RJDC update...


Senior Member
Nov 26, 2001
Total Time

January 17, 2002

Litigation Update

Since we submitted our settlement proposal to ALPA, there has been an informal, yet steady dialogue between our attorney and ALPA’s general counsel. There has been an exchange of ideas in the hope that we can establish a credible process that would lead to a resolution of the dispute, and end the need for further litigation. However, we do not wish to understate the seriousness of the situation. We strongly believe that the prospect of mainline concessionary bargaining also affords ALPA the opportunity to address many of our outstanding issues in a manner that is consistent with its obligations to the ASA and Comair pilots.

Likewise, it must be pointed out that if this opportunity is allowed to pass, the likelihood of negotiating a "win-win" solution will greatly diminish. The reason for our concern is very simple. Scope clauses by their very nature are designed to affect management’s planning. Given the likelihood of other major industry events, including consolidation and restructuring, the longer the mainline scope remains in its current form, the greater the risk that irreparable consequences will result. Therefore, we urge all of ALPA’s leaders to seriously consider the opportunity at hand and to seize it as a golden opportunity to fix ALPA’s most pressing problems once and for all.

APA Proposes Diverting Eagle RJ-700 and RJ-50 Deliveries to Mainline for Furloughees

On January 17th, the Allied Pilots Association (APA) proposed a three-phase plan that would presumably lead to the assimilation of all American Eagle flying into American. While we have no details as of yet, here is a summary from the APA press release:

Phase 1. All 70-seat Regional Jets to be flown by American Airlines pilots.

Phase 2. Conversion of 44-seat RJ orders to 50-seat RJ’s and have them delivered to and flown by American Airlines. Once all mainline furloughees are recalled, Eagle pilots would flow-through to American.

Phase 3. All remaining Eagle flying and pilots to transfer to American Airlines.

Keep in mind that this is only an APA proposal, and it would be subject to the collective bargaining process and contingent upon management’s acceptance. The RJDC will withhold judgement until we’ve seen the full proposal and can analyze the details.

However, from what the press release indicates, it would appear that in the two initial phases, the majority of Eagle’s growth aircraft would be diverted to mainline for the benefit of American pilots. Any benefit to the Eagle pilots, including American employment rights and job protections, would be deferred until phase three.

Of course, it’s possible that similar proposals may be floated at other airlines. Of concern is the underlying theme that the mainline pilots can unilaterally use the aircraft, flying, and jobs of the wholly owned subsidiaries as bargaining capital in pursuit of other objectives. As we have always maintained, only the duly elected representatives of the ASA and Comair pilots may negotiate on issues affecting our flying, aircraft, and careers.

Delta Connection Code Shares with American Eagle

On January 10th, Delta Airlines announced that Delta Connection had signed an agreement with American Eagle that would allow Delta passengers to book seats on 122 American Eagle flights in 6 selected California markets. As we go to press the exact details of the arrangement is unclear, and therefore its impact on the scope ratios cannot yet be determined. However, any additional code-share agreements should be cause for concern because of the possibility that such flying will count against the "cap" imposed by the mainline scope clause.

Once the ratio limits are reached, any additional code sharing must be offset elsewhere in the Delta Connection route structure. Should such flying not count against the cap, then it would be an indication that Connection flying can be diverted to other airlines in order to circumvent the scope restrictions. Either way, this serves as a warning how restrictions imposed by the Delta MEC can adversely affect the ASA and Comair pilots by restricting growth or diverting it elsewhere.

The Truth about Furloughs and the Transfer of Flying

In every economic downturn, someone inevitably looks for a scapegoat to blame. It’s more than obvious that ALPA’s political leaders and many misinformed constituents have adopted the mantra that the "regional" airlines and "small jets" are stealing mainline flying. Accusing the RJ and its operators of "stealing" mainline flying is disingenuous at best, and is intended to divert attention from how ALPA’s misguided scope policies have all but guaranteed that mainline pilots would one day be furloughed.

Replacing obsolete 737’s and DC-9’s with RJ’s is the normal renewal process of the airline fleets. This process has always taken place in good times and bad times. It is no different from when the Boeing 767 replaced the older, less efficient L-1011's and DC-10's. The "loss" of "mainline" flying is not due to the introduction of the RJ; it's due to the imposition of ill-conceived and misguided mainline scope.

Every mainline scope clause, in effect, declares the "small jet" or "regional" flying undesirable, classifies it as a threat to mainline pay scales, and attempts to simultaneously restrict it and keep it off the property. The RJ is a very good airliner in its own right. The mainline job loss occurred only after ALPA "regionalized" the "small jets" and decided to keep them off the "mainline properties."

For the record, the Delta MEC was warned (in writing) about this possibility by the ASA and Comair MEC’s nearly a year and a half ago. The Delta MEC’s response was that it would seek its own solutions; then it proceeded to negotiate more restrictive scope that failed to last more than 90 days. In view of the massive mainline displacements, will ALPA’s listen this time?

Mainline Pilots at US Airways Demand "Small Jet" Information

According to ALPA’s own published reports, many mainline pilots at US Airways are demanding that the US Airways MEC conduct small jet talks "in the open" and keep members informed on the content and direction of the negotiations. In response, the US Airways MEC has informed its pilots that it will determine what the pilots need to know, and when they need to know it.

Based upon details of the last published proposal, the US Airways pilots have every right to be concerned. While nearly a thousand US Airways mainline pilots are facing indefinite furloughs, the MEC is apparently still attempting to keep the "wrong" aircraft off the property and to prevent their employer from acquiring the aircraft the company believes it needs to survive.

If some mainline pilots are disturbed by their MEC’s apparent "need to know" attitude, all we can say is, "welcome to the other side of ALPA!" Despite ALPA’s obligations to the contrary, ALPA’s "regional" members must routinely learn the true content and impact of the mainline scope negotiations after the fact.

To date, ALPA has never taken the time to inform the ASA and Comair pilots about the real impact of the Delta scope clause. Nearly two years ago, when the ASA and Comair representatives first inquired, the response was, "You’ll be given enough advance notice to do damage control."

Tax Time

For those pilots who may be interested in deducting their RJDC contributions, we are still awaiting an official ruling from the IRS. According to some tax experts, RJDC donations should be deductible as a professional expense because nearly all our revenues go to pay for legal actions designed to protect your employment rights and careers. However, such IRS determinations take time and most likely we will not have an official ruling from the IRS before you must file your 2001 tax return. Therefore, please consult your personal tax advisor. If you or your tax preparer have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

New E-mail Address or New Credit Card?

With all the competition between the Internet service providers and credit card companies, many pilots have switched service providers or credit card companies. Please remember to let us know if there are any changes to your e-mail address or credit card accounts used to make RJDC contributions. Even if your current credit card is simply renewed, we need the new expiration date in order to process your contribution. As always, thank you for your continued support!


Your RJDC Leadership


Marko Ramius

Vilnius Nastavnic
Nov 25, 2001
Total Time
25 w/L
Why must the RJDC twist everything? Forget the beef between them ALPA. While I don't agree with them, it's certainly their right to be mad about what they want to be mad about and attempt to fix what they feel is wrong within our(ALPA'S) system. But I'm tired of them taking one true fact, and then burying it in postulations that they hope everyone will accept as truth. As one example take the above post about UsAirways. If you read their code-a-phone messages, you will see that the confidentiality request was made by their management not ALPA, and was recently lifted. Here's part of one of their updates: <<This is Roy Freundlich with a US Airways MEC update for Wednesday, January 16, with three new items:

Item 1. The MEC reconvened its January 11 conference call meeting yesterday evening to continue its consideration of removing confidentiality from SJ negotiations.

The MEC unanimously passed a resolution directing the Negotiating Committee to prepare and disseminate updates commencing on January 15, 2002. The Negotiating Committee will release all future information except for that information which, after review by the MEC officers and the Negotiating Committee, would jeopardize the outcome of the negotiations or the financial health of the Company. >>

Basically they are denying their management's request for confidentiality, and given their pilots the normal amount of information most of us see. In any union negotiation, there are going to quite a few confidential items that won't get released until later-just like the RJDC won't release the specifics of their informal talks with ALPA's general counsel. If you want to make an argument RJDC, fine, just do it with some meat and potatoes not a bunch of half-truths. I'm not going to get into a big heated battle on this one since I'm not involved at all, I'll leave that to the "regulars," but since I do read this stuff I felt like making a point. Standing by to read a littany of alleged ALPA half truths, before I go ride on a 777, which by the way replaced the DC-10 and 747 classic at my airline, not the 767. I guess we don't understand the normal renewal process that well.