Question: "baseball-style" arbitration

RJFlyer

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ALPA is very much against having 'baseball-style' arbitration imposed on collective bargaining for ALPA members, saying it's the ATAs attempt to circumvent the RLA and have their way with the pilot groups, and that it will take away our right to strike (http://www.alpa.org/internet/news/2002news/nr02071.html).

But it seems to me that no work group on earth strikes as often as baseball players (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=577&e=3&cid=577&u=/nm/20020811/sp_nm/mlb_union_dc_2).

So the question is, if ALPA so badly wants to maintain the ability to strike, why not adopt 'baseball-style' arbitration? What is really wrong with that style of collective bargaining? It certainly doesn't stop the baseball players from striking and imposing THEIR will on the owners.

Just curious, because I really don't know anything about 'baseball-style' arbitration, other than it seems to be ALPA's rallying buzzword without really explaining what's wrong with it.
 

skyboat

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I have often been confused by the same thing myself. After asking around, this is what I have come up with.

Yes, baseball players do strike often, but I believe that what Mcain-Lott bill is proposing what not let pilots seek self help (ie. strike).

The bill would require binding arbitraition. And this is where the baseball part comes in. Currently, when ball players go to arbitration, the arbitraitor looks at a players performance and then comes up with a package. This actually hurts the top players but helps the mediocore players. I'm not sure about this, but I believe a ball players arbitraition is not binding. That is why they can and do strike often.

Applied to the aviation world, an arbitraitor would look at a pilot groups industry (ie regional, major, commuter, etc) and come up with a contract package. This would mean that pilots would never really get more than industry average. To look at it another way, there have been some pretty good gains made in the regional contracts during the last decade. If baseball style arbitraition hade been in place, than there is the possibility that those gains would never have been made.

I also believe that the constraints imposed by the Railway Labor Act would still be in place meaning we could not strike until release by the NMB, but the McCain-Lott bill would prevent that from happening because it would require binding arbitraition. What the ATA is trying to do is tie the pilots hands by not allowing them to strike when a contract becomes amendable (RLA) and requiring nothing more than an industry average contract through binding arbitraiton (McCain-Lott).

Hope this helps. I would suggest contacting your status reps as they can talk about it more eloquently than I can. Plus, I still have many questions myself and my understanding may be a little skewed.
 
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RJFlyer

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Thanks for the reply. It seems as though ALPA needs to change their "baseball-style" buzzword, since what is apparently proposed is not baseball-style at all.
 

TWA Dude

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RJFlyer said:
It seems as though ALPA needs to change their "baseball-style" buzzword, since what is apparently proposed is not baseball-style at all.

Management came up with the expression.
 

NEDude

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Baseball Arbitration

Baseball arbitration works a little differently than you explained. The arbitrator does not come up with a package. What happens is both sides come to the table with their proposals. The arbitrator then picks one proposal or the other. There is no inbetween or movement. It is basically all or nothing. This is why when you read about baseball contract talks in the off season you see reference to how many arbitration cases the players and owners have each won.

The arbitration is not present in baseball when it comes to CBA issues, only in individual players contracts with their teams which is why the players union is able to strike as often as they do.

ALPA is opposed to this I think because there could be a possibility of that government appointed arbitrators, particularly during conservative administrations, would be pro big business and could regularly side with management and leave pilot groups with little or no recourse.

As much of a mess the current system is, I think it is the best one for giving both sides equal opportunity.
 

Beechnut

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I wonder if McCain-Lott considered the consequences of not allowing pilots to strike? I sure can think of some ways to cause delays, burn fuel, and slow things WAAAAYYY down until a management that's screwing with us decides to play nice.

S.
 
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