AMFA has hit the ground running in 2014. Besides being involved in multiple contract negotiations, our first Joint Advisory Council (JAC) meeting was held in Las Vegas on February 4. The JAC is composed of presidents and an airline representative from each airline. We must hold at least two meetings of the JAC every year, and its purpose is to serve as counsel to the National Executive Council (NEC) as they guide the Association.
At every JAC meeting we discuss the Association's finances, and our local presidents give a report on their Local. This JAC meeting we also covered topics such as the AMFA National Annual Membership Survey, GrievTrac (a grievance database system), "Whatever it Takes," utilizing technology (Zoom) to teleconference general membership meetings, and we selected someone to serve the remaining term of the Aircraft Engineers International (AEI) "Secretary of the Americas." Congratulations to Local 14 President Tim Cullen who was selected. Much thanks goes to Local 4, specifically Local 4 Secretary Terry Arnold and Local 4 MDW Area Representative Dan Burgess, for their presentations on GrievTrac and Zoom.
We also had a frank discussion regarding the new labor negotiation update website launched by Southwest Airlines (SWA). Over the past few days, our officers have received numerous calls regarding this site. The NEC believes the site is a negotiating ploy by SWA; they're using it to put out propaganda and pit workgroups against each other. SWA claims that the site is purely informational - a way to update workers and their families about negotiations and the "flexibility" they need moving forward. We see it differently.
We know that your families are well aware of the sacrifices you make daily to ensure Southwest's profitability. Your families are the ones who have suffered through while you work odd hours, weekends and holidays for Southwest, ensuring the safety of the flying public. SWA has enjoyed rising profits and has granted wage increases for executives, but they fail to recognize and acknowledge through negotiations that these gains could not have been made without our hardworking, dedicated members.
Although the SWA website is legal, we believe it is unprofessional and hurts the negotiation process. We are working with other labor groups on property to request that SWA take down the site. In the meantime, and as always, pay attention to the "official" AMFA updates, both written and the video version. You can find them on the National and local websites.
Remember that one of AMFA's core principles is transparency, as witnessed by our policy on "open negotiations." You deserve the truth and neither AMFA, nor our message will be silenced. Through this truth, our members will remain together in solidarity.