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National President Update - March and April 2024
May 16, 2024
AMFA Locals and Members
National President’s Monthly Update for March & April 2024
May 15, 2024

Dear Members:

Since the beginning of the year, the National Officers have been working to “right-size” the industry by securing your careers and our craft/trade. Although those securities are provided in your collective bargaining agreements, we continue to see many challenges in the industry, including problematic oversight in the aircraft manufacturing industry. Unfortunately, their manufacturing business model and subsequent safety incidents have rippled across the industry and into the companies where we work.

It is paramount that we prioritize safety while performing our jobs. We must not get distracted by media hype and attacks on our industry, or on the companies we work for. Boeing or Airbus have internal business problems they must address, but we need to stay focused on maintaining safe, reliable aircraft for the crew and flying public.

As you perform your duties, remember the public relies on your expertise and trusts in your ability to ensure flight safety. We must not compromise safety, regardless of outside influences. Every maintenance check is crucial in proactively identifying, assessing, and resolving potential issues to maintain aircraft in flight-ready status. As Aircraft Maintenance Technicians/Engineers (AMTs/AMEs), we aim to reduce risk. During our touch time, we perform inspections, service, and changing of parts, and we minimize risks by using the proper maintenance manuals and procedures to remain compliant.

AMFA is the voice of the AMT/AME and related skilled professionals. As your representative, we will continue to support you by taking action to protect your work, your ability to earn, raise wages, and improve benefits. We are committed to aggressively defending the rights of aircraft maintenance professionals in both Canada and the United States.  We know how to combat coercive employer strategies that decrease your quality of life and jeopardize air travel safety. AMFA respects the work you perform and we will demand proper recognition from your employers and the general public for your critical contribution to aviation safety.

Our legislative initiatives and achievements have defined AMFA as a leader in this generation of craft/trade unionism across North America. For more information on our legislative action, please visit the Government Affairs page of the AMFA National website.

It has been a busy time for our Negotiating Committees. Thank you to the AMT/AME and related crafts members who participated in negotiation sessions. Your attendance and engagement in the bargaining process helps to strengthen and increase industry standards for all AMEs / AMTs across Canada and the United States.

The AMFA-WestJet Airlines (WJA) Negotiating Committee caucused April 1-5, to work on a comprehensive economic proposal package. On April 5, the committees signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to incorporate key articles in the CBA, subject to ratification by the members.

On April 10, the AMFA Committee passed a comprehensive proposal to the Company via a Zoom conference to give the company ample time and not delay the negotiating process for a counterproposal the following week with our economist. More information on those meetings can be found in update #11 AMFA (amfanational.org).

April 13-15, the AMFA-WJA committee met in Calgary and worked on eight articles, “The Low Hanging Fruit,” to try to come to TAs. On April 15, the committee met and passed the eight articles after reaching consensus via email.

Both committees then met in Edmonton April 15-19. As of noon on April 18, WestJet had still not provided an economic package to supplant their existing proposal that would have reduced real wages.  AMFA brought its economic consultant to review and respond to the WestJet package presented but for nearly the entire week, there was nothing for him to respond to. Finally, late Thursday evening the company passed two articles on Wages. On Friday, we received the remainder of the articles in a full package—update #12 AMFA (amfanational.org)

The committees reconvened Calgary the following week, and again, the Company failed to submit written proposals that would significantly enhance the wages, benefits, layoff/recall protections, and quality-of-life work rules.

WestJet AMEs feel their trade deserves distinction and respect. They seek focused bargaining and consistent application of fair work rules to address and restore workplace culture. For more information, please read the following Negotiation Session updates #11, #12 #13, #14 and #15 on the WestJet page of the AMFA website.

The committee met again May 1-4 in Chicago, IL.  During our around-the-clock bargaining sessions, the Company interrupted the negotiating progress to deliver its lockout notice. Undeterred, the negotiating committee reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) in the final hours. AMFA’s legal team and the company will finalize the TA this week. AMFA will hold informational meetings the week of May 20th to present the TA and answer questions before voting, May 28 to June 11, 2024.

For further updates and information, please visit the WestJet Airlines page of the AMFA National website.

We are in exploratory discussions at L3 Harris MAS (L3) on the implementation of a new station in Ottawa, ON, that will maintain two new A330 aircraft in the L3 fleet, while the Trenton, ON, membership will continue to maintain the A310 fleet. The grievance process is still underway for the two stations combined. There has been a high termination rate due to ethics complaints against our AMFA members and representatives in the last weeks. The complaints are under investigation by AMFA National to see how to best address these incidents, along with assisting Local 4. AMFA National will be conducting a station visit to help find solutions. For further updates and information, please visit the L3 Harris MAS page of the AMFA National website.

On January 11, 2024, after 12 months of negotiations, AMFA and Alaska Airlines announced an Agreement in Concept (AIC) on a new five-year agreement. The voting period for this referendum started on February 20 and ended on March 14, 2024, with ratification results of 55.42% acceptance and participation of 89.49%. I want to congratulate both Negotiation Committees on an industry-leading agreement with a TOS rate of $65.85, license premiums of $8.00, and secure headcount protections and job security for work performed by our members for decades.

Please review the AMFA negotiation updates on the Alaska Airlines page of the AMFA National Website.

At Sun Country Airlines (SCA), strict compliance with manual procedures is a must, irrespective of your skill level. SCA Management may want planes in the air, but your A&P license and public safety are top priority. We must honor our crucial responsibility as FAA-certified Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMT) to exercise our judgment on the airworthiness of aircraft and equipment. Therefore, we pledge unyielding adherence to these precepts to advance public safety of aviation and the dignity of our craft. Each person performing maintenance on an aircraft, engine, propeller, or appliance shall use the methods, techniques, and practices prescribed in the current manufacturer’s maintenance manual…

14 CFR § 43.13(a). The FARs also provide that an airline is responsible for the “performance of the maintenance or preventive maintenance … in accordance with its manual and the regulations of this chapter.” 14 CFR § 121.363(a)(2).

Adherence to proper maintenance practices is not only an obligation, but it is also a right under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century (AIR 21).

AMFA-SCA and SCA Committees met with National Mediation Board (NMB) Mediator Jack Stephan from April 30 - May 2, 2024. If you recall, after a year of unproductive negotiations with the SCA Negotiating Committee, AMFA requested that the NMB appoint a federal mediator to oversee the bargaining process. 

For a comprehensive review of the technical aspects of the mediation process, please visit the National Mediation Board’s website, where you can research mediation and the airline collective bargaining process, thoroughly. In addition, if you have questions, do not hesitate to contact any member of your Negotiating Committee for answers or clarification.

The Negotiations Committees will meet again on the following dates: May 28-30 in DC, June 18-20 in Las Vegas and in July at a location TBD. Please visit the Sun Country Airlines page of the AMFA National website for updates.

Spirit Airlines (NKS) is currently restructuring and is operating on reduced operational schedules. It has grounded the Airbus 320 NEO - Pratt & Whitney engine due to gear drive malfunctions and reliability issues. We have been monitoring the situation. As of now, our AMFA-Spirit membership has not been notified of any staffing reductions in Technical Maintenance Operations. Unfortunately, Spirit negotiators do not seem committed to working toward a contract that would reward you for your commitment and dedication to maintaining a safe, reliable aircraft. Our mediated sessions will be with the NMB Mediator Jack Stephan, and are scheduled May 7-9 in Fort Lauderdale, July 16-18, location TBD, and August 13-15, location TBD. For further updates and information, please visit the Spirit Airlines page of the AMFA National website.

Recently, Boeing informed Southwest (SWA) that the 87 aircraft orders that were to be scheduled for 2024 were going to be delayed. That number was then reduced to 47, and later adjusted to 36 and now 20. With this reduction in Boeing deliveries, 17 of SWA B737-700 will be put in long-term storage for 20Y heavy checks. This reduction in aircraft deliveries ultimately has an impact on flight operations. Southwest has announced four station closings and will reduce schedules at 12 additional stations on August 1. Due to the decreased number of aircraft, SWA flights are at 4400 and will be increased to 5000 per day. This will have a direct effect on flight hours, increasing from 10 flight hours daily to 14 flight hours daily on the SWA aircraft fleet. As a result, our AMFA-SWA membership will see double the workload on non-routines and less touch time on overnight maintenance checks.

AMFA recognizes these challenges and remains steadfast in our dedication to upholding the highest safety standards. As mentioned, schedules will increase, and daily flight utilization is forecasted to substantially increase. Greater attention to safety and detail will be necessary during the limited turn-around times between flights and reduced time for overnight maintenance. As touch time is reduced, the potential for errors increases along with error reporting. The Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) and the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) are excellent tools to use if you encounter irregularities during this difficult time. Make sure to carefully review every task before and after completion to remain compliant. While safety reporting usually occurs after an error, these systems can also be used as a preventative measure to identify and assess potential future risks. We must not compromise on safety, regardless of the push for maximum efficiency and revenue. For more information, please visit the Southwest page of the AMFA National Website.

AMFA and Horizon Air met in Seattle, WA, March 11-13, 2024, to begin work in earnest towards a successor CBA. The parties TA’d numerous articles. To start the economic portion of negotiations, AMFA has requested economic data to formulate our proposals. The next negotiation sessions are scheduled for May 20-22 and June 4-6 in Seattle, WA. For further updates, please visit the Horizon Air page of the AMFA National website.

Please use 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 used to report aviation safety concerns: https://hotline.faa.gov/.

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.


Bret Oestreich
National President

7853 E. Arapahoe Court, Suite 1100
Centennial, CO 80112

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