the grapevine



In this issue

understanding professional standards
Navigating rapid growth at work
letter from louie
all hail the king…
around region I
around region II
summer days

member spotlight

All Hail the King…

The SPAM King, that is.

AMFA Local 14 Airline Representative Jason Munson was crowned the SPAM King last year after his “Mini Maple SPAM Doughnuts” took top prize in the Great American SPAM Championship.

Munson, a 19-year veteran mechanic for Alaska Airlines, had been entering the annual recipe contest at the Washington State Fair for years to no avail.

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Kids on strike

kids on strike

Kids on Strike: This is a fascinating and amazing book. Kids on Strike! tells the story of children who stood up for their rights against powerful company owners. Nearly two million children were in the U.S. workforce by the early 1900s. Their tiny fingers, strong eyesight, and boundless energy made them perfect employees. But after years and years of working long hours every day under inhumane conditions, they began to organize and make demands in order to protect themselves.


Important links

AMFA National
AMFA Local 4
AMFA Local 11
AMFA Local 14
AMFA Local 18
AMFA Local 32

About amfa

The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association is a craft oriented, independent aviation union. It is not an industrial union and represents only airline technicians and related employees in the craft or class in accordance with the National Mediation Board Rules and their dictates. AMFA is committed to elevating the professional standing of technicians and to achieving progressive improvements in the wages, benefits, and working conditions of the skilled craftsmen and women it represents. (see our brochure)

members tip: Protection from employer retaliation

Be aware that there sometimes is a difference between what you know actually occurred and what you can prove as a matter of law. You’d be kidding yourself if you thought that there’s never been an instance in which a worker was in fact retaliated against for having engaged in behavior that is legally protected but was unable to prove that the retaliation took place. Still, don’t let this prevent you from asserting your rights. There have been plenty more instances where the agency charged with enforcing a law moved aggressively against an employer trying to prevent an employee from asserting rights under that law. After all, if all employees are successfully intimidated into not using the provisions of the law, that agency becomes useless.
—Adapted from The Union Member's Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer.


Understanding Professional Standards


On May 22, 2013, a group of AMFA members gathered for Professional Standards Training at the Alaska Airlines Hangar in Seattle, WA. The group consisted of Alaska Airlines members from Local 14 and Southwest Airlines members from Local 32. They were all attending continuous education for their respective local’s Professional Standards Committee.

By David Brooks, National Safety & Standards Director

BrooksI know there has been a lot of talk and use of our Professional Standards Program lately, but I would like to try and explain and familiarize you with this program.  This program has been established to resolve conflicts between AMFA members before it escalates to management and results in punishment, or in some cases termination.

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Letter from Louie

By Louie Key, National Director

Louie KeyOver halfway into 2013 and though much has actually been accomplished, it can sometimes feel like we’re just spinning our wheels.

We have suffered delays with  our Southwest negotiations for both the Aircraft Maintenance Technicians and Facility Maintenance Technicians. The company is engaging in hostile tactics and trying to force us to negotiate an entirely separate agreement for this workgroup.

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Navigating Rapid Growth at Work

By Aaron Hansen, Assistant National Director

Our worlds at Alaska and Southwest Airlines are rapidly changing. Over the years our respective airlines have grown and experienced change, but never at the current rapid rate. Now, it seems like every day that we show up for work something has been updated. Our environment is filled with frequent revisions to our manuals and guidelines, and even our Policy and Procedures Manual grows larger and larger by the week.  Today, many decisions are made without our input and indeed out of our control.

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Around Region I

By Earl Clark, Region I Director

Region I is comprised of Locals 14 and 32.  Much has been happening, particularly as it relates to negotiations at both Alaska Airlines (ASA) and Southwest Airlines (SWA).  Local 32 SWA Airline Representative Mike Young of and the other three SWA Airline Representatives continue to work on two of the biggest issues affecting our SWA members today: the 4th line implementation grievance and the station closure notification of Philadelphia and Sacramento. The 4th line implementation grievance has gone to arbitration with a favorable ruling for the Association and is now in the settlement phase of the arbitration process which will resume July 10.  There have been positive and productive conversations with SWA on the station closure issue, but at this time no agreement has been reached.  We are hopeful that one will be reached soon.

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southwest plane

Around Region II

By Michael P. Nelson, Region II Director

Michael P. NelsonRegion II is currently comprised of three locals: 4, 11, and 18.  At the National level, we have had the privilege to be involved in the reestablishment of Local 4. Those guys have put a lot of hard work into making it happen and it was an honor to be present when they received their Charter as well as to attend their first General Membership Meeting and officer swear-in at Chicago.

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Summer Days

By Justin Madden, National Secretary/Treasurer

July marks the half-way point of the year.  Six months of 2013 have passed and summer is upon us, the time for vacations, barbecues, and possibly the kids returning home.  Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle, take joy with family and friends.  Get outside if you can and enjoy the scenery--just remember to wear sunscreen.

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