June 23, 2023
Participants for AMFA
Bret Oestreich – National President
Earl Clark – Region I Director
Will Abbott – Region II Director
Jason Salazar – Airline Representative
Ernest Harris – Member at Large
Lucas Middlebrook – Legal Counsel
Peter Manikowski – Economist
Participants for Spirit Airlines
Robert Jones – Vice President, Labor Relations
Jackson Fowler – Corporate Counsel – Labor Relations
Barney Whaley – Regional Director 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, June 20-22 in Fort Worth to continue bargaining toward a first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the Spirit group. AMFA used the time since the parties last session to meet internally and develop a cover-to-cover comprehensive collective bargaining proposal. On Day 1, despite AMFA advising it was finalizing a comprehensive proposal, the Company insisted upon passing responses to certain individual articles for which it owed responses. As you will recall, the Company was unprepared during the previous session. Therefore, it is our opinion the Company committee was self-conscious about their lack of work and felt obligated to pass these individual articles despite knowing a comprehensive package was heading its way. AMFA received these passes from the Company and then spent the remainder of Day 1 in caucus to incorporate and counter the Company’s responses within our comprehensive proposal.
AMFA used the morning of Day 2 to finalize its comprehensive contract proposal. AMFA presented its comprehensive proposal to the Company on the afternoon of Day 2. The comprehensive proposal included responses to the Company’s Day 1 proposals as well as articles not previously presented, such as Wage Rules, Wage Rates, Retirement, and Insurance benefits. The comprehensive proposal contained terms that would place you in line with industry standard compensation, benefits, and work rules. The Company asked minimal questions during AMFA’s comprehensive presentation, and at times, its lead negotiator seemed disinterested and interrupted the presentation with avoidable distractions, including answering text messages, slurping drinks, grunting, and walking about the room while your representatives were speaking. Nonetheless, AMFA maintained its professionalism and delivered a cover-to-cover CBA proposal designed to reward you for your hard work and dedication to the Company and the craft.
The Company advised it would not be prepared to deliver a comprehensive response this week. We informed the Company we understood the amount of work needed for such a comprehensive response, but that we preferred to wait for a cover-to-cover package to accelerate the negotiation process so that you, the members, could be presented with a contract as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the Company, driven by its lead negotiator, continues in its attempt to drag this process out and bog the parties down in stubborn discussion over individual articles.
On Day 3, the Company continued with its approach and insisted on passing only individual articles that it wanted to discuss. Your AMFA Committee received and is reviewing these individual article proposals and will be prepared, yet again, to respond in comprehensive fashion at the next session. We do, however, expect the Company to work diligently and be fully prepared with a comprehensive response when the parties meet again in August.
Please rest assured AMFA is prepared, strategically, to deal with what we perceive as delay tactics by the Company committee and its lead negotiator. We do not take this lightly as these negotiations affect your ability to earn and provide for your families. We interpret the Company’s delay, disinterest, and minimal productivity at the table as a lack of respect for you, the hard-working Spirit aircraft technicians and related employees. The Company has barred you, its own employees, from attending negotiations as observers. Is that because the Company does not want you to witness the tactics it has employed at the table? Your AMFA Committee thinks so.
The next negotiation session is scheduled for August 22-24, 2023, in Fort Lauderdale. We encourage you to reach out to your ALR, Jason Salazar, if you would like additional information or have further questions. Your elected negotiators have and continue to work diligently on your behalf at the table.
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