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AMFA - SWA Technician Negotiations Update #57
Jun 20, 2017
June 20, 2017

Participants for AMFA:
Bret Oestreich – National Director
Earl Clark – Director, Region I
Will Abbott – Director, Region II
Bob Cramer – Airline Representative, Local 4
Craig Hamlet – Airline Representative, Local 11
Shane Flachman – Airline Representative, Local 18
Mike Young – Airline Representative, Local 32
Lucas Middlebrook – AMFA Counsel

Participants for Southwest Airlines:
Gerry Anderson – Sr. Director, Labor Relations
Mike Ryan – Labor Relations Consultant
Cindy Nagel – Sr. Director, Labor Relations
Bill Venckus – Director, Labor Relations
Mark Lyon – Sr. Manager, Labor Relations
Scott Colling – Regional Director, Central Region
John Brutlag – Director of Aircraft Standards
John Donnelly – Manager, Financial Planning

The Negotiating Committee is providing this update to the AMFA Membership at Southwest Airlines. This report is the only official authorized source of negotiating communications by the Committee.

We commenced a three-day mediated negotiation session today in Dallas, TX. We spent the morning and early afternoon working with the Mediator in an effort to reach a compromise on Article 2: Scope; however, the Company refused to move from the position that it had taken in the May session held in Washington, DC The Company was not interested in continued discussions on scope. Instead, as alluded to by Russell McCrady, who is conspicuously absent from these sessions, the Company only wanted to pass its “comprehensive proposal.” The Company, in an odd negotiating move, provided two different proposals – Proposal A and Proposal B – and asked the Union to choose. The Company indicated the only difference between the two proposals was its treatment of Article 2: Scope. We found this to be entirely inappropriate, and we are focused only on reviewing and responding to Proposal A.

Company Proposal A consisted of the following:


  • Company has not increased its economic package one penny since its August 2016 term sheet, including no increase to the ratification bonus despite another year of prolonged negotiations and pay freezes. You can review the details of that August 2016 economic term sheet in our Negotiations Update #44;
  • Company proposes that Technical Instructors and Technical Support Mechanics would make 6% above the top rate for Mechanics;
  • Company proposes that Maintenance Controller hourly rates would be 12% above the top rate for Mechanics;
  • Company proposes that Lead Maintenance Controller hourly rates would be 18% above the top rate for Mechanics.

Article 2: Scope

  • Company wants ability, on any new maintenance program, to have all lower level maintenance tasks, checks, or packages zero timed and performed by a vendor at any higher level maintenance check beginning at the 9Y. This would include up to 50% of C-checks currently performed in-house;
  • Company wants ability on aircraft maintained under the current maintenance program to have all non-MRB lower level maintenance tasks, checks, or packages zero timed and performed by a vendor during any bridging process into a new maintenance program;
  • Company proposes, subject to Article 2, Paragraph 3, 3Y and 6Y checks may be performed within four existing heavy lines, which would displace heavier work currently being performed;
  • Company will only agree to guarantee an unrealistic 2.75 mechanic-to-aircraft ratio;
  • Company will not agree to maintain the Union Outsourcing Liaison Representative position.

Paid Rest

  • Company proposes not to pay for paid rest where an Employee has a day trade scheduled after 24 consecutive hours on duty. This would significantly impact the ability to earn his regular 40 hours of weekly pay.

Article 8: Field Service

  • Company proposes to use contract maintenance for all International Field Service except where there is a required inspection (RII) or where Maintenance Control determines complexity of the work requires use of a covered Employee.

International Field Service Per Diem

  • Company proposed $2.65 per hour for International Field Service measured from domestic base station to international and back; however, this would be in lieu of passport and meal reimbursement.


  • Company will only commit to use covered Employees to perform ETOPS departure checks within the 48 contiguous states, but wants to use contract maintenance to do this work in all other locations.

Inspector Backfill

  • Company proposes that it will have discretion over whether to backfill inspection vacancies resulting from Sick Leave, OJI, Personal Leave, Bereavement Leave, Training, Jury Duty, Union Business, and Shift/Day Trades, but would continue to mandatorily fill all other vacancies.

Vacation Bank

  • Company will only agree to allow covered Employees to bank a maximum of 40 hours of vacation. The Union proposed ability to bank up to 120 hours.

Insurance Benefits

  • Company refuses to provide any limits or controls on the amount an Employee will pay for insurance.


  • Company refuses to entertain any changes to our existing 401(k) amounts.

Technical Instructors

  • Company would accept AMFA’s vacation scheduling proposal in return for AMFA accepting the Company’s Field Training proposal;
  • Company proposes Technical Instructors could only convert Columbus Day and Presidents’ Day into floating holidays and observe Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday schedule for noncontract employees;
  • Despite agreeing early in negotiations to the contrary, the Company refuses to recognize that Paperwork Training is not technical training requiring an A&P license.

LOA #1

  • Company proposes this letter of agreement expires upon ratification.

LOA #2

  • Company proposes this letter of agreement expires upon ratification.

Pending Litigation, AIR 21 Complaints & Grievances

  • Company proposes that the Brake Rider and bad faith bargaining lawsuits be withdrawn;
  • Company proposes that individual mechanics withdraw the pending AIR 21 complaints. The Company specifically referenced that our terminated brother, Ken Hackett, withdraw his pending AIR 21 complaint as a condition of this proposal. We see this as direct retaliation against our brothers that have exercised their rights under federal law to pursue these claims.
  • Company proposes withdrawal of a number of grievances, including outsourcing of our C-checks, mandatory overtime, and others.

We would normally be shocked that this is the long-awaited “comprehensive proposal” that the Company, and especially Russell McCrady, has told you time and again is on its way, and that you should vote on. Given the Company’s conduct during these negotiations, however, it comes as no surprise to your Committee. We wanted to get this information to you as soon as possible so that you could see for yourself exactly how little Southwest values our Mechanic employee group. As mentioned in the beginning, the Company has not proposed a single penny of an increase to compensation or the ratification bonus nearly a year after its original term sheet.

Your Committee is in the process of reviewing this proposal in its entirety and will formulate a counterproposal that actually represents a contract that you have earned through years of hard work and dedication to this Company.

Stay informed, stay engaged, and, as always, judge the Company on its actions and not on its words.


Your Negotiating Committee

7853 E. Arapahoe Court, Suite 1100
Centennial, CO 80112

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