|AMFA Locals and Members
National President’s Monthly Update for April 2022
May 6, 2022
As AMFA’s efforts to rightfully protect your work, enhance your ability to earn, and improve wages and benefits for our membership is having a powerful ripple effect on the rest of the industry. You and your voice are the backbone of the aviation maintenance industry. That’s truly the beauty of a structure where the membership has control of their own destiny. I am extremely honored to be your champion and confidante in helping your voice to be heard. Your unity in fighting battles and tackling obstacles over the last several turbulent years has resulted in consistently staying on top.
I want to personally thank you for what you do and credit you with the recognition you deserve for our profession. Your dedication to performing your job with safety awareness every time you touch an aircraft makes you critical and relevant to the success of maintenance operations. The lives of the public and livelihoods of those in the industry depend on your knowledge, skill, integrity.
One of the primary reasons I accepted the nomination for this position was because AMFA is the only union that constitutionally limits itself to representing the craft or class of Mechanics and Related, thus avoiding conflicts of interest with other groups. I am proud to lead a labor union that is the voice of Mechanics and Related employees.
AMFA National officers are still conducting station visits across the system to educate the membership about AMFA’s mission and the important role of AMFA PAC, the first and only political action committee (PAC) representing aircraft mechanics and related issues. Our PAC is a tool to resonate our voice. We must adapt our approach to correct the past degradation of our craft and effectively promote our profession in the legislative arena. The PAC will be that vehicle by opening doors for AMFA to spearhead initiatives relevant to our profession. We want to gain momentum for a movement against diluting our craft any further by developing regulations that prohibit the airlines, government agencies, and most importantly other industrial unions from including jobs beyond the scope of maintenance on aircraft and components in our class and craft. We need your help in advocating for our profession, to raise the standards of our craft, and to cease the watering down and dilution of our skill and trade.
AMFA was extremely instrumental in the introduction of “The Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act” on March 31, 2022, calling for unannounced FAA inspections of foreign repair stations, minimum qualifications for mechanics and others working on U.S.-registered aircraft at foreign repair stations, data gathering and analysis, and a conditional moratorium on FAA certification of new foreign repair stations among other essential safety reforms. 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.
AMFA is the advocator and voice for our craft and our profession. 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 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 held its first Shop Representative Training Program class of 2022 in Atlanta, in April, training more than 40 participants from Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, and Southwest Airlines. AMFA National officers; Nick Granath and Lucas Middlebrook, legal counsel; and Professor Don Taylor, Wisconsin University-Madison School for Workers conducted effective and focused training. The Shop Representative Training Program is designed to inform and educate on the legal rights of the Shop Representative, grievance origination and processing, contract interpretation, ten secrets of successful grievance presentation, and dealing with management. Furthermore, legal counsel discusses the fundamentals of the legal role shop representatives play in the workplace. This two-day class includes opportunities for Q&A with legal counsel, Airline Representatives, and Regional Directors. These hired professionals help mentor the skills necessary for AMFA members to facilitate and represent fellow members on the frontline in their workplace. Whilst the members benefit the most from your representational abilities, the company will also respect your preparedness in all matters related to the union.
Huge thanks again to all who attended, interacted, asked questions, and accepted the position of AMFA Shop Representative. We would like to express how critical a Shop Representative is to our Association and how extremely important your role is in protecting members from management decisions, including contract violations, which in many scenarios can save the job of an AMFA member. If you are a member who feels standing up and helping your co-workers in the workplace is important and a necessity, please get involved by requesting further information from your Local Executive Council and/or ALR. Stay tuned for class information as another session is being scheduled in 2022.
On April 25-28, AMFA was actively promoting our craft at the Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC) in Dallas, TX. AMFA members participated on four teams participating in the Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC): Alaska Team-ANC, Alaska Team-SEA, Horizon Air, and Southwest Airlines. AMFA is extremely honored to sponsor and support our members as well as the other 71 teams of skilled Aircraft Engineers, Aircraft Technicians, students, and military personnel from around the globe. The competition was the world stage to exercise aviation knowledge and skillsets in 27 timed events to promote our proud craft and profession. Incredibly, there were 20 military teams this year with 17 US and three Canadian. Thank you all for your service.
AMFA teamed up with our Aircraft Engineers International (AEI) affiliate at the AMC, which was a great opportunity for networking and supporting our craft world-wide. Thank you, Chris Burleigh, AEI Secretary Asia/Pacific, Fred Bruggeman, AEI Secretary General, and Louie Key, AEI Secretary of the Americas for attending this year’s AMC.
AMFA–Alaska Airlines (AS) ALRs continue working with the Company on the Roster Apps Arbitration case, and your local is accepting proposals for Alaska Section 6 negotiations, which is scheduled for October 2022. We are happy to announce that the Alaska Airlines members ratified the letter of agreement to bring the Maintenance Control workgroup into the collective bargaining agreement by 84%. We have new hires at most Alaska stations now. Please welcome this next generation of technicians -- and future generation of AMFA leaders -- into our workplaces and help them get established as engaged members of AMFA.
The AMFA-Horizon Air (QX) membership is in the process of voting on a tentative agreement (TA) #2. This is after the membership rejected TA#1 in March, setting the stage for the committees to get back to the table to negotiate another agreement, which was reached in two days. This tentative agreement is an industry-changing agreement for regional carriers with significant pay increases over the two-year duration of the agreement, negotiation openers in 18 months, industry leading license premiums, industry leading shortened pay progression scale, 1.75% in down year, and ratification payout equal to retroactive pay to January 28, 2022. The membership’s voice will be heard when the referendum is tallied on May 10,2022. Please visit the Horizon Air page for further details.
Southwest Airlines (SWA) continues to hire technicians to achieve adequate staffing levels across the system. We have new hires at most SWA stations now. Please welcome the next generation of technicians – and future generation of AMFA leaders -- into our workplaces and help them get established as engaged members of AMFA.
AMFA-SWA Appearance Technicians (AAT) extension talks continue in efforts to reach a TA that is worthy of the membership’s consideration. The next face-to face session is tentatively scheduled for the first week of May. Please do not hesitate to contact your ALR with any questions or to clarify SWA propaganda.
AMFA-SWA Facilities Maintenance Technicians (FMT) Section 6 negotiations will start in the coming months and the Negotiating Committee will be meeting in mid-June 2022 to review the summary report on the proposal rankings submitted by FMT membership.
As we have said since the beginning of the year, we will be expanding AMFA’s footprint and growing our membership in 2022. We are raising the industry standards at both regional and major carriers while increasing the recognition of our craft in the aviation industry. We are proud to share that the National Mediation Board authorized a representation election for the mechanics and related class and craft at Sun Country Airlines. Due to printing and mailing errors, a revote was conducted and the tally will be on June 8, 2022. For further information , please visit the AMAF at Sun Country Airlines page.
I want to encourage you to recognize the importance of the responsibilities and work you perform day-to-day: increasing 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.