|AMFA Locals and Members
National President’s Monthly Update for April and May 2023
June 7, 2023
The months of April and May were a busy couple of months for the Association. AMFA will continue to be the voice of Aircraft Maintenance Engineers/Technicians (AMEs/AMTs) and related skilled trade professionals by leading aviation industry changes and taking a proactive approach to protecting your work and ability to earn as well as improving wages and benefits. AMFA is the only labor union that constitutionally limits itself to representing the craft/trade of AME/AMT and skilled trade groups. It is evident that other labor groups cast a wider net and utilize a more centralized system of dictators and governance that has proven to foster conflicts of interest amongst their membership.
AMFA is asking our carriers and aircraft maintenance operations to provide valuable, routine aircraft training and proceed with greater caution. Just because the demands of the industry are growing, management should not push shortcuts in safety protocols or demand too much of inexperienced AMEs/AMTs. The carriers’ maintenance programs dictate what scheduled and unscheduled aircraft maintenance staffing levels should be and how task cards are packaged. We firmly believe that safety in the air begins with quality maintenance on the ground, and safety must be every airline’s priority.
On April 11-12, the National Executive Council (NEC), Local Presidents, and one Airline Representative (ALR) from each of the seven AMFA-represented carriers convened in Austin, TX for the Association’s first Joint Advisory Council (JAC) meeting of 2023. With AMFA’s growth over the last year, we now seat four additional ALRs at the JAC table, one for each of the four new carriers we represent. The JAC discussed agenda items of mutual interest, including but not limited to safety and compliance, training, raising the standards of our craft/trade, Transport Canada Regulations, current and active union representation disputes with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB), arbitration cases, workforce development, Association finances, and professional resources. We discussed negotiations for new members at WestJet, Sun Country, Spirit Airlines, and L3 Harris MAS as well as upcoming negotiations at Horizon, Alaska, and Southwest. We were honored to present Rui Leonardo with the 2022 Officer of the Year Award during the JAC Meeting for his dedication and leadership. Congratulations Rui.
AMFA was a proud sponsor of the 2023 Aerospace Maintenance Competition (AMC) held in Atlanta on April 17-20, 2023. Congratulations to all competitors who represented 84 teams. During the AMC, AMEs and AMTs exercised their knowledge, skill, and integrity by performing in 26 timed events. Thank you to the world-class airlines listed below that have risen to the occasion in sponsorship of teams composed of our very own AMFA members, affording them the AMC stage to demonstrate the invaluable impact the aircraft maintenance workforce has on their successful operation.
- Alaska Airlines Team Anchorage
- Alaska Airlines Team Seattle
- Horizon Air Team
- Spirit Airlines Team
- Southwest Airlines Team Colleen
- Southwest Airlines Team Herb
- WestJet Airlines Team
AMFA Representatives had the opportunity to meet with WestJet Airlines (WJA) employees in Toronto on May 16-17 and in Vancouver on May 30-31. We want to thank everyone who participated in these Q&A sessions. AMFA and WestJet Airlines (WJA) will be scheduling dates to discuss the transition period and Section 50 negotiations. The AMFA-WJA Transition Committee is in place, led by the Interim ALR Ian Evershed, who is the main point of contact for your group. The ALR oversees the enforcement of your status quo work rules, pay, and benefits, and is a voting member of your Negotiating Committee. On April 14, 2023, the Digital New Member Package was distributed containing information regarding the next steps to establish member in good standing status with AMFA, which is required to be eligible to submit contract proposals and to nominate, elect, and/or run for union officers and representatives. Contract proposal will be accepted until June 5, 2023. We ask that you DO NOT use the WestJet company email for any union-related communications; please use a personal email address. For further updates and information, please visit the WestJet page of the AMFA National website.
AMFA-L3 Harris MAS (L3) members have been busy since AMFA’s certification. I want to congratulate Mark for recently being elected as the AMFA Local 4 L3 ALR . Mark was instrumental in AMFA’s certification as a trade union in Canada and subsequently bringing AMFA into L3. We want to thank him for his leadership during this interim period. Mark now has the membership’s official backing to engage in the many talks with management to enforce the CBA. For further updates and information, please visit the L3 Harris MAS page of the AMFA National website.
AMFA and Alaska Airlines (AS) Negotiating Committees held bargaining sessions on April 25-27 in Seattle and May 23-25 in Anchorage. AMFA and the Company have come to an agreement on notification before hiring new technicians; there will be an unfilled bid within 30 days of the Company’s decision to hire off the street. The following stations continue to have unfilled vacancies and will begin hiring off the street: SFO, SEA, JFK, KTN, SAN, and ANC.
AMFA and Sun Country Airlines (SCA) Negotiating Committees held a bargaining session on April 4-6 in Minneapolis. The AMFA Committee met to craft a comprehensive package on May 8-12 in Denver, and is scheduled to meet again on June 13-15 in Minneapolis. Stay engaged, remain informed, and continue to support the Negotiating Committee as that support increases the Committee’s ability to bargain a CBA your hard work deserves.
AMFA and Spirit Airlines (NKS) held Section 6 Negotiations on May 3-4 in Fort Lauderdale and are scheduled to meet again on June 20-22 in Dallas. The AMFA Committee met to develop a comprehensive package on May 8-12 in Denver. Stay engaged, remain informed, and continue to support the Negotiating Committee as that support increases the Committee’s ability to bargain a CBA your hard work deserves.
The Southwest Airlines (SWA) ALRs and AMFA Legal Counsel, at the Company’s request, held exploratory discussions with Southwest Tech-ops leadership on May 8, 2023, to determine if either side would be open to formal extension negotiations prior to Section 6 bargaining. These exploratory discussions continued May 30- June 2 in Dallas. On June 1, the Company provided a formal pass to move these discussions into formal extension talks. On Friday, June 2, the parties achieved a Contract Extension Agreement in Principle (AIP). Please continue to monitor the Southwest Airlines page of the AMFA National website and your respective Local’s website for up-to-date information.
AMFA Local 14 President Nic Kula, AMFA-Horizon Air (QX) ALR Chuck Clum, and I attended a station visit at Paine Field on April 26, 2023, meeting lots of new faces. We had great dialog and answered many questions. Many of the new hires have started their careers with QX at Portland and Paine Field. We anticipate more new hires at these two stations over the next several months as the Company continues to try and hire experienced and qualified aircraft technicians to achieve adequate staffing levels.
AMFA currently has one active representation filing remaining with the Canadian Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). On March 2, 2023, AMFA filed an application with the CIRB seeking representation of the AMEs and skilled trade groups at Air Canada. On May 29, 2023, the Board found that the application was not filed during an open period specified under the Canada Labour Code—a technicality manufactured by Air Canada and the IAMAW. Pursuant to the Board’s decision, the next application period will open on January 1, 2025. Employees will have a fresh opportunity to escape from the IAMAW’s repressive representation, unfettered by technical hurdles created by the union and the Company. Please visit the Air Canada page on the National website for more details on the Board’s determination.
I ask you to remain vigilant and engaged with your union and officers. In doing so, monitor your respective carrier page on the AMFA National website for airline-specific details. Our most determined efforts will only succeed with your support and participation – please stay engaged and informed.