|AMFA Locals and Members
National President’s Monthly Update for March 2022
April 7, 2022
March was a very successful and busy month for our membership and AMFA. As stated for many months AMFA will be growing our membership, footprint and visibility in 2022. AMFA will continue to be the voice of Mechanics and Related employees by leading aviation industry changes and taking proactive approach to protect your work, ability to earn, and improving wages and benefit. AMFA is the only union that can and will be that voice and is the only labor union that constitutionally limits itself to representing the craft or class of mechanics and Related Employees to avoid conflicts of interest. It is evident, other labor groups cast a wider net and utilize a more centralized system of dictators and governance that is not in the best interests of their members.
It is clear AMFA has single-handedly raised the industry standards while increasing the recognition of our craft in the aviation industry, and the ongoing grassroots organizing efforts at multiple carriers reinforces this truth. Notably, we are proud to share on March 22, 2022, the National Mediation Board (“NMB”) authorized a representation election for the mechanic and related class and craft at Sun Country Airlines. The Election Notice and Sample Ballots were mailed on March 30, 2022, the actual Ballots were mailed on April 6, 2022, and the tally will be on May 25, 2022.
AMFA National officers are conducting station visits across the system to educate the membership about AMFA’s mission and about the important role of AMFA PAC, the first and only political action committee (PAC) representing aircraft mechanic and related issues. We have visited Horizon members at PDX, GEG, SEA, EVR, RDM & BOI as well as Alaska and Southwest members at DAL (MX Control/Technical Instructors), SFO, LAX, OAK, SAN, PHX, and JFK. We must adapt our approach to correct the past degradation of our craft and effectively promote our profession in the legislative arena. Please consider joining AMFA PAC and make our voice louder.
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio introduced The Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act on March 31, 2022, calling for unannounced FAA inspections of foreign repair stations, minimum qualifications for mechanics and others working on U.S.-registered aircraft at foreign repair stations, data gathering and analysis, and a conditional moratorium on FAA certification of new foreign repair stations among other essential safety reforms. AMFA applauds Chairman DeFazio’s leadership on the issue of aviation safety and particularly as it relates to aircraft maintenance, as the carriers seek to accomplish more aircraft maintenance outside of the U.S., this bipartisan legislation is a huge step forward in ensuring that the flying public enjoys safe travel while leveling the playing field for U.S. workers and the companies that employ them. Please visit the Government Affairs Updates page of the AMFA National Website for further details.
In addition to expressing our voice within the industry, we continue to strive for the best communication practices to reach our own membership. Tools are in place for our members to acquire Association and industry related updates via the National website, AMFA App, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and the AMFA Insider Podcast. Thank you for your continued support in this membership outreach and communication campaign. We also continue to conduct station and GMM visits system-wide.
The Association will provide various training sessions for union officers and representatives this year. Shop Representative Training is scheduled for April 19-20 in Atlanta, and we plan to hold future sessions in the vicinities of PHX and HOU later in the year. Additionally, preparations are under way for Local Secretary and Treasurer Training later this summer.
The AMFA National Vice President Special Election concluded on March 24, 2022. This was a tight race between Rob Cush of Local 11 and Pat Amore of Local 18. I would like to thank both candidates for running for National office and wanting to dedicate themselves to AMFA and advocating for our craft and growing AMFA. Congratulations to Mr. Pat Amore for your new position as National Vice President (NVP). Mr. Amore was sworn into office on April 5, 2022, during the officer oath ceremony at the opening of the Joint Advisory Council Meeting held in Raleigh, NC.
I would also like to thank and recognize Mr. Rui Leonardo for taking the reins over the past three months as the Interim NVP while the special election process was conducted. Mr. Leonardo jumped into this role with both feet and was a tremendous help in advocating our profession and efforts in expansion of our membership. He is now transitioning the duties of this position to Mr. Amore.
AMFA–Alaska Airlines (AS) ALRs continue working with the Company and Arbitrator on the Roster Apps Arbitration case, meeting with the Company regarding COVID vaccination mandate, and hiring experienced and qualified aircraft technicians to achieve adequate staffing levels in ANC, SEA and PDX. We are happy to announce on March 30, 2022, AMFA and Alaska Airlines reached a tentative agreement on a letter of agreement (LOA) to bring the Maintenance Control workgroup into our collective bargaining agreement. The LOA provides limited provisions of the current agreement and captures status quo conditions for the group. The full integration of Maintenance Controllers will be negotiated during Section 6 negotiations, which are scheduled to commence in October 2022. AMFA National will be posting the timeline for full Alaska membership vote of this LOA soon. Your Committee would appreciate your support on this LOA.
Horizon Air (QX) also continues to hire new AMTs yet are losing more than they are hiring. They are having problems attracting and retaining qualified, experienced aircraft maintenance professionals. The AMFA-QX Membership’s recent rejection of the first Tentative Agreement (TA) set the stage for the subsequent negotiation talks. The Parties exchanged several proposals and engaged in productive dialogue over the course of day long of bargaining, and late in the evening on Tuesday, March 30, 2022, reached an agreement in principle. This negotiated agreement is a regional industry-changing agreement with significant pay increases on the average 24% over the two-year duration of agreement, negotiation openers in 18 months, industry leading license premiums, industry leading shortened pay progression scale, 1.75% in down year, and ratification payout equal to retroactive pay to January 28, 2022. Now the membership’s voice will be heard in another ratification vote in the coming weeks. The AMFA Negotiating Committee will be holding Contract Question and Answer meetings next week to discuss the agreement with the membership. Please visit the Horizon Air page of the AMFA National Website for further details.
Southwest Airlines (SWA) also continues to hire to fill positions with experienced, qualified aircraft technicians to achieve adequate staffing levels across the system. AMFA-Southwest Airlines (SWA) ALRs continue working with the Company in response to the COVID vaccination mandate. SWA has stated they are in wait-and-see mode based on how the courts rule on this fluid matter.
AMFA-SWA Appearance Technicians extension talks continued in March and counter proposals have exchanged hands in efforts to get a TA. You can expect to receive propaganda from the Company on why its proposals were beneficial to you and how AMFA stood in the way. Remember, SWA made clear its intent is to secure your services at the lowest possible rate of pay and to attract new hires at the lowest rate of pay. Therefore, the Company’s messages must be read with that intention in mind. Please do not hesitate to contact your AMFA Airline Representative (ALR) with any questions or to clarify SWA propaganda.
AMFA-SWA Facilities Maintenance Technicians (FMT) Section 6 negotiations will start in the coming months.
I want to encourage you to recognize the importance of the responsibilities and work you perform day-to-day: increase awareness of performing your jobs safely; maintaining compliance; being aware of your surroundings; and above all, working safely side-by-side with your co-workers. I ask you to please continue to be vigilant and to stay engaged with your union and officers. In doing so, monitor your respective carrier page of the AMFA National website for further airline specific details: Alaska Airlines Updates, Horizon Air Updates, Southwest Airlines Updates. For further information regarding AMFA and the airline industry, please visit your local website and/or the AMFA National Website at www.amfanational.org.
Our most determined efforts will only succeed with your support and participation – please stay engaged and informed.