April 14, 2020
To All AMFA Members at Southwest Airlines:
Earlier today AMFA Airline Representatives (ALRs) from the four AMFA Locals at Southwest, Local 4 (Dan Burgess), Local 11 (Craig Hamlet), Local 18 (Wayne Lampley), and Local 32 (Ken Patrick), as well as AMFA counsel (Lucas Middlebrook, Esq.), met via web conference with a delegation from Southwest management, headed by Anthony Wafer, Senior Director of Labor Relations. The meeting occurred because on April 1 the National Director was asked to meet under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) concerning the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the carrier. AMFA participated in this meeting without preconditions to listen and that is all.
In the meeting today, the Company proposed different concessionary changes to the collective bargaining agreements that, if agreed to by AMFA, could be implemented on October 1, 2020. However, there was no bargaining and no agreements were made in the meeting. AMFA’s delegation listened and indicated it would respond after the meeting.
That response has already been made, by letter today, from National Director Bret Oestreich. We encourage you to read the response letter that is posted on the Southwest Airlines Updates page of the AMFA National Website.
In summary, AMFA advised the Company of its position that the AMFA contracts at Southwest are not currently amendable and open for bargaining, and that AMFA expects both parties to abide by the current agreements in accordance with the Railway Labor Act. We will continue to monitor the economic and legal landscape with our advisors. We stand ready to work collaboratively with the Company on cost-saving measures, such as voluntary temporary leave and early out programs. However, it is our position that concessionary bargaining is premature -- especially with the news that Southwest will accept the CARES Act grant, which will cover payroll obligations through September of this year.
Your AMFA–SWA Airline Representatives