For Immediate Release
Contact: Bret Oestreich, National Director
Phone: (720) 744-6628
Southwest Mechanics Threaten To Throw Legal Wrench in Airline’s Proposed Hawaiian Operations
CENTENNIAL, CO – October 24, 2017 – Bret Oestreich, National Director of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), announced that the union will be filing legal action that could disrupt Southwest Airlines’ plan to initiate service to Hawaii in 2018.
“Southwest Airlines has the lowest ratio of mechanics to aircraft of any major carrier,” commented Oestreich. “Now, the carrier wants to expand its service over open waters without accepting direct responsibility for the airworthiness of its aircraft. Not only is this irresponsible, but it is a direct violation of our contract, and we are not going to allow it to happen.”
Southwest Airlines has historically been a domestic carrier with limited international experience. In order for its 737 aircraft to fly internationally, including service to Hawaii, the planes must be ETOPS (Extended Operations) certified and maintained.
In a recent contract proposal, the Company offered a commitment to use Southwest Mechanics to perform ETOPS departure checks within the 48 contiguous states in return for the contractual right to use vendors to perform ETOPS work outside the 48 contiguous states. Despite the fact that AMFA never agreed to this proposal, and the parties remain in negotiations that have dragged out for more than five years, Southwest recently announced its plan to outsource ETOPS work related to its Hawaiian operations.
“Southwest’s entire Hawaii business plan is premised on going forward with a maintenance plan that violates our contract,” stated Oestreich. “AMFA’s legal action seeks a cease and desist order that will stop Southwest dead in its tracks. If Southwest wants to fly safely to Hawaii, it has to operate within the existing contractual limitations. It is time for Southwest to accept greater responsibility for maintaining its own aircraft.”
The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association was established in 1962 as a craft specific union that represents Aircraft Maintenance Technician and related employees. AMFA is committed to elevating the professional standing of technicians and to achieving progressive improvements in wages, benefits, and working conditions of the skilled craftsmen and women it represents. AMFA currently represents these skilled employees at Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines. For more information about AMFA visit www.amfanational.org.