Polar/Atlas - Objective Truth

Lolikoka

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Forgive my ignorance - I've been doing USMC stuff and have not been able to keep up with Polar and Atlas lately. The thread below contains a lot of emotion and accusations, so I'm looking for someone without a dog in that fight to set the record straight about the Polar strike, the judge's order for Atlas to fly, and why there is bad blood between the two groups. I'm not looking for attacks or flaming - I just want to know what's going on before I get done with the military gig and start looking for a job again.
Thanks.
 

Corporate Slug

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I'll give it a shot here.

If the T/A passes, Polar and Atlas will be merged within 18 months (In Theory)

Judge ruled that Atlas had to fly Polar freight, HOWEVER, they were NOT required to cross a Polar picket line. The bad blood, a lot of which was already there from something that happened years ago (Before my time, and I could care less what it was, but some Atlas guys appear to be holding a grudge from then, and some Polar guys from the crossings that happened now) The bad blood from the strike have to do with all the sneaking around to avoid the Polar lines. 30 to 40 Atlas guys refused to cross a line, and would not fly picketed airports. Many just did not care and gladly crossed, and many more were torn between the threat of being fired by Atlas and honoring the picket lines.

It was difficult to say the least in many cases. Hard to say what is going to happen to the ones that blatently crossed the lines. The PAC MEC is not instigating any actions against the ones that crossed, however it looks (from what I am hearing) that ALPA national may be going after them. The Polar T/A includes protections from the Company for the Atlas guys that refused to cross. Meaning that Atlas cannot fire or reprimand them in any way for refusing to cross the lines.

So bottom line is that the Polar MEC made sure to take care of the Atlas guys that fully supported them in the strike. They chose not to instigate any actions againt the crossers. Alpa national however may persue the matter to place them on scab status.

For folks like me (Junior) It does not affect me, the merger will probably go DOH for everybody hired since Atlas World Wide bought Polar. We (Polar and Atlas) interviewed together, trained together for indoc, and were hired by BOTH airlines, we did not know which side until we were called with a class date.

The combined company has the potential to become a powerhouse heavy lift freight airline. Polars scheduled service accounted for almost half of the total revenue for last year, and Atlas's ACMI stuff is doing well. The scheduled asian routes are forcast to do nothing but grow for the next 10 years. Polar will be the surviver due to the non transferrable scheduled routes. Could be a very good place to be in the next few years.

There are many retirements coming up on both sides in the next couple of years, and that will weed out some of the "grumpier" guys that are holding grudges from previous events. As far as the newbies and the guys to be hired, it really will not effect us in the long run.

Potential for good movement on the seniority list, fairly decent upgrade times are possible if the company continues to do well.

Hope this helps.
 
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belchfire

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I don't have a dog in this one, friends at both places,
some good info and some hearsay...

I'm going to stick with the union thing. IMHO unions
have just become big business unto themselves. A
giant glacial beurocratic beast interested only in
collecting dues thereby sustaining itsself and the
hordes of bloodsucking lawers that swirl remora-like
in their wakes...The best example is the "fly it then
grieve it" policy that prevails. Then the grievance
goes to commity-but the union rep isn't availible for
that one, so the company don't show for the next
one and so one. Meanwhile the grievance goes un-
addressed, the company continues to make the same
infractions and if they do finally loose they end up
paying off a year later with money that is worth
5% less than it was when the infraction was
commited, kept the aircraft in the air while violating
(whatever) rights of the employees and the Great
And Powerful Union kept getting it's dues, the
remoras their retainers, the FAA it's blinders on
and everyone is happy. Except the dues-paying
union member.

Time was that Guido and Rocky would drive
down from Chicago, bust a few kneecaps
and drive home and the problem would vanish
like the magician's hot assistant. Or maybe
an aircraft wouldn't move for a day-or sometimes
only an hour-(an hour of 74-time is worth alot).
Didn't always involve the kneecaps of some
deserving management type.

Now it is just business. The Union allowed the
setup that pitted Atlas crews against the Polar
crews instead of fostering UNITY amongst them.

And unions have been wondering why membership
is declining...

Business as usual...
 

bman

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I might offer this. Come to work here and it will matter very little to you what happens in a possible meger.

If you want facts they are short commodities right now but what I know is this:

When Atlas was in nego a few (3) years ago it was widely believed that Polar's union chose to work in its own self intrest (right or wrong for them) and undercut Atlas's efforts for their first contract. Examples of this are offering to fly Atlas's struck feight in the 11th hour and signing a six month contract extention so Mgmt wouldn't have to nego. with both groups at the same time (3 cheers for unity). (note many people will remark that this is the past, but it doesn't change the fact that it happened and people are upset about it! I don't give to squirts of piss since that was before I got here). The Atlas crewmembers who where here (the vast majority of the group) found this a blatant action against them and haven't nor will they forget it. This holds true with everyone I've flown with or talked to bar none.

Polar crew members have consistantly pointed out how much better their contract is (in fact it is in many areas) and how well their side of the company is doing/has done for AAWWH (disputed by Mgmt, but who does one believe). Now reading the aforementioned paragraph and knowing how Atlas folks feel about what went down when they were in nego. Being reminded of the first point is certainly salt in a wound especially since Atlas A/C (and in effect jobs) were transfered to Polar (irrefutible fact).

In current events Polar decides to go on strike. Most Atlas pilot thought this was kind of odd seeing as they had the superior contract and were offered a pay raise of 10.5% immed. and retroactive with no other changes to their CBA. As any polar pilot will tell you they make as much money as Atlas pilots do on a yearly Average and they have a better qual of life. Atlas pilot respected the Polar pilots group right to choose their own destiny. That is right up unto the point that their work group realized that they had no leverage on their own. This was realized waayy too late IMHO. The MEC should be drawn and quartered. So the ugliness insued! Atlas Management transfers A/C Dry leased to polar by Atlas back to Atlas and people begin calling guys that fly that A/C scabs. Polar begins selctive picketing of Atlas Air Crews (realizing rightly so that without their cooperation willing or not their strike would have little effect). Now Atlas aircrews are put in a precarious position. Honor a picket line (with questionable legality) or comply with a restraining order from a federal judge that basically left your arse in a sling if you didn't comply with company directives. Here's the part where someone from Polar will chime in with "oh you should have stood your ground, because when it is all over you'd get your job back Unity!!" Uh yeah that's fine for those who voted to go on strike not for guys who had no stake in Polars negotiations. To their credit many Atlas guys honored their picket lines (albeit begrudgingly, tough choice blacklistd forever or suddenly devlop an eye problem (can't see coming to work that day)) The rub is you aren't pay protected for such courage. On a personal note I didn't have to make this choice as I was fortunate enough to be out of the country:erm: whew!!!

So now you have Polar folks mad cause some Atlas folks choose to go to work when it was ambiguous at best wether or not to do so and you've got Atlas folks mad at polar for putting them in the position to have to make said choice and the forementioned reasons. & you've got WELCOME TO THE THUNDERDOME!!!! TWO MEN ENTER ONE MANS LEAVES!!

all that said come to work here if your new you just fly your trips keep ducking and get your check. It really is a fun job and a great group of people out side of the acrimony!!
 
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Whale Rider

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Hey bman nice story. But you forgot to mention your upcoming 20% paycut in your next contract. If you think Jim Cato is going to give you a payraise and "improved" work rules, you are in for a surprise! :rolleyes:
 

Corporate Slug

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It should be noted that Bman has the exact same hire date I do. (Very Very Junior.)

His version of the events 3 years ago (Atlas side)differ from what I have heard (Polar side), That is the reason that I left it out completly.

For your purposes of thinking about a job here, Ignore anything that has to do with back then, neither Bman or myself have any idea what really went on. All we have is the "facts" as have been told to us by guys sporting a grudge. A have no doubt that the "Facts" have changed as the years have gone by. Just as what happened this last month has already begun to take a life of it's own.

As I said before, for your purposes of job hunting, the companies are scheduled to be merged, Polar name will survive, and there should be lots of growth in the scheduled stuff as well as the ACMI.

Of course this is all subject to change over the next 18 months. Speculation on merged contract will be (I stress speculation) is that the company will push for Polar pay and Atlas work rules, probably will end up a mix of the two since an arbitrator will probably settle that one from what I am told by folks above my pay grade. Either way, it will be a pretty decent contract since neither of the current ones is too bad. QOL Polar wins hands down, Atlas wins in the pay department.

EDIT: One very important fact that I left out is that Polar/Atlas is turning a good profit. Reading the SEC filings it is impossible to figure out which side it is coming from, Scheduled service accounts for about 46% of total revenue and the ACMI and Military contracts account for the rest. Did Polar make the profit or did Atlas? Who cares, the company is making money and that went a Looooong way in my decision making process when I was offered the position. Not many airlines out there doing that right now.
 
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mar

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Emotions aside

Corporate Slug--To my knowledge, no one has been accused of crossing the Line. Repeated VARS messages confirm this unless I'm totally out to lunch but I've been watching this pretty carefully.

Bman--Great synopsis.

I may have been here just 15 months myself but I've been following events at Atlas and Polar since 1999 when several of my friends came over. I probably could've interviewed in 2000 but declined because there was no contract.

My instincts were correct because several more of my friends that were hired in 2000 were summarily furloughed.

I agree, that one day we'll all look back on this and laugh. But facts are facts and you have to live in the moment.

Good luck.
 

bman

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Don't know what's gonna be on or off the table. We'll deal with that when the time comes. If history is any indicator it will take much longer than next year to get to the point where we are released to do as you did.Corp. SlugHey the guy asked for a history lesson. I told him what people were upset about that's all (from the perspective I get on a daily basis). I wasn't embellishing or as a matter of fact if you believe something that I have stated is an outright falsehood let me know and I will certainly try and fact check your statement and accept it as the gospel, but read his post and reread mine it was simply an answer.PSYou have attacked me personally on this board more than once and I certainly didn't do anything to you personally or attack your credibility. If you think that doesn't engender bad blood your nuts!
Whale Rider said:
Hey bman nice story. But you forgot to mention your upcoming 20% paycut in your next contract. If you think Jim Cato is going to give you a payraise and "improved" work rules, you are in for a surprise! :rolleyes:
 

bman

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Look I'm a little tired of this. A guy asked to know what the history was and I tell him you & go on to state
Corporate Slug said:
It should be noted that Bman has the exact same hire date I do. (Very Very Junior.)
Those are their issues not mine!So I've been here 5 months and can't speak to what people I operate with have said their issues are. I hear them everyday!
His version of the events 3 years ago (Atlas side)differ from what I have heard (Polar side), That is the reason that I left it out completly.

Also If what you say is so tell your version of events so the guy has an equal view pointFor your purposes of thinking about a job here, Ignore anything that has to do with back then, neither Bman or myself have any idea what really went on. All we have is the "facts" as have been told to us by guys sporting a grudge. A have no doubt that the "Facts" have changed as the years have gone by. Just as what happened this last month has already begun to take a life of it's own.
Reread my post I didn't say what i was saying was the facts only what I'd heard pesonally.
As I said before, for your purposes of job hunting, the companies are scheduled to be merged, Polar name will survive, and there should be lots of growth in the scheduled stuff as well as the ACMI.

Of course this is all subject to change over the next 18 months. Speculation on merged contract will be (I stress speculation) is that the company will push for Polar pay and Atlas work rules, probably will end up a mix of the two since an arbitrator will probably settle that one from what I am told by folks above my pay grade. Either way, it will be a pretty decent contract since neither of the current ones is too bad. QOL Polar wins hands down, Atlas wins in the pay department.

EDIT: One very important fact that I left out is that Polar/Atlas is turning a good profit. Reading the SEC filings it is impossible to figure out which side it is coming from, Scheduled service accounts for about 46% of total revenue and the ACMI and Military contracts account for the rest. Did Polar make the profit or did Atlas? Who cares, the company is making money and that went a Looooong way in my decision making process when I was offered the position. Not many airlines out there doing that right now.
 

Corporate Slug

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bman said:
Look I'm a little tired of this. A guy asked to know what the history was and I tell him you & go on to state
You or I do not really know what happened then. Polar boys have their side, Atlas guys have theirs. Truth is probably in the middle. That is all I said.

As far as attacking you on the other thread, You were presenting yourself as a long time Atlas guy and putting a serious bashing on Polar people making statements like "In the last few months the Polar guys have been getting more and more unbearable" etc. etc. When in fact you had only been out of training a month. I simply called you on it.

What happened 3 years ago is their baggage, not ours. After all, a mark of Denise's pen is the only difference between me and you. Your I.D. tag could have Polar on it just as easy as mine could have Atlas on it.

I have no beef with you, next time I se you in HK or ANC we'll suck back a cold one.

By the way, how did it work out with your house? I hope the insurance covered it. How long before you can get moved back in? I hated to hear about the Duck. Maybe with the ins. money you can pick up a red one! After all that is the only proper color for a Ducati! :)
 
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b747dogg

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bman said:
When Atlas was in nego a few (3) years ago it was widely believed that Polar's union chose to work in its own self intrest (right or wrong for them) and undercut Atlas's efforts for their first contract. Examples of this are offering to fly Atlas's struck feight in the 11th hour and signing a six month contract extention so Mgmt wouldn't have to nego. with both groups at the same time (3 cheers for unity).

It does not matter what side you ask because this did happen!!! I was there!!! Polar took a six month extension and did say they had to fly the stuck freight in the 11th hour!!! The Polar pilots voted for the extension and their MEC said they would fly the struck freight. If any Polar pilot who was there at that time disagrees with this please speak up. I know the MEC was fired 2 weeks later, but it did happen! I don't even work at Atlas anymore, but I'm still bitter. The pilots at Polar are a good group like anywhere else but they did screw the Atlas pilots and now they are paying for it. It's Karma.

Just remember the enemy is Cato and the Evil Empire!!!
 

ABOVE ME

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Not to beat a dead horse..however. I heard that Polar guys or the previous polar mec said that polar would fly struck freight because atlas was gonna be dumb enough to sign that crazy no strike clause into thier contract. That "threat" then prompted atlas to include having the right not to cross a picket line put into thier contract. Without that paragraph atlas would not be able to support polar in the event that they polar went on strike which ended up happening. Turns out from what I am reading that it didnt matter because atlas didnt support polar. As a "whole" anyway. Dont take it to the bank just what i hear. Atlas may have cut off thier nose to spite thier face depending on what happens in "the merger" and thier negotiations. Only time will tell.

As far as Atlas guys that crossed the lines I can tell you they will be pursued by alpa or members of, and that the pursuit of those that did cross will be nothing short of relentless. Just what seems to be going on. All of this third hand from a friend of mine.

seems that all of the new guys oughta just be friends and take the jobs for what they are . no sense of fighting when you dont even know what your fighting about. too many unemployed pilots like myself out there to be complaining and straining over almost nothing, or something you dont have control over. Seems like flying 74's all over the world could be fun....if you let it.:beer:
 

b747dogg

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ABOVE ME said:
Not to beat a dead horse..however. I heard that Polar guys or the previous polar mec said that polar would fly struck freight because atlas was gonna be dumb enough to sign that crazy no strike clause into thier contract. That "threat" then prompted atlas to include having the right not to cross a picket line put into thier contract. Without that paragraph atlas would not be able to support polar in the event that they polar went on strike which ended up happening.
This is not true! The first TA that was put up for vote failed by something like 98.7%. Atlas was ready to strike, not sign anything until Polar sold us out 2 hours before we were going to walk. I was there, in the strike center, and I still have my strike sign!!! If you were not there, why post crap!! "I have a friend that has a friend that has a friend that knows a Polar pilot." It's crap, don't post it!!! Cheers.
 

Craven Morhead

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b747dogg said:
This is not true! The first TA that was put up for vote failed by something like 98.7%. Atlas was ready to strike, not sign anything until Polar sold us out 2 hours before we were going to walk. I was there, in the strike center, and I still have my strike sign!!! If you were not there, why post crap!! "I have a friend that has a friend that has a friend that knows a Polar pilot." It's crap, don't post it!!! Cheers.
This is what's wrong with most of the posts regarding the Atlas/Polar situation. Either they're like b747dogg explains or they have been here maybe a couple if years and they are experts. Not to mention these newbies are the most outspoken about going after scabs.

I too was there and picketed side by side with b747dogg and what happened as expained did actually happen. I took it in the shorts for 135K as a result of Cato's plane swapping and furlough/downgrade program, but that was the past,,enough, finished, done, period.

What needs to happen now is just chill out and see if the t/a passes and hope we can proceed with the merger. As far as the line crossers, they'll get their day in court. There was not one incident of an Atlas pilot flying a Polar plane or knowingly flying their freight. What you'll find is that these dudes went around the lines to fly Atlas aircraft filled with Atlas freight and in a few situations, actually empty planes. Im not condoning their actions, they just didnt have the balls to refuse. This is not a scab. What about the UPS dudes that walked by the picketers at the Anc Marriot to fly their own aircraft, are they scabs? Well the Atlas guys that did the same are being labeled as such. This is wrong!!

The biggest problem was that your average line pilot didnt understand the stategy behind some of the picketing tactics and I blame the Altas mec for not explaining the situation better. Btw, Alpa was useless as well. The bottom line was that the Polar crews had zero clout and their only strength came from stopping the Atlas pilots, whatever it took. It sucked and many took these tactics as personal threats but thats all the polar group had.

This is a very unique situation and its not over until the two groups merge. Cato will do everything to prevent this since this takes away one of his chicken sh$t tactics of playing pilot groups against each other. He's the true enemy here and we are only making his job easier by attacking each other. Now, time for a brewskie...
 
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ABOVE ME

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OK I'll leave it to you guys that know. The only thing I'm curious about is how does a 300 person pilot group threaten to fly a 600 person pilots group struck freight ?? Its impossible if some people are saying that was gonna happen. It seems it would have had little effect if you guys walked. With the tables turned as it recently was, it seems to have been a much more possible even though still a difficult proposition. Those in the know realize that there was some of that going on recently. Just curious.
 

Craven Morhead

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ABOVE ME said:
OK I'll leave it to you guys that know. The only thing I'm curious about is how does a 300 person pilot group threaten to fly a 600 person pilots group struck freight ?? Its impossible if some people are saying that was gonna happen. It seems it would have had little effect if you guys walked. With the tables turned as it recently was, it seems to have been a much more possible even though still a difficult proposition. Those in the know realize that there was some of that going on recently. Just curious.
Ok, this going beyond clueless.

Please read the above posts and follow advice.
 
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