August 4, 2021
With the high demands of travel seen over these last months, the industry has been tested with transitioning to recovery efforts. As we navigate through the everchanging rehiring period, uptick in more flights per day, new training and understaffing in your workplace, we encourage you to perform your job in a professional, safe, and compliant manner. Our three represented carriers plan to hire many new AMTs, Appearance Techs, Maintenance Controllers, and Inspectors this year to meet the demands of aircraft in operations and future growth.
The AMFA National Convention -- 2020 was held July 25-29 at the New York New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. This marked the 14th AMFA National Convention since 1962. Seventeen (17) Local Delegates representing all five Locals considered 74 constitution amendment proposals submitted by members, Locals, and the Rules Committee. We had a very productive week, and the Delegates accepted 20 proposed amended, which will now be sent to the AMFA membership for ratification. I would like to thank everyone who attended this convention and exercised their responsibilities and duties for the Association.
During the Convention we also announced the new AMFA PAC -- the first and only political action committee (PAC) funded solely by aircraft mechanics with their specific issues at the forefront. AMFA was excited to publicly announce the AMFA PAC on August 3, 2021. The mission of the AMFA PAC is to help advance the legislative agenda of AMFA by opening political doors and providing further access to policymakers. This access delivers opportunities to express our well-reasoned viewpoints to mobilize change on the issues of the day, like foreign outsourcing, workforce development, safety and security, and emerging technologies. The AMFA PAC is unique in that it is dedicated to promoting the aircraft mechanic and related craft, and is poised to change the landscape surrounding the profession by mobilizing mechanics for change and helping gain support from elected officials who will work towards our goals.
While we have had great success in the legislative arena, our counterparts like APA, SWAPA, and ALPA have had a PAC for years to enhance their legislative agenda. As the only craft-specific labor group in the US, AMFA strives to ensure the technicians’ voice is heard at the highest levels of government and industry, and with the craft-specific voice AMFA PAC ensures, we have a unique advantage as others in the industry many other PACs present multiple competing interests. If you are an AMFA Member or Associate Member, you may join the AMFA PAC by clicking here. For further updates and information, please visit the Government Affairs and AMFA PAC pages of the AMFA National website.
Over the last several months, AMFA National has been in the process of implementing a Shop Representative Training course, and the first face-to-face training will be held August 10-11, 2021, in Seattle, WA. We have revamped the training video library on the Shop Representative Resources page of the National website for a high level view pertaining to the importance of being the first line of defense for our members and added information pertaining to the fundamental knowledge and skills necessary to successfully execute the duties of this position.
Locals 4, 14, and 32 have implemented website and smartphone apps to better communicate with their respective membership. The AMFA National website and app operates separate from each AMFA Local’s app. Members are encouraged to register with both AMFA National as well as your respective Local’s site and download the applicable app to receive push notifications regarding current events and updates.
AMFA National: www.amfanational.org
Local 4: www.amfa4.com
Local 14: www.amfa14.org
Local 32: www.amfa32.com
AMFA–Alaska Airlines (AS) Airline Representatives (ALRs) continue working with the Company and Arbitrator on the Roster Apps arbitration case. Alaska has started the hiring process to fill positions in Anchorage, AK (6 Techs and 1 Avionics), and they intend to hire 14-16 AMTs per month for the next 12 months for a total of 144. AS ALRs and National officers conducted a station visit in LAS in July and they will continue to conduct station visits over the next months.
Horizon Air continues the hiring process in filling desired positions for AMTs. The Local 14 LEC continues in preparations for negotiations with the current Contract Proposal Prioritization Survey ending on August 10, 2021, where the affected membership is asked to rank the importance of proposals. The results of this survey will be given to the Negotiation Committee to be used during the contract negotiation process.
It has been three months since the launch of the Southwest Airlines (SWA) Maintenix (MXi) program within SWA recordkeeping. SWA continues to try and correct the 100+ issues that have been identified with ordering parts, communications between systems, and extended time for data entry to perform daily tasks are problematic functions for all work groups. We must remain vigilant in uncovering anything that may compromise the integrity of safety or compliance. SWA TechOps has extended the help desk to August 28, with review by mid-August, and the Company continues to issue numerous “Know Before Fix” notices via Read and Signs to ensure MXi program shortcomings are addressed, subsequently 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.
SWA is also in the hiring process, moving from survival mode to stabilize mode. Hiring efforts are ramped up to match the rapid growth of 18 new stations as well as to fill the understaffing gaps at HOU, DEN, LAX, MCO, PHX, MDW, and DAL. To help offset the uptick in travel demands and rapid growth, firm orders have been made for new aircraft and there has been increased demands of active aircraft on op-spec of approximately 736 by 2021.
On June 25, 2021, the National Mediation Board’s (NMB) investigator issued extensive rulings regarding the challenges and objections filed by the TWU/IAM Association and AMFA to the proposed Eligibility List of American Airlines containing 13,211 individuals less duplicative entries. The rulings determined that the number of eligible voters as of the cut-off date is 14,403. AMFA believes there are a number of individuals on the eligibility list that are not part of Mechanic and Related craft or class and unconscionably, several are deceased and retired. AMFA filed its last appeal rebuttal on August 2, 2021. The appeal and rebuttal process is now complete and we are waiting on a ruling by the Board.
If the TWU/IAM alliance was effective in representing its membership, AMFA would not have the opportunity we have right now to offer American Airlines AMTs a better choice. 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 is Powered By Our Members. For further updates and information, please visit the AMFA at the American Airlines page.
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 Updates, Horizon Air Updates, Southwest 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.