NPA and ALPA move closer to merger

FDJ2

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"In meetings this week, ALPA met with representatives of the independent National Pilots Association, which represents the pilots of AirTran, to continue work on a merger of our two unions. Substantial progress was made toward completion of a merger agreement. ALPA and NPA merger committees will meet again early next week with the goal of hammering out remaining items and completing work on the language of the agreement.

If the work is successfully completed, the NPA Board of Directors will meet to review and approve the agreement and authorize membership ratification. The ratification process, if approved by the NPA BOD, is tentatively scheduled to start in early March and end approximately 30 days later. Approval by ALPA governing bodies will also take place in April.

“The merger of NPA and ALPA, and representation of AirTran pilots by ALPA, would not only help them achieve their bargaining and contract enforcement goals, it would enhance all pilots’ ability to speak with one voice and our work to establish favorable contract patterns across pilot group lines. Fellow pilots in Atlanta and elsewhere are looking forward to working more closely with and helping AirTran pilots,” said ALPA President John Prater."

ALPA Fast Read, Feb. 13th, 2009
 

TV9Driver

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and yet DAL pilots are now grumbling about dumping ALPA because they don't do a good enough job representing the pilots....

When are we going to realize that ALPA is not the panecea for all our problems? They haven't helped out a major airline pilot group since i've been alive. They used Comair to make a stand (basically feeding them to the wolves - if it backfired it would only be a small commuter not a large major) UAL +2% contracts? Very short sighted and just a tool for them to say, "Look, we got you industry leading wages!" Nevermind the fact that we all knew those were unsustainable and were in fact doing severe damage to UAL in the longrun.

I won't even get into what they did to us at TWA.. I think there is enough wreckage left from that situation for everyone to realize that it was an unmitigated disaster.

I know that the NPA isn't worth much either, so i'm not defending it. But a union is only as good as its members, and if we recall our reps and petition for a new union every six months, what kind of leverage do you expect to have? MB wasn't even in office more than 3 months before people started talking about recalling him! He didn't even have a chance to set up his office and we were already judging his performance.

By the way, if ALPA is voted in, who do you think our MEC reps will be? - the same guys that ran for office in the NPA, so how will that change anything?

Obviously, i'm a bit jaded since i'm i've been bent over by ALPA before. But all I'm asking you to do is do your research and make an informed decision beforfe you vote to change unions. Look at how many pilot groups have voted ALPA out recently vs. how many have voted them in. Ask pilots at ALPA carriers what they like most about ALPA and what they like least. Also, look at the way they have handled mergers, contracts, etc. in the past - it will give you a pretty good indication of what to expect.

I'll stop rambling on. Thanks for listening and remember, look before you leap!
 

PCL_128

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You're right that ALPA is no panacea, but that's not the question before us. The choice we have is between two different unions: ALPA or NPA. The NPA has been an unmitigated disaster. We have had 6 Presidents in the past 10 years, and there have already been several recall petitions for our current President. The average time that a rep serves is only 18 months, even though the terms for office are 2-3 years, depending on the office. Everyone either resigns or is recalled before the completion of their term. This is indicative of a complete structural problem. It's not just individual reps, the whole thing is f---ed up.

Is ALPA perfect? Nope. Is it better than what we've got? No question.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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and yet DAL pilots are now grumbling about dumping ALPA because they don't do a good enough job representing the pilots....

When are we going to realize that ALPA is not the panacea for all our problems? !

Can you name a pilot union that IS a panacea for all of our problems?

In addition, why do expect any union to be one?
 

CitationLover

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You're right that ALPA is no panacea, but that's not the question before us. The choice we have is between two different unions: ALPA or NPA. The NPA has been an unmitigated disaster. We have had 6 Presidents in the past 10 years, and there have already been several recall petitions for our current President. The average time that a rep serves is only 18 months, even though the terms for office are 2-3 years, depending on the office. Everyone either resigns or is recalled before the completion of their term. This is indicative of a complete structural problem. It's not just individual reps, the whole thing is f---ed up.

Is ALPA perfect? Nope. Is it better than what we've got? No question.
Are the NPA bylaws that much different with respect to recalls versus ALPA? If not, why would switching to ALPA fix this problem?

You're right though, when people are wasting time fighting internally a lot of things are not going to get accomplished. Good luck.
 

dh82dvr

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As I understand it don't we elect reps from our own airline to serve under the ALPA banner so to speak, with all the resourses available to each group. If so then if you get poorly represented isn't it the fault of your own elected reps? In 3 years I have seen nothing but give aways by the NPA with nothing in return from mgmt. What is the benefit of continuing down this path.
 

dalad

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Go ahead and vote ALPA in, that is if you want a pretty magazine with a picture of asn RJ on the cover every month. I personaly think that each and every pilot group is better off on it's own, especially one like DAL's with over 12,000 pilots.
 

PCL_128

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Are the NPA bylaws that much different with respect to recalls versus ALPA? If not, why would switching to ALPA fix this problem?
The problem isn't the recall system (although it is much different under the NPA's Bylaws); the problem is that reps keep getting recalled and resigning because the entire structure of the NPA is a complete mess. Reps get frustrated and resign, or they are blamed for the NPA's own structural problems and get recalled through no fault of their own. We keep going down the same road: get pissed off and recall the entire BOD. A few months after the new BOD takes office, the pilots are again pissed off and repeat the same process. It's never-ending. The NPA is broken.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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Go ahead and vote ALPA in, that is if you want a pretty magazine with a picture of asn RJ on the cover every month. I personaly think that each and every pilot group is better off on it's own, especially one like DAL's with over 12,000 pilots.

Please explain how these following in house groups are 'better off'


FedEx Pilots Ass'n
CAL in house
APA
IPA
NPA


in addition, make your arguments with the consideration that in house unions have a much smaller number of pilots to deal with and don't address National issues such as gov't (FAA, DOT, DOJ, DOL, POTUS, etc), industry (ATA, RAA, etc) and International Issues such as Open Skies, Cabatoge, Foreign Ownership, MPL, criminalization of air line pilots, terrorism, etc....
 

nonstop

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Go ahead and vote ALPA in, that is if you want a pretty magazine with a picture of asn RJ on the cover every month. I personaly think that each and every pilot group is better off on it's own, especially one like DAL's with over 12,000 pilots.
I'm starting to feel the same way. Why subsidize all these regional airlines in ALPA with negotiating capital whose sole purpose of existence is to erode mainline careers?

The AA and SWA pilots seem to do okay on their own so no doubt 12,400 DAL pilots could.
 

CitationLover

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TA few months after the new BOD takes office, the pilots are again pissed off and repeat the same process. It's never-ending. The NPA is broken.
Why would this be different under ALPA? Piltots getting pissed off is nothing new. Happens under ALPA, NPA, any union, or a nonunion.
 

TWA Dude

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The NPA has been an unmitigated disaster. We have had 6 Presidents in the past 10 years, and there have already been several recall petitions for our current President. The average time that a rep serves is only 18 months, even though the terms for office are 2-3 years, depending on the office. Everyone either resigns or is recalled before the completion of their term. This is indicative of a complete structural problem.
I'm afraid you're mistaken on this point. There is indeed a problem but the union structure isn't it. The MECs at both TWA and AWA went through similar turnovers in leadership in their final years. When a pilot group is under enormous pressure it takes leadership of the highest caliber to steer them -- something rarely found. Switching to ALPA won't affect the quality of your leadership.

The primary advantages to ALPA over an in-house union are the resources available and political influence. The internal structural differences aren't likely to effect any major changes. I'm not advocating against ALPA; I'm just pointing out that expectations must be realistic.
 

TWA Dude

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The AA and SWA pilots seem to do okay on their own so no doubt 12,400 DAL pilots could.
The SWA are indeed doing okay but their being SWAPA has little to do with that and everything to do with their management. And if you think the APA is doing okay you're not paying attention to what's going on over there. They're just as screwed up as ALPA if not more so.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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I'm afraid you're mistaken on this point. There is indeed a problem but the union structure isn't it. The MECs at both TWA and AWA went through similar turnovers in leadership in their final years. When a pilot group is under enormous pressure it takes leadership of the highest caliber to steer them -- something rarely found. Switching to ALPA won't affect the quality of your leadership.
It also takes followership of the highest caliber...

Wouldn't you agree? Do you really expect to elect a leader and then have a situation of enormous pressure and the pilot group put the onus on him, hoping that said leader has that "something rarely found"......

It would seem that the odds are stacked against any pilot group that operates under this pretense....
 

TV9Driver

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i guess that was one of my points. I think it's a pilot group problem and not a union problem per se. No union will be effective if the pilot group is as recall happy as our pilot group. We never give an elected group a chance to prove themselves before we call for a recall. That is a pilot group problem, not a union problem.

ALPA is no longer a union, they are a PAC and as such, have very political motives. Just be aware that what they might be advising our pilot group to do is not in our best interests, but rather in ALPA's.

I do agree that ALPA has more resources available for us to utilize, but i'm not sure if it is worth inviting the devil to dinner...
 

PCL_128

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Why would this be different under ALPA? Piltots getting pissed off is nothing new. Happens under ALPA, NPA, any union, or a nonunion.
You wouldn't understand until you've seen it for yourself, CL. This isn't just the normal level of "pissed off" that all pilot groups have, this is something entirely different. People are completely fed up. The NPA is completely incapable of being an effective union. It doesn't matter who you put into office, they'll all be ineffective.
 

CitationLover

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You wouldn't understand until you've seen it for yourself, CL. This isn't just the normal level of "pissed off" that all pilot groups have, this is something entirely different. People are completely fed up. The NPA is completely incapable of being an effective union. It doesn't matter who you put into office, they'll all be ineffective.
Well good luck with this and the ongoing contract negotiators. Happy to see at least some furloughees going back to work, including a good friend of mine returning to AAI.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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ALPA is no longer a union, they are a PAC and as such, have very political motives. Just be aware that what they might be advising our pilot group to do is not in our best interests, but rather in ALPA's.
What about your career ISN'T political? Even the negotiations and grievance process is political at any airline including Airtran...

your pilot group vs ALPA's best interest?

What does that mean, because I'll find another thread that states that ALPA is not acting like a true National Union?

Well to function as a true National Union ALPA needs to put the collective first and the individual second..

I do agree that ALPA has more resources available for us to utilize, but i'm not sure if it is worth inviting the devil to dinner...

Said another way.... You aren't sure if you want to deal with mass complexities of collective representation on a local, national and international level?


What sounds easier? Dealing with your town or your town, your state and your country? Of Course the latter will prove to be more difficult....
 

TWA Dude

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It also takes followership of the highest caliber... Wouldn't you agree?
A great leader inspires pilots and arouses them from their lethargy. Just look at how often a losing sports team can be turned around just by a change in manager. I really don't think there's much difference between individual pilots at different carriers. The quality of the leadership is what really differentiates us.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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A great leader inspires pilots and arouses them from their lethargy.
Where do you expect to find this greatness? Any given pilot on your seniority list is to be this leader?



Just look at how often a losing sports team can be turned around just by a change in manager. I really don't think there's much difference between individual pilots at different carriers. The quality of the leadership is what really differentiates us.
It is a combined effort... we don't have the entire country to select our union leadership... In addition, most leaders have paid followers...

In my opinion, the followership is going to have to take more responsibility....

What are the options? Hope that the next elected pilot on our seniority list is "the one"?

Seriously, look at the pilots you fly with and in the crewrooms? Do you see any of them have great inspiring leadership qualities?
 
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