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Well-known member
Nov 26, 2001
Would any of you agree that it is time to dump the Teamsters and get an aviation union in their place? I can't think of one useful thing they have done for us, outside of sending us their trucking magazine each month.

Would those "in the know" please explain how you go about getting rid of the Teamsters.

We are now ONE YEAR past the contract expiration date. The Teamsters don't appear to be in any hurry to negotiate a new deal. Meanwhile the company appears to have thrown the old contract in the garbage.

Most of us are going to be at GLA for longer than expected now so we might as well make it a better place to work!
I agree totally with the teamsters deal. They really do have no business being the union for GLA pilots or pilots in general. I was with you only a short time which ended in late june waiting for the IAPC in Cheyenne. Are there any other airlines represented by the Teamsters because I don't think there are. I'm sorry you're stuck in a tight spot but I would be more than happy right now to be flying with you guys/gals instead of flight instructing.

Good luck with everything.
Let's spend dues to hire our own lawyer

I'm personally ashamed to call myself a member of the Teamsters Pilot Union because of the way our interests are handled by that rganization. I realize WE are the Union, but our money is wasted each and every month, and we are not acting to recover the services we pay for. SOOO, let's us stop paying Union Dues and start putting that cash toward hiring our own Labor Lawyer to do the work Teamsters isn't now, never was, and (I fear) never will.

Just a thought.

I've seen privately funded political action groups make a ton more progress on much larger issues in shorter time. It's a joke. Voss only seems to listen to the FAA (in which case we need to start reporting all company violatons and safety issues directly) and the Courts (in which case we need more legal documents crossing Voss' desk.) With enough legal pressure from a private attorney who specializes in Labor we'd make more waves than the Union guys have done n the 2 years I've been around.

The ONLY problem will be the protection afforded us now by the Railway Labor Act as we are Union members. We'd have t find out how to retain that protection during the transiton to non-union. The new contract language would provide it from then on.
I do not think that our pilot group is organized enough to form our own union and make it work. As soon as the job market opens up again, people will be bailing left and right like before and we have not had the continuity of union reps to get anything done in the past. I think that we need the expertise and experience that an aviation union such as ALPA would provide.

I was working during the big meeting in Denver but is it true that the Teamsters are doing NOTHING about the 3 days unpaid in Sept.?
Isn't Horizon with Teamsters?

ALPA doesn't always work hard for the little guys, look at TSA.
I'm not sure what you mean by look at TSA. The company tried to go way overboard with concessions after 9/11 and our reps took a stand. Yes, we have guys on furlough that wouldn't be otherwise, I'm one of the furloughed, but the pilot group will be stronger and in a better position when this is all over.

What we need to remember is that our union reps are who get things done, not the union execs at the national offices. If things are not getting done at your airline you need to talk to your elected representatives. It doesn't matter if you are represented by ALPA, the Teamsters or the International Brotherhood of Sanitary Workers, elected leaders at your airline are what makes the difference.

I have been very happy with the representation provided by the TSA Master Executive Council of ALPA.
I was referring to what happened during the contract negotiations in 2000. The MEC sold the senior turboprop guys way short.

I agree with you that local representation will make or break any negotiations with management, but ALPA doesn't typically spend the big bucks to help out the regionals.

Find out how many lawyers TSA ALPA has working for the pilot group. Last I knew there was one, and he was assigned another regional at the same time. I doubt that happens at an airline where the % of each pilot's paycheck brings in more money.

I don't know much about Teamsters, but for Great Lakes, the grass may not be greener.
Bailing Out?

Excuse me while I throw my 2cents in on this one. I know the reply is late, oh well.
Many of you New Lakers have no idea why the Teamsters were chosen to represent the Pilot group at GLA. (I was just entering the property when they voted the Union in.) To the best of my fading memory, here is a recap.
Both Unions were asked to come to Spencer to pitch there side.
ALPA stood there and said,"choose us because we're ALPA". The ALpa rep. put very little effort in researchig the GLA/GLA Pilot issues. The GLA pilots were totally unimpressed with what ALPA had to say or offer.
On the other hand, the Teamster Rep. had done his homework, and threw out an incredibly impressive pitch! The decision was easy. To the best of my knowledge, no pilot had voted for ALPA representation.
The Pilot group was fairly strong back then(1997), there were some senior Lakers and as long as nobody(the other airlines) was going gangbusters on recruitment, they were determined to get the MISER to cough up some decent benefits.
Then came the Hire craze!!! Internal representation had floundered & Don Trichler noticed the lack of solidarity within the GLA pilot group. So he turned his back on the group through sloppy, dated, and sometimes nonexistant communication. I know that he was willing to go all out for us at one point in time, but the lack of solidarity frightened him. He was not willing to do battle all by himself.
There are some Obvious factors that play a part in Strong Representation. Longevity of the Pilot group is #1, so you Lakers will start to see an upward trend in Union involvement. When the trend starts, it will take alot of effort to kick the Teamsters around on their perception of the GLA Pilot group. Then it will be important to reorganize the Group and seek out the pilots that are willing to chair a committee and then start to COMMUNICATE effectively. I can't remember the GLA800Hotline number but I would bet that thing RARELY if ever gets updated!
I could go on and on but the fact is that if the group has no solidarity then NO form of representation will help, and I would be willing to put alot on that last statement.
Thats my 2
Jeff, thanks for posting what I was too lazy too! That pretty much sums up the union situation at Lakes. Once Harrington and Liggett left, things started sliding bigtime. The biggest problem I saw, and still see was weak communication. The hotline never got updated, all the newsletters were out of date, and I never could figure out how whoever was running the union got to their position. I don't remember any elections. Without communication, things fall apart quickly. The only way to get info is if you happen to be in the release room when somebody "in the know" is around. As for Trychler, I lost all respect for that guy after listening to him at a meeting prior to opening up the contract negotiations. He didn't seem to have a clue about what market rates for 19 and 30 seat turboprop pilots were. They seemed to pulling proposed payrates out of the air. I suggested a year 1 captain pay rate that shocked him, until I told him it was 5% greater than CoEx's payrate for the same aircraft from a 3yr old contract. It also bugged me when he made a tough speech about how he wanted to get the schedules written the way the contract specifies(85-95 hours), but seemed opposed to stricter language and penalties to achieve this. His reason was that he didn't want to penalize the people that wanted to fly 120 a month. You can't do both. He also said that we would be recieving stickers for our flight bags supporting our contract fight about 2 weeks after that meeting. It's been over a year and half, anyone have one yet? That stuff aside, you are correct that the union is only strong as its membership. People have to get involved and people have to fly the current contract not just give lip service to it. Without that, no union will help. The biggest problem with Teamsters seems to be that they don't devote enough of their national resources and time to their airline division. TI heard that they don't even have enough money to go to court on the 9/11 grievances. That's where ALPA could help, all they do is airlines and they have a greater wealth of info. Sure they may not come running to help a small airline like Lakes, but membership will get you access to the library of info. It'll probably be up to some ambitious soul in the membership to take it upon themselves to dig out the relevant info, but it's better than the current situation. I understand that many regional carriers are dissapointed with ALPA and I can see why, it's just that Lakes hasn't even caught up to those carriers old contracts let alone have the luxury to complain about what they do. Step one is getting invloved, followed by better communication, flying the contract, and then you can talk about switching representation and ramifications therof.

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