The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) is a very small association with no affiliates or financial backing from any national organization. AMFA does not have the resources, nor does it have the "know how" to deal with a global behemoth like the "new" American Airlines. AMFA has no strike fund, nor to they have the resources to arbitrate cases. In short, AMFA has no leverage, which equates to no bargaining power.
The IAM, conversely, is the largest and most powerful transportation union in North America. The IAM has a well-resourced strike fund, is the only union in North America to have it own education facility--the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center and many other resources that can be researched here.
AMFA is betting that mechanic and related employees do not know its almost 50 year history of failure. AMFA's philosophy is that mechanics should isolate themselves from other workers and that their collective strength is based on the skill and knowledge. Sounds appealing, but the reality is this isolation has led to nothing but disaster for the mechanic and related class and craft in the airline industry.
Please take the time to read the information below, and the other pages, and learn about the many failures of the AMFA.
The Ozark Disaster :
AMFA's finances at Ozark were so bad that it had to borrow money from its members in a greater amount than the AMFA constitution allowed.
From 1966-1986, a 20 year stint at Ozark, AMFA never led the industry in wages and benefits. They promised Ozark mechanics they would be able to negotiate the industry-leading pay and benefits, but never delivered on that promise.
AMFA's contract permitted gate agents to perform receipt and dispatch. Remember this is the 1960's.
All engine and APU work was farmed-out to Cooper Airmotive in Dallas, TX. All ground equipment and building maintenance work was also farmed-out.
Against the AMFA's stated policy, numerous letters of agreement were signed without the consent of the membership.
The Merger With TWA:
When Ozark merged with TWA, due to IAM contract language, TWA was forced to hire more than 500 mechanics to perform engine, accessory and aircraft components work that AMFA allowed to be farmed-out. The hiring doubled the size of the pre-merger Ozark workforce.
When the IAM won representation rights following the merger of Ozark and TWA, AMFA abandoned their offices without paying the bill. AMFA left their loyal supporters with a $9,000 bill and never bothered to show in court to answer the charges and the court handed down a $15,000 judgement against AMFA.
The Atlantic Coast Airlines Debacle:
At Atlantic Coast Airlines (ACA), after AMFA's failure at Ozark, the association had another chance to demonstrate how its concept of "professionals working for professionals" would translate into a contract that ACA mechanics could be proud of.
That didn't happen and AMFA National Director O.V. Delle-Femine admitted the contract was a "disaster." Mr. Delle Femine even blamed the membership for ratifying the terms he negotiated and accepted no responsibility.
In 1998 ACA mechanics filed a petition with the National Mediation Board (NMB) to decertify amfa and replace it with their own organization, the Aircraft
Maintenance Technician's Association (AMTECH).
This came in part from amfa's failed promise of member participation in negotiations. When elected member-negotiator Troy Lawson questioned Delle-Femine about his knowledge of contracts and wouldn't blindly follow Mr. Delle-Femine down the road to ruin, he was removed by Delle from the negotiating committee. In a letter to the membership, Troy Lawson explains why AMFA needed to be decertified.
Some other lowlights of those negotiations and broken promises are found here.
AMFA Violates its Own Constitution
On April 27, 1998 Delle-Femine signed a letter of agreement with Atlantic Coast Airlines agreeing to submit the company's last best offer to the membership for a vote. Mr. Delle-Femine claimed that he was ordered to do this by the NMB because he was embarrassed by the contract. Interestingly, he did not notify the membership until April 29, 1998 - two days later. This is in direct violation of the AMFA constitution that forbids secret letters of agreement. This was never voted on by the membership.
AMFA Negotiates Part Time Mechanics at ACA:
AMFA states it's position on part-time employees clearly in an issue of 'The Grapevine', an AMFA publication. Part Time workers are called anti-union by AMFA. Why then did AMFA then negotiate a contract with ACA that allowed 6 part time mechanics for every 1 full time mechanic? These part timers received no benefits. But of course, they paid dues. Is this how AMFA feels professionals should be treated?
Some other contract lowlights:
Eight year pay progression and two different pay scales.
No license premium for Avionics Technicians unless they possess an A&P license.
Leads are selected by the company, not by seniority. "The most qualified employee as determined solely by the company, shall be selected for the position.
As if this wasn't enough, how about another letter from an ACA AMFA member. Just click here to read the truth.