December 10, 2020
Dear American Airlines Mechanics & Related Employees:
We wanted to reach out and give you an update following AMFA’s filing for a representation dispute on your behalf with the National Mediation Board (NMB) for the American Airlines (AA) Mechanic and Related workgroups. As previously outlined in our last update, “We have filed with the NMB” dated November 13, 2020. We have been assigned both an NMB Case No. R-7557 and NMB Investigator Josie G.M. Bautista. On Friday December 4, 2020, American Airlines’ Vice President of Labor Relations, Lucrecia D. …
CENTENNIAL, CO — December 8, 2020 — The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) applauds Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao for her decision to appoint an aircraft maintenance technician (AMT) to the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC). AMFA Executive Director of Government Affairs and Southwest Airlines AMT Justin Madden’s appointment to the ARAC fills a critical void in the Committee’s membership.
AMFA National Director Bret Oestreich stated, “The AMT is a highly educated and skilled professional charged with inspecting, troubleshooting, and repairing aircraft to ensure the safety and security of the flying public. Justin’s appointment is recognition of that role. He represents what is best about our profession: his breadth of experience is wide ranging and his passion for the craft is unmatched. …
December 7, 2020
The Honorable Peter A. DeFazio Chair
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Sam Graves Ranking Member
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Rick Larsen Chairman
House Subcommittee on Aviation Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Garrett Graves Ranking Member
House Subcommittee on Aviation Washington, D.C. 20515
RE: Aviation Industry Urges Inclusion of The Promoting Aviation Regulations for Technical Training (PARTT) 147 Act in the Aircraft Certification Reform Act
Dear Chairmen DeFazio and Larsen and Ranking Members Graves and Graves:
The undersigned organizations, representing a broad cross-section of the aviation community, strongly urge your support of the PARTT 147 Act (S.3043/H.R.5427). The bill would mandate Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulatory reform of aviation technician education, empower innovative curriculum development, and reinforce a workforce pipeline that will be vital to a strong, post-pandemic recovery. …
Southwest Airlines notified AMFA of its intent to execute a mass furlough of 403 Aircraft Maintenance Technicians, Facilities Maintenance Technicians, and Aircraft Appearance Technicians, scheduled to take place on January 25, 2021. This action is being taken in retaliation for Southwest’s perceived lack of progress in cost savings discussions with the union. To make this threat more explicit, Southwest suggested the furloughs could be avoided if we agree to cost savings measures (voluntary wage concessions), if additional government aid is extended to the airline or if there is an unforeseen revenue increase.
“This threatened furlough, if executed, is in violation of the AMFA labor contract and it is our intent to exhaust all legal means available to prevent Southwest from taking this action. This attempt to pressure our members into accepting unfair wage decreases, while management turns down government loans because they refused to suspend shareholder dividends and stock repurchases — loans that all the other leading airlines accepted — makes this action unconscionable as well as illegal,” according to Bret Oestreich, AMFA National Director. …
Dear American Airlines Mechanics & Related Employees:It has been almost a year to the day since we started receiving your personally signed Authorization for Representation cards. We’re proud to announce that today, on your behalf, we filed your cards with the National Mediation Board (NMB). At the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), we understand your frustration is high with your current representation and we are honored to have the opportunity to become your chosen representative, pending a successful representation election.
We would like to thank you for placing your confidence in AMFA. We appreciate all of your hard work and would like to particularly recognize the diligence of your grassroots AA Organizing Committee. This New-American Airlines (AA) card drive over the last year is a major accomplishment, and the AA organizers’ grass-roots efforts have earned full credit for this moment in history. These dedicated individuals have done an impressive job and kept records and research dating back more than two decades to get us to where we are today. …
AMFA is the only viable choice based on track record, expertise and accessibility.
This letter is to ask all my IAM colleagues to not be taken in by the outright lies that are being spread to scare you into voting for this train wreck called the TWU/IAM Mechanics Association.
For background, when our unions were merged in response to the AA/U.S. Air merger, membership had no say in whether we wanted this partnership. We were forced to accept it with the assumption being that 30,000 employees could force the company to concede into a better contract. Since the signing of the agreement, we’ve learned how the company got the best of the Association with combined rules that are outrageous. These rules apply to topics such as job loss, seniority, the Javits list, losing bumping rights and overtime. …
In an effort to scare its membership into remaining members of a poorly run union, the TWU/IAM Association is trying to play up their clout in Washington D.C. while de-emphasizing AMFA’s contributions and their importance to the aircraft mechanic and related maintenance workers’ class and craft. There is no doubt that the IAM and TWU parent organizations spend considerable resources maintaining offices in and around Washington, D.C. They often lobby on behalf of their membership, but how much of that lobbying and money spent is actually for the aircraft mechanic and related?
Although AMFA does not pay for overpriced real estate, to say that AMFA doesn’t have any presence or impact on Capitol Hill is disingenuous. As the only craft-specific union representing the aircraft mechanic and related, AMFA is laser focused on our issues, and strategically utilizes its member-provided resources where they will have the best impact for our membership. We are deeply involved in government affairs on both the legislative and regulatory fronts, and continue to break down walls to raise the profile of the craft to the prominent position it deserves. In just the past five years, AMFA has been involved in proposed legislation that puts limits on foreign outsourcing, successfully promoted workforce development, and has been appointed to important government committees and working groups. One such example is the seat AMFA maintains on the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) as the labor union representing aircraft mechanics and related, a committee that was devoid of a maintenance labor voice until AMFA lobbied Congress and the TSA to include us. …
When American Airlines merged with U.S. Air, there were two unions representing the AMT’s — TWU and IAM. Rather than allowing the membership to determine which union they wanted representing them moving forward, the two unions decided to both remain in power so that neither of them would have to lose, even though TWU represented a solid majority of the combined AMT’s. When the workforce was combined, the IAM workers were elevated to our pay scale, but we did not get elevated to their benefit level. That injustice cost us at TWU years without sick pay and half the holidays of our colleagues at IAM. …
(October 19, 2020) —
As many are aware, the members of unions representing the American Airlines Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) are conducting a card drive in an effort to displace the dysfunctional alliance between TWU and IAM with AMFA — a singular craft-specific union that specializes in the representation of mechanic and related personnel. This movement within the union’s membership is a result of ineffective representation by the incumbents.
Their grievances with the incumbent dual union compromise are many:
· The whole concept of two unions representing the AMTs of one airline was born out of compromise and neither union wanting to risk losing their position when U.S. Air and American Airlines merged. This is a clear example of the unions acting in their own interest rather than in the interests of their membership. Clearly, consolidated representation would harness the full power of the workforce to extract more from management. …
Bipartisan bill moves to House of Representatives, will convene aviation, security, and public health experts to develop comprehensive plans to protect the flying public during and after coronavirus pandemic
Washington (October 1, 2020) — Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today released the following statements after the Ensuring Health Safety in the Skies Act passed the United States Senate by unanimous consent.In May, Senators Markey and Blumenthal introduced the original version of this legislation, which instructs the Departments of Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security to establish a joint task force on air travel during and after the coronavirus pandemic. This task force — advised by aviation, security and public health experts — will develop recommended requirements, plans, and guidelines to address the health, safety, security, and logistical challenges for air travel moving forward. After introduction, Senators Markey and Blumenthal worked with Chairman Wicker to revise this bill and ensure that the Senate Commerce Committee approved it on a bipartisan, unanimous basis.“The coronavirus has had an enormous impact on every person and industry in the United States, but air travel has been uniquely affected by the current pandemic,” said Senator Markey. “That’s why experts across all of the relevant agencies and groups must come together to address the immediate challenges to safety in our skies, as well as start planning for a ‘new normal’ after the coronavirus subsides. We must think big and provide consistent answers to all of the questions regarding masks on flights, social distancing in security screening, sanitation of aircraft, and more. I applaud my colleagues in the Senate for passing our legislation, and I urge the House to take up this bill immediately.”
“Unanimous bipartisan Senate passage of this important legislation is a welcome first step toward rebuilding consumer confidence in air travel,” said Senator Blumenthal. “A task force created by our bill will tackle the unprecedented aviation challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This measure should provide a path to restoring consumer trust in air travel with sensible rules for health safety. Cleaning the air — inside airplanes — is clearly essential to put planes back in the skies. I am fighting for swift House passage.”
“The aviation industry has suffered severe impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, and travelers need confidence before returning to the skies,” said Chairman Wicker. “A government task force and advisory committee comprised of expert advisors would work to address these challenges and ensure necessary safety and health policies are in place to protect workers and the flying public during and after the pandemic. I thank Senator Markey and Senator Blumenthal for their work on this critical issue.”
“This bill has broad support because it codifies what had been typical government action in the face of any threat,” said Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, representing nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants at 19 airlines. “The Air Travel Task Force will address immediate health and safety issues for passengers and workers during the pandemic — like requiring all passengers and frontline workers in aviation to wear masks — and build a plan to recover once the virus is contained. Aviation safety is grounded in the principle that ‘we’re all in this together.’ Without clear direction and action from the federal government, airlines and airports have put in place a patchwork of COVID-19 safety measures. We need well-planned, consistent procedures that everyone can follow for one level of safety. Thank you to Senators Markey and Blumenthal and the Senate for addressing this critical need.”
“The Massachusetts Port Authority is grateful for Senator Markey’s efforts in the passage of the Ensuring Health Safety in the Skies Act of 2020,” said Lisa Wieland, CEO of the Massachusetts Port Authority. “Creating a task force to develop guidelines and recommendations for air travel will help create consistent standards across U.S. airports, and ultimately will protect the health and safety of our passengers and airport employees.”“We applaud Senators Markey and Blumenthal for their leadership to ensure we have a coordinated, government — industry approach to protecting the health and safety of passengers and crews in this time of a global pandemic,” said Captain Joe DePete, President of the Air Line Pilots Association, International. “Airline pilots are on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19, transporting health care workers and critical medical supplies — and we will be on the frontlines of helping our industry recover financially from this crisis. However, the first step to ensuring an economic turnaround is to have uniform, mandatory guidelines for airlines to follow when it comes to airplane cleaning and disinfecting, employee notification of exposure to COVID-19 and the use of masks for passengers and crew. Hoping for voluntary compliance with these public health standards will not cut it because hope is not a strategy — nor does it offer an appropriate flight path for recovery.”“Aviation has been one of the most hard-hit industries in the COVID-19 crisis,” said Julie Hedrick, National President of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, representing 27,000 Flight Attendants at American Airlines. “We can and must ensure that we are better prepared for any ‘next time.’ Industry-standard safety policies are necessary to combat this pandemic safely and effectively, and we know that this task force is a step in the right direction. The leadership of Senator Markey and Senator Blumenthal, along with Chairman Wicker, were essential in getting this bill passed through the Senate.”“Airports across the country appreciate the Senate coming together in a bipartisan fashion to approve this important bill to establish a task force to examine health, safety, and security measures for air travel,” said Kevin M. Burke, President and CEO of Airports Council International — North America. “We thank Senators Markey and Blumenthal for spearheading this effort, which has been key among ACI-NA’s aviation recovery initiatives. Airports continue to work diligently to provide for the health and safety of the traveling public and airport workers. As we look to the future of air travel and prepare for the return of more travelers, a task force of federal agencies and aviation industry partners will be very helpful in developing meaningful guidelines and recommendations to address the challenging operational and infrastructure issues related to COVID-19 recovery and pandemic planning.”“AMFA strongly supports the passage of the Ensuring Health Safety in the Skies Act of 2020 as a necessary step forward in supporting an aviation industry greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bret Oestreich, National Director of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA). “We thank Senators Markey, Blumenthal, and Wicker for their leadership and steadfast pursuit of safety for both the flying public and the men and women who comprise the aviation industry. Bringing together aviation experts, including the aircraft mechanic labor voice, ensures the task force created by this legislation will be diverse and well rounded. …