February 8, 2016
Participants for AMFA:
Louie Key – National Director
Earl Clark – Region I Director
Michael Nelson – Region II Director
Bob Cramer – Local 4 Airline Representative
Craig Hamlet – Local 11 Airline Representative
Shane Flachman – Local 18 Airline Representative
Mike Young – Local 32 Airline Representative
Lucas Middlebrook – AMFA Counsel
Participants for Southwest Airlines:
Mike Ryan – VP, Labor Relations
Gerry Anderson – Sr Director, Labor Relations
Cindy Nagel – Sr Director, Labor Relations
Bill Venckus – Director, Labor Relations
Scott Collings – Director, Central Region
Mark Lyon – Sr Manager, Labor Relations
John Donnelly – Manager, Financial Planning
The Negotiating Committee is providing this update to the AMFA Membership at Southwest Airlines. This report is the only official authorized source of negotiating communications by the Committee.
We met with the Company in Dallas, TX on Monday afternoon, February 1, 2016, for a scheduled one and a half day Aircraft Maintenance Technicians and Related (AMT) mediated negotiation session. In our current "Interest Based" format, it was the Association’s turn to bring forward a topic of discussion; we chose Article 23: No Strike-No Lockout. Article 23 remained unresolved and we wanted to take this opportunity to have open discussions and express our concerns regarding this topic as it pertains to the past history of current Company leadership. As we are all well aware of what happened to our brothers and sisters at Northwest Airlines, we felt it essential to explore options that would help to alleviate our concerns. After several hours of discussions and possible language changes to this Article, we decided that we would prefer the language in Article 23 to remain unchanged rather than possibly compromise any of the long standing intent that is currently in place. The Railway Labor Act (RLA) contains the rules governing this Article and the RLA provisions would control if there was a conflict. In addition, the membership has a tremendous amount of leverage regarding this topic.
On Tuesday the Company wanted to discuss the topic of new maintenance stations. Upon initial discussions it was unclear how their concepts would affect our current stations, but we were able to specify that these discussions were only for "new" maintenance line stations. The Company said they recognize that we currently have very restrictive contractual language, which addresses the existing line stations. In addition, there are specific agreements in place for PHL and SMF regarding the downsizing or the removal of maintenance entirely. They expressed a desire to add maintenance line stations where the flight operations warranted, but said it was a challenge to do so with the current language. We discussed their concept that specified safeguards for the Company in the event that, after opening a new station to maintenance, the flight operations dwindled to a point where there was minimal maintenance work. We also discussed provisions that protected our technicians, which includes a specified notification period and possible financial consideration in the event maintenance was removed from one of these "new" line stations. We spent the rest of the session, some in committee caucus, discussing possible solutions to both of our concerns. We also introduced several items that we felt were needed to protect our technicians that are awarded these positions. We will begin our next session discussing this topic.
Please remember that we are in mediation and are proceeding with a mediator who establishes the rules of our sessions. We are currently in "Interest Based" negotiations and the discussions at the table are open, conceptual, and in most cases off record. We are not able to provide detail to a specific issue as we do not receive formal proposals. In order for this process to be beneficial to our goal of ultimately reaching a Tentative Agreement (TA) to these negotiations, these updates must only generally discuss details of topics discussed at the table until such time that we agree to the language for a specific item. If we do find the need to revert back to a traditional bargaining process, we will also revert back to our more detailed and thorough updating methods. As always, do not hesitate to contact your representative if you have any questions. Our next mediated AMT negotiation session is in Dallas, TX on February 16, 17, and 18. Thank you for your support.
Your Negotiating Committee