At Long Last, A Contract Our Members Have Earned — And Deserve
Why We’re Recommending Our Members Support The New Tentative Agreement
It has been more than 6 and a half years since our expert Aircraft Maintenance Technicians (AMTs) who make up the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) have been fully compensated for their stellar work. We have been locked in negotiations with Southwest Airlines for 75 sessions, and our members have had their pay frozen at rates from 2012, with no bonuses or increases.
After years of gamesmanship and countless negotiating sessions where it was clear Southwest was not going to negotiate in good faith, the Company entered March’s session clearly looking to make a deal — which is what we’ve been asking for the entire time. We are proud to announce we have reached a deal we believe is worthy of our members’ support.
Regarding economics, this new Tentative Agreement (TA) is a massive increase from the TA our members overwhelmingly rejected in 2018. It’s also a significant increase from the Company’s previous proposal earlier this year.
Here are some highlights:
- The snap-up to AMTs base wage has increased from 14.8% in 2018 to 20% now.
- The smoothed base rate increase going back to 2012 has increased from 2.1% in the rejected TA to 2.78% in the current deal.
- The ratification bonus then has gone from $91 million for our previous deal to $160 million in this current deal.
We believe these increases more than make up for the offsets we negotiated to our satisfaction.
The main offset on the table was foreign outsourcing. Southwest Airlines indicated that their ability to continue foreign outsourcing was a must — even though they had previously indicated they would let LOA 1, which allowed them to outsource international, sunset.
Our priority was protecting our current and future members, and protecting the safety of Southwest’s passengers. That was our aim throughout this entire negotiating process.
While Southwest initially wanted the ability to outsource an unlimited number of lines internationally, we negotiated that down to 8 lines, with 3 lines terminating at the conclusion of this agreement unless otherwise negotiated. LOA 1 had 4 lines available to be outsourced internationally previously, but as the Southwest fleet has grown from approximately 400 to 800, this accounts for a proportional increase.
AMFA was able to reinstate several key benefits for our members through this new LOA 1. For example, AMFA members will continue to perform the existing 4 heavy lines of maintenance at Southwest Airlines facilities. Also, after initially considering significant reductions to the position, Southwest will reinstate and fully fund our outsourcing liaison position, which will be staffed by an AMFA member.
We maintain our guarantees and safeguards regarding a minimum aircraft-to-mechanic ratio. AMFA members all will have full furlough protection through the new TA as well.
We are thankful for our members’ trust, patience and perseverance during this process, and their continued support as we put the agreement to a vote in the coming weeks.
We are also glad to get back to our priority — ensuring the safety of every traveler, and working together with Southwest Airlines to repair our relationship and restore the airline to its excellence from the Herb Kelleher era.