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Army of one!! YEAH!!

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Well-known member
Feb 5, 2002
I am an Army of One (or 2, or 300, ...)

I am an army of One - A Captain in the Continental
Airlines army.
For years I was a loyal soldier in Gordon's army. Now I
fight my own war.
I used to feel valued and respected. Now I know I am mere
They (CAL) used to exhibit labor leadership. Now they
exploit legal loopholes.
They used to enjoy my maximum. Now they will suffer my
I am an army of One.

I used to save CAL a thousand pounds of fuel per leg;
finding the best FL, getting direct routing, throttling
back when on-time was made, skimping during ground ops,
adjusting for winds, being smart and giving the company
every effort I could conjure. Now, it's "burn baby,
I used to call maintenance while airborne, so the part
would be ready at the gate. Now, they'll find the write-
up when they look in the book.
I used to try to fix problems in the system, now I sit
and watch as the miscues pile up.
I used to fly sick. Now I use my sick days, on short
notice, on the worst day of the month.
I am an army of One.

I used to start the APU at the last possible moment. Now
my customers enjoy extreme comfort.
I used to let the price of fuel at out-stations affect my
fuel orders. I still do.
I used to cover mistakes by operations. Now I watch them
I used to hustle to ensure an on-time arrival, to make us
the best. Now I do it for the rampers and agents who
need the bonus money….but this too may change.
I used to call dispatch for rerouting, to head off ground
delays for bad weather. Now I collect overs, number 35
in line for takeoff.

I am on a new mission - to demonstrate that misguided
leadership of indifference and disrespect has a cost. It's about character, not contracts. It's about leading
by taking care of your people instead of leadership by
bean counters (an oxymoron). With acts of omission, not
commission, I am a one-man wrecking crew - an army of
One. My mission used to be to make CAL rich. Now it's
to make CAL pay.

When they furlough more pilots than the rest, pilots that
cost them 60 cents on the dollar - I will make them
When they under-staff bases and over-work reserves to
keep pilots downgraded, down-flowed, or downtrodden - I
will make them pay.
When over-booked customers are denied boarding system
wide, while jets are parked in the desert - I will make
them pay.
When they force pilots, who have waited 12 years to
become captains, to be FOs again - I will make them
When they ask CAL pilots to show leadership at Express,
and then deny them longevity - I will make them pay.

When they recall F/As for the summer, just to furlough
them again in the fall like migrant workers - I will
make them pay.
When they constantly violate the letter and spirit of our
contract - a contract that's a bargain by any measure,
and force us to fight lengthy grievances - I will make
them pay.

My negotiating committee speaks for me, but I act on my
own. I am a walking nightmare to the bean counters that
made me. Are you listening? This mercenary has a lot of
years left with this company; how long can you afford
to keep me bitter? I'm not looking for clauses in a
contract, I'm looking for a culture of commitment and
caring. When I see it, I'll be a soldier for CAL again.
Until then, I am an Army of One…And I'm not alone!
Go get em, tough guy (er, oh, exhalted one).

When you're done playing army, there are 10.000 other pilots who are ready to take your place and try to do their job without whining.

Have a ball.
Very nicely said FEDUP, Treat your employees with respect and your employees will give 100%. There are ways besides money to influence an employees behavior.
As a furloughed pilot I applaud that you are concerned. I feel we are forgotten more and more often. I asked a over 60 fe the other day if we are still furloughing, and he said that he had no clue we had anyone on furlough. I proceeded to introduce myself!
I'm reminded of our discussion of union shops vs non-union shops a while back.

A Philly TV station has never had a union. Why? Overall, they treat their employees better than most other stations in the country. They pay them well, give great benefits, etc. In 35 years, less than 15 reporters have left to work elsewhere.

Across the street at the NBC affiliate, the there is a revolving door to the news studio. Even female and minority hires leave that station!

In labor relations, managment truly reaps what it sows. I'm going to pass that post on (without ANY references to its source) to a CAL captain I know. It would probably help matters if management knew how they can be killed with a thousand cuts.
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Management v. labor

Indeed, management reaps what it sows. My father, of blessed memory, operated a small corporation. The work was dirty, hazardous and dangerous. A union organized his workers. However, he treated his workers far better than the union wanted, and they decertified the union. He was rewarded with loyalty. He had people who worked for him for 30 years, doing very tough work.

Aviation has always been a buyer's market. Airlines have always been able to find pilots, so management doesn't have to sow much. Go ask E.L. Cord, Ted Baker, Dick Ferris and Frank Lorenzo. Pilots need a voice. It's too bad that organized labor lost so much of its clout during the 1980s. Airline deregulation is also a factor. Start-ups hired at far below scale, and that very much corroded ALPA's clout.
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Andy Neill said:
If I may paraphrase FEDUPPILOT,

"I used to be part of the solution. Now I am part of the problem."

May I paraphrase your comment?

"I have no idea what in the world he is talking about."
I believe what Andy said is quite clear.

If one is going to accept payment for one's services, then one should give 100%.

I have made some piss poor wages in the industry. I have scraped by on far less than next to nothing. However, at no time have I said that because the wages were low, I would do less than my job, be less than professional, give less than my very best.

Allowing the quality of service to go downhill is a sad, and pathetic way to make a point come across. Finding ways to cost the company money is inappropriate.

Andy's statement, and my own, should be clear here. Increasing the level of professionalism is part of the soloution. Falling back to the percieved level of professionalism of the management against one kicks, is doing nothing more than becoming part of the problem. It is nonsensical, much like the old farm addage; "The chicken coop burned down, so I dehorned all the cows."
Call me crazy, but if the company keeps losing money, won't that lead to more furloughes? USAir comes to mind.

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