Bret Oestreich, National Director
March 19, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
Over the past several weeks, airlines and their employees have been under an enormous amount of pressure amid an ever-changing environment in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. AMFA leaders have been in communication with our carries on a regular basis and have been taking guidance from the CDC to ensure we are taking effective steps to combat the significant challenges posed by this pandemic.
We ask that if you are ill, or have been exposed to any virus in your household, do not come to work. Self-disclosure is imperative to help keep the work place safe and healthy. AMFA has been actively involved in making sure all our carriers follow through with work place cleaning and increased disinfecting. Please keep us aware of inadequate work place cleaning. We also encourage you to read and review company correspondences about leaves, adjusted schedules, and accommodations.
As Scott King, National Safety and Standards Director, said in the message put out last week regarding what you can do to protect your health, as updates about COVID-19 are made daily, we encourage you to draw upon information and guidance from the CDC. Among the best practices recommended by the CDC are to thoroughly wash hands, avoid touching your face and maintain six feet of social distancing whenever possible. We encourage everyone to monitor the CDC website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html) to educate yourself and watch for updates. Do not buy into headlines and sound bites – investigate the whole story completely through credible sources. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact your Local Safety and Standards Chairman.
AMFA will continue to collaborate with Alaska, Horizon, and Southwest on options for our members in the event possible restrictions or even a temporary shutdown is imposed on domestic air travel. In an effort to help our carriers, AMFA is supportive of and encouraged by the FAA's announcement that it will waive existing "use it or lose it" slot requirements for airlines at major US airports. In addition, we are closely monitoring and providing input on the government’s efforts to produce a financial assistance bill for the airline industry. Our Legislative Affairs team is supporting and advocating for more ways to address any potential economic impact on our members and the craft as a whole.
Please know that even as we remain focused on the coronavirus effects, and ensuring the safety of our members, AMFA continues fighting on a daily basis for our carriers to provide you with a safe and clean work area to perform your duties. Remember safety is always a priority, do not let our current situation distract you from doing your job.
We maintain our commitment to Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, and Southwest Airlines by maintaining the competitive advantage in the work we perform. The work you do directly contributes to ensuring all our aircraft are safe and reliable. We appreciate your resistance to the many distractions we have all heard. We thank you for your focused perseverance and dedication in performing your job duties, and continuing to be the best at your craft.
We recognize that the “fear of the unknown” is a real concern for you and your family during the spread of the coronavirus across our country, as well as the massive effects this may have on our economy generally, and our industry specifically. We ask you to stay vigilant during this challenging time. Our AMFA members are the most unified we have ever been as mechanics and related aviation professionals. We have weathered many industry storms during AMFA's 58 years, and we will also persevere through this current situation.