the needed pressure for the law to be signed and dated.

The Region II Director Special Election concluded on January 24, 2017, and Wilbur “Will” Abbott will be sworn into office on March 1, 2017. Mr. Abbott has been in the last two Southwest Airlines (SWA) negotiation sessions with Mike Nelson to help in a smooth transition of the duties. Thank you again Mike Nelson for your knowledge and dedication to this Association – you will be missed.

Southwest Airlines filed a lawsuit against AMFA National, Local 11, and several individual officers and contract negotiators.  The lawsuit alleges that AMFA-represented mechanics initiated an overtime boycott and that AMFA and the other defendants failed to make “every reasonable effort” to prevent the boycott and/or bring it to an end.  As a remedy, SWA is seeking wide-ranging injunctive relief that would implement judicial oversight of how you perform your maintenance work. 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. During the pendency of the Section 6 negotiating process, both the carrier and union, and its members, are required to maintain the status quo.  This obligation requires the carrier to bargain in good faith and refrain from unilaterally changing working conditions.

We are currently suing SWA in federal court for its failure to negotiate in good faith and respect our contractual rights. We served SWA on February 15, 2017, to pursue our filed lawsuit in the District Court in Phoenix, AZ. No one should doubt our dedication to the collective interest because we are a democratic, grass roots association.  We are already actively engaged with legal to address the Company’s unilateral outsourcing of your protected C-Check work in the past few weeks.  Moreover, the Company continues to create discouragement and purposely misleads you by multiple letters and TV monitors in your work areas indicating there is a comprehensive proposal that we should allow you to vote on.  Again, this is false – the Company has never provided us with a comprehensive proposal that could be sent out for membership ratification at this point.  Please review AMFA-SWA Technician Negotiations Update #44, dated August 11, 2016, to reaffirm this point. 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 Negotiating Committee.

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. We completed the Maintenance Controller specific language last week. From my personal observations, we finished this language sooner than was anticipated by all parties. Most importantly, we are moving in a forward direction, and I am very optimistic that we will keep that forward momentum when we returned to work on the Maintenance Technical Instructor language. Our next negotiation sessions are scheduled for March 6-7 and March 30-31.


Bret Oestreich
National Director

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Centennial, CO 80112

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