On April 3, Southwest Airlines (SWA) formally announced their plans to close the line stations of Philadelphia and Sacramento by the end of 2013. The signs are becoming clearer that we have entered a new era, an era in which SWA’s actions reflect genuine hostility toward your job security. I hope all of you have taken the time to read the SWA Membership Solidarity Letter that was posted on the National Website for a greater perspective on the situation. This announcement, coupled with the fourth-line of maintenance arbitration resolution proceedings, has caused the immediate contract negotiation dates to be re-allocated to address these issues. The next scheduled negotiation dates are set for June 4 – 7; please contact your Airline Representative for the latest update and to inquire about negotiation observer opportunities.
On April 17, National Secretary/Treasurer Justin Madden and I attended the Local 14 Membership Meetings in Seattle. It was Justin’s first opportunity to meet the Local Executive Council (LEC), and after the meetings we toured the Alaska Airlines hangar and line maintenance facilities listening to members.
On April 23, Safety and Standards Director David Brooks, Region II Director Mike Nelson, Justin Madden, and I attended the first membership meeting of Local 4 in Chicago. The new LEC officers were sworn in and the meeting was attended by members in both Atlanta and Baltimore via multimedia equipment. This technology is a great concept to enable greater membership participation throughout Local 4’s stations. SWA Airline Representative Bob Cramer hosted the Baltimore meeting and SWA Area Representative Gary Loffert hosted the Atlanta meeting. It is exciting to see Local 4 up and running and enthusiastically serving their members.
The American Airlines mechanics who have been working very hard for many months on a “grassroots organizing” campaign to bring AMFA onto the property as their representative have stepped up their efforts in hopes of reaching a filing date soon. They have been holding weekly events in Tulsa which have proven very successful in gaining new supporters. Hopefully all of the hard work will pay off and a majority will sign AMFA cards so we can soon file for an election. It would be great to see them join us in the only craft specific, democratic, and transparent union focused exclusively on aircraft mechanic and related employees!
For more carrier specific updates and further information regarding AMFA and the airline industry, please visit the AMFA National Web site at www.AMFANational.org and remember our most determined efforts will only succeed with your continued support and participation – Please stay informed. Remember, “safety in the air begins with quality maintenance on the ground.”