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Closed Scab Thread

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Well-known member
Nov 25, 2001
To the moderator,

This is a message board for those in the airline industry, and those who wish to be. I feel that everyone should learn about what it means to scab, how it harms the industry, and most importantly, how it effects those involved. As they say, those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. You being an airline guy should recognize how important it is for those who follow us to learn the lessons of past strikes. May I respectfully submit that you prematurely closed the thread, denying many a genuine learning opportunity about what happens to scabs. I think it is important. Some of the readers of this board may someday join you on a picket line, or cross it. I think it is up to us to help them make an informed decision.
I didn't get a chance to see the thread on SCABS. I do, however, agree that this topic is of vital importance. Unfortunately way too often, people water down the meaning of the term "SCAB". Maybe the simplest solution would be to have the definition posted and let the issue rest.
Let me expand a bit on my original request which I started under the 'Scab List' thread. First, I never intended to get into a heated debate on scabs. My intention was only to obtain a list that I had misplaced. But since I've been provoked...

To the individual who publicly (and proudly ?!?WTF?!?) announced he was a scab, to you I have no respect. I firmly believe that all people are in charge of their destinies by the actions they choose. I believe in forgiving and forgetting however, most scabs fully realize that the actions they take are at the expense of their fellow pilots, and are done solely to further their career. This is like one saying they are a Christian but before committing a crime asks for forgiveness (before the action). Or worse yet, hope their actions will go undiscovered. Sorry, that's not the way things work.

If we forget the actions of these scabs, our industry will turn cutthroat and self-centered. We need to preserve the dignity, mutual respect, and trust within our tight-knit group.

I believe, in contrast with the board administrator, that this is a healthy topic and one that needs to be discussed. We must keep the pilot population informed about appropriate actions within our industry and the consequences of actions such as 'scabbing.'

My carrier employs scabs, and I occasionally work with them. On that level I have no choice (relatively speaking). However, if I am flying with such an individual (or am granting a jumpseat to another pilot) I want to know his/her background. Do I take personal offense at the individual's actions? No, not really. But, I do have a professional responsibility to respond accordingly.

Do I treat them differently? To be quite frank, yes. The scab has demonstrated by his (or her) actions that he does not care for me or my fellow pilots' livelihood and well being. I cannot trust a person who has made such decisions; and what is more important than trust?

To all the scabs reading this: I'm sorry that you willingly and knowingly chose to cross a picket line at your fellow pilots expense. I'm sure the repercussions will follow you the rest of your life. Yes, on a personal level, I have sympathy for that but, the actions were your own. Hopefully, the actions of other pilots (those on the list) will show and prevent future pilots from making unwise decisions. This is why maintaining a list is relevant and appropriate.

Maintaining a list upholds dignity, respect, morals and serves to preserve the decency of our profession.

Stop sending me private messages. I am not interested. I am happily married. And straight.

By the way, ALPA will not distribute the list. Afraid of lawsuits. Someday, maybe, you'll be an ALPA member too. Then maybe you'll understand. However, if I know anything about Delta's hiring standards, you don't have to worry about ever flying with me!
I have to agree with many of the above posts in this thread. Last year, AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) went out on strike to support a negotiation process. The vast majority of television and radio commercials use AFTRA members, as do most networks. Film personnel belong to the companion organization, SAG (Screen Actors Guild). I hadn't been an AFTRA member for almost fifteen years, when several of us were swept out of our station in Philadelphia. As an inactive member, I found myself presented with several opportunities during the strike to advance myself and make great money as a professional announcer by recording struck work. I was told that there was a chance that other existing members would be able to identify my voice, and would report me, which could prevent me from ever working as a union member again. As the producer explained this to me, I listened attentively, and seemed to be thinking about it. I even told her that I would have to make a "difficult decision" and I would call here back. In reality, this was a no brainer. Most of the decent pay that I had earned as a non-union announcer was due to the standard set by the union part of the industry. If I had called back and accepted the struck work, I would have helped to undermine the efforts, not to mention the sacrifices of thousands of other performers in the industry who were trying to maintain a standard of respect and professional compensation.

I'm certain that the use of a scab list was a great motivator for many younger performers who were faced with the same phone call from that producer, and many others across the nation who were tempted to "cross the line".

By now you can see the effects of taking on struck work, and how it can eventually affect you in ways you may not anticipate. Most of us would like to become eligible for the best contracts we can have, and by supporting other members who are involved in the collective bargaining process we will have the best chance of enjoying those benefits ourselves. If some pilots lack the conscience or the awareness to avoid lowering the standards of the industry, then a list of those who choose to take their chances is our best defense of the existing professional pilot lifestyle, along with the possibility of being able to enjoy that lifestyle ourselves in the future.
As AWACoff and Flyme accurately stated, there's is a learning opportunity for us newbies here. Without "word of mouth", none of us would know the proper way to act or understand what's going on. This forum is just "word of mouth" at light speed in a lot of ways.

As part of the final settlement, the airline keeps the non-union scabs onboard, fully integrating them into the seniority list, and they get paid the new union wages. Someday, if there's a strike again, the airline knows who these clowns are and will count on them again to weaken the union's bargaining power.

All this time, though, they get treated like dirt by the ALPA members in good standing. No extraneous conversation in the cockpit. No "how ya doin", no nothing. Everybody ignores them in the crew van, nobody talks to them in the pilot's lounges, etc. Also, the fact that it is Captain's call on who jumpseats, those who are conscientious enough to check the scablist will not allow a scab to ride for free. If he can't boot him off the the plane, he can at least make him ride in the cockpit where he will be fully ignored by loyal workers and NOT ride in first class as befitting a brother pilot. Considering how badly scabbing really stabs their peers in the back, it's not much on the retribution scale. It does, however, make working there pretty miserable from what I've heard. And that's the point.

So I would say to anyone even thinking about "what's the downside to jumping ahead during a strike", one of them is that you may get your flying job, but it won't be your dream job anymore.

Anybody else out there have any (unemotional, non-insulting)input on how scabs get to reap what they sow?
New Year

My hope for this new year is that these type posts disappear. Frankly, I am disgusted by the ignorance that enables one person to label another in this manner because they do not see the world with the obvious clarity that they have.

Would you feel better if you knew that one of the crews that were killed on the 11th were scabs. There are many good people in this industry that do not consider unions particularly positive or current with the times. They may pay dues and get the information, but, frankly they could not care less about it. There are others that seem to need the comfort of being part of a group who condem management regardless of any real supporting facts only because they are management and hence out to shaft the poor worker whose six figure salary is woefully inadequate in light of the tremendous difficulty in flying one of these $100m bemouths across the skies.

Perhaps its time to forget about these petty ramblings and think about the ways that we can contribute to building a better industry in these most difficult times. Perhaps we can start by not calling people names, perhaps we can realize that the customer pays the bills for us all and treat them better than the cattle being led to slaughter. Perhaps when we say, Peace on earth, goodwill towards man, we can be talking about ourselves and not some foreign land.

My grandfather taught me that it takes a lot more to build something than to bring it down, that is why it is so much more worthwhile.
Fly Delta's Jets:

Why should we care about scabs when ALPA welcomes the Continental Scabs back into the union with open arms while they deny loyal union members at ASA the right to vote on contracts that they negotiate with our employer that effect our pay and working conditions?

Being a scab does not mean as much as it used to because ALPA has no morality.

As an ALPA member in good standing, I am disgusted that our union welcomes scabs without back dues and encourages alter ego airlines to bust collective bargaining efforts at Comair and ASA.

However, I still pay my dues and will not cross a line... although I don't know why I stand by our union - ALPA treats me worse than a scab because I fly an RJ.
Just to put my final input to this issue from the"other side of the fence." If your dream job is to fly for a major airline the oppurtunity presents itself outside of the normal hiring process. Don't do it, ultimately the status quo will rule, major airlines need warm bodies (pilots) to fly their aircraft the union will win or the airline will go down. It is not the way to start a career doing what you want to do. There are over 5000+ "scabs" out there, they keep the other part of aviation going. You will find them at every level of aviation flying here and there and at the utermost part of the earth. That is a choice that they made, and actually you will find they enjoy doing that. Are they a threat to a major airline stirke? Not really, most have been there done that and are content to stay where they are. If you fly with them you will find that generally they are nice people to work with. If you bring the issue up in a nice way over a beer sometime you'll find that there were other underlying circumstances other than just getting ahead for them to do what they did. There are for sure two sides of the story on this one. The Comair strike is the most recent bitter example, but the best thing is to let it go and keep the airline going,once the strike is settled it is settled. In the Comair instance I am amazed how far the management let things go before they settled. It is a tough issue but as an airline pilot you will find yourself having to deal with it sooner or later.
The threat to a major airline strike are the wantabee's that see it as a chance for their dreams, not being aware of the dire consequences. So if these two threads can accomplish one thing it is this. If you want a job at a major airline, do it the hard way, listen hard to everything that has been said, don't buck the system. The job is too much fun to have it ruined by having to deal with all the issue's that have been presented on this board. It is not worth it. Happy New Year and Happy flying.
If it makes you feel any better ~~~~~~~, I agree with you. I, and most guys with whom I have spoken, feel that we should never have let the Scabs at CAL back into ALPA. That equates to forgiving them, and that is wrong. The powers that be at ALPA chose money over principle.

Please don't get on my case. I am well aware that most guys at CAL would make fine ALPA members. I am only referring to the small percentage of scabs there.

Vacation tomorrow...I won't be around to post for a week, so I can't defend myself. Take it easy on me!
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