Question for pilots who have been through a merger

Dave Benjamin

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Recently an anti-union pilot said that certifying ALPA would be detrimental for SkyWest pilots due to merger language contained in ALPA contracts. His opinion is that a merger would lock SkyWest pilots into strict DOH integration should the parent company of SkyWest and ASA ever decide to merge the two groups together.

I don't understand the intricacies of the ALPA merger manual or the background of the Allegheny-Mohawk protocol. However I feel this individual is drawing a false conclusion regarding DOH integration being the only possible outcome. My limited understanding of ALPA merger protocol makes me believe that many factors are taken into account when deciding on a merger protocol, one of which is preserving career expectations. Also I think the pilots of a financially strong company tend to fare better than the ones of a struggling company that was sold to raise survival funds.

My intent of starting this thread is to talk a bit about historical precedents and about the ALPA merger protocol. Hopefully this remains strictly hypothetical since the CEO of the holding company has publicly stated there is no intent to merge the respective pilot groups. Hearing from pilots that have actually been involved during a merger, particularly between two ALPA represented groups would be very helpful.
 

viper548

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I think the merger protocol could be taken a couple different ways. DOH, if ASA gets their way. When you take into account "Career Expectations" things can wildly change with the SkyWest-ASA example. When ASA pilots got hired on at ASA did they have an expectation of flying United routes or having bases in CA? No. There's talk of SkyWest buying larger airplanes and flying them at risk. As a wholly owned company, did ASA have that as a career expectation? No. I think it would be reasonable to say SkyWest pilots have different career expectations than ASA pilots. That being said, if SkyWest and ASA were to merge, should ASA pilots have the opportunity to fly on the United side, being based in CA? Should they have the opportunity to fly larger aircraft, flown at risk, under the SkyWest code?

Gets confusing doesn't it?
 

fifty30retard

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DOH is not the basis for integration any longer under ALPA merger policy. That was changed by a certain pilot group years ago. It's become a much more nebulous less than straightforward process. This can beneficial to some and hose others. But then again if everyone is only a little pissed of after a merger then it's a success.
 

TWA Dude

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Dave Benjamin said:
His opinion is that a merger would lock SkyWest pilots into strict DOH integration should the parent company of SkyWest and ASA ever decide to merge the two groups together.
Here's a quote from the ALPA Merger Policy manual:

The merger representatives shall carefully weigh all the equities inherent in their merger situation. In joint session, the merger representatives should attempt to match equities to various methods of integration until a fair and equitable agreement is reached, keeping in mind the following goals, in no particular order:
a. Preserve jobs.
b. Avoid windfalls to either group at the expense of the other.
c. Maintain or improve pre-merger pay and standard of living.
d. Maintain or improve pre-merger pilot status.
e. Minimize detrimental changes to career expectations.

Two important points for your friend. This is an ALPA-to-ALPA policy and has no bearing whatsoever if one entity isn't ALPA (reference TWA/AA). Also note there's no mention of DOH. DOH may or may not be fair depending the demographics of the respective pilot groups (reference AWA/USA).
 

Dave Benjamin

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fifty30retard said:
DOH is not the basis for integration any longer under ALPA merger policy. That was changed by a certain pilot group years ago.
Any chance you might have a link or further information that I could look at? Feel free to PM me.

I appreciate the constructive responses thus far.
 

ironspud

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Whatever strategy benefits ALPA National the most, or hurts it the least, is the merger strategy you can expect from ALPA.

The ALPA merger statement is pure eyewash. Watch how badly the AWA pilot's are about to be screwed by the larger (and undeserving) USAir contingent.

It's gonna happen.
 

Dangerkitty

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Dave Benjamin said:
Any chance you might have a link or further information that I could look at? Feel free to PM me.

I appreciate the constructive responses thus far.
After going through one I wouldn't wish a merger (or acquisition) on anybody. Thank God I am away from that mess!

What everyone said before me pretty much somes it up.
 

Texx

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Dave Benjamin said:
Any chance you might have a link or further information that I could look at? Feel free to PM me.

I appreciate the constructive responses thus far.
Actually, if ASA and Skywest were to merger to form one airline, the new airline would have to vote for a new union since one of the parties is non-union.

From what I understand, the last time the Skywest pilots tried to vote ALPA on the property it lost by a very slim margin. If a merger were to take place I foresee there being enough votes to bring a union, ALPA, Teamsters etc.., on the property.
 

Jim Smyth

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In a merger/acquisition theres always people who feel they got screwed and file lawsuits and have hard feelings. We live,eat and breath senority! You also never want to be the smaller of the two in question or being aquired. You usually dont fare very well. In the mid 80's I worked for Midway airlines. When I got on the property they had just become organized with ALPA. Midway had bought the assets of Air Flordia that was already shut down and not flying. The buyout included about 10 Boeing 737's and the pilots that flew them. Air Flordia was ALPA and Midway didnt have a union. So Midway pilots quickly organized and got in with ALPA fearing they would be on the short end of the senority issues. It ended up the Air Flordia guys were slotted 1 for 3 to a certain date and then it went by date of hire.

Fast forward to 1991. Midway was having lots of financial problems. Southwest and Northwest started bidding for the assets of Midway Airlines in banktrupcy court. Southwest wanted to interview and hire the people they wanted and Northwest was going to buy Midway Airlines Lock Stock and Barrel and take all the employees. So naturally most of the employees sided with Northwest knowing they would have a job in the end. The big wigs at both airlines spent months integrating every aspect of the operation. They had the senority list all worked out. All the Midway Captains would be put behind all the Northwest Captains. All the Midway FO's would be put behind all the Northwest FO's. So if you were the #1 FO at Midway at the time, on the new combined Northwest senoirty list you would now be 3000 numbers behind the guy you were just 1 number behind at Midway. As we all know now the Northwest buyout didnt work out so this never became fact.

I got on with Southwest in 1992. In the end of 1993 Southwest bought Morris Airlines from June Morris. There were 202 Pilots there and they were effectly put at the bottom of the Southwest Senority list and as there training dates came they would come over and go threw the Southwest training and then whatever there senority held at the time is where they ended up. Once on the property a group of them sued for Senority numbers/places on the list. Morris Air mind you was made up of 3 different entities. Contract Pilots from Sierra Pacific, Ryan Internatioanl and Morris Airline Pilots. They all were jocking for position on there own list prior to Southwest ever coming around and there was at least 1 Morman Bishop that I knew of that moved himself up to the front of that list!

So in a nutshell everything is negotiable and each side tries to look out for there own self interest. There are ups and downs and not everything in life is fair. These are just a few examples of my own progression in aviation. The longer you hang around the more you learn. Best of luck.
 
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