January 7, 2019
Can you believe it is 2019? I hope everyone had a great holiday season with family and friends. I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. AMFA has a lot of incredible items in the pipeline related to promoting and protecting the interests of our members, including raising the recognition of our members and our craft. I want to encourage you to recognize the importance of the responsibilities and work you perform day to-day: increase awareness of performing your jobs safely; being compliant; being aware of your surroundings; and above all, working together to make sure we all go home to our family in one piece each and every night.
I am very optimistic about the incredible endeavors in 2019. AMFA officers already have a busy schedule to include Southwest Airlines (SWA) contract negotiations, Alaska Airlines (ASA) Boeing and Airbus transition and seniority integration, legislative agenda, AMFA scholarships, Maintenance Skills Competition sponsorship, communication and social media campaign, promoting our members and recognition in the industry, building mutual aviation coalitions, and most importantly protecting you. We also have new leadership stepping up in 2019 with several new local officers and one new Airline Representative. The only way we continue to be united in this Association is by getting involved and staying engaged.
Votes for the AMFA – Alaska Airlines (ASA) and Legacy Virgin America (VX) Referendum were tallied on December 17, 2018. The AMFA-ASA Boeing group voted to reject the Transition and Seniority Integration Agreements Package with 82.33% voter participation. The VX Airbus group voted to accept the Seniority Integration Agreement with 73.42% voter participation. I cannot commend you enough on the consistent voter participation over the 80% mark. The AMFA-ASA Negotiating Committee is moving forward to find a mutual agreement to bring our two workgroups together. Please stay tuned to the Alaska Airlines News and Updates page of the AMFA National website for further details and meeting dates.
Your AMFA- SWA Negotiating Committee met in Dallas, TX on November 19, 2018. We met with the Mediator in advance of our scheduled one-day session with the Company. We presented the Company with a streamlined proposal intended to reach a prompt agreement; please see Update #70 for more details. Please understand, our last proposal made it clear to the Company that it was conditioned upon the existing terms of the June 2018 Tentative Agreement (TA) remaining in place, and in the event Southwest did not agree to this, AMFA reserves the right to reopen any of the terms contained in the previous TA. We are awaiting a counter proposal from the Company. Our next scheduled dates with the Mediator and the Company are January 24-25 in Dallas, TX. Please stay tuned to the Southwest Airlines News and Updates page of the AMFA National website for further details and meeting dates.
I would like to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to all Southwest Airlines employees for the passing of Southwest Airlines Founder Herb Kelleher, who died on January 3, 2019, at the age of 87. Herb was one of a kind, a maverick who genuinely loved his people. Beginning in 1971, he was an aviation CEO icon, a trail blazer in fighting competitors while treating his employees with respect, a stable workplace, and leading from the front with the golden rule. Everyone knows this is a tough and turbulent industry, but with his wisdom and tenacity he was about taking care of his Southwest employees. Herb is cited with many influential and inspiring quotes like, “What’s the most we can give without jeopardizing job security and profitability,” which truly depicts his value of the Southwest Airlines employees and work culture. I encourage all of you to share your many Herb stories, memories, quotes, and pictures during this difficult time. He changed the aviation industry forever and there will never be another Herb. Like many others, I came to SWA because of the culture he created. Thank you Herb for what you have given all the SWA employees. My thoughts and prayers are with the Kelleher family. Rest in Peace!
As always, 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.