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Future Union Representation at RJET

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IBT does not represent ME
Nov 27, 2001
Hopefully this doesn't get too stupid, but this being Flighinfo I imagine that it will in rapid fashion.

I am curious to hear from fellow Frontier pilots, Republic Pilots, Lynx Pilots and Midwest Pilots on their opinion regarding the future bargaining unit at Republic.

Do you want an Independent Union, keeping in mind that it will not be "FAPA".

Do you want the IBT?

Do you want ALPA?


This is all going to come to a head within the next 12 months. After the SLI decision is complete (probably late fall), one side will file a Single Carrier petition with the NMB. If the NMB decides that we are indeed a Single Carrier, the union drive will be in full effect.

Has the IBT completely shelved their Section 6 negotiations during SLI? If so, why?

Has the 190 arbitration been decided?

Do the Republic guys want to work off of their current CBA or do they want to start from scratch with a completely new CBA?

I am not casting stones here. We are eventually going to have to work together in an effort to preserve the narrow body pay rates and improve whatever remains of the fixed-fee business. Before you jump all over my sh1t about that last remark, you really need to take a look at the CPA's that expire between now and 2016. The number is staggering (North of 100 airframes of which 61 are 50 seaters or smaller could go away). That info is straight from the RJET 10k.

From a time-line perspective, the earliest a SOC decision from the NMB can happen would be sometime in 2011. Then the representation drive begins. Late 2011/early 2012 a bargaining unit is certified. Then the CBA negotiations begin in earnest. Historically a CBA has taken 3-5 years to negotiate and ratify. This being Republic it will probably take 4-6 at least. That puts us right around 2016. Keep in mind that FAPA pilots will remain in status quo until this time, as will the RAH pilots. (This is another reason the IBT should NOT be delaying the current negotiations, you are going to be working under your current CBA for many more years)

Does anyone have faith that the IBT can negotiate a major/llc contract?

Has the IBT ever negotiated a major/llc contract before?

I certainly do not want to work under their first experiment in that arena. If the IBT is voted in, the current contract negotiations will basically restart, with several modifications needed for the new aircraft. Is the current contract geared to more of the same, fixed fee service? Or is it designed for the future of RJET, more branded flying?

Has the IBT communicated the status of their current negotiations?

The Frontier Flight attendants recently voted in the AFA instead of the IBT for exactly the same reason, they didn't want to be folded into the current IBT contract, they wanted to start from scratch.

Considering the future if RJET, the answer is obvious in my opinion. The union has to be independent or ALPA.

This thread is not intended to provide the usual cast of characters a venue to spew venom at one group or another. If you have experience with IBT, good or bad, post it here. If you have experience with ALPA, good or bad, please post it here.
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FWIW, I also support the prospect of an in-house union. Who better to negotiate on my behalf than someone who is negotiating on their own as well? My view might be over-simplified since F9 is the only union job I've ever had, but I've been very satisfied with our representation.

National unions are FOR PROFIT organizations. I like to know that if necessary, every last dollar of my union dues will be spent supporting my best interest.

The biggest argument I have heard against this has been lack of resources compared to the Nationals. I think once pulled together, resources wouldn't be a problem. SWAPA? Doesn't look like they're hurting...

And no, I don't mean FAPA either. F9 pilots will make up less than 25% of the combined group, so I certianly would expect the rest to just hand over control to our current BOD (don't think I'd wish it on them either). However, we do have guys with the experience. Other groups probably do, too. If all these people got together, I believe it could work. All we need is the right people who genuinely want to do the job (and for the right reasons).

As well, no hate intended. Just giving my opinion as solicited...
The 100 seat issue has been arbitrated, no result yet.

As for the union issue, yes the IBT has negotiated major Airline contracts before. Republic is moving to its own local later this summer. In effect we will be an independent union with the resources of the national. In the past 747 did not use those resources, or have access to them do the past airline division and local leadership. That is all in the past. The new leadership is motivated and highly talented. There are still issues but things have gotten better in the last year since the trusteeship. Probably the best example of a major contract that the IBT negotiated would be Airborne Express. They were under local 1224, there own local. They had an exceptional contract and even after some the back slide due of the last few years they still have a good contract. Good news our Business agent is from 1224. I personally don’t want to see the combined pilot group waste time with infighting. We need to get the integration done and move on the taking the fight to the company not within our ranks. As for section 6, no we are still in section 6, but no need to rush things since our goals have totally change. Plus we will have much more power as one large unified pilot force. Yes at some point very soon there will be a single carrier determination from the NMB, I am not sure this in its self with trigger a representational vote. I am not sure but I think due to the relative sizes of the pilot groups IBT will remain as the representation. Not saying a card drive is not out of the realm of possibility. I don’t think it will be an automatic thing. I could be wrong though. I personally would hate to see it. It would slows down forward progress on a new CBA, and would show management a divide in the group they would surly try to exploit. I would rather see some of the union talent just join the IBT committees and leadership and show them we can become one group. That in its self should send a message the folks in the puzzle palace on Purdue Rd. As for timelines for negotiations, we will have to get through amalgamation first. From an RAH pilots stand point this will hopefully improve some of our current contract issues in the short term and move us in the right directions. Then on the section 6 part of things, and I hope as a much larger unified group we can push things along a little faster than the timelines you suggested. Just on guys opinon, take it for what it is worth.
To go along with what was said above, I strongly believe that the inherent strength of a union is in its membership and elected leadership. The new IBT local has no reason to be considered disadvantaged relative to in-house or ALPA representation. The same people will run for a leadership role regardless of affiliation, and the same pilots will be voting on the new CBA regardless of union name.

I feel that starting a new local this year, with input and leadership roles opened to all pilots on the new combined seniority list is as close to a fresh start as one can get, and it gives everyone the opportunity to put pride aside. Everything from bylaws to dues, election laws and resource accessibility will be determined by the entire pilot group, and we will build them all from the ground up. As long as everyone is willing to give it a chance before petitioning for new representation, we can bring the best parts from all of the current unions together and build the most efficient and effective union we know how.
I agree with pieces of the posts above. Thank you for sharing your perspectives.

I do not know if a Single Operating Certificate is a certainty, at least not initially. The flight attendants were deemed NOT to be a single carrier by the NMB. While this does not apply to all crafts and classes, it does show that the NMB has issues with the branded vs fixed fee sides of the house. Eventually we will probably end up with a SOC, but I think that may be years in the future.

I understand the motivation for the IBT to develop an "independent" Local, especially considering the past issues that have since been resolved. However, the IBT is still the certified bargaining agent, not the Local. Regardless of what the new Constitution and By-Laws may state, all negotiations will go through the national IBT as they are the one recognized by the NMB.

The two biggest issues that I have with the previous posts are,

1. A new union will "delay progress on a new CBA". That is a very good thing from my biased perspective. The "new" Republic CBA needs to be a clean sheet. I have seen the current one and if we are bargaining using the current CBA as a baseline then we are bargaining from a negative baseline. The current CBA is inferior in every respect, and we need to start over from scratch.

2. Mini said "The same people will run for a leadership role regardless of affiliation, and the same pilots will be voting on the new CBA regardless of union name." True, but union affiliation is more than just a "name". The IBT has a method of doing things. I have seen it first hand dozens of times during the F9 Bk and now during the SLI. ALPA also has a method, and the two could not be more different. I agree that the same pilots will step up to the plate and do the real work of the union, but the national union that stands behind them and writes the checks will play a role in the effectiveness of the union as a whole. The IBT has had an opportunity to work with Bedford and establish some version of a functional relationship. It is clear that the IBT has failed in this respect.

Your last line is an absolute must for all of this to work.

"We can bring the best parts from all of the current unions together and build the most efficient and effective union we know how"

I hope that everyone realizes this and the inevitable union drive is a more cohesive unit than the current situation.
I have been an ALPA member, and now a Teamster. The Local with the current leaders and the airline division on the national level all all new. The airline division is what brought on the changes at 747. The RAH union leadership asked for and was granted its very own local. Now that we have been given access to the tools and resources at the national level we are in a much better place with the Teamsters than in the past. Having seen both ALPA and Teamster on property at companies I have worked for and being a little bit of a student of Airline history, I would rather stay Teamsters.

As for the contract and single carrier status. I was not speaking of a single certificate. I don't think that will happen till all the contract flying is gone years in the future. I was speaking of single carrier status from the NMB for representation. One contract and one list is required in the RAH CBA. Once we get that taken care of we will move on the Amalgimation. The blending of the contracts. We will get to one contract covering all the pilots. I would hope for some impovments bringing the contract in line with what F9 has. I would say if managment is game we could just go straight to a new contract. Think Delta and NW. I won't hold my breath on that. I we simply amalgimate, from that point we would move forward with getting a "new" contract. We have to get the group combined or else we would face an internal whipsaw. Think TSA/ Go Jet, or Mesa Freedom. We have stopped that very tthing at RAH with our scope language. We must not fall into that sort of thing. This whlole process is a step by step deal. We have to work our way through it. A card drive and vote will take time away from frighting with the company. Time and energy would have to be put into internal represintational PR to gather support and votes. Why? As was hinted in some prior post. The name on the office door really is a small part of the deal. We the pilots are the union. We just need to get together and focus the energy on fighting for a contract with the company. You don't think the company would not just love to see us fighting amongst ourselves? This thing can go two ways. Airways/America West, or the Delta/ NW path. Which would you rather have?
I think this is great conversation to have. I am glad to see that it can be had with out all the stupid more FI crap. I sure do hope it stays this way. If it stays as a rational converstation I feel it can be informative and healthy for the involved pilot groups if not it is totally counter productive to the goal one day getting to the strong and unified single list pilot group.
I admire the spirit of this thread. Intelligence reigns thusfar.

Not to nitpick, but lets make sure we have the verbiage right. A Single Operating Certificate shouldn't be confused with a Single Carrier Petition/Determination. The NMB uses the standard of a single transportation system to make their determination, but this does not equal nor require the groups to be on the same FAA issued 121 certificate. That could factor into the determination, but life goes on no matter how many certificates we're running.

"Single Operating Certificate" was the great touchstone of the Delta/NW merger, but likely won't happen here, at least in the near term, nor has it even been set as a goal.

Personally I see an independent association as a necessary step towards group unity. When one group looks over at ALPA/IBT/FAPA/UTU they see "us" or "them." We'll have to move beyond that, and when the SLI comes down from the arbitrator additional tension is sure to arise. The Midwest guys already feel disenfranchised, understandably. The Lynx guys are likely feeling left in the cold, and the SLI may really piss off additional groups. Once these structural changes are behind us, we have to get in lockstep behind our representation, and I see alot of guys chafing if it's the wrong banner out front. Unity is a precious commodity, I fear that we'll squander too much of it if we stay with "their" union, whoever that might be.
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I can see your point on how sticking with one union or the other could cause some tension trying to build one unified group. The issue is resources. IBT has them an the amount of money past through to the national is cheap compared to what we would have to pay to get some of the these experts when needed as an independent union. BB an company will not be running freindly relationship with the group I can almost bet my life on that. Teamsters are actually pretty powerful, con capital hill too. 1.7 million members(voters) get the attention of those types. If we want to see things like RLA reform, I think the Teamster lobbiest are the ones that are going to get that sort of thing done. I know that is a little beyond the scope of what we are talking about here but it something that needs to get done for the good of our long term pilot interests. Once we bring the talent pool together under whatever banner it might be, we will have a wealth of knowledge to tap and we will have a lot of pull with in the Teamsters. We will be the largest pilot group they have. Unlike ALPA where we would be just another pilot group. I think the higher levels of the Teamsters will have to pander to our needs more than ALPA would.
Once we bring the talent pool together under whatever banner it might be, we will have a wealth of knowledge to tap and we will have a lot of pull with in the Teamsters. We will be the largest pilot group they have. Unlike ALPA where we would be just another pilot group. I think the higher levels of the Teamsters will have to pander to our needs more than ALPA would.

Going forward with any one but alpa, would most likely be your best intrest.

Good Luck, alpa is really just looking for your money anyways...

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