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National Director's January 2018 Update
Mar 02, 2018

January 31, 2018

Dear Members:

We started off 2018 right away with AMFA and Alaska Airlines meeting in Dallas, Texas on January 2-3 to discuss a Virgin America (VX) – Alaska Airlines (ASA) Transition Agreement. Our Committee expressed the need to make every effort outside of arbitration to resolve three contractual items. For more information, please read AMFA-ASA Virgin America Transition Agreement Discussions Update #1.

Our second meeting regarding the VX – ASA Transition Agreement was held on January 24-25 in Seattle, WA. Both committees discussed the VX sick time accrual, compared the 401(k) plans, and compared the differences in the steps in our ASA CBA to steps and years of service at VX. We also asked for enhancements or improvements to our CBA. For more information, please read AMFA-ASA Virgin America Transition Agreement Discussions Update #2. Our next session is scheduled for March 20-22, 2018. I have full confidence that your Committee will establish protection provisions for all through the Transition Agreement.

Remember, the Transition Agreement is a Letter of Agreement to implement and comply with our CBA after integrating the VX Technicians. This will happen after the National Mediation Board (NMB) has granted us single carrier status, at which time AMFA is determined to be the sole bargaining agent of the combined group. As stated in previous updates, AMFA will not file for single carrier status until the integrated seniority list and transition agreement are independently approved by both the AMFA-Alaska and Virgin America groups. For more details regarding these negotiations, please visit the Alaska Airlines page of the AMFA National Website.

The AMFA?SWA and SWA Negotiating Committees met in Washington, DC on January 18-19.  Your Committee made a number of very difficult decisions in order to make substantial movement in the Company’s direction with the specific intent of reaching a tentative agreement (TA) during this session. It was abundantly clear the Company was not interested in achieving a mutual deal. The Company wants a deal ? their deal, on their terms. There is no deal without their proposed Scope language. We felt it was reasonable to keep Article 2, Scope language at current book to allow the parties to focus on the remaining open economic issues and produce a TA for you to vote on; however, the Company rejected AMFA’s more than reasonable scope-at-book concept counterproposal. Here is the reality, if you have more than five (5) years remaining at SWA and work in a hangar or on the Line, this is going to have a direct impact on you and your family’s lives with the Company’s current carte blanche scope projections. The massive changes to Scope are not just for the next five (5) years, they would remove large portions of your protected work indefinitely!

It is also apparent that the Company does not fully understand how the Max Maintenance Program will evolve and, therefore, cannot responsibly negotiate changes to such a long-standing article. Additionally, the Company has repeatedly advised AMFA during these negotiations and in separate Scope Sub-Committee meetings that the new MAX maintenance Program was designed to be compatible with existing Article 2, Scope language.

It would be irresponsible and reckless for your Committee to accept the Company’s Scope language proposal, which is void of job protections. They’re not interested in achieving a deal to reward you for your hard work and dedication. Yet incredibly, for five (5) consecutive years, during the 1,995 days of negotiations with their AMTs and under our Article 2 Scope language at current book, SWA has set record profits ? earning $3.49 billion in 2017, which is up from $2.24 billion in 2016. For more detailed information, please read AMFA-SWA Technician Negotiations Update #61 and its Addendum. And, as always, let us watch what the Company does as opposed to what they say in written updates, emails, and video messages.

AMFA had a busy month with the swearing in of new Local officers and representatives across the system. I would like to thank all of the outgoing officers and representatives for their dedication and selfless efforts towards making a difference for every member. You will all be missed, but I hope you continue to be actively involved with your Local. The following are outgoing Local officers and representatives are:

Larry Dildine, Alternate AMFA?SWA ASAP ERC Representative
Local 4: Joe Rajca, President
Local 14: Carl Nielsen, Treasurer; Jason Munson, Airline Representative
Local 18: Shane Flachman, Airline Representative
Local 32:
Rui Leonardo, Vice President; John Butkiewicz, Secretary;
Tim Ketscheck, Treasurer; Mike Young, Airline Representative

We would like to extend a warm welcome to the following Local officers and representatives who were sworn in to office in this month:

Michael Stanley, Alternate AMFA-SWA ASAP ERC Representative
Local 4: Terry Arnold, President
Local 14: Crystal Hudelson, Treasurer; Jarod Mills, Airline Representative
Local 18: Wayne Lampley, Airline Representative
Local 32:
Vince Benton, Vice President; Vic Timpauer, Secretary;
Craig Smith, Treasurer; John Butkiewicz, Airline Representative

Thank you all for stepping-up and representing your Local by helping to raise the standards of our profession, protecting the interests of our members, and supporting our members at the local level. I look forward to working with all of you.

I ask you to stay engaged with your union updates and officers.  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 your continued support and participation – please stay informed.


Bret Oestreich
National Director

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