July 24, 2023
Participants for AMFA
Pat Amore – National Vice President
Earl Clark – Region I Director
Will Abbott – Region II Director
Tony Christner – Airline Representative
Lucas Middlebrook – Legal Counsel
Participants for Sun Country Airlines
Kristen Peterson – Sr. Director, Labor & Employment
Bobby Purzitza – Director of Maintenance
Jill Harrison – Legal Counsel
Laurie Lofgren – Labor Consultant
The AMFA-SCA Negotiating Committee is providing this update to the membership at Sun Country Airlines (SCA). This is the only official authorized source of negotiating communications by the Committee.
The parties were scheduled for a three-day bargaining session, July 18-20 in Minneapolis, to continue bargaining toward a first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the SCA group. The Company requested a half day on July 20 and AMFA agreed to that request. As you will recall, AMFA presented a cover-to-cover comprehensive contract proposal to SCA at the last session. AMFA did this to accelerate the bargaining process and deliver a contract that rewards your hard work. The comprehensive proposal is the full package. Unfortunately, despite having a month with which to prepare, the Company arrived without a comprehensive response to our proposal. Instead, the Company presented the same three individual articles it wanted to present a month ago. In short, it is AMFA’s opinion the Company did very little, if any, work in between sessions and arrived unprepared to bargain effectively. It is clear to us that even after a month they have not done the crucial work of evaluating our comprehensive proposal for economic costs, scheduling/time off, manpower needs, and the other key aspects of the proposal. This lack of preparation speaks volumes regarding Sun Country’s level of respect for you, its employees. In our opinion, Sun Country appears quite disinterested in bargaining efficiently, and instead, seeks delay to avoid agreeing upon a contract that rewards your work. Your Negotiating Committee made its displeasure known on your behalf over these negotiating tactics.
Despite the Company’s lack of preparation, AMFA received the three counterproposals the Company wanted to present, which were Article 4 – Classifications, Article 5 – Hours of Service, and Article 9 – Field Service. These counterproposals contained some movement on minor issues, but largely consisted of the Company’s previous positions. In fact, the Company’s counters were based off proposals from the April session -- prior to the comprehensive, which further demonstrates its lack of preparation for this session. Despite the Company’s tactics, AMFA prepared counterproposals to these articles at the outset of Day 2. The Company asked limited questions and departed to its caucus room. AMFA specifically asked the Company whether it had any other articles prepared to present. The Company responded it was unprepared with any other articles. Because AMFA passed a comprehensive proposal at the last session, the Company owed responses to every article in the CBA. Yet, it arrived with only three articles with which to present and was unprepared in any other capacity. The Company caucused for most of Day 2 and returned in the afternoon with a counterproposal to Article 4 – Classifications.
AMFA prepared and presented a counterproposal to Article 4 at the outset of Day 3. The Company was not prepared with counterproposals on the morning of Day 3; however, in the afternoon, with approximately 30 minutes left in the session, the Company presented counterproposals to Article 5 – Hours of Service and Article 9 – Field Service. These counterproposals made minor movement in certain sections, but largely maintained the Company’s positions from its prior counters.
At the conclusion of Day 3, AMFA advised the SCA bargaining team, once again, that it was unhappy with the manner with which the Company chose to negotiate this week, and that AMFA was considering whether to file a request for mediation with the National Mediation Board. In addition, AMFA expressed its displeasure with how the Company treats your elected Airline Representative, Tony Christner. To date, the Company has refused to compensate Tony for the time he spends on your behalf in bargaining – even when AMFA has offered to reimburse the Company for this time. This treatment negatively affects Tony’s accruals and other employment related issues that he should not be saddled with for stepping up to represent this group. AMFA advised the Company, in no uncertain terms, the manner they have chosen to treat Tony is flat out wrong, and a Company that cares for its employees would do no such thing. This type of mistreatment of an elected union representative will only strengthen the entire group’s resolve to stand united behind Tony and in support of a contract you have rightfully earned.
Thank you to the observers that took the time to attend this week’s session. The next negotiation session is scheduled for August 29-31 in Minneapolis. If you would like to be an observer in future negotiation sessions, please communicate with your ALR, Tony Christner.
Remember - stay engaged, remain informed, and continue to support the Negotiating Committee as that support increases the ability to bargain a CBA your hard work deserves.