So define a Scab...

Reddie

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NWA to divert flights if struck



Pilots union says it would violate contract

By Jane Roberts
Contact

August 9, 2005

To fly through a possible mechanics strike this month, Northwest Airlines has made plans to divert traffic to Minnesota-based Champion Airlines, giving away flights guaranteed its own pilots.

According to a confidential Northwest memo leaked to the media over the weekend, Northwest passengers out of Minneapolis and Detroit could be shifted to Champion flights to Denver, Dallas-Fort Worth and Las Vegas.

While Northwest would not comment on specifics Monday, spokesman Kurt Ebenhoch said Champion "is one of the many options we use today and may use as part of our contingency plan" to serve customers.

Champion, based in Bloomington -- a Minneapolis suburb -- has 16 Boeing 727s, according to its Web site. It flies charter flights for professional and college teams, the Department of Defense and tour companies.

Champion did not return a phone call.

Northwest pilots were told of the plans two weeks ago, said Hal Myers, spokesman for the Northwest division of the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents both Northwest and Champion pilots.

"Based on what we understand the company is interested in doing, we believe it would constitute a violation of our contract," he said. "We are evaluating our options."

Northwest may use outside vendors to fly charter flights, but its contract with its pilots guarantees they fly all scheduled service.

"It is surprising that Northwest would anger it pilots at this stage of the game," said Steve MacFarlane, national assistant director of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, which represents 5,000 mechanics and aircraft cleaners.

The pilots have already given $265 million in annual concessions and have asked Northwest's other unions to comply.

On July 20, AMFA members voted 92.4 percent in favor of a strike, setting off a 30-day cooling-off period before a strike that would begin at 11:01 p.m. Aug. 19.

NWA has repeatedly said it intends to fly its complete schedule through a possible AMFA strike this summer using salaried staff and replacement workers the carrier has been recruiting and training throughout the summer.

"The fact that Northwest is considering Champion certainly illustrates they don't have as much confidence in their plan as they say," MacFarlane said. "We find it rather interesting, that Northwest feels they need to do this."

Northwest wants AMFA to accept a contract that would eliminate 53 percent of its jobs and require pay cuts from the remainder. It has told the union it needs $176 million in annual reductions.

The union has offered temporary cuts it values at $143.5 million. Northwest says they are worth only $87 million.

Last week, AMFA pulled out of emergency talks called by the National Mediation Board in Washington when Northwest failed to make a counteroffer, it said.

The sides have been negotiating since September 2004.

Registered Airframe and Powerplant mechanics here and across the country have received job solicitations this summer from Texas-based AVTECHS, recruiting for a "regional airline based in Tennessee, Michigan and Minnesota," said Sam Ellis, president of the local Northwest machinists union here.

"They're offering $32 a hour, plus hotel expenses and a $2,000 signing bonus with 40 hours guaranteed," he said.

Ellis received a solicitation last week and said several other airport employees not in the mechanics union had too.

Northwest has 50 to 60 mechanics in Memphis, earning about $37 an hour.

AMFA plans to take its cause "to the street," MacFarlane said. "We are going to strike the carrier and force it to back off its extreme position. Our plan is to convince Northwest they can't do without us." -- Jane Roberts: 529-2512
 

WillowRunVortex

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Lets boil this down to the basics. Champion is ALPA, NWA is ALPA. Yet, somehow they cant prevent NWA management from doing this? Makes you wonder about the strength of ALPA these days doesnt it? Im starting to wonder if Im getting my moneys worth.
 

enigma

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A scab is someone who crosses a picket line and takes the job of a striking worker. It's that simple. Some will attempt to claim that flying struck work is scabbing. I disagree. Flying struck work shouldn't be done, but you can't ask someone to fall on his sword to defend you.

enigma
 

grinder

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So, by your logic, if Champion were to buy 100 90+ pax "RJ's" and hire a thousand pilots making $20/hr. to fly them on former Northwest routes, they would still be cool by you. That about makes sense nowadays. Yeah, ALPA, one union. We need a new union with some Leadership and Balls to stop this crap, or we might as well not have one.
 

COpilot

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The Eastern Pilots went on sympathy for MX in '89, to fight injustice of Frank, the diverting assets to another carrier, etc, (sounds like today) those pilots that worked were, and are scabs.

To me, it sure looks as if the NWA pilots that fly during a strike against their airline without going in sympathy are scabs, just like a EAL person. right?

If I'm wrong with this view, please someone just explain to me the difference with facts?
 
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enigma

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grinder said:
So, by your logic, if Champion were to buy 100 90+ pax "RJ's" and hire a thousand pilots making $20/hr. to fly them on former Northwest routes, they would still be cool by you. That about makes sense nowadays. Yeah, ALPA, one union. We need a new union with some Leadership and Balls to stop this crap, or we might as well not have one.


grinder, apparently you can't read, so this reply is most likely wasted,,,,"cool with you" is your phrase, not mine.

I'm not advocating flying struck work, I'm just trying to keep some of you overly zealous types from trying to redefine the term scab.

I've sat here and read strings where some people try and paint anyone who remotely touches so much as even a route segement originally flown by a striker as being a scab. That ain't so, and I'll stick to that.

FWIW, If NWA strikes, I imagine that my employer will pick up a few of their pax. In some peoples definition, that would make me and my fellow Spirit pilots scabs. We are not, and I'm trying to pre-empt those who will most likely start flinging mud.

enigma
 

Midnight Flyer

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I personally think that if you fly struck work, you're a scab. If a scab is defined as "someone who crosses a picket line and takes the job of a striking worker", then a Champion employee (or whoever does the sruck work flying) is a scab, because they're taking the job from the NWA pilot.
 

mar

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It's starting to unravel

Ok guys. Slow down.

Enigma's got it right in my opinion. First of all, NWA pilots are not striking--the mechanics are.

Last I heard, the mechanics are not ALPA, therefore there's no way in hell that a Champion pilot can be a scab.

However, I understand the heartburn (as does Enigma) when your company ships off flying to another carrier.

There are no easy answers, just try to keep things in perspective.
 

jbDC9

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Midnight Flyer said:
If a scab is defined as "someone who crosses a picket line and takes the job of a striking worker", then a Champion employee (or whoever does the struck work flying) is a scab, because they're taking the job from the NWA pilot.

But now you're getting into the fine print and small details... the Champion pilots won't be "hired" at NWA, won't be taking the job of a striking worker like previous strikes at CAL/EAL/UAL, etc. They'll be contracting with NWA to fly while still working for Champion. Seems like a bit of a gray area... although I'm sure they'll be labelled scabs anyway. Since Champion is ALPA, hopefully they'll be able to refuse the flying. Plus, as Mar said, it's the mechanics that'll be on strike, not the pilots. Then there's the whole sympathy strike can of worms... ugh.
 

traffic pilot

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If I were a NWA pilot I would not go out on a sympathy strike and I would not have any indigestion about the company farming out flights to Champion or to whoever to try to get more favorable terms on this contract negotiation. You know I used to think that we're all in this together but in my humble opinion it's just not true. A strike by any employee group is just devastating to a company and to other employee groups. I know that it's a failure on both parties not to get the deal done but labor has a trump card these days with some carriers. It's " settle with us or were gonna burn this f--ker down"
I don't want to get into the labor vs management fireball. And I know that my above statement does not sum up the dispute at NWA but they gotta cut costs and they have to compete. There is going to be collateral damage. somewhere.

Maybe NWA wants the strike. Bankruptcy. Everyone loses.
 

n5374f

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Champion Air

As a Champion Pilot my MEC has told us that we will fly unless the NWA MEC asks us not to fly, our MEC and NWA MEC along with ALPA HQ is going to make the final decisions. Our MEC is in direct talks with NWA MEC so what ever they decide the rank and file will follow. If the NWA pilots are not on strike then the Champion pilots are not scabs, however the NWA pilots have a hell of a grievence to file because it would be a NWA contract violation fot NWA to subservice regular NWA flying if you don't agree call ALPA.
 

100LL... Again!

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Hilarious!

What is the new definition of a scab?
Answer: Someone who I feel is preventing me from getting what I want.

Hint: If you ain't flyin' an red tail, it ain't scabbing.

You may desire to redefine scab, but you would be wrong.
Know what? Management has more unity than labore. Therefore, they deserve to win. And win they shall. They must be laughing ther a$$es off at all the infighting between pilot groups.

You are acting exactly as they want you to.
 

Newpilot2b

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Grey area. What is Champion...a charter Co. What does NWA need some planes to fly some people around because theirs are "broke". Who do you call...a company with big planes and trained pilots. Got to be careful with the SCAB word. Many throw it around when they don't understand the true meaning.

ex. You might not like the war, you may not support the war but as a Champion pilot my job is to fly people around that rent us out by the hour. So the DOD comes by one day and says we need you to fly 5,000 troops around a month. So you check in that morning with ops and find out you are flying troops around.

What would happen if ExecJet gets the call to fly the NWA 1st class folks around????
 

mar

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And probably liberals too!

What?

Do you understand the pilots are not striking? The flights would not be "struck flying" anymore than if the flippin' secretary's union at Boeing went on strike.

Let's try to keep a grip on reality.
 

WillowRunVortex

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mar said:
What?

Do you understand the pilots are not striking? The flights would not be "struck flying" anymore than if the flippin' secretary's union at Boeing went on strike.

Let's try to keep a grip on reality.

Exactly! thats why if you re-read my statement before you fly off the handle, it reads:

IF they are flying struck work, they would be scabs. There is no word on wether NWA ALPA will decide to sympathy strike. But, if they do and someone picks up their trips, or NWA management CONTRACTS another carrier to fly NWA trips, these people will be scabs.
 

enigma

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WillowRunVortex said:
If they were flying struck work, technically they would be scabs


There must be an official definition of scab written down somewhere that I've missed all these years.

I always heard that a scab got to be a scab by walking across a picket line, putting on the uniform worn by the striker, flying the exact airplanes that the striker flew prior to walking out, getting paid with the same checks written out the same accounts that previously paid the striking pilot. In other words, a scab replaces the striker man for man. Or scab for man if you will.


I really would like to know where this concept of flying struk work making one a scab comes from.

enigma
 

WillowRunVortex

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enigma said:
There must be an official definition of scab written down somewhere that I've missed all these years.

I always heard that a scab got to be a scab by walking across a picket line, putting on the uniform worn by the striker, flying the exact airplanes that the striker flew prior to walking out, getting paid with the same checks written out the same accounts that previously paid the striking pilot. In other words, a scab replaces the striker man for man. Or scab for man if you will.


I really would like to know where this concept of flying struk work making one a scab comes from.

enigma


enigma,

Thats what I thought too, had to be in same colors. That third party vendors were not considered scabs. But I was readily schooled otherwise by 320av8r (NWA pilot) and others, that yes somehow even those people that are employed by other company's and may not have unions (read: job protection) that they were supposed to refuse the work aswell or they are scabs.

320AV8R said:
The "replacement" mechanics will be FIXING aircraft that the STRIKING mechanics used to fix, but now don't.........BECAUSE THEY ARE......ON STRIKE !!!! Whether they have NWA uniforms on, or pajamas is irrelevant. They will be doing NWA work that is being struck.



320Av8R
 
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