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Magenta Line, Saturday 10-03-09 - Part 3

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Dec 4, 2001
Item 6: We Are Not Making This Up: CO Named “Top Military Employer”

From the Daily News Update—also known as “Pravda” by most employees in a charming tip ‘o the cap to communications, Soviet-style:

CO named one of top military employers in the U.S.
CO has been selected by G.I. Jobs magazine as a Top 100 Military Friendly Employer for 2010. Being named to the list puts CO in the top 2 percent of all employers nationwide, and more than 5,000 companies were considered based on annual revenues of at least $500 million.
“Hiring America’s military veterans is simply smart business,” said Recruiting Managing Director Mary Matatall. “Among other things, military candidates possess the leadership, teamwork, drive and the ability to perform safely.”
The final list will be published in the December 2009 issue of G.I. Jobs, and CO will receive a plaque commemorating the achievement.
Well, where do we start with this? Somehow missing from this management self-pat-on-the-back is any reference to the CLASS-ACTION USERRA LAWSUIT currently being pressed by HUNDREDS of current and former Continental military pilots. While the allegations made in support of this lawsuit are many and varied, the gist of the suit is that Continental management has made, and is continuing to make, life for our military pilots here miserable in many ways.

From our Local Council 170 Military Liaison, Brian Boeding:

“In the past 10 years 12-15% of CAL new hire pilots are former military.

“Based on conversations I've had with new hires at DAL / SWA / Fed Ex, I estimate their military hire rates are SIGNIFICANTLY higher (probably 40-45%).

“CAL has had at least 3 military reserve pilots quit over harassment they received at CAL. (One is now full time in the USAFR, another is at SWA, and the last one who is a close friend of mine is flying with the US Customs)

“In 2006, a CAL pilot was refused re-employment after his military leave ended. He had to enlist the Department of Labor to help get his job back....then fought with CAL (Tom Stivala was representing CAL) for more than a year to get his job back.”

Brian also thought the article was a little odd—so he contacted the magazine:

“I spoke to the editor (Dan Fazio) of GI Jobs this morning and asked him how companies are selected. He stated something to the effect that companies are sent a questionnaire about their military hiring practices and policies and the companies that take the time to respond get included in the list. CAL did not pay for the "honor" of being added to the list, but I was unable to find out if they paid for advertising in the GI Jobs magazine. Dan also stated: "employees are not asked for opinions of their employers, as this wouldn't be practical". Dan also said he was "aware of the ongoing military reserve class action lawsuit".

But Dan wasn’t terribly curious about it, evidently.

Dan? Question: Does the plaque you will be presenting to management come in a handy stick-on-the-side-of-the-airplane version? We’d hate for our passengers to miss it.

Item 7: Sorry About That, Chief! or, Fred’s Cone of Silence

Many of you have probably noticed this and many of you are likely irritated by it as well: how many times have we logged into CCS only to find the words “No announcements available” under the “General Announcements” tab?

Now, by itself, this isn’t such a big thing but, um, wouldn’t this be the place to find things like an announcement of a system bid delay, or problems with the PBS award, or—Friday’s irritant—a problem with the availability of vacation weeks?

While the availability of vacation weeks was a problem quickly solved, the announcement of the problem was not. Instead, it was hidden on Fred’s desk under the Paper-Pusher™—the handy device Fred apparently uses to clear his desk of the information we, as pilots, would like to have but is never forthcoming from management.

We cannot know the motivation for being non-motivated. We can suspect that it comes from an “out of sight, out of mind” thinking, or maybe from “if I refuse to acknowledge a problem, maybe Mr. Smisek won’t find out about it, either”.

Whichever, it is strange for management to create a section for announcements that every pilot must read—and then put no relevant announcements therein. Unless they’re about gate readers. Or DirectTV policy.

Item 8: H*tler Blasts Continental Pilots!

You thought H*tler was just about world domination. Hah! He found time, outside of his plotting to invade Engl*nd and subjugate all of E*rope, to descend into the morass of Contin*ntal’s management/pilot relationship.

Check out this hidden-camera video from one of his ST*R Alliance planning sessions:


Der Fuehrer looks a little drawn and haggard. It must be The M*genta Line.

Item 9: Request for Committee Volunteers

All of our committees need volunteers. If you are one of the many somewhat selfish and untested among us, if you are interested in committee work, if you have special artistic talents of any kind, or if you just like to chew the legs off your dining room table, we want you to help your fellow EWR pilots. If you are interested or have previously expressed interest via e-mail or a phone call, please confirm your continuing interest in an e-mail to Captain Kaye Riggs, Secretary-Treasurer, LEC 170 at [email protected]. Please put your name and the word “Volunteer” in the subject line.

Item 10: Next Meetings

Our next local council meeting has been scheduled for October 28th at the Newark Airport Renaissance Hotel. This is a change from our normal meeting place at the Marriott. There is an ongoing shuttle from the P-4 AirTrain stop. Those driving to the meeting will have their parking validated just as at the Marriott.

This meeting will be an excellent opportunity to hear our outgoing Alliance Committee Chairman Alfredo Suarez. Bring your questions on our impending STAR Alliance affiliation. Also, this meeting will be early enough to get your resolutions on the agenda for the November MEC meeting, scheduled for November 2nd through 6th in Houston.

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