October 2, 2020
September 2020 was another busy month for your AMFA Officers and Representatives as we continue to monitor the operational activity pertaining to headcount reductions while safeguarding AMFA protected work in this assaulted aviation industry.
September 30, 2020, was “D-Day” for the CARES Act Payroll Support Program (PSP), which restricted carries from furloughing employees and from pay and benefit reductions. AMFA members at all three AMFA-represented carriers have contributed in helping our companies save millions of dollars by voluntarily committing to the Early-Out Program (EOP), Voluntary Separations Program (VSP), Extended Emergency Time Off (EXTO), Emergency Time Off (ETO), or In-Lieu-of-Furlough (ILOF) options. We again thank and appreciate individuals who have volunteered in this cause.
AMFA’s legislative team continues to contribute and engage discussions related to the CARES Act, and we are continuing to advocate for our craft in COVID-19 related discussions, especially regarding the current CARES Act PSP Extension. We have teamed up with other aviation unions in lobbying efforts to urge our elected officials to authorize an extension of the PSP for an additional six months. It is a crucial time for Congress to act is now. We ask each AMFA member to help by reaching out to your state Senator and Congressmen today. Be assured, we are adamantly fighting for you under the parameters of the CARES Act. Please to monitor the Legislative Updates page of the AMFA National website for more details.
AMFA Local Safety & Standards Chairman continue to be actively involved to reinforce adherence to workplace cleaning protocol via CDC guidelines. We continue to urge you to utilize PPE, practice social distancing, adhere to any company policy on wearing masks while performing your job, and remember, safety is always the number one priority. If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 safety procedures or protocols, please contact your Local Safety and Standards Chairman.
In a decision dated September 18, 2020, Arbitrator Fredric R. Horowitz rejected Alaska Airlines’ position that job security provisions negotiated by the AMFA could be nullified by advent of the COVID-19 pandemic based on a force majeure clause contained in the relevant Letter of Agreement (LOA) #9. LOA#9 determined that at the six protected stations (Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Diego, and San Francisco) no furloughs will result in station layoff through the amendable date of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which is October 17, 2023.
Additionally, AMFA represented employees in all unprotected stations, if downsized due to lack of demand for aircraft utilization, may bump in accordance with the CBA into a protected station. I would like to commend AMFA Officers and our legal team for representing our members in an impeccable manner, presenting and victoriously winning this furlough arbitration case. For further information, please review the joint statement released by AMFA and Alaska Airlines, dated September 25, 2020.
I am happy to announce that after years of litigation between AMFA and Southwest Airlines (SWA), a settlement agreement of all parties’ claims and counterclaims in the federal litigation (Consolidated Case No. 3:17-cv-00431-N) was reached. On September 17, 2020, AMFA-SWA members ratified the Article 23 Protocols Agreement, thus resulting in both parties moving to dismiss all claims and counterclaims in court. On September 24, 2020, all litigation between AMFA and SWA ended when the Court closed the case after the parties complied with their settlement.
Reminder: the FAA Hotline reporting system may be utilized to report concerns of aviation safety: https://hotline.faa.gov/. We must realize our grave responsibility as FAA certified airman to exercise our judgement on the airworthiness of aircraft and equipment. We, therefore, pledge unyielding adherence to these precepts for the advancement of public safety of aviation and for the dignity for our craft.
As always, I ask you please be safe while being vigilant and to stay engaged with your union and officers. Please monitor your respective carrier page of the AMFA National website for further airline specific details: Alaska Airlines Updates, Horizon Air Updates, Southwest Airlines Updates. Additionally, I encourage you for more carrier specific updates and further information regarding AMFA and the airline industry, please visit the AMFA National Website at www.amfanational.org. Our most determined efforts will only succeed with your continued support and participation – please stay engaged and informed.