February 2, 2021
The New Year is off to a very busy start around the Association with several new local officers being sworn into office in January: Mike Sanderson, Local 4 Vice President; Frank Logalbo, Local 4 Southwest Airlines (SWA) Airline Representative (ALR); Nic Kula, Local 14 President; Tommy Price, Local 14 Secretary; Cameron Lampley, Local 18 Secretary; and Pat Amore, Local 18 Safety & Standards Chairman. Thank you for stepping up in your new elected position. I would also like to thank the exiting officers -- Tom Hagan, Local 4 VP; Dan Burgess, Local 4 SWA ALR; Jason Munson, Local 14 President; Tom Nolan, Local 18 Secretary; and Maurice Thacker, Local 18 S&S Chairman -- for their commitment and leadership during their dedicated tenure.
At the end 2020, Alaska Airlines (AS) and your AMFA–AS ALRs continued battles on several unfortunate situations related to the very concerning contradiction during enforcement of sick time attendance during a world-wide pandemic. Why implement a NEW, stricter Company attendance policy forcing employees to make a choice to come to work in a state of at-risk health when the entire country is battling a highly infectious disease? Now is not the time for the Company COVID playbook compelling employees to come to work sick for fear of discipline, thus a blatant contradiction to transmission mitigation protocols urged by the CDC. Your ALRs are in ongoing discussions and have filed a final step with AS management regarding the Company’s recent attendance policy and violating the CBA. Additionally, we are waiting on the decision from the Arbitrator ruling regarding the Roster Apps arbitration case. Thank you for all your efforts and patience, we will be continuing to press forward in finding resolutions to these issues.
The National Mediation Board (NMB) investigation is underway for the AS MX Controllers, and AMFA attorneys have reached out multiple times during this long investigation process. During these last weeks of the political unrest in DC, the NMB offices have been shut down. We will keep you updated as developments move forward.
Horizon Air (QX) has continually had system-wide operational staffing issues and has recently hired another eight AMTs. Unfortunately, Horizon is unable to retain employees and maintain staffing levels, thus causing a ripple effect of system-wide understaffing compounded by the Voluntary Early Out for retirement options. AMFA has been notified by the Company they would like to schedule discussions on Section 6 negotiations of your Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) starting mid-summer of 2021.
AMFA–SWA operations have been busy across the system. We know there has been a lot of activity related to ungrounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and its return to service, which is tentatively scheduled for SWA relaunch in March 2021. We have received feedback that training classes have been conducted in preparation for relaunch; however, SWA has had limited communication on the status of your classroom recurrent training and/or hands-on training of troubleshooting or system checks. We encourage you to continue your qualification training and keep up-to-date on your training requirements. We will continue to keep you updated as we receive information on training, RTS status, RTS scheduling, or any further MAX updates.
An NMB investigation is underway in response to AMFA’s filing for a representation dispute for the American Airlines Mechanic and Related workgroups. The investigation process includes validating the authenticity of your overwhelming number of signed authorization cards compared to the 13,213 potential eligible voters and signature samples provided by the American Airlines. 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 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 Legal has reached out to the NMB regarding status of the investigation, however, the offices of the NMB in DC have been closed during this unrest.
As is anticipated that the IAM/TWU Association will make every attempt to prevent this election by any means necessary, including inflating the eligibility list submitted by the Company with other workgroups. Understand, AMFA has filed more than enough signed Authorization for Representation cards with the NMB to cover the Company’s submitted number of 13,213 potential eligible voters. For further updates and info please visit AMFA at American Airlines page of the AMFA National website.
AMFA’s legislative team continues to contribute and engage discussions related to the Payroll Support Program (PSP) CARES Act relief package. Be assured, AMFA is adamantly fighting for you under the parameters of the CARES Act. AMFA will be actively engaged with all the new Congress members, Transportation Committees and having further aviation discussions in relations to DOT, FAA, and TSA committees. Please monitor the Legislative Updates page of the AMFA National website for more detail.
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.
Your AMFA Officers and Representatives continue to successfully navigate through these unprecedented situations fighting for your profession while along your side and we look forward to many more successes by being your voice and confidante in representing you in 2021. As always, I ask you to 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 Updates, Horizon Air Updates, Southwest 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.