• NC Software is proud to announce the release of APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook version 10.0. Click here to view APDL on the Apple App store and install now.
  • Logbook Pro for Apple iOS version 8.1 is now available on the App Store. Major update including signature endorsements and dark/light theme support. Click here to install now.

An Incredible Letter by UAL LC 27 Chairman November 26, 2012

100/hour/5y

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2002
Posts
188
Total Time
lots
An Incredible Letter by UAL LC 27 Chairman

November 26, 2012


VOTE YES OR NO; BUT DON’T VOTE OUT OF FEAR


By now you have had the opportunity to begin reviewing the proposed TA the MECs sent to you by a 12-3 vote at United, and a 7-4 vote at Continental. The ratification window opens November 30, 2012 (this is a change) and closes December 15, 2012…

While other venues exist to explain each section of the TA, this “Chairman’s View” does not. One issue that pervades much of the discussion that I’ve heard recently is the question “What happens if the TA is voted down?”

If the TA is not ratified by the UAL & CAL pilots in a combined vote there are a couple of possible scenarios that I think you should consider:

First, the world will come to an end and everything bad that could happen to UAL pilots will.

Second, if the TA is turned down, and I believe this is a far more realistic scenario, the NMB will immediately come to ALPA to begin a focused effort to determine what modification (s) would increase the likelihood of a TA that could be ratified. Early in that process, the NMB, UAL & ALPA will meet to determine a reasonable schedule for resumptions of negotiations as all of the Parties have already agreed to in the Transition and Process Agreement and the 2012 extension of same name:

TPA.2-K. Mediation for a JCBA. If the JNCs do not reach a tentative JCBA by
October 12, 2010, the Parties (unless they otherwise agree) will apply to the NMB no later than October 14, 2010 under Sections 5 and 6 of the RLA, for mediation
of the JCBA. If at any time the JNCs reach a tentative JCBA but it fails to be approved, ratified or executed under ALPA procedures, the Parties will apply for or resume the NMB’s mediatory services, unless they agree not to do so.

Our job now is to evaluate and assess the TA before us. Did reading it make you happy? Is this what you expected? Does this TA reflect improved career security? Is our profession advanced with this agreement? Does this TA adequately reflect the value that pilots bring to this airline? Are you content living with this TA for the next 4-+ years?

Don’t be afraid to vote no if the TA does not sway you on its merits. There is no set timeline; but there is a process to follow. The two NMB officials that I have talked with said that the dynamics are different in each case. Remember, the NMB’s mandate is to get two parties to an AGREEMENT, not a holding pattern. Every presentation that I personally heard from NMB members was about guiding the negotiations toward an agreement. If this TA is voted down by the membership, the NMB will accept their Congressional mandate and bring the parties back to the table for further discussions. They will pressure ALPA as well as UAL to get to a deal that will be ratified. The NMB recognizes that TAs are on occasion voted down. It is part of the negotiation process. When was the last time the NMB parked negotiations after a NO vote if neither party requested a period of no negotiations? The answer is never. If someone says the company will walk away from negotiations, have them read the TPA. No party wants to walk away from their duties related to this merger, least of all the NMB.

The plan to create the world’s largest airline must have a combined pilot group to become a reality. Management knows our ratification timetable, and they know the negotiation/arbitration timeline for securing a single Integrated Seniority List. Smisek has always had his own timetable for signing a JCBA, completing the ISL process, and reaping the full rewards of this merger. He has stalled at every opportunity for 2.5 years. His purpose was to fatigue and frustrate; to divide and whipsaw; in short, to make us feel vulnerable and act out of desperation. Is this TA the deal you want? If so, then vote yes. If it is not, then consider your perspective when answering the question on the picket sign.

It is doubtful that there is a lot of sand left in Jeffery’s hourglass. If there was, why would he have attempted to negotiate shortening the SLI process last January? Why did he refuse to permanently bridge the terminable clauses in the original TPA and instead insist that there was a TA in place prior to a March 31, 2013 deadline in TPAx? Why do we continue to slog through all the assimilation phases of what laughingly is called training these days? Why did Fred’s friends freak out, insisting that every pilot order midnight blues from M&H by December 1?

A NO vote on the TA will not transform Smisek. He is who he is…and by every measure, so far, he is a failure as a Legacy CEO. He has painted the planes faster than anyone I‘ve ever seen, but everyone knows that paint is only skin deep. I know he believes his own PR…but does anyone else, anymore? Every previous merger related initiative by Smisek can accurately be described as Not Ready for Prime Time. From the rush to get SOC to the pax reservation system; from pass policy to IPAD deployment; from the industry denounced scheme to train in fixed based simulators to the massive shift of control over pilots’ lives in this TA…NRFPT!

His mentors were the historical villains of our industry and Jeffery, unlike his peer at DAL, is stride for stride burning all the bridges to a successful merger. Richard Anderson, DAL CEO, made a business decision to pay a premium to his pilots in order to get everyone pulling on the same end of the rope…it worked just like in the story books. Wall Street knows it, the customers know it, and we all know it. Smisek must succeed in completing this merger or his only fan will be his mother. He cannot take UAL to the promised land of this merger except through the JCBA; so, what is that key to “his” success worth to you? How much sand is left in the hourglass?

Another doomsday “scary” argument that some are making is really, in my opinion, just an attempt to further intimidate you and question your realistic and reasonable direction to the MEC. Management will pull all the “good stuff” out of the deal if we attempt to renegotiate. Really? How much “good stuff” is to be found? Does this make sense? How could they ever expect any deal if there was no “good stuff”? If there are enough pilots between the combined United/Continental group that vote NO, management will be compelled to find out what needs to be fixed. Remember, despite a strategy to make you think otherwise, Smisek wants and needs an agreement so he can get the integrated pilot group and begin to fly as one airline. Management gains no economic or negotiating advantage by trashing the deal out of spite or perceived buyer’s remorse. This is a deal they have crafted; let’s not kid ourselves! They WANT this thing done. They’ll posture and intimate that the deal will be different, but in the end they will have to work with us for a re-negotiated deal.

In June, Doug Parker at USAIR said, "We are obviously disappointed that our flight attendants chose to vote against ratification of a new contract," Doug Parker, US Airways' Chairman and CEO, said in a news release. "This tentative agreement was the result of years of deliberate negotiations and was achieved with the instrumental assistance and hard work of the National Mediation Board (NMB). It was also unanimously approved by the AFA negotiating committee. We will now consult with the NMB and AFA leadership to determine the best steps going forward to one day reach a ratified agreement.” This is boiler-plate language and you can expect to hear something very similar if this TA is rejected.

Whether you vote to ratify or not is completely your choice and your responsibility. As unionists, I know the members of C27 are not reluctant to stand up on their hind legs and live their principles. Remember, parroting fear based arguments is just another way to sell something. The “Key Men” who founded our union analyzed the risks and decided to engage the enemy in a business-like manner that would define a profession. Today, the decision is yours.

Your vote should be on the merits of the TA –
don’t vote out of fear.




Jeffrey Berg
Chairman, Council 27 / UALMEC
 

KarmaPolice

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2004
Posts
279
Total Time
4500
It's nice to see an ALPA officer speak like this. I'm new to the industry, but to me, ALPA looks like an organization that uses fear to gain support for contracts that are not in the best interest of its membership.

I'm not unrealistic in that I think we can "take it all back" in one punch. But it would be nice to at least see more honest, straight forward communication like this. It would be nice to see evidence of more pushback too. Thanks for posting.
 

Yuppyguppy

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2003
Posts
934
Total Time
8000+
Ask the USAIR flight attendants how they are doing since they shot down there SECOND TA. Berg was 1 of 3 out of 15 who voted NO on the UAL side. Ironically 7 of 11 at the CAL MEC voted YES for the TA. The irony.
 

Crucianpilot

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2002
Posts
170
Total Time
10000+
Ask the USAIR flight attendants how they are doing since they shot down there SECOND TA. Berg was 1 of 3 out of 15 who voted NO on the UAL side. Ironically 7 of 11 at the CAL MEC voted YES for the TA. The irony.

So 3 out of 15 voted no on the ual side, 4 out of 11 voted no on the cal side. Which side is more responsible for this getting to the pilots then.
 

ACWild

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 5, 2002
Posts
396
Total Time
12000
I think his message is good although I'm not sure that it's "incredible." This TA falls short in areas that I think is possible to tune up (tighter contract language, pay to at least match Delta's, retro pay that doesn't reward delayed negotiations, etc.) so I'm going to vote accordingly.
 

Continental

Farting on your Jumpseat
Joined
Jul 23, 2007
Posts
180
Total Time
IRO
Ask the USAIR flight attendants how they are doing since they shot down there SECOND TA. Berg was 1 of 3 out of 15 who voted NO on the UAL side. Ironically 7 of 11 at the CAL MEC voted YES for the TA. The irony.

At least 5 if not all 7 would have voted yes to a blank contract. They are JP's puppets.
 

Tweaker

BOHICA
Joined
Dec 1, 2002
Posts
736
Total Time
10,000
Good luck, mens. Keep up the good fight. It's for teh chillens!
 
Top