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  • National President Update
    Updated On: Jun 30, 2022
    Bret Oestreich

    To:      AMFA Locals and Members

    Re:      National President’s Monthly Update for June 2022

    Date:   June 30, 2022 

    Dear Members:

    As we hit the halfway marker of 2022, the start of July, we can already begin to reflect on the tremendous amount of success we’ve achieved thus far as our steadfast determination to raise the standards and increasing the recognition of our craft in the aviation industry is fruitful. We would also like to wish you a great celebration in honoring the 4th of July. Please be safe and enjoy this great day in history- Happy Independence Day!

    As I expressed at the beginning of 2022, this Association is prepared for growth this year. All three carriers continue to hire the next generation of skilled technicians and new hire classes have been full. We want to eagerly welcome you all as we face an impending shortage of technicians throughout the industry, and we strive to achieve adequate staffing levels across the system. Additionally, our industry changing contracts – at both in regional and legacy carriers – are being recognized throughout the aviation industry.

    Our results and successes are attracting mechanics and related employees from other carriers who are seeking our craft-specific union as their bargaining representative, and we have already received positive affirmation on two fronts: 1) we are honored be recently be certified as the collective bargaining agent for the mechanics and related professionals at Sun Country Airlines, and 2) on June 15, 2022, the National Mediation Board (“NMB”) verified and sufficient signed authorization cards were filed for AMFA and thus authorized a representation election for the mechanics and related employees at Spirit Airlines, Inc. AMFA will continue to grow, acquiring professional, skilled workforces and furthering our visibility into the future.

    There is no longer the loyalty or allegiance to industrial, self-interest unaccountable labor unions on the “power in numbers” vs “technological and skilled professionals” mentalities, which are very different than AMFA’s knowledge, skill, integrity ideology. The core problem, demonstrated time and time again, is that unfocused industrial unions have put their own power and financial interests ahead of the workers’ interests they were obligated to protect. An important lesson learned from this critical time in labor history is that industrial unions lack focus and authenticity of purpose, which makes them inwardly driven on expanding their reach and enriching their leaders at the expense of the people they represent. Craft unions threaten their model because their purpose is more focused, pure, and noble: to create appreciation for, and fully monetize, the value their specific craftspeople contribute to the business. Their job is to build the craft and highlight its importance, so the company values it more. It is evident, the days of the industrial union are numbered, as people increasingly come to realize that their leaders put the interests of the union ahead of the interests of the professionals they represent. The future belongs to focused craft unions because they are designed to serve their members, advocate for their skills, and profession and not profit from them. As Albert Einstein said, “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.”

    AMFA is the advocator and voice for our craft and our profession. 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. We also continue to conduct station and GMM visits system wide.

    AMFA-Alaska will be filing for Section 6 negotiations in October 2022 with negotiations to start shortly thereafter. Local 32 and Local 14 Contract Proposal Committees have been busy preparing proposals for the contract proposal prioritization survey process; stay tuned as this survey will be sent to members later this summer. Please visit the Alaska Airlines page of the AMFA National Website for further details.

    The AMFA-Horizon Air (QX) membership ratified their new contract in May 2022, and I would like to congratulate them on receiving their first pay increases and retro checks as a valued stakeholder in this process in June. The retirement of the “workhorse” Q400 will start the grounding of 6-9 aircraft in September 2022 and an additional 12 aircraft by December 2022. There is currently a total of 31 Q400 aircraft and these are projected to all be taken out of service by the end of 2023. There are 12 firm orders of E175 aircraft and budgets for furthering future orders. Please visit the Horizon Air page of the AMFA National Website for further details.

    AMFA-Southwest Airlines (SWA) Aircraft Appearance Technician (AAT) extension talks resulted in achieving a tentative agreement on a Contract Extension Letter of Agreement (LOA). The Company will hear the membership’s voice when the referendum is tallied on July 1, 2022. Please visit the Southwest Airlines page of the AMFA National website for further details. Additionally, please do not hesitate to contact your ALR with any questions.

    The AMFA-SWA Facilities Maintenance Technician (FMT) Negotiating Committee met on June 21-23 in Dallas. This initial 3-day session was productive, in large part, due to AMFA’s advanced preparations, including the development of an opener document and written proposals to drive the discussion. Your Committee expects the Company to be better prepared for the start of the next session, which is scheduled for July 26-28 in Chicago. Please do not hesitate to contact your ALR with any questions For further information regarding these negotiations, please visit the Southwest Airlines page of the AMFA National website.

    We currently are proud to announce the successful representation election for the technician and related class and craft at Sun Country Airlines (SCA) that was tallied on June 8, 2022, and AMFA’s subsequent certification as the collective bargaining agent for the group. Following the tally, we met the SCA Transition Committee in Minneapolis and reached out to the Company to schedule dates to meet for transition discussions and Section 6 negotiation notification to start representation of this group. We went to the SCA maintenance hangar for an outside station visit to meet, greet, and answer questions. We will be conducting multiple zoom calls with participants from all departments and shifts in the near future regarding the direction moving forward. We are scheduled to meet the SCA management team and their legal team on July 21, 2022, in Minneapolis. For further information, please visit the Sun Country Airlines page.

    I 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. Please be vigilant and 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, and Sun Country 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.













     

     

    Bret Oestreich 

    National President

     


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