TWU launches union drive of Southwest mechanics to decertify AMFA

By Andrea Ahles,

Southwest Airlines mechanics are being wooed by another union.

The Transport Workers Union has launched a representation campaign to unseat the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, which currently represents the Dallas-based carrier’s 1,800 mechanics.

Frank McCann, TWU national organizer, said the union has received several inquiries over the past six months from Southwest mechanics who are unhappy with AMFA and the lack of progress in contract negotiations. The mechanics contract became amendable in August.

AMFA has lost thousands of members over the past several years as mechanics at United Airlines decertified the union and thousands lost their jobs when Northwest Airlines went bankrupt. The national union, which has about 2,500 members, recently announced it will re-run its national election after several protests over how it was conducted in September. AMFA gained some members this year following Southwest’s purchase of AirTran Airways. AirTran’s mechanics had previously been represented by the Teamsters.

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