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National Director's April 2018 Update
May 07, 2018

May 7, 2018

Dear Members:

During these last weeks we continue to unite in common goals. I would like to extend deep gratitude to all Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) industry-wide who are working diligently to accomplish Emergency Airworthiness Directive blade inspections of their respective carrier’s fleet in response to the April 17 incident on Southwest Airlines (SWA) Flight #1380. I would also like to take this opportunity to recognize the leadership displayed by SWA Philadelphia AMT Domenic Bufalini. Domenic was on duty and called out to receive the aircraft when SWA Flight #1380 was diverted to PA, and he handled the situation with grace and professionalism.

The recent incidents at Southwest Airlines highlight the relevance and the importance of AMT’s commitment to the flying public. Our responsibility is to ensure a safe aircraft in the air by providing quality maintenance on the ground. This responsibility is taken seriously and is not limited to take-off, in-flight, or landing. It applies to all safety aspects of the aircraft. We are the first line of defense and an essential safety net in a collective goal towards the flying public’s safety.

These incidents further demonstrate why it is time for the unique perspective of the AMT to be shared at higher levels. AMFA has been actively pursuing to be the AMT’s voice in the industry to gain the relevance we deserve with regulators, manufactures, carriers, and lawmakers. Until a craft-specific AMT labor voice is seated at committee tables with the other advisory committee members, the imperative safety knowledge of the AMT is silenced. It’s time for the highest level of government to include a craft-specific labor voice at the table, thus including invaluable expertise to keep the flying public safe.

AMFA and Alaska Airlines (ASA) last met in Anchorage, AK on March 20-21 to discuss a Virgin America –Alaska Airlines Transition Agreement where we advised the Company that we were ready and willing to negotiate a Transition Agreement at any time, but we would wait until ASA was ready to abandon its refusal to respond to our proposal. In the meantime, we must watch what the Company does as opposed to listening to what it says in order to realize exactly how they view our group as we move further towards a combined carrier. We have scheduled our next session for May 7-9, 2018, in Seattle, WA

The AMFA-SWA Negotiating Committee reached an Agreement in Principle (AIP) with Southwest Airlines (SWA) for the AMTs on April 10, 2018.  Over the last weeks, your Negotiating Committee has been working with the Company to turn the AIP into a formal Tentative Agreement (TA) for the membership to vote on. After the TA is complete, we will conduct a roadshow to the major stations to provide you with detailed information and to give you the opportunity to ask questions before ballots are mailed out. Stay tuned to the Southwest Airlines News & Updates page of the AMFA National website for details regarding the upcoming roadshow schedule and ratification referendum.

We will remain unified as we educate the membership on the contents of this package, and with our voting voice will demonstrate to the Company how we, as a group, feel about its stubborn unwillingness to provide you with the compensation package your hard work has earned. Understand the industry is constantly changing; Delta Airlines just released to their AMTs via memo that they will be again given an increase of 3% in wages effective October 1, 2018.

The NEC is proud to announce the two recipients of AMFA Scholarships for 2018. Applicants had to be currently enrolled in a school to gain their Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license and were required to submit a 500-word essay explaining the difference between a craft specific and an industrial union. Congratulations to Mark Polhemus from Middle Georgia State University in Eastman, GA and Gaetan Pindjou Newou from Aviation Institute of Maintenance in Houston, TX, who were each selected to receive a $2500 AMFA Scholarship for 2018. AMFA is honored to have the opportunity to give back and help young students as they pursue careers in aviation. It is inspiring to get a glimpse at the passion and quality of the next generation of AMTs.

AMFA was a Corporate Sponsor for the 2018 Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC) held April 9–12 at the Orlando Convention Center during the MRO Americas Trade Show. This event recognizes and celebrates AMTs and raises awareness of the knowledge and skill required to maintain safe, airworthy aircraft worldwide. AMC was live streamed and our voice reached over 40 countries. The NEC was very proud to observe knowledge, skill, integrity, and professionalism of all who participated. We want to thank Alaska Airlines (ASA) for their continued Airline Corporate Sponsorship and fully supporting AMFA members to compete in this elite competition. Two ASA teams competed against 69 other teams from around the world. ASA Team SEA and Team ANC showed they are the best of the best on the world stage. Congratulations to all who competed at this event and for raising awareness of who we are as AMTs.

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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