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Representing members at Southwest Airlines


2162 days 18 minutes 25 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. 

--John Weaks, President, Southwest Airlines Pilots Association




There are several sources for information and updates at both the National and Local level. Read about them here.
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News, Updates and Opportunities

Stay updated by registering for Email Updates here.

AMFA – SWA AMT NEGOTIATING COMMITTEE MEETING NOTICE

On April 10, 2018, AMFA and Southwest announced an Agreement in Principle (AIP) on a new five year Agreement. The AMFA Committee has been working with the Company over the last ten weeks drafting the new language, and we now have a Tentative Agreement (TA) ready for membership consideration. The full TA has been emailed to each member’s Southwest email for review.

The AMFA – Southwest Technician Negotiating Committee has scheduled the following Contract Tentative Agreement Question and Answer Meetings around the system to discuss the TA and to answer questions from the membership:…

Dallas Meetings will be held at the Doubletree Hotel Love Field on August 1, 2018 at 11:30 AM; 3:00 PM; 6:00 PM, and August 2, 2018 at 7:30 AM; 11:30 AM; 3:00 PM

Read the entire meeting notice here.

AMFA_SWA_AMT_Neg_Road Show Schedule_2018.pdf


AMFA and SWA Reach Tentative Agreement for Aircraft Maintenance Technicians

CENTENNIAL, CO – June 27, 2018 – After almost six years of negotiations, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) announced a tentative agreement (TA) on a proposed contract for the airline’s Aircraft Maintenance Technicians.

The TA includes retention of all existing Scope language, intermediate and heavy aircraft maintenance checks, and ETOPS for the 48 contiguous states. Additionally, it includes a 14.8% snap up in wages, a ratification bonus of $91M in retroactive compensation, and 3% increase in wages each year of the contract.  If ratified, the amendable date of the Agreement would be April 1, 2023, and includes a 12-month early opener for our members.

Read the entire press release here.


Memo Regarding LMS Issues

As you are certainly aware, the LMS training system is not working correctly. We have discussed this issue with Southwest and there has been little improvement.

We are now asking for your help to gather specific details of the problems you have encountered with the LMS training system, including times and dates, people you have notified, letters you have received, and anything else you feel may be important…
Read the entire memo here.


Press Release: AMFA and SWAPA Respond to OIG Audit of FAA Oversight of SWA

CENTENNIAL, CO – June 28, 2018 – The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) and the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) welcome the June 20 announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) that the agency will be auditing the Federal Aviation Administration’s oversight of Southwest Airlines operations. The OIG stated, “we are concerned whether FAA’s oversight includes an assessment of the carrier’s ability to identify hazards and analyze and mitigate risks.”

Read the entire press release here.

DeFazio, Larsen Letter to Secretary Chao Expressing “Serious Concerns” of FAA oversight of Foreign Repair Stations


Press Release: AMFA Supports Aircraft Maintenance Outsourcing Disclosure Act

The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) supports the recently introduced legislation by Senator Claire McCaskill (MO) and the companion legislation introduced by Representative John Garamendi (CA-03) which raises awareness for the dangerous trend of outsourcing aircraft maintenance to foreign repair stations.

Read the entire press release here.


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.

Read the letter to the House here.

Read the letter to the Senate here.


FAA: Southwest Airlines Maintenance Safety in Question… again | Southwest Airlines planes may not safe due to corrosion

Read the article here


FAA conclusion on Southwest Airlines: On time over safety

Read the article here


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…

Read the entire update here.


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.”…

Read the entire press release here.


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…

Read the entire letter from Scott King here


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.’…

Read the entire press release here.

Article in The Hill written by AMFA National Director Bret Oestreich


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.

Read the overview from Lee Seham here.

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…

Read the entire update here. 

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

Dear Members:

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…

Read the entire letter here.


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…

Read the entire letter here.


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…

Link for PDF file of AMFA filed complaint against SWA

Read the entire news release here.

National Director Letter to Members Regarding Filing Suit Against Southwest Airlines

SWAPA Announces Support For Aircraft Mechanics Over SWA Management In Contract Fight

Flight Attendants Join Pilots In Supporting Aircraft Mechanics In Their Contract Fight With Southwest Airlines Management

NEW—Transport Workers Union Local 555 the Third Key Labor Association to Come Forward in Support Of AMFA

Dallas Morning News article

Chicago Business Journal


Know your rights!

Our legal counsel Lee Seham has produced an instructional video about AIR21 and your rights as Aircraft Maintenance Technicians.

View the video here.


Reports and Updates

AMT Contract Negotiations Update (June 19)
All previous negotiation updates can be found here.


June National Director’s Update
View the update from Bret Oestreich here.
AEI Secretary of the Americas Annual report
Read the report from Louie Key here.