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National Director Update - May 2021
Jun 02, 2021

June 2, 2021

Dear Members:

On May 24 we celebrated Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Day, a special day to recognize the skilled men and women who maintain aircraft with knowledge, skill, and integrity. May 24 was chosen for AMT Day in honor of the Father of Aviation Maintenance – Charles E. Taylor – this year marking his 153th birthday. Everyone knows who the Wright brothers are, but not many know there was a third man who contributed to the first powered flight on December 17, 1903. Without Charles Taylor’s knowledge and skill, that airplane would never have gotten off the ground. Recognizing Charles E. Taylor for his impact on aviation allows us to remember how our craft began as well as our craft’s continued dedication to safety.

As we celebrate AMT Day, we acknowledge your perseverance and dedication to performing your duties, producing a reliable aircraft, and ensuring the safety and security of the millions of air passengers each day. AMFA’s moto is “safety in the air begins with quality maintenance on the ground,” and we are proud of the AMT who use their knowledge, skill, and integrity each day to maintain our country’s aircraft.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to decline across the US, and vaccines and therapeutic treatments are more widely available, we are seeing more confidence in public air travel. On May 31 the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened more than 1.9 million travelers in a single day — the highest traveler throughput in over a year. June 1st marked the 80th consecutive day that TSA checkpoint volume exceeded over 1 million passengers per day, a milestone also not observed since March 15, 2020.

Over the last several months, AMFA National has been in the process of implementing a Shop Representative Training course, compiling resources and streamlining processes assigned to that position. Due to many current COVID restrictions in the state of Oregon, our initial launch (post COVID-19) has been moved to August 10-11, 2021, in Seattle, WA.

AMFA–Alaska Airlines (AS) Airline Representatives (ALRs) continue working with the Company and Arbitrator on the Roster Apps arbitration case. AMFA-Alaska Professional Standards meetings were held in JFK, LAX, and SFO, and Professional Standards Representatives, ALRs and National officers conducted station visits in OAK, SJC, SFO, SMF, and JFK throughout month of May. Thank you for all the feedback and to the security escorts who contributed to making these station visits valuable and successful.

A second round of support documentation and data for the AS Maintenance Controllers accretion filing (NMB file No. CR-7216) was submitted to the NMB investigator on April 23, 2021, and now we return to a holding pattern awaiting a ruling. 

As we near the first round of section 6 contract negotiations since re-certification at Horizon Air (QX), we intend to raise the standards and increase the recognition of the AMFA-QX membership. Please remember, under the Railway Labor Act (RLA) your contract never expires; 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.

It has been over a month since the launch of the Maintenix (MXi) program within Southwest Airlines (SWA) recordkeeping, and the observations and reports received from AMFA members have understandably not been favorable. On May 17, 2021, National Safety and Standards Director Scott King addressed Southwest Airlines (SWA) and its new data records system. We as professional AMTs must remember compliance is the top priority when signing-off work performed.

While SWA continues to correct issues that have been identified with ordering parts, Maintenance Control and AMTs must remain vigilant in uncovering anything that may compromise the integrity of compliance.  The Company has issued numerous “Know Before Fix” notices via Read and Signs to ensure that those MXi program shortcomings are addressed, thereby increasing the information load to the end users. If you encounter any concerns, stop your task and get sufficient clarification in order to confidently sign-off that work.

AMFA is happy to announce a new and unique aviation program designed to train transitioning military members and active-duty spouses in the important and valued craft of aircraft maintenance.  The program is being conducted by VIPER Transitions, an organization dedicated to ending veteran suicide through counseling, comradery, and skilled training towards a rewarding career.  AMFA is also excited to announce a $10,000 donation to VIPER Transitions to purchase program tooling—an important and necessary component of our craft. Additional information can be found at www.vipertransitions.com.

AMFA believes in VIPER’s mission and is happy to partner with VIPER Transitions as they develop the program and expand to other military bases.  Our craft is comprised of many veterans, and we are proud to continue our tradition of veteran support by promoting this program and its value to workforce development. AMFA’s donation is in recognition that aircraft mechanics use tools every day to support their role, and we urge academia, industry, and government to engage with this group and support their valiant efforts. 

The American Airlines monumental grassroots card drive was originally started because it was very clear that the two union TWU/IAM Association (TWU/IAM) was created out of greed and fear of union dues loss. It was made abundantly clear that the unions were in “survival mode” in a letter dated April 23, 2013, from Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President, to Jim Little, TWU President, and Tom Buffenbarger, IAM President. The TWU/IAM Association dual union agreement defines the entities as “Labor Partners” to the Association for the sole purpose of dues collection. The TWU/IAM membership was told they would have the opportunity to vote on representation, but that never happened. The TWU/IAM Association dual union concept has failed and is rapidly deteriorating. AMFA intends to be the vehicle to bring the ballot that was denied by the industrial unions.

AMFA remains eager to represent your group and unify your power under one craft union. AMFA is always transparent with our members because we respect employee choice and never forget that our power as an organization comes from you ─ AMFA Powered By Our Members. For further updates and information, please visit AMFA at the American Airlines page.

As the only craft-specific labor group in the US, AMFA strives to ensure the technician’s voice is heard at the highest levels of government and industry. We accomplish this by participating in the advisory committees of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Department of Transportation (DOT) and Transportation Security Agency (TSA), where stakeholders gather to discuss and advise regulators on the most important issues facing aviation. Please monitor the Legislative Updates page of the AMFA National website for more details.

Reminder: Please utilize your carrier’s Safety Reporting System (SRS) when you feel there are safety or compliance concerns while performing your job. In addition to your carrier’s SRS, the FAA Hotline 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 to please be safe while being vigilant and to stay engaged with your union and officers. In doing so, please monitor your respective carrier page of the AMFA National website for further airline specific details: Alaska Airlines UpdatesHorizon Air UpdatesSouthwest Airlines Updates. For 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.


Bret Oestreich
National Director

7853 E. Arapahoe Court, Suite 1100
Centennial, CO 80112

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