April 5, 2021
We hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy as we continue to navigate through this COVID-19 pandemic. We are cautiously optimistic as we continue to see the number COVID-19 cases decline throughout the US. Now that vaccines are introduced and several therapeutics are available for treatment, this may instill more confidence in public air travel. We are encouraged as we are starting to see positive trends in air travel. On Sunday, March 21, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened more than 1.5 million travelers in a single day — the highest traveler throughput in over a year. April 1, 2021, marked the 22th consecutive day that TSA checkpoint volume exceeded over 1 million passengers per day, a milestone also not observed since March 2020.
At the end of last year, Alaska Airlines (AS) and your AMFA–AS Airline Representatives (ALRs) continued battles on several unfortunate situations related to the contradiction during enforcement of sick time attendance during a world-wide pandemic. Your ALRs have resolved this matter via ongoing discussions with the AS management and they have settled on several remedies to prevent violating the CBA. Additionally, we are waiting on a decision from the Arbitrator ruling regarding the Roster Apps arbitration case.
AMFA AS and Southwest Airlines (SWA) members have had an arduous responsibility in terms of much simultaneous training in preparation for the return of the 737 MAX. At AS, AMFA members have a responsibility to complete initial training on the relaunch and ungrounding of the 737 MAX-9-- induction/acceptance checks, as well as many other new firm orders of this aircraft – as well as training Boeing NG and Airbus 319-320. At SWA, AMFA members have dual responsibility of recurrent training on the relaunch and ungrounding of the 737MAX for return to service, in conjunction with the new Tech-ops implemented Maintenex digital logbook maintenance aircraft record keeping.
We encourage continued vigilance while performing your day-to-day job tasks, remain compliant, and continue your qualification training while still keeping up-to-date on your training requirements. If you encounter any concerns, stop your task and get sufficient clarification in order for you to confidently sign-off that work. We will continue to keep you updated as we receive information on any further MAX training and the continued relaunch of the MAX in this transition.
The National Mediation Board (NMB) investigation is still underway for the AS MX Controllers, and AMFA attorneys have reached out multiple times during this long investigation process. We have received word there will be movement and, hopefully, reach a decision on moving forward in the accretion process. The NMB is currently in the appointment phase for positions under the Biden Administration. We will continue to keep you updated as developments move forward.
Horizon Air (QX) has continually had system-wide operational staffing issues and has hired additional AMTs. Local 14 AMFA-QX ALR Bobby Shipman and National officers completed an eight (8) day station visit rotation to PDX, BOI, GEG, PAE, RDM, and SEA, and we received a plethora of great feedback from all members from each station in regard to current events. As our QX membership nears our first round of Section 6 contract negotiations since re-certification, we have a plan in place to raise the standards and increase the recognition for the AMFA membership, and we anticipate there will be numerous CBA proposals and individual nominations for outstation-at-large positions. Under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), Contracts talks likely to schedule discussions on Section 6 negotiations of your Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) starting mid-summer this year. For further Section 6 information please click link: Under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), your contract never expires; even if you recently changed union representation from IBT to AMFA, your contract remains “status quo” until amended, even if your union representation changes. Management may not change the contract and AMFA may not engage in any work actions until all the steps outlined in the RLA have been completed and both parties are released from mediation.
AMFA looks forward to the opportunity to unify and represent the American Airlines (AA) AMTs under one union. AMFA is a firm believer in keeping transparency with our union members because we respect employee choice. On March 23, 2021, AMFA requested and NMB Investigator Bautista granted a 7-day postponement to provide its response to the challenges to the proposed eligibility list by the TWU/IAM Association (“TWU/IAM”) which seeks to add roughly 2,000 ineligible individuals to the list of 13,213 proposed by American Airlines in an underhanded effort to dilute the significance of the cards you submitted calling for a union election. NMB rules require substantive evidence be provided from both the TWU/IAM, which is scarce in its challenges, and from AMFA in its response to those challenges. AMFA’s filing on Good Friday had an abundance of exhibits containing the substantive evidence needed to disprove the TWU/IAM’s numerous frivolous requests.
Again, this continued effort by the TWU/IAM is another example of how desperate they are to keep AA Mechanics and Related (M&R) from voicing their will. We are extremely confident that we prevail in this matter and the AA M&R will finally receive their rightful opportunity to choose their own representation. Empowered by their support, their voices will be heard. For further updates and information, please visit AMFA at American Airlines page of the AMFA National website.
AMFA continues to represent our members and our craft as aviation professionals in the legislative arena. We are advocating for the craft at the highest levels of TSA-ASAC and DOT-ARAC working groups. Please monitor the Legislative Updates page of the AMFA National website for more details.
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.
AMTs work tirelessly to ensure the safety and security of the millions of air passengers each day – we appreciate and applaud you. In many cases these men and women do so while working odd hours, weekends, and holidays in all types of inclement weather. They take the responsibility to provide a safe aircraft to heart and strive to maintain the trust of the flying public. We thank you for your perseverance and dedication in performing your duties and producing a safe, reliable aircraft. Our unity as aviation professionals, especially during these times, is our strength. We are proud of the AMT, who use their knowledge, skill, and integrity each day to maintain our country’s aircraft.
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.