Be involved with your future!
Representing members at Southwest Airlines
2106 days 12 hours 14 minutes 7 seconds since we have had a new contract!
First, I’d like to point out something of which some of you may not be aware. Our fine mechanics were among the other employee groups who stood shoulder to shoulder with us while we all tried to wrap up protracted negotiations. Negotiations have concluded for all major employee groups except for our mechanics, as the Company continues a scorched-earth policy. I know that you all appreciate our mechanics’ dedication to their profession and their quality of work as much as I do. No one in the world appreciates a good aircraft mechanic as much as a Pilot, and AMFA has our full support.
There are several sources for information and updates at both the National and Local level. Read about them here.
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Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association Announces Agreement in Principle with Southwest Airlines for the Aircraft Maintenance Technicians
CENTENNIAL, Colo. – April 11, 2018 –The AMFA Negotiating Committee reached an Agreement in Principle (AIP) with Southwest Airlines (SWA) for the Aircraft Maintenance Technicians on April 10, 2018.
“After nearly six years of negotiations, the parties have reached the stage where it is time for our members at Southwest to review and vote on a package produced by this protracted process,” said Bret Oestreich, AMFA National Director. “We will now work toward educating our members as to the contents of the AIP so that they can make an informed decision for them and their families.”
The Negotiating Committees are working together to draft Tentative Agreement language, which will then be sent to the National Executive Council (NEC) for a final review, and then to the membership for their consideration and ratification vote. A timeline will be announced at a later date.
Message from TWU556 President Lyn Montgomery
AMFA Letters to Congress Regarding Safety and the Importance of our Craft’s Voice
In light of recent events, today AMFA sent the attached letters regarding safety and the importance of our craft to the leaders of the Senate Commerce Committee and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.
Primary AMFA-SWA OLR Election Results
As there is only one candidate running unopposed for this position, an election is not required; therefore, Nino DiMaggio will serve as the Primary AMFA – SWA Outsourcing Liaison Representative commencing on July 1, 2018.
Primary AMFA-SWA ASAP ERC Representative Election Results
As there is only one candidate running unopposed for this position, an election is not required; therefore, John Paonessa will serve as the Primary AMFA – SWA ASAP ERC Representative commencing on July 1, 2018.
Press Release: AMFA Leadership Cast Vote of “No Confidence” in SWA VP of Maintenance Operations
Citing Degraded Supervisory Maintenance Culture and Pressure to Subordinate Safe Maintenance Practices as Reason for Vote
Centennial, Co. – February 22, 2018 – Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association leaders cast a vote of “no confidence” today in Southwest Airlines Vice President of Maintenance Operations Landon Nitschke, asking Southwest CEO Gary Kelly and COO Mike Van de Ven to relieve Nitschke of his duties and responsibilities.
The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), the union representing the AMTs at Southwest, took the vote after reports from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed that Southwest’s maintenance supervisors have engaged in a pattern of coercive conduct toward the airline’s AMTs that has degraded the safety culture at Southwest and placed the safety of the flying public at risk.
“We did not undertake a vote of no confidence lightly as we have diligently attempted to get these issues resolved,”…
Meeting Notice to Resume Mediation with Southwest Airlines
Mediator Cathy McCann will continue mediation conferences with AMFA and Southwest Airlines in Dallas, TX on March 6-8, 2018.
2018 Scholarship Announced
Realizing the importance of education AMFA Local 11, with the approval of its membership, has established a scholarship fund for the purposes of assisting its members and their dependants in defraying the cost of continuing education. This shall be defined for our program as “formal courses of study for adult part-time and full time students, beyond secondary education”
This program will award a total of 12 scholarships in the amount of $1000.00 US each, for a total payout of $12,000.00 US total each year.
FAA: Southwest Airlines Maintenance Safety in Question… again | Southwest Airlines planes may not safe due to corrosion
FAA conclusion on Southwest Airlines: On time over safety
AMFA Economist on Retro and Recent Info Distributed by SWA
AMFA-SWA AMT Negotiations Update Regarding ETOPS
Southwest Airlines (SWA) has, once again, demonstrated its lack of respect for the aircraft maintenance technician (AMT) group and our contract. The days of Herb’s SWA are long gone, and the current management would prefer to breach your contract first and arbitrate, as opposed to engaging in a productive collective bargaining relationship. It is, quite simply, disgusting.
On October 20, 2017, Landon Nitschke and Trevor Stedke delivered a memorandum to all of you addressing the ETOPS Program – specifically, in relation to the Company’s recent announcement that it intends to fly to Hawaii. In that memorandum, Landon and Trevor stated the Company’s unequivocal intention to breach our CBA as it relates to ETOPS work. The memorandum stated:
Southwest will carry out our ETOPS maintenance in our current network of Southwest hangar and line maintenance locations. We’ll employ the support of on-call Maintenance for work that needs to be accomplished outside of the contiguous 48 states.
The Company asked for this exact relief during the current prolonged Section 6 negotiations. In fact, in its June 2017 comprehensive proposal, the Company proposed the following language to be included within Article 8:
At ETOPS launch stations within the contiguous 48 states, the Company will use Southwest Technicians to perform ETOPS pre-departure checks. At ETOPS launch stations outside the contiguous 48 states, the Company may utilize on-call providers to perform ETOPS pre-departure checks.
There is simply no dispute the Company asked for relief from the existing language in our contract so that it “may” utilize on-call providers to perform ETOPS pre-departure checks outside the contiguous 48 states…
Southwest Mechanics Threaten To Throw Legal Wrench in Airline’s Proposed Hawaiian Operations
NOTE that this lawsuit is temporarily stayed pending the results of the current AMT contract proposal.
CENTENNIAL, CO – October 24, 2017 – Bret Oestreich, National Director of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), announced that the union will be filing legal action that could disrupt Southwest Airlines’ plan to initiate service to Hawaii in 2018.
“Southwest Airlines has the lowest ratio of mechanics to aircraft of any major carrier,” commented Oestreich. “Now, the carrier wants to expand its service over open waters without accepting direct responsibility for the airworthiness of its aircraft. Not only is this irresponsible, but it is a direct violation of our contract, and we are not going to allow it to happen.”…
Compliance Reminder: Non-Compliance Awareness
On July 13, 2017, Southwest terminated an Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) for deviating from “all required procedures included in MT 735-00-01.”
The letter of termination indicates that the Company relied on surveillance tape to determine that the AMT may have allowed a second mechanic to sign for work that the AMT had performed: “security video evidences that a second AMT did not enter the area of the flight crew oxygen cylinder and therefore, required processes and/or procedures of MT 735-00-01 were not completed.”
Based on this single incident, Southwest justified the AMT’s termination in the following terms:
Southwest Airlines expects its Aircraft Maintenance Technicians to follow policies and procedures to ensure the safety of our customers and employees. Based on the aforementioned conduct, which has led to Southwest Airlines losing confidence in your judgment and ability to properly follow regulations, policy and procedures, your employment with Southwest Airlines is terminated.
Disclosures to the FAA have also led to the AMT’s receipt of a Letter of Investigation…
Video: SWAPA Supports AMFA
AMFA Supports Chairman Katko’s Recommendation to TSA to Include Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) Union on ASAC
CENTENNIAL, Colo. – August 16, 2017 – The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) applauds Chairman John Katko’s recommendation to TSA Acting Administrator Huban Gowadia to include an AMT union on the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC).
AMFA National Director Bret Oestreich stated, “On behalf of the over 3,000 Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines aircraft maintenance technicians, I applaud Transportation and Protective Services Subcommittee Chairman John Katko for his leadership in recommending the Aviation Security Advisory Committee to include a ‘craft specific union to represent the AMT perspective on the Committee.’…
Overview of Pending AIR 21 Cases
In recent weeks, AMTs have initiated three separate AIR 21 cases against Southwest. Our attorney, Lee Seham, has provided a brief summary of the relevant allegations.
UPDATE – 28 July: In a memorandum entitled “Compliance Culture” dated July 7, 2017, Landon Nitschke and Trevor Stedke wrote that safety has always been the “top priority” of SWA maintenance operations. Notwithstanding this purported priority, the memorandum conceded that the FAA and Department of Labor have received an “uptick” in complaints from SWA Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) relating to management coercion, which the federal agencies have taken “very seriously.” The memorandum admonishes and underscores, “It is never appropriate for a [Tech Ops] leader to intimidate or pressure an employee.”
Every AMT worth his salt applies pressure to himself knowing the importance of returning planes to revenue service. But, as the Compliance Culture memorandum correctly indicates, returning planes to revenue in an airworthy condition must be the top priority…
UPDATE – 21 November: A letter from the FAA to several DAL inspectors confirms that a violation of FAA rules did occur. Read the letter here.
National Director’s Letter to Membership Regarding Complaint filed by SWA
February 16, 2017
Yesterday Southwest Airlines filed a lawsuit against AMFA National, AMFA Local 11, and several individual AMFA officers and contract negotiators. The lawsuit alleges that AMFA-represented mechanics initiated an overtime boycott and that AMFA and the other defendants failed to make “every reasonable effort” to prevent the boycott and/or bring it to an end. As a remedy, SWA is seeking wide-ranging injunctive relief that would implement judicial oversight of how you perform your maintenance work.
During the pendency of the Section 6 negotiating process, both the carrier and union, and its members, are required to maintain the status quo. This obligation requires the carrier to bargain in good faith and refrain from unilaterally changing working conditions. Because SWA has not lived up to this obligation, AMFA filed a lawsuit in a federal court Arizona several weeks ago…
Letter to AMFA members from National Director
As you know, AMFA is currently engaged in collective bargaining with Southwest Airlines pursuant to the Railway Labor Act (RLA). The RLA mandates that the parties are required to refrain from “self help” until released by the National Mediation Board (“NMB”) from mediation and a thirty-day cooling off period has expired. This means that during the negotiating process Southwest is prohibited from initiating a lockout or unilaterally changing the terms of our collective bargaining agreement. Southwest is also prohibited from implementing a divide and conquer strategy based on direct negotiations with our members. Based on our determination that Southwest has violated its legal obligation in this regard, we have commenced litigation against the carrier in federal court.
Conversely, AMFA-represented employees are prohibited from engaging in concerted job actions designed to create bargaining leverage…
AMFA Files Suit Against Southwest Airlines For Declaratory & Injunctive Release
NOTE that this lawsuit is temporarily stayed pending the results of the current AMT contract proposal.
AURORA, CO – Friday, December 16, 2016 – The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) today filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona seeking declaratory and injunctive relief against Southwest Airlines, claiming the carrier has committed multiple violations of the Railway Labor Act during contract negotiations.
AMFA is accusing Southwest Airlines of negotiating in bad faith, misrepresenting negotiations to AMFA members, and interfering with the AMFA representatives’ efforts to represent their AMFA members. See attached for a copy of the suit filed with the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.
Southwest Airlines mechanics have been negotiating a new contract with Southwest Airlines for four years, three months and thirty days. During this time period the mechanics have not received an increase in pay despite the carrier enjoying record profits. In 2014 company profits exceeded $421 million and by 2015 the profits reached $2.4 billion.
One of the main contentions in the contract negotiations is CEO Gary Kelly’s insistence on outsourcing maintenance work to low skilled, non-certified mechanics to include foreign countries…
Know your rights!
Our legal counsel Lee Seham has produced an instructional video about AIR21 and your rights as Aircraft Maintenance Technicians.
Reports and Updates
|AMT Contract Negotiations Update (May 5)
All previous negotiation updates can be found here.
|April National Director’s Update
Read the update from Bret Oestreich here.
|AEI Secretary of the Americas Annual report
Read the report from Louie Key here.