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  • National Director Update
    Updated On: Nov 01, 2017
    Bret Oestreich

    To:      AMFA Locals and Members

    Re:      National Director’s Monthly Update for October 2017

    Date:   November 1, 2017

    Dear Members:

    The National Executive Council (NEC) continues our efforts to achieve the best communication practices to reach our members, including emails and push notifications as well as website, Facebook, and Twitter posts. The NEC also continues to conduct station visits throughout the system. We would like to thank everyone who helps with transportation and escorts at each station.

    AMFA and Alaska Airlines (ASA) conducted the Annual Wage Review in accordance the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on October 10, 2017. For more details, please visit the ASA Annual Wage Review Discussions - First Year Review update posted on the National website.

    The first meeting between the AMFA–ASA Integration Committee and Virgin American Integration Committee was held in Seattle, WA on October 11-13, 2017. During this session we discussed the upcoming integrating of the two workgroups and the data required to accomplish this process. We have requested the assistance of both carriers to acquire the necessary seniority lists to achieve this goal. At the conclusion of the session, both groups agreed on a Process Agreement. We will continue to keep you informed as we proceed. For more details, please view ASA - Virgin America Seniority Integration Discussions Update #1.

    A tentative agreement (TA) has been reached for the Facility Maintenance Technicians (FMTs) at Southwest Airlines (SWA). Ballots for the ratification vote were mailed on October 19, and the tally will be conducted on November 16.

    The AMFA-SWA Negotiating Committee kicked off the Negotiations Roadshow this month to discuss where we are in the negotiations process, what issues remain open, and to answer questions from the membership. The Committee has completed 16 scheduled meeting sessions in DAL, HOU, and PHX. The roadshow travels next to MDW on November 6-7, and then to MCO on November 9. Stations not listed will have the opportunity to participate in these meetings via conference call.

    Locals will be providing dates, times, and access information for the remaining meetings and calls.

    Last week, AMFA released a press release about SWA’s plans for Hawaiian operations and their intent to outsource Tech-Ops ETOPS. Any repackaging of our intermediate scope of work and the subsequent outsourcing of that work or ETOPS work to employ support of on-call maintenance (3rd party vendor) for work that needs to be accomplished outside of the contiguous 48 states is a violation of the current contract language. SWA is arbitrarily trying to get what it had proposed, but not achieved, in current 1903 days of negotiations. The statements of willful intent to violate our CBA must be addressed, and AMFA has commenced legal action to prevent it from happening.

    Evidence of SWA’s disregard is seen in the fact that the number of deadlocked grievances and arbitration cases has gone up 200% over several years. AMFA must be proactive to ensure

     

    protections are in place to address the dramatic spike in contractual violations by the Company and arbitration cases involving outsourcing and work rules witnessed in recent years.

    AMFA wants SWA to expand and be prosperous, and we continue to be direct contributors to the carrier’s record profits and success. Our goal and commitment is to continue to help by taking care of the customer, retaining the competitive advantage, and contributing to the record profits by producing a safe, competitive, and reliable product for the customer and SWA. But, SWA has to use the legal parameters pertaining to the Railway Labor Act to negotiate relief in contract language.

    Willfully breaching the CBA and practicing a “catch us as you can” and roll the dice with an arbitrator approach is irresponsible and a slap in your face. We will continue to keep you informed as we proceed through this process.

    It is important to highlight that several of your fellow AMTs have recently been terminated for alleged non-compliance with documented maintenance procedures. The FAA is now conducting its own investigation on SWA findings during an internal SWA audit. All AMFA members are urged to carefully review maintenance documentation applicable to the specific maintenance task you are performing. Most importantly, the Aircraft Maintenance Manuals (AMM) should always be consulted when remove and replace or servicing of any maintenance task. Every AMT has both the right and obligation to perform maintenance in accordance with the standards embodied in our maintenance manuals. Please reference last month’s Compliance Reminder for more details.

    AMFA representatives attended the Aviation Safety InfoShare conference in San Diego, CA on October 18-20, 2018. Some of the topics covered were transparency with the FAA, fatigue risk management, why policies and procedure matter, and issues created from maintenance manuals. On the subject of fatigue risk management, the FAA has gathered and analyzed a lot of data on AMT fatigue. Fatigue Awareness Training is very important for the AMT to grasp and understand because self-awareness is the most effective method to mitigate potential situations that may involve fatigue.  The next InfoShare conference is scheduled for March 2018.

    In closing, we want to again stress that we must all exercise caution and be watchful of what we express on all social media outlets, especially Facebook.  Even what we post on "closed" or “private” local union pages can be revealed and tracked. We are all being watched by Alaska and Southwest corporate media watchdogs. Any type of negative posts online about individuals or anti- company statements may, and could, be used against you resulting in disciplinary action, including termination. Please be respectful and professional.

    Please stay engaged, and thank you for your time. Sincerely,

     


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