May 24, 2020
To the TWU Local 591 Membership:
I want to start by wishing, on behalf of the Local 591 Executive Board, a happy AMT Day to our Local’s AMTs. May 24th is a day set aside to celebrate the proud profession of the Aircraft Maintenance Technician. For too long, our proud profession has not been recognized for our efforts, skill and integrity.
Unfortunately, this year, AMT Day has a much darker cloud over it than usual. Due to the pandemic, there is a great deal of uncertainty about the future, both for the airline industry and for us as professionals. It is a sobering reality that American Airlines currently has 429 airplanes parked on the ground and announced that at least 100 of those aircraft will not be coming back to the skies.
On a brighter note, with hard work and perseverance, in this recently ratified contract, we AMTs are finally earning the professional level wages that we deserve, under the best contract in the industry. We should all be proud of how our Local, by standing as one, setting up, and walking the informational picket lines to bring attention to the AMT profession, has pushed the top hourly wage up in less than 6 years a staggering $20.00 an hour. While that top wage by itself is already best in the industry by 3%, when you calculate in the 9% 401(k) interim contributions that we will begin to see in our 401(k) accounts in the next few weeks, we’re currently at SWA plus 12%, since SWA AMTs must match dollar for dollar on their 401(k) contribution. With our new enhanced Scope language, a great deal more of our aircraft maintenance work is now better defined as our protected work, and contractors are more limited than ever before. In fact, when you review the merged seniority lists of the new American Airlines, since the merger, American has hired nearly as many AMTs as SWA employs—which is a testament to why Scope language is critical. The recently ratified JCBA Scope language is crafted to ensure that American Airlines will have even more AMTs celebrating AMT Day for years to come, while also enjoying the highest overall compensation.
While using the same principles that went into the efforts for recognition of the AMT profession, your Local in particular, being both large and national, continues to leverage your support to exert a great deal of influence in the halls of Congress, in our continual pursuit of stronger legislation to protect our Aircraft Maintenance work. The verbiage of H.R.5119 - Safe Aircraft Maintenance Standards Act, which currently awaits a full House vote, greatly protects the AMT profession, and that bill was partially written by your Local. Your Local previously worked to improve protections for the Members through targeted enhancements to the CARES Act. Your Local has also worked to ensure that airlines ground workers, not just Pilots and Flight Attendants, were protected by enhancements to the HEROES Act, which has already passed the House, and is currently sitting in the Senate awaiting deliberation. This unified Local 591, with your support, has a stronger voice in Congress for AMTs today as a Local, than has ever been seen in the history of the industry, from any other organization. Our former fragmented Locals were never able to establish the sort of legislative strength that this Local has in Washington D.C.
Closer to home, we have been in a pitched battle to protect the recently hard-won provisions of the new collective bargaining agreement. Some may ask the very valid question “But why, we have a contract?”. The answer is simple, we still have some managers stuck in their “Wroble” ways who cannot or will not abide by the new contract, and they will continue to attempt to diminish or invalidate any provision possible to weaken our new protections. That’s what we, as your Local, have and will continue to fight for everything that we negotiated for in this JCBA, and why we must all stand together in these efforts. The rebid was recently delayed because your Local continues to fight to demand the company comply with the job protections and bid protections within the contract. On this issue, and any other, this Local stands unified and ready to fight to protect your rights under the new contract.
For our Local 591 Brothers and Sisters in Stores, GSE or Facilities Maintenance, I want to assure you that you are not forgotten. Your dedication, skill and support are a crucial part of what makes us all the success that we are collectively. While this specific day is dedicated to AMTs, I want to sincerely wish you a happy AMT Day, and say thank you to you as well.
TWU Local 591
AMT Day 2020.pdf