We started our first station visit in Portland, OR, on all shifts with AMTs and Aircraft Cleaners and concluded AMFA-QX AMTs face to face with the Redmond, OR, graveyard shift on March 11, 2021. After spending 8 days visiting Portland, OR; Boise, ID; Spokane, WA; Seattle, WA; Everett, WA-Painfield; and Redmond, OR, we received a plethora of great feedback from all members from each station in regard to current events. We have a plan in place to raise the standards and increase the recognition for the AMFA membership, but we anticipate there will be numerous CBA proposals and individual nominations for outstation-at-large positions in preparation for upcoming contract talks in Section 6 negotiations. Under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), your contract never expires; even if you recently changed union representation from IBT to AMFA, your contract simply continues as the “status quo” until amended. Management may not change the contract and AMFA may not engage in any work actions until all the steps outlined in the RLA have been completed and both parties are released.
As discussed at each station visit, AMFA Local 14 was completing the collection of contract proposals submitted by Horizon Air (QX) members on March 16, 2021. That process has now been completed. The Local Executive Council (LEC) will soon be assigning the contract proposal evaluation committee to review the proposals, combine like proposals and assign reference numbers. When completed, the committee will return them to the LEC, which will then call a special meeting to have them endorsed by the AMFA-QX membership. AMFA National will then conduct a prioritization survey of the AMFA-QX members to determine your opinion of the level of importance for each proposal. Once the prioritization is complete, the results will be given to the Negotiating Committee.
The Negotiating Committee will then write up the opening proposals and submit them to the Company Negotiating Committee on the first day of face-to-face negotiations. The AMFA Negotiating Committee will work with the Company Committee to schedule our opening meeting to amend our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for some time in the fall. For those of you involved in your first negotiations or for those who need a refresher, please refer to the following synopsis.
The process of negotiations with management is governed by the RLA. The RLA, passed in 1926, was originally legislated to allow railroad union workers to resolve disputes with management while minimizing the potential for interstate commerce disruptions. The airline industry was folded into the RLA under Title II in 1936. Historically, negotiations procedures fell under section 6 of the RLA but currently several sections of the RLA apply to contract negotiations in the airline industry. In fact, “section 6” is not even located in section 6 of the RLA today (see 45 USC Chapter 8 Sections 151–188), but the name is still commonly used.
The timeline for each step varies and at any point during these steps (direct negotiations, mediation or arbitration) a Tentative Agreement (TA) may be reached. When a TA is reached, ballots are sent to each member in good standing for ratification. You can ensure eligibility to vote as a member in good standing by keeping your dues current. If approved by a majority vote, the agreement goes into effect. If the membership rejects the TA, then the process basically repeats itself with minor differences. The link provided will give you further information on the timeline and Steps 1–12 of the contract negotiation process governed by the RLA.
Furthermore, we have established a critical pathway for communication with both AMFA14.org and AMFANational.org (iPhone & Android Apps) for crucial information and important updates. We again would like to express our appreciation and deepest gratitude to all the AMFA members and security escorts who helped in making these station visits a success.