NJA/NJI Question

Spyguy

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Having read the previous couple of months' worth of threads, can someone (not the bitter ones) explain to an outsider why is it so important to the NJA pilots/union for NJA and NJI to merge? I understand why the union would love it, but why the pilots, who constantly claim that they do not want to "fly the lord god plane?" It seems that NJI guys want nothing to do with NJA and their union, so why is it so important for NJA guys and their union to try to force themselves on the guys over at NJI?

I am sure that this has been covered before indepth. Sorry to continue the Netjets "drama."
 

miles otoole

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Spyguy said:
but why the pilots, who constantly claim that they do not want to "fly the lord god plane?"
Son, you had best capitalize the g in God when speaking of the beloved plane.
 

Spyguy

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lol, I am not trying to make fun of anyone or their situation. I realize that this topic has been brought up before, but no one really answered the question. If it is about the plane or the choice, why not apply there or another corp. that flies them? Why try to bring together two groups, where it seems obvious that one side does not want to play?
 

old*art

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If NJI flew skateboards the pressure for the merger would be there. Some of the older timers correct me - but scope - only one company essentially - became important when Lorenzo was looting one airline and selling the parts to another he owned - almost destroying both while lining his pockets. A good scope clause tries to prevent that. NJA pilots were also promised NJI would go away - so it has to do with holding someone to their word also.
 

Spyguy

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Thanks for the background. I am still more of a non-union person myself, but to each their own. One thing I learned long ago in life, and it applies to military and civilian life, if its not in writing then don't believe it because there is a reason that its not written down.
 

Grizz

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It's in writing now just waiting for a vote count on the 21st.
 

Spyguy

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Grizz,
Where is it in writing? I only see this in the TA and to my non legal mind says that NJA/NJI question can be decided by a board. Doesn't exactly seem like a done deal.

Copied from LOA
2. Other than the aircraft described in paragraph 1 above, the Gulfstream aircraft operated and/or managed and to be operated and managed by NetJets International, Inc. are excepted from the Basic Agreement.
3. The scope exception contained in this Letter of Agreement is without
prejudice to the positions of the parties in any future legal proceeding, in which the question whether NetJets International, Inc. and NetJets Aviation, Inc. constitute a “single carrier” for labor relations purposes is to be determined.

4. This Letter of Agreement shall be inadmissible, and shall not be referred to, in any legal, administrative or contractual proceeding in which a “single carrier” determination involving NetJets International, Inc. and the Company is requested. Neither party shall make any evidentiary submission or argument inconsistent with this Letter of Agreement.​
 

Grizz

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Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises? But who takes off his eye from a comet when that breaks out? Who bends not his ear to any bell which upon any occasion rings? But who can remove it from that bell which is passing a piece of himself out of this world? No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne
 

gutshotdraw

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Wow Grizz,

Thought I was hearing Doc Bayless in my AP High School English class again. As Hans Gruber would say "the benefits of a classical education." Very nice.

Nevertheless,

It seems as though, since TA ratification seems certain, the focus has shifted almost entirely to the single carrier issue. Let's review:

1. The scope exception requiring the Gulfstreams to be operated by NJI will be removed from the new CBA. Score 1 point for IBT 1108.

2. The TA calls for a three year moratorium by IBT 1108 on the filing of any single carrier action. Score 1 point for RTS.

3. NJA pilots will be allowed to bid an agreed upon percentage of open NJI Gulfstream positions while retaining their NJA IBT 1108 seniority. Score 1 1/2 points for IBT 1108.

4. By side agreement, operations by NJI vis-a-vis NJA prior to date of signing may not be introduced into evidence in any single-carrier proceeding. Score 1 points for RTS.

5. IBT 1108 is 2300 dues paying members strong with the backing of a national labor union and the financial, legal, and logistical support that implies. Score 1 point for IBT 1108.

6. NJI has 275 non-union pilots, the majority of whom wish to remain so. Score 1/2 point for RTS.

Score: IBT 3 1/2 RTS 2 1/2 But wait, it's only the end of the first half!

Single carrier actions by previous airline unions (American Eagle being the only successful example) are filed primarily to prevent management from "whipsawing" of one labor group against the other. Threatening to give another group more flying and equipment if one group does not give in to management demands on pay, benefits, etc. If RTS had been whipsawing, the G-200's would have gone to NJI.

Three years may be a millisecond in geologic time but it is an eternity in economics and labor relations (See UAL, DAL, NWA, etc. for further review).

Having IBT's foot in the door with pilots on the property at NJI and all that implies may prove to be the critical component of the entire saga.

RTS obviously has some really smart lawyers working for him to get a clause in the agreement limiting the legal discovery on any single carrier petition to only those events post CBA signing. That would indicate he has a legal plan to prevent single carrier and will use it when the time comes.

IBT 1108 will have three years to bank member dues to finance any legal action (which will run in the millions) and the ability to exert the same kind of pressure on management that helped bring about the current TA. The National Teamsters union probably won't be much help. They clearly don't understand aviation and the smartest thing NJA ever did was establish their own local.

The pilots of NJI largely wish to keep things status quo but will find they can have very little impact on the entire process aside from showing up for work, doing the job, and hoping for the best.

Remember also that there are many factors besides the ones listed above that would impact a single carrier hearing. The political leanings of the board members. The economic and political climate at the time of filing. The departure or death of one or more of the primary players in the next three years.

People on both sides of the argument must realize that proclamations of "It's iron-clad" or "It will NEVER happen" are equally ignorant of legal and political reality. Once again, here is the bottom line:

Is single carrier a possibility? Absolutely. Is it likely? Perhaps. Is it a slam dunk? Not even close.
 

Cavpilot

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Gunshotdraw,
I think you analysis of the situation is right on the money, with 2 exceptions:


gutshotdraw said:
4. By side agreement, operations by NJI vis-a-vis NJA prior to date of signing may not be introduced into evidence in any single-carrier proceeding. Score 1 points for RTS.
I think this one is actually pretty much a wash, probably even leaning toward IBT 1108. The reason is that the Gulfstream exclusion is now contained in LOU which is inadmissible for either side.

gunshotdraw said:
The pilots of NJI largely wish to keep things status quo but will find they can have very little impact on the entire process aside from showing up for work, doing the job, and hoping for the best.
I believe the exact opposite is true. The NJI pilot group plays a huge role in how this thing turns out. If it appears that the writing is on the wall that an integration will happen, the pilots at NJI can either play ball or fight it. Either way it is their choice.

Let me talk a little bit about our union.

I understand why many NJI pilots don't like unions. Working in my family's business for 10 years made me not understand their use either. Take care of your people, treat them with dignity and respect, your employees will in turn take care of the company. After my first week at Comair, I understood clearly why there are unions.
When I first came to Executive Jet and was introduced to IBT 284, I was reminded of why I originally did not like unions. The local leadership were a bunch of idiots. They truly did us more harm than good. A real waste of dues (yea, I'm still bitter). When we had the opportunity to elect the Strong Union slate about a year ago, I was dubious. More Teamsters nonsense. I just wanted to rid myself of all of lies, dishonesty and incompetence that I had come to loath about the IBT.
Boy was I wrong. This union is no longer an embarrassment. On this board, all that you really see and hear about is contract negotiations. There is so much more going on besides that. We have an remarkable cadre of volunteers running the various committees. Here is one example; do NJI guys and gals like the hotels you stay in? Do you like the free breakfasts and other bennies? Be sure to thank the IBT 1108 Travel committee.

So anti-IBT guys, next time you see an NJA pilot at an FBO, ask them what they think of the union. I'm pretty sure you will get a positive response.
 

ex-nutjeter

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And don't forget about the new Class 4 Cap't pay scale, it should boost all of NJI's cap't.s pay way up, that too was IBT 1108
 

WillFlyFoCookie

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I really believe that your Union is what you make of it. Get involved and contribute as much as you can.

IBT 1108 seems to me to have a lot of really good things going on. Strong, Fair leaders taking active roles in the lives of the average members and communicating well. Just reading through the TA I must admit that I am very impressed. I find myself amazed at many of the things they successfully achieved.

This is just what I see from my vantage point.
 

G4dude

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old*art said:
If NJI flew skateboards the pressure for the merger would be there. Some of the older timers correct me - but scope - only one company essentially - became important when Lorenzo was looting one airline and selling the parts to another he owned - almost destroying both while lining his pockets. A good scope clause tries to prevent that. NJA pilots were also promised NJI would go away - so it has to do with holding someone to their word also.

I had to chuckle at this post. Lorenzo "looted" one airline because the unions there had rendered it worth more dead than alive. This situation was the fault of the unions, not Lorenzo. If it had not been him, it would have been someone else. I just hope the Strong Union has not done the same to NetJets.
 

gutshotdraw

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Cav,

If NJI pilots "play ball?" How can they play ball? Turn in IBT organizing cards now? Fight it how? Don't turn in IBT cards now?

As many on this board were saying during the contract negotiations, NJI pilots had no say in what the TA would include because they don't get to vote on it. NJI pilots have very little to say about any possible single carrier petition other than general support or lack thereof for the management team in Woodbridge.

Whether NJI "fights" the inevitable single carrier petition is ultimately up to one person and I believe he intends to do just that. He has and will continue to spend a lot of cash trying to build an operational if not legal wall between the CMH and HHX.

The point of my post was that anyone from either side who thinks their preferred outcome is a foregone conclusion is fooling themself. Three years is an eternity in economic and labor relations terms. Anything can, and probably will happen.

As an aside, no guns here. Just drawing to the inside straight (gutshot). Probably explains why my bankroll is so small...
 
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Cavpilot

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gutshotdraw said:
The point of my post was that anyone from either side who thinks their preferred outcome is a foregone conclusion is fooling themself. Three years is an eternity in economic and labor relations terms. Anything can, and probably will happen.
I totally concur with this statement. In fact, I'll take it even further. I don't think that there will EVER be a merger of the two groups. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a plan it the works at Woodbridge that will make the entire NLI LOU null and void. One thing that is painfully obvious is that NetJets is more than willing to cut off there nose to spite there face. So I think there is a plan, even if it is a bad one.

If I am wrong (I usually am :D ) and the single carrier thing does run its course, the NJI pilot group will have a choice too make. Get involved with IBT 1108 prior to a merger or not. There are ramifications for either decision. The point of the last half of my post was to illustrate that the 1108 organization is not the mind numb, knuckle draggers that many people think of when a union is discussed.
 

2EASYPilot

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Easy to critic from the outside but I would really have my fingers crossed the integration of NJI and NJA does not happen if I were a NJI guy...good way to screw up a good job !!!
 

gutshotdraw

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Cav,

Many in the NJI employee group understand completely that the vast majority of 1108 members are hard working professionals who only want a merger to prevent potential whipsawing and to hold someone to a verbal promise he reportedly made (gee, don't you wish you could hold every employer, politician, and spouse in your life to every promise they've made?). In fact, some NJI people don't necessarily feel a pilot integration would be a bad thing.

What causes concern are the demands of the hard liners that in a merger the NJI pilots be stapled to the bottom, or that NJA take just the planes and not the pilots, or dismantle the Hilton Head operation, or any number of other vindictive, thuggish statements.

If the primary argument for single carrier has always been that NJA and NJI work for the same company and fly the same clients, then any post-merger seniority integration should be conducted on a straight date of hire basis. We all know that WON'T happen so what's the ratio? 3 to 1? 5 to 1? 10 to 1? 0?

During the contract negotiations, we kept hearing about "fairness." Apparently it goes out the window pretty quick when dealing with a different group.

As for dismantling the Hilton Head operation and "taking it back to its rightful place in CMH," nearly everyone at NJI who also worked with CMH operations will tell you that HHX is a way better deal. The schedulers do their jobs as efficiently as the system will let them, they actually listen to crew suggestions, they don't schedule vindictively, they don't solicit or accept gifts, and with one phone call you can coordinate scheduling, dispatch, Jeppeson, maintenance and management. I watched an Ultra crew last week land short of the destination because of fuel issues and take 45 minutes to get back in the air because they had to make 10 different phone calls and tell the same story 10 times before the CMH gears could grind out a new release. An NJI crew with the same issue could be airborne in 15 minutes with 1 phone call. If a merger does happen, the operations centers should remain separate because of huge differences in international trip planning and execution.

As the next three years grind on, I don't expect any blockbuster annoucements that will shock anybody or suddenly shift the balance of power. As long as the cooler heads on both sides prevail, I'm guessing it will be more of an evolution of thought that will one day make the best solution fairly evident.
 

hydrarkt

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I've talked to some NJI pilots since the TA. It seems that the older pilots and the ones that have been there the longest are the most afraid. The newer pilots seem to be "listening intently." The same "A team" situation exists at NJI that existed at NJA and probably exists at the other frax. The "A team" pilots don't want to see their gravy train end. I believe that the newer pilots see things like defined duty and rest rules, specific pay, disciplinary representation through the grievance process and are thinking about it.
Over the next 3 years, the pilots of NJI will have a huge say in what happens to them if and when we do become a single carrier. If the majority resist assimilation, I mean integration, the "ratio" of integration will be a lot less tasty. On the other hand, if the majority decide to embrace 1108, the "ratio" could be very tasty. Not a threat, just reality.
 

gutshotdraw

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Hydrarkt,

As I asked Cav, how can the NJI pilots "resist" or "embrace?" NJI pilots DON'T have a say in whether a merger occurs and if so how the integration will go. Cards haven't been mailed to the pilot group since the last failed effort by IBT 284 more than 5 years ago.

"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated." This is exactly the attitude that breeds resentment among the non-union pilots and is counter-productive if the goal is to create an integrated, union workforce.
 

Cavpilot

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Gunshot,

gunshotdraw said:
What causes concern are the demands of the hard liners that in a merger the NJI pilots be stapled to the bottom, or that NJA take just the planes and not the pilots.
Lets face it, if it actually comes to a merger neither of these things will happen. In fact the "take the planes and leave the pilots" rhetoric is flat out absurd. I've heard these kinds of statements made as well, but I have never put much credence in it. If there is any doubt, go back and read section I of the TA. It talks specifically about different merger scenarios. None of which are in line with the above inflammatory positions.

gunshotdraw said:
During the contract negotiations, we kept hearing about "fairness." Apparently it goes out the window pretty quick when dealing with a different group.
I'm not exactly sure what you are talking about here. Again, read section I of the TA.

gunshotdraw said:
The schedulers do their jobs as efficiently as the system will let them, they actually listen to crew suggestions, they don't schedule vindictively, they don't solicit or accept gifts, and with one phone call you can coordinate scheduling, dispatch, Jeppeson, maintenance and management.
I have always said that the biggest obstacle for me in getting the job done was 4111 Bridgeway. The situation you described with the Ultra crew trying to get re-dispatched sounds typical. I hope now that this contract is done (or so it seems) that BB, DMac and the rest will focus their attention on fixing the problems in the casino. It sounds like your people in SC have it figured out.

One more thing,
gunshotdraw said:
NJI pilots DON'T have a say in whether a merger occurs and if so how the integration will go.
The first part of your statement is totally correct. The second part is totally false.

I have said before that I don't believe a merger will ever happen. But if it does, there is no reason it has to be a bad thing. In fact, I think that it could truly benefit all of the parties involved. Expanded opportunities for all. Yea, we have bomb throwers over here as do you at NJI. I believe that it stems more from a fear of the unknown rather than an overt attempt to try and bone someone. I ran into a NJI G-V guy the other day at the airport. We briefly talked about some of the same issues that we have discussing here. He seemed to think that in integration would be a good thing for the same reasons that we have discussed. Open, rational discussions are a good thing. Anonymous rants are not.

BTW, thank God for spellchecker! I would not want Seaspray to think that I was another stupid WO. :rolleyes:
 
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