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Cape Air To Vote On Union

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Jul 3, 2002
The NMB is going to send the ballots out on August 2 and the results will be known on August 31. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is the Organazation that is trying to be voted in to represent the pilots.
If if anyone has any UNBIASED information on the Teamsters Union please post a response to this message with a link. If you have an opinion about the IBT please post a response to this message. Would like to here what has to be said. We are down to about a month to decide. Any information from Horizon Pilots or Great Lakes Pilots would be appreciated. Thank You.
All I can say about the IBT is.....

The Road to Hell is paved with Ignorance and Stupidity.

The Teamsters are worthless. Ask some of the CHQ guys how they felt this past winter when the Teamsters blew the court case against the company that would've reversed the out of seniority terminations and restored their seniority list. Instead the union lost, because they didn't feel it necessary to file a notice of mediation after the pilots voted down a TA a few months prior. If you want see how good the Teamster's are, go to IBT747.org and into the CHQ section. Take a look at how pathetically weak the agreement for the recall of pilots is. It is the one dated April 12th. You won't have to scroll too far down, it's 3rd from the top. Notice how often the website is updated. Notice that for local 747, that E.E. Sowell is both Legal Counsel and the Secretary/Treasurer. Do you think that it is a good idea for one person to control both positions? I don't. Lastly, if you read on the main page, that the local porposed and passed an across the board raise in dues for all Teamsters, without asking their membership. They defend this by sating that "they're still less than ALPA", but you're getting far less of a value than what you get for your ALPA dues. If you've seen an ALPA board, you should know what I mean. Furthermore, the 747 Local just recenty relocated to IAH so that they "could better serve their airlines" and because IAH offers a HUB airport. I guess Indy wasn't enough of a HUB for them.

You wanna know what your dues would go towards with the IBT? I think the statements above provide enough examples. Cape Air, would more than likely be better with someone else representing them. If you haven't already, post this on the regional board. There's a few Laker's that post quite often over there and I've heard worse stories than the above from friends who are at Lakes. The best advice I can give is to choose very carefully about who is going to represent you. Best of luck.


P.S. The Teamsters, being the truckdriver's that they are, are no more qualified to represent you as a pilot, than you, as a pilot are qualified to represent them when they have their truckdriver negotiations.
Cape Air has a lot of "alumni" that have gone on to NetJets (also represented by the Teamsters). Maybe they can give you some feedback
Professional Unions vs. Others

I have nothing against the teamsters, but they are simply not set up to be a "professional" workers union. Their niche/specialty/expertiese is in repressing nonskilled laborers, not highly trained, educated, proficient leaders like pilots. We have observed from some of their pilot-group chapters (like those that aceshigh alluded to) that IBT really approaches pilots in similar manner to how they approach truck drivers, or any of the other non-skilled laborers they represent. Management will surely take advantage of a pilot union that is misrepresented. Read up on Samuel Gompers, and go with a professional union like ALPA. After all, you are professionals.
My in-laws own a company whose drivers are represented by the Teamsters. They're experience is not good. IMHO, the Teamsters are trying to save a sinking ship...their's!

My in-laws tried to provide their drivers with a medical plan better that what their drivers have through the IBT. It was 1/3 the cost and equal to/better than the Teamsters' plan in all respects. The IBT turned it down because they needed the company paid premiums to fund insurance coverage for employees from other companies.

There was a lawsuit filed against my in-laws' company alleging missed pension payments. The lawsuit demanded an additional pension payment. The problem was that my in-laws' company DID make the pension payment as mandated by their CBA. It went to court and a settlement for half the requested amount was made.

The Comair flight attendants are Teamsters-represented and are voting on their first TA. The junior F/As I have talked to don't seem pleased with the TA. They think it is favoring the senior F/As too much.

Good luck...Fly safe!
Try another union, the IBEW?

The folks at Cape Air may be overlooking a good union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. I do not know if they would be able to do anything with IBEW, but it's worth a try. Someone at Cape Air should try to get in touch with someone at the IBEW headquarters. It's worth asking just to find out about a possible alternative.

The IBEW represents electricians and other skilled trades such as telecommunications and the like so they do have experience working with people who have skills that take a long time to learn. The IBEW Electrical Apprenticeship program is a five year program, and one must pass a rigorous SAT-like written exam and oral interview before even being considered for the program. Many apprentices have college degrees. I am one.

The IBEW has a good arrangement with benefits being paid over and above one's salary and the union administers the benefits program, allowing the company to focus more on its core business rather than attempting to find benefits for workers. The bennies are excellent! For example, the vision plan is a $250 annual allowance for eye care expenses.

The fact is that if you are a relatively small group, you really do not get much benefit, expecially when you join a union that is not really in touch with your profession.

It should be clear after reading all that is said on this board that even ALPA, a union supposedly geared to this business represents by size of people paying the dues.

When you are in a smaller group, sometimes you get worse representation because to make a point somewhere else, what might be best for you is not necessarily best for protecting the unions position.
ALPA in the long run will be the way to go. They are the most powerfull and set up to deal directly with aviation agendas. Although they are in dissarray with the regionals at this time, a solution to their problems will have to come because the regionals are not going away, and are only getting bigger. They (ALPA) have tried to keep the blinders on as long as they can, but those blinders are about to be ripped off (no this does not have anything to do with RJDC, but just the current state of affairs). In a couple of years I would surmise, ALPA will be different and for the better. At least I hope so!:rolleyes:
When looking in the yellow pages for someone to repair my air conditioning, I don't look under " trucking company".

Having representation that understands your plight is important to getting your message to the other side. Walking in the same shoes, will save a lot of time just getting to understanding eachother. Also, your management will b-tch slap you all over the negotiations table for bringing representation to the table that does not speak their language. Bringing representation that represents pilots in the industry, puts management on notice, that your representative is a professional organization that has respect, a large pilot member base and has industry presence.

Having said that, we all have read the differences of opinion on ALPA and their preceived representation of their non-major airline members. That needs to be fixed internally, PERIOD. Just know that when management wants to move against your group do not do it without representation.

Unfortunately and more than likely the greater benefit of organizing your group now, will go to those pilots 3-4 contracts from now. Do not despair, benefits will come your way now, just don't expect to move the mountain all at once.

regards 8sm..........
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As pilots, you don't have many choices when it comes to union representation. 1) ALPA, 2)IBT, 3) Independent, 4) No Union.

I have no idea how many pilots you have or what you fly. But as a general rule, if you have less than 100 pilots ALPA will not make any effort to organize you and usually is not interested. Especially if you fly small aircraft.

The IBT does have an "airline division", but as others have said here, it's not the greatest at representing pilots. Particularly if you are a very small group. (They do OK at Airborne and Horizon). They also represent some fractionals.

A small group can't afford to do much as an independent. It's not practical unless you have about 1000 guys or more and people among you with experience in labor relations. As far as I know, there are only 3 good independents. APA, SWAPA ,and IPA, representing American, South West and the UPS pilots. I believe AirTran also has an independent.

Of the 4 choices, ALPA is unquestionably the best. There are problems, but it is way ahead of the IBT. If you have a choice, IMO you should go ALPA. Even if you get nothing else at all from ALPA, you always get two things: 1) Good representation if you ever have a problem with the FAA; 2) The best assistance in the business if you have a medical problem. Just one (1) incident of either is more than worth your dues.

If ALPA isn't interested (from your post you are too close to elections anyway) you can still get ALPA unless they deliberately refuse. Your ballot should have a space for the IBT (Teamsters), for NO UNION, and for a write-in. So even if the IBT is the one trying to organize you, you can still write in ALPA if you choose.

A word of caution. If you do "write in" and one of the two unions does not get a majority vote, you could wind up with NO union, so be careful. In this case a "majority vote" doesn't mean 50% + 1. It means a majority of the votes cast; whichever of the 3 options gets the most votes.

So in an example if you have 100 pilots. 19 don't vote; 30 vote for ALPA; 20 vote for IBT and 31 vote no union..... what you get is no union. Be careful.

Good luck!

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