Click the attachment link to read the full copy of Region 1 Director Earl Clark letter to Alaska Labor Relations:
Jenny Wetzel VP Labor Relations, Alaska Airlines
I bring to your attention the following matter. It is my understanding that last Monday, June 1, 2020, Chief Executive Officer Brad Tilden issued a statement that he expects the carrier to make a 35% reduction in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and that this would entail perhaps furloughing some 7,000 employees. If true, a possible implication is that AMFA members could be furloughed in the same proportion. Moreover, this statement was made in the context of other communications from management that indicate to AMFA that furloughs, perhaps large, are contemplated as early as a few months’ time. Yet Letter of Agreement #9, part of the current collective bargaining agreement, provides, in ¶ 4, as follows:
In addition, all active Technicians based at LAX, SEA, SAN, SFO, PDX, and JFK (stations with dual Boeing and Airbus maintenance operations) employed as of the Transition Agreement Effective Date or hired before October 17, 2023, will not be bumped or furloughed from the Transition Agreement Effective Date through the amendable date of October 17, 2023. This language reflects that, in the last round of bargaining, the parties sought through LOA #9 to “establish job security for the presently active members of the bargaining unit.” (Id., ¶ 1).
Of course, AMFA expects that LOA #9 will be honored, including the furlough protection language in ¶ 4. Otherwise AMFA is prepared to vigorously enforce LOA #9 by any lawful means necessary. In particular because the consequence of a violation of LOA #9 by a mass furlough would constitute irreparable harm to AMFA members; therefore, it is AMFA’s position that it is incumbent upon the carrier to submit any dispute over the interpretation or application of LOA #9 to binding, expedited arbitration before furloughing any AMFA members protected by ¶ 4 of LOA 9. If the carrier disputes AMFA’s interpretation, as given herein, I hereby request that it timely indicate its position so that the parties can address their dispute before any AMFArepresented employee is furloughed. Further, so there is no misunderstanding, AMFA is prepared to seek an injunction in federal court, if necessary, to preserve the status quo for an arbitration to take place should the carrier take steps to implement a unilateral decision to furlough any AMFA-represented employee.
SAFETY IN THE AIR BEGINS WITH QUALITY MAINTENANCE ON THE GROUND
Thank you. I can be reached at (510) 760-1801 or Earl.Clark@amfanatl.org. Sincerely, Earl Clark Region I Director
cc: Alaska Sonia Alvarado – Sonia.Alvarado@alaskaair.com Rebecca Meissner, Esq. – Rebecca.Meissner@alaskaair.com AMFA Bret Oestreich, National Director Jarod Mills, Local 14 Airline Representative Mark Dhal, Local 32 Airline Representative Nicholas Granath, AMFA Legal Lucas K. Middlebrook, AMFA Legal