AMFA 9 Presidents Report



Message from the Local 9 President


Subject: Narrow body outsourcing goes abroad

· Management sends COA work on 12 aircraft to TACA Airlines El Salvador (SAL).

· Union suspends AMFA Lean Process Coordinator (ALPC) program.

· Union is instructing members on upgrade and special assignment to return to the floor.

· AMFA’s Solution: recall furloughed employees to do the COA work.

Senior management now stages a new attack on our jobs. Their ill conceived and premeditated decision to outsource work to El Salvador requires our immediate response. This is work that we can do; we have done this work at the Base in the past. We must all stand as one against this arrogant action.

We learned of this decision last week after rumors and discussion of its possibility. We told senior managers weeks ago that such a decision would not be accepted quietly. Senior executives told us, “It’s a done deal†and “it is unlikely to be undone.â€

We don’t agree. Until further notice, AMFA Local 9 leadership is suspending the AMFA Lean Process Coordinator (ALPC) program within the Union.

In addition, we are instructing all members on upgrade to management positions and special assignments return immediately to their normal job duties.

Management upgrades are the choice of employees. The contract under Article X outlines how those upgrades can impact an employee’s seniority.

We request a pullback because of the Company’s decision to outsource our work to El Salvador even as we are in dispute over the Company’s violation of the outsourcing limits in Article II, D.

Putting our mechanics back on the floor turning wrenches along with recalling laid off members is the Union Solution to underutilized floor space and staff shortages that cause massive overtime in many areas.

We initiate this Union action to demonstrate strongly and clearly our complete opposition to the current practices of Maintenance management. It shows our dissatisfaction with the utter disregard for the claimed “vision†of United Services—to be the “first choice provider of global MRO.†This vision has yet to be implemented per Lean principles.

Using the platform of discussion with the Union as a “check mark†while having a secondary unaligned goal of doing what ever the Company decides it wants to do is a farce and a sham. This high-handed unilateral management decision-making undermines the collaborative environment required for United Services to achieve its stated vision.

The decision to outsource narrow-body aircraft COA work to a foreign country sends a negative message to the employees that do the work at this Company and to potential maintenance customers of UAL.

A new chapter in United maintenance employee relations is about to be opened, one that drains the goodwill of dedicated employees. How can UAL executives be trusted to favor a partnership with the Union when the bias is almost always tilted towards sending the work to places that the Company knows is going to create discord on the floor and visible conflict with stated goals and objectives related to the transformation?

The plain fact is that there is more than enough clear evidence that UAL management as a whole is not truly committed in mind and spirit to the stated vision of Lean and turning the Maintenance Center into a world class MRO. We are not interested in theory but practice.

This latest move to send work to a facility further away from our goals is neither inspirational nor motivating. The move does nothing to signal in clear terms UAL’s sincere and meaningful recognition of our efforts to transform in a positive direction. Statements of glowing praise backed by actions in direct opposition signals insincerity and counter motives.

Our members, other employees and UAL customers deserve better, much better.

In sharp contrast to the current condition at United Services, the June 4, 2007 edition of Aviation Week Magazine on page 14 depicts a clear representation of what should be the mindset between UAL and its most valuable Union players. The advertisement states the agreement in principle by American Airlines and its union to NOT send work overseas. It places great emphasis on the partnership of bucking the trend of sending work overseas, with a ground-breaking relationship to turn its operations into profit centers.

We demand that UAL cancel the impending arrival at SAL of aircraft that can and should be worked by our members.

We demand that UAL immediately STOP all plans to consider other similar actions regardless of depth or scope.

We demand that senior executives sit down to an open discussion that can result in a workable and actionable plan with its employees going forward.

We demand that Management stop making excuses and show us that the vision statement is not merely a feel-good statement, but a road map to success for ALL members, employees and customers of UAL. The MRO transformation is meaningless unless clear and identifiable steps are taken to realign with the vision statement.

Again, until further notice, the ALPC program is suspended. All upgrades and special assignments should return to their normal jobs.

These actions will remain in effect until further written notice. Anyone that may be unclear about the Union’s request, please call me directly at: 650-826-1405 or contact any Local 9 officer.

In plain language—the ball is in UAL’s Court.


Joseph Prisco

President AMFA Local 9