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Membership in Airline Pilot Unions

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Well-known member
Jan 30, 2002
I read the recent posts on ALPA and being/not being a part of it.
When does one decide if you are a part of the union or not?

Also, why would one decide not to be a part of the union? Would the union rules/ pay scales still apply to 'non-members.'
Most pilot contracts have an "agency shop" clause meaning everyone is a member like or not. Some states have different laws. Some are "right to work" states. I know in Georgia you can't be made to join a union but the airline I worked for there required that you at least pay a service charge to the union. Some guys were exempt from that because they wern't members when that clause was negotiated. I'm in Kentucky now and membership was not an option it was mandatory.

The bottom line is it's better to be an active dues paying member. There will be times when a union can try a saints patience but there is more good than bad. Besides that you will lose a lot of friends by not participating.

Look at the deals union carriers have compared to non union. It speaks for itself. There are always exceptions but even SWA has a union.
Agency Shop

Agency Shop really doesn't mean that you are a member "like it or not". If you do not want to be a union member that is just fine, however, under agency shop language you are still required to pay your share in the form of dues.

You can choose to not be a union member, but you still work under the work rules established by the union. To prevent a "free ride" situation you pay dues without the requirement of union membership.

As for the "grandfathered" pilots, I know a lot of carriers have them and I have never heard of them turning down a raise that union volunteers busted their arses for...yet they refuse to pay 1.9%. Pretty pathetic in my book.

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