December 7, 2016
Dear AMFA–ASA Members:
As you know, AMFA is currently engaged in collective bargaining with Alaska Airlines pursuant to the Railway Labor Act. As long as that lasts, the parties are required to refrain from “self help” until released by the National Mediation Board (“NMB”) from mediation and a thirty-day cooling off period has expired. This means that during the negotiating process Alaska is prohibited from initiating a lockout or unilaterally changing the terms of our collective bargaining agreement. It also means that AMFA-represented employees are prohibited from engaging in concerted job actions designed to create bargaining leverage. Federal courts have defined “self help” to include, among other things, group overtime boycotts.
This week Alaska brought to AMFA’s attention allegations that AMFA members caused delays in operations by engaging in job actions. If true, such acts could subject both AMFA and the responsible individuals to litigation culminating in court injunctions to refrain from such perceived activity, as well as discipline, including termination, of responsible individuals. Further violations of injunctions forbidding such job actions could result in economic sanctions.
For this reason know that AMFA did not call for, and does not endorse, any overtime boycott, or other job action and it considers any such action, prior to our exhaustion of the Section 6 negotiating process to be both wrong and contrary to the best interests of AMFA. Therefore, no AMFA members should participate in any collective or group effort to withhold services or otherwise engage in any job actions at Alaska Airlines.
Upon completion of the RLA-mandated negotiating process, a strike or other job action shall be initiated pursuant to the AMFA Constitution, which requires membership approval. Thank you.
On Behalf of the NEC,