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National Director Update - November 2020
Dec 02, 2020

December 1, 2020

Dear Members:

We hope you and your loved ones had a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving and we wish you great Christmas during this holiday season. As we navigate through these epic times, your AMFA Officers and Representatives continue to monitor the health and safety of our members, the operational activity pertaining to headcount reductions, as well as continuing to actively converse with all airlines on potential cost saving measures outside of our Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA).

At the end of October, Alaska Airlines (AS) and your AMFA–AS Airlines Representatives (ALRs) continued further battles in another unfortunate arbitration case regarding the efficiency of roster apps and are awaiting a decision from the Arbitrator in enforcement of your CBA. ALRs are in ongoing discussions with management regarding the Company’s recent attendance policy. Be sure each conversation you have with management allows you to validate the dates they present to you; any protected time needs to be verified and disputed immediately via the grievance process.

AMFA filed for accretion of the AS Maintenance Controllers back in July. AMFA attorneys have reached out multiple times to the NMB Investigator for status updates over these months, and unfortunately, they have been unable to provide AMFA any update on the NMB investigation process for this workgroup.

Horizon Air (QX) has recently had operational staffing issues system-wide and has hired approximately 20 AMTs to fill understaffed locations caused by the Voluntary Early Out for Retirement option and operational schedule. Management and AMFA Representatives are implementing a Professional Standards process for our members at QX, and we are thankful our Local 14 Professional Standards Chairman will assist in the implementation of this program. Not only is this an incredible resource for internal conflict resolution, but it’s also an incredible tool to resolve conflicts with other workgroups on the property.

The AMFA–Southwest Airlines (SWA) ALRs have been in discussions with the Company over the last six (6) weeks to identify feasible costs cutting options for Tech-ops employees. The intentional hostile atmosphere in the workplace SWA Senior Vice President Landon Nitschke created by pulling strings from behind the curtain for nearly 7 years of battles in negotiations during the best of times of SWA record profits causes extreme and excessive caution. These very fresh etched memories reap ZERO trust that SWA senior management will do the honest and right thing.

Additionally, this continues once again with SWA Senior VPs showing their disrespect and hatred while afflicting as much pain as possible for our Tech-ops group. These malicious actions are evident based on the recent backdoor distribution of WARN Notices to create fear and division of our Members. It is unfortunate that senior management has decided to never let a good crisis go to waste, rather than Herb’s philosophy of always putting people first, thus putting the Company in the enviable position they are in today.

Even more troubling, SWA made the decision to send these notices to our members despite the fact we were still engaged in productive dialogue -- as recent as days prior -- pinpointing savings and additional cost reductions applicable to our group that do not require opening our CBAs. During that meeting, the Company gave no indication whatsoever that WARN Notices would be sent to Members two days later. Unfortunately, the Company seems more interested in heightened fear than identifying mutually beneficial cost saving measures that would allow the Company to weather the remainder of this pandemic.  Furthermore, no credit was given to our group for the savings generated by your participation in the voluntary leave or early retirement options. We’re open to continuing these types of discussions, and Company representatives have, as recent as last week, requested the same.

To be clear, if you received a WARN Notice, this does not mean you will be furloughed. The Company must comply with this federal law and its 60-day notice provision in order to preserve the ability to follow through with its threatened furloughs. The ALRs have requested the next phase of the Expedited Arbitration provisions of our CBAs in order to enforce language, among other provisions, which restricts any reduction in force so long as the Company continues to outsource our work. We will continue to file grievances, proceed to expedited arbitration, and defend our contracts and your livelihood against these actions. As we advised the Company on October 23, AMFA reserves the right to pursue any and all legal remedies in order to preserve the status quo while these issues are presented and decided upon in accordance with our CBAs.

Please monitor the Southwest Airlines Updates page of the AMFA National Website to view correspondence from your ALRs and National addressing the possibilities of furloughs links:

  1. AMFA-SWA ALR Membership Update #1, October 8, 2020
  2. Memo: NEC Supports AMFA–SWA Airline Representatives, October 8, 2020
  3. AMFA-SWA ALR Membership Update #2, October 15, 2020
  4. National Director Letter to SWA Re: Contractual Commitments Prevent Furlough of AMFA-Represented Employees, October 23, 2020
  5. National Director Update, November 3, 2020
  6. AMFA-SWA ALR Membership Update #3, November 18, 2020
  7. AMFA Local Presidents Update on WARN Notices to Membership, November 18, 2020
  8. AMFA-SWA ALR Membership Update #4, November 23, 2020

We’re proud to announce on November 13, 2020, AMFA filed for a representation dispute with the National Mediation Board (NMB) for the American Airlines Mechanic and Related workgroups. We have been assigned NMB Case No. R-7557 and NMB Investigator Josie Bautista. American Airlines is required to provide a list of potential eligible voters and signature samples for each employee on the list by December 7, 2020.  Then, over the next several months, the Investigator will conduct an investigation, including validating the authenticity of your overwhelming number of signed authorization cards. The Investigator will also assess the eligibility of voters based on determination of the Mechanics and Related Employees Craft or Class to ensure that a majority of the group sought an election for union representation. And finally, the Investigator will schedule the distribution of voting instructions for a Representation Dispute Election, which will be conducted by telephone and internet.

AMFA’s legislative team continues to contribute and engage discussions related to the Payroll Support Program (PSP) CARES Act, the stand-alone bill or the macro relief package. Furthermore, our team advocates for our craft in COVID-19 related discussions, especially the current CARES Act PSP Extension. Today, a bipartisan group of lawmakers announced a new stimulus proposal to resuscitate failed coronavirus aid talks in Washington before the end of the year. The agreement would provide for another $388 billion for small businesses, including for the popular PSP of forgivable loans – $45 billion for transportation according to the lawmakers. Specifically for airlines, PSP aid would be approximately $17 billion for a four month extension. The success of the new bipartisan framework will depend on whether leaders from both parties are willing to bring a new bill to the House and Senate floors in the next two weeks. Unfortunately, the political landscape as we await the inauguration of the next President is causing uncertainty on if and when these bills to bring financial relief for our airlines will be voted on. Be assured, we are adamantly fighting for you under the parameters of the CARES Act. Please  monitor the Legislative Updates page of the AMFA National website for more details.

AMFA Local Safety and Standards Chairman continue to be actively involved system-wide to reinforce adherence to workplace cleaning protocol via CDC guidelines. We urge you to utilize PPE, practice social distancing, adhere to any company policy on wearing masks while performing your job, and remember, safety is always the number one priority.  If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 safety procedures or protocols, please contact your Local Safety and Standards Chairman.

Reminder: the FAA Hotline reporting system may be utilized to report concerns of aviation safety: https://hotline.faa.gov/. We must realize our grave responsibility as FAA certified airman to exercise our judgement on the airworthiness of aircraft and equipment. We, therefore, pledge unyielding adherence to these precepts for the advancement of public safety of aviation and for the dignity for our craft.

As always, I ask you please be safe while being vigilant and to stay engaged with your union and officers. Please monitor your respective carrier page of the AMFA National website for further airline specific details: Alaska Airlines UpdatesHorizon Air UpdatesSouthwest Airlines Updates. Additionally, I encourage you 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 support and participation – please stay engaged and informed, our unity, especially during these times, is our strength.


Bret Oestreich
National Director

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