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  • National Director Update
    Updated On: Aug 31, 2017
    Bret Oestreich

    To:      AMFA Locals and Members

    Re:      National Director’s Monthly Update for August 2017

    Date:   August 31, 2017

    Dear Members:

    The National Executive Council (NEC) continues our efforts to achieve the best communication practices to reach our member including emails, 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 continues to help with transportation at the station and escorts from each of the stations.

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to our members and their families in Houston, TX and surrounding areas who are affected by the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Harvey. A Go Fund Me account has been established to help members of Local 18 who are directly affected by this event at https://www.gofundme.com/amfa-18-hurricane-benefit. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of TWU Local 555, TWU Local 556, SWAPA, and all the other family and friends who have been impacted. You are not alone! We will keep you up to date on any further developments.

    On October 10, 2017, AMFA and Alaska Airlines (ASA) will conduct the Annual Wage Review. Additional, we have scheduled our first meeting between the AMFA–ASA Integration Committee and Virgin American Integration Committee in Seattle on October 11-13, 2017, to discuss the upcoming integration process of the two workgroups. We will continue to keep you informed as we proceed through this process and as future meeting dates are scheduled.

    We have now been in Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) negotiations with Southwest Airlines (SWA) for more than five years. Sadly, August 16 marked that anniversary date. Negotiations continued this month with a mediated session on August 16-17, 2017.We assume you have heard from the Company that they are disappointed that the Union would not entertain the Mediation-Arbitration (Med-Arb) option, which they allege could be the fastest way to get you something to vote on.  It is vital to understand why the Company has pushed so hard for Med-Arb since April, 2017 –it’s a free swing for the Company. The only level playing field in that context would be for each side to enter the process with a mutual risk and equal number of open articles. This was not the proposal. As a reminder again, the Company had secured, via tentative agreement, relief on nearly all of its asks throughout this process. It had secured relief on items such as ETOPS, international down-lines, small station opening/closing, temporary inspector backfills, and the parties were close at the last session on Scope relief. The Company, however, remains entrenched in their position that it must secure significant changes to your Article 2: Scope provision as part of any deal.

    Please recognize three important factors: 1) the first time the Company initiated pay rates and benefits was August 2016, four years into negotiations; 2) the first time the Company released details on scope language of the new MAX maintenance program was May 2017, four and a half years into negotiations; and 3) almost all of the current open articles are our membership’s asks. The Union,

     

    however, has been consistently met with blunt “no’s” on requests to increase your pay, retro, 401(k) benefit, control of your health insurance costs, and to lock in the current mechanic to aircraft ratio to ensure our group is not diminished as the Company grows. Please see Negotiations Updates posted to the AMFA National Website for more details.

    AMFA will hold informational picketing events for SWA AMTs on Sunday, September 10, 2017. Locals 32 has coordinated the following picketing event:

    Oakland International Airport 0800 PST to 1200 PST

    Outside Southwest Airlines Terminal 2

    Contact: Craig Smith, 501-205-2298, Craighallsmith@gmail.com

    AMFA conducted its third Professional Standards class August 22-24, 2017. Participants included 23 AMFA members from all five AMFA Locals and both ASA and SWA. Awareness of this AMFA’s Professional Standards Program needs to be elevated as it is a very useful tool in taking a healthy approach to settling member disputes within AMFA. Please make note and utilize this process at your whenever an applicable conflict or issue arrives.

    In closing, we want to stress 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,

    Bret Oestreich National Director


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