For Immediate Release and Posting
To AMFA Members At Southwest Airlines
From AMFA National Director On February 22, 2019
Dear AMFA–SWA Members:
AMFA and the Southwest Airlines remain engaged in collective bargaining pursuant to the Railway Labor Act. The law requires that both parties refrain from “self help” until released by the National Mediation Board from mediation and a thirty-day cooling off period has expired. During collective bargaining the Company is prohibited from initiating a lockout or unilaterally changing the terms of our collective bargaining agreement – and conversely, AMFA-represented employees are prohibited from engaging in concerted “job actions” that interfere with Company operations. But by letter today, the Company alleges a job action. AMFA firmly rejects these allegations and has said so in a letter from our attorneys back to Mr. Shaw tonight – but I want to remind you of this:
First, as I said on February 15, know that it is a violation of federal law for Southwest Airlines to “intimidate, threaten, restrain, coerce, blacklist, discharge, or in any other manner discriminate against an employee” who seeks to perform his work in conformance with federal aviation standards. 29 C.F.R. § 1979.102(b). You, as a federally licensed Aircraft Maintenance Technician, have an obligation to ensure aircraft upon which you work only carry passengers in an airworthy condition. Apart from being federally mandated, we are the frontline employees tasked with this important responsibility. So, if you feel you are being pressured to disregard aircraft damage or shortcut the manuals, then let your Airline Representative (ALR) know of such threats and/or contact National Safety and Standards Director Scott King at (720) 744-6630 – or call the FAA Hotline at 866-TELL-FAA / 866-835-5322 to file a report. But do not get baited into acts of defiance that will be characterized as insubordination. Instead, follow the adage “work now, grieve later.”
Second, of course AMFA has not called for, does not support, and will oppose any job action, in any form. Members are unequivocally instructed to refrain from any collective actions to withhold their services from the Company, or to diminish their services, or to disrupt operations for illegal reasons. Doing your job as a licensed Technician is not illegal. There will be no collective action outside of a lawful call for a strike, which will only come from my office, and has not been called for, to date. There is no hidden message here about this – job actions do not help you, your co-workers, or the Union. In short: be professional, work hard, be productive, but be safe and stay disciplined in unity.
On Behalf of the NEC,