September 26, 2023
Participants for AMFA
Bret Oestreich – National President
Will Abbott – Region II Director
Jason Salazar – Airline Representative
Ernest Harris – Member at Large
Samuel Seham – Legal Counsel
Participants for Spirit Airlines
Robert Jones – Vice President, Labor Relations
Jackson Fowler – Corporate Counsel – Labor Relations
Barney Whaley – Regional Director Maintenance
Joe Harmon– Sr. Manager, Maintenance
Tabitha Rybacki – Paralegal, Labor Relations
The AMFA-Spirit Negotiating Committee (the “Committee”) is providing this update to the membership at Spirit Airlines (Spirit). This is the only official authorized source of negotiating communications by the Committee.
The parties held a three-day bargaining session, September 12–14, in Dallas to continue bargaining toward a first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the Spirit group. Unfortunately, the Company again arrived unprepared, providing only an initial response to one new article over the course of three days. The Company still has made zero responses to twenty (20) articles from AMFA’s June comprehensive proposal. It has additionally failed to deliver responses due on AMFA counters.
The Company has made no response to AMFA’s economic proposals covering wages and benefits. When pressed at negotiations on when it would make economic counters, the Company’s lead negotiator argued there was a list of non-economic articles that should be finalized first. Non-economic articles have no bearing on the economic terms the Company can offer. The parties are entitled, and are in fact obligated, to discuss economic and non-economic provisions at the same time. Yet, based on its actions, the Company appears to have conditioned economic bargaining on first agreeing to non-economic terms. Later in the bargaining session the Company claimed that it needed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) from all the Union negotiators before it could share internal economic data. That position had never been raised previously with the Union. In fact, at the conclusion of the prior session, the Union made a point to resend the Company our economist’s contact information so the economic data could be provided. The Company failed to raise an NDA issue at that point. This is another example of the game playing and disingenuous excuses this Company has found to justify its bad faith delay.
On the morning of Day 1, the Company made counterproposals on Article 10 – Seniority and Article 11 – Vacancies. A vast majority of these counterproposals were simply the Company striking the Union’s proposed language and reinserting its own, with no attempt to compromise or find common ground. AMFA passed a counterproposal on Article 19 – Safety & Health, one of the few articles on which it owed a response. The parties spent the afternoon of Day 1 in caucus.
The parties met again on the morning of Day 2, and the Company passed is initial response to Article 9 – Field Service, the only new article brought forward by the Company over the three-day period. AMFA made a counterproposal on Article 12 – Furlough & Recall. The parties continued to discuss Article 23 – Grievance Procedure, with issues remaining on whether the Company must notify your Airline Representative before you are asked to attend a fact-finding meeting that may result in your discipline.
On the morning of Day 3, the Company provided its counterproposals to Article 12 – Furlough & Recall and Article 19 – Safety & Health, again doing barely more than striking much of the Union’s proposed language and reinserting its own. AMFA passed its counterproposal on Article 5 – Hours of Service. The Company had made an Article 5 proposal during the parties’ August 22–24 bargaining session that blatantly ignored the bargaining protocol implemented by the parties at the outset of negotiations. At AMFA’s demand, in order to comply with the agreed upon protocol, the Company reissued its Article 5 proposal on September 7, 2023.
In a shocking display of unprofessionalism and additional bad faith, halfway through AMFA’s Day 3 presentation of its Article 5 counter, the Company advised that its September 7, 2023, proposal had not captured all of its intended changes to the article. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the Company has regressed in bargaining. AMFA had relied on the September 7 proposal to formulate its own counter. Therefore, the hard work of the Committee was rendered meaningless as the Company insisted it would have to go back and change provisions that AMFA believed had been previously accepted. The Company’s bad faith tactics with respect to its passes have further delayed negotiations.
We would like to thank all of you for your continued support. We encourage each and every Spirit mechanic to travel to negotiations and meet with our Negotiating Committee. You are more than welcome in our caucus room, and we will continue to request you be allowed in the negotiation room.
The next negotiation session is scheduled for October 24-26, 2023, in Dallas. We encourage you to reach out to your ALR, Jason Salazar, if you would like additional information or have further questions. Please advise Jason of any issues that arise at your base so that we may address them at the bargaining table. Your elected negotiators have and continue to work diligently on your behalf.
Remember – stay engaged, remain informed, and continue to support the Negotiating Committee as that support increases the ability to bargain a CBA your hard work deserves.
AMFA-Spirit Negotiating Committee