|AMFA Locals and Members
National President’s Monthly Update for January 2022
February 9, 2022
We are forging into 2022, setting goals for the Association and raising standards of and increasing the recognition of our craft in the aviation industry. Our Association is prepared for growth this year as hiring at all three carriers remains steadfast, and our example and successes are attracting mechanics and related employees from other carriers who are seeking our craft specific union as their bargaining representative. AMFA will be growing our membership, footprint, and visibility in 2022. Action speaks louder than words and leading by example attracts.
“The leader sees things through the eyes of the followers. He puts himself in their shoes and helps them make their dreams come true. The leader does not say, Get going! Instead he says, Let’s go! And leads the way. He does not walk behind with a whip; he is out front with a banner.” - Wilfred Peterson
AMFA will continue to be the voice of Mechanics and Related employees by leading aviation industry changes and taking action to protect your work, ability to earn, and improving wages and benefit. We continue to collaborate with other professional workgroups to influence legislation and find champions fighting for stronger FAA oversight under Bill HR 5119 to level the playing field for foreign repair stations. Additionally, AMFA-represented carriers continue to hire and fill positions to achieve inadequate staffing levels with the impending aircraft technician shortage.
AMFA PAC, the first and only political action committee (PAC) representing aircraft mechanic and related issues, is a tool to resonate our voice. Nearly every decision affecting the airline industry and your craft is made by someone elected or appointed in government. AMFA PAC opens doors, affording our profession with more access, influence, and potential legislative victories for our craft related issues. Please consider joining AMFA PAC and make our voice louder. Please visit the Government Affairs Updates page of the AMFA National Website for further details.
In addition to expressing our voice within the industry, we continue to strive for the best communication practices to reach our own membership. Tools are in place for our members to acquire Association and industry related updates via the National website, AMFA App, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and we are excited to announce the recent launch of the AMFA Insider Podcast. Thank you for your continued support in this membership outreach and communication campaign. We also continue to conduct station and GMM visits system-wide.
AMFA leaders and legal counsel continue to meet regarding the potential vaccination mandate at each of our carriers and the developments in court rulings. On January 13, 2022, the Supreme Court issued a decision staying enforcement of OSHA’s ETS vaccine-or-testing rule for businesses with 100 or more employees. See Nat’l Fed’n of Indep. Bus. v. OSHA, et al., 595 U.S. (2022)(“NFIB”).
On January 21, 2022, the Southern District issued a preliminary injunction against Executive Order 14043 (known as the federal-worker mandate), which requires all federal agencies to implement a program requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all federal employees, with exceptions as required by law for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs. Feds for Medical Freedom, et al., v. Biden, et al., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11145 (S.D. Tex. Jan. 21, 2022). The Southern District cited to the Supreme Court’s NFIB holding to the effect that COVID-19 is not specifically a workplace risk, but a universal risk, and thus “requiring employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is outside OSHA’s ambit.” The Southern District applied this logic to the President’s statutory authority under § 7301 in reaching the conclusion that the statute does not authorize a requirement that civilian federal employees submit to vaccination as a condition of employment, because getting vaccinated does not constitute workplace conduct. The Southern District also accepted plaintiffs’ argument that the President’s inherent authority under Article II is insufficient to justify the implementation of a workplace vaccination mandate. The Court stated the government could provide no example of a prior chief executive invoking the power to impose medical procedures on federal employees.
AMFA continues to express that all COVID related mandates are subject to mandatory Collective Bargaining. All Locals are prepared to grieve and arbitrate any violations of the CBA regarding conditions of employment. Furthermore, our government affairs team is collaborating with our carriers to have influence in achieving OSHA standards/guideline that yield reasonable accommodations for such mandates for our membership.
The Association will provide various training sessions for union officers and representatives this year. Shop Representative Training is scheduled for April 19-20 in Atlanta, and we plan to hold future sessions in the vicinities of DAL and/or PHX later this year. We highly encourage any Shop Representative who has not yet received this training contact your Airline Representative to attend an upcoming session as soon as possible. Professional Standards Training is scheduled for March 1-3 in Seattle. We highly encourage anyone interested in conflict resolution in the workplace for our members or conflicts with other workgroups on property. Please contact your Local Safety and Standards Chair if you are interested in attending this invaluable training. Preparations are also under way for Local Secretary and Treasurer Training later this year.
AMFA–Alaska Airlines (AS) ALRs continue working with the Company and Arbitrator on the Roster Apps Arbitration case, meeting with the Company regarding COVID vaccination mandate, and hiring experienced and qualified aircraft technicians to achieve adequate staffing levels in ANC, SEA and PDX. In addition, we are working with the Company to resolve flaws with the KRONOS. It is of extreme importance that members quickly and accurately resolve all irregularities associated with KRONOS timecard punches. Repeated missed punches as well as lunch punch irregularities may trigger Management to investigate. It is your right to be paid accurately for all hours worked and if you have missed punches and/or late or missed lunch, it is your responsibility to ensure your exceptions are recorded and you are paid correctly. The Company will, during an investigation, compare your exceptions/missed punches to door scans and/or surveillance video to ensure accuracy.
Horizon Air (QX) also continues to hire new AMTs yet are losing more than they are hiring. They are having major problems in attracting and retaining qualified, experienced aircraft maintenance professionals. Late evening on January 28, 2022, the AMFA and QX negotiation teams were able to reach an agreement in principle (AIP) on a two-year deal, which contains compensation improvements for AMFA members. The Parties, with the assistance of legal, are in the process of converting the AIP into a full tentative agreement (TA), which will be provided for your review in advance of a ratification referendum. In the coming days, AMFA representatives will conduct an informational roadshow to give further details and answer questions regarding the TA before the ratification vote. We would like to thank all of the AMFA members who observed open negotiations and for their unwavering support of the Negotiating Committee during this negotiation process. Please visit the Horizon Air page of the AMFA National Website for further details.
AMFA-Southwest Airlines (SWA) ALRs continue working with the Company in response to the COVID vaccination mandate. SWA has stated they are in wait-and-see mode based on how the courts rule on this fluid matter. SWA also continues to hire to fill positions with experienced, qualified aircraft technicians to achieve adequate staffing levels across the system.
I want to encourage you to recognize the importance of the responsibilities and work you perform day to-day: increase awareness of performing your jobs safely; maintaining compliance; being aware of your surroundings; and above all, working safely side-by-side with your co-workers. I ask you to please continue to be vigilant and to stay engaged with your union and officers. In doing so, 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 your local website and/or 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.