Straight shootin' about JetBlue

Tip Tank

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I've been reading around on these boards and I'm sure the truth is out there, but between everyone taking a swat at JetBlue and a lot of misinformation, I'm still a little confused about the 5-year contract.

What is it? Is it a promissory note (IOU) or what? What is the penalty for leaving (should one choose to do so)? Is the company obligated in any way in the contract or is it simply a retention tool to control turnover? What happens after five years (I hear that some of the first to sign the contract are coming up on their five year anniversary)?

Looking forward to a straight answer.

Thanks fellas,
- TT
 

Dizel8

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Huh?
"I hear that some of the first to sign the contract are coming up on their five year anniversary"

Plenty of them are past the five year mark, a non event!
 

Blue Dude

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Nothing happens. At the five year point, the contract renews. They send you a copy, you sign it and then send it back. That's it.

There are no strings, except on the company side. You can leave anytime you want. If you are furloughed, you're still paid guarantee through the end of your contract.

Why isn't the contract perpetual, i.e. of indeterminate length? I don't have a good answer for that. Maybe the five year figure was thrown out there by the lawyers to put a dollar figure on the company's potential liability in a downturn. Do I like it? Well, not exactly, but I don't give it much thought either. Noone has ever been nonrenewed and for morale and other very good reasons I don't see it ever happening.
 

RIDETHELIGHTING

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Just a question.

So in a down turn Jet Blue starts to furlough(lets just say), it’s not by seniority its by who ever is coming up on the end of their contract? That really does not seem very fair. Is there any guarantee that it will go in seniority order. But if they have to pay you on furlough why you still have a contract, I don’t see how it could go in seniority order.
 

Tip Tank

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Blue Dude said:
There are no strings, except on the company side. You can leave anytime you want. If you are furloughed, you're still paid guarantee through the end of your contract.
That's not a bad gig at all then. You can leave without penalty anytime but JB is committed to paying you, even if furloughed through the whole five year contract? Kinda backwards from what I was expecting...
 

klhoard

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Nobody will know what is hiding in the fine print until the next big airline downturn. . .
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Goose17

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Tip Tank said:
That's not a bad gig at all then. You can leave without penalty anytime but JB is committed to paying you, even if furloughed through the whole five year contract? Kinda backwards from what I was expecting...
I have never seen this contract, but I will say this. Any company that makes you sign a contract is not doing so to protect you. They are protecting themselves. Like Capt. (sel) klhoard said above, I'm sure there is some fine print involved.

Goose17
 

elag777

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no fine print...
 

TonyC

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I've seen it. I have a copy of one. Well, I have a copy of a version of it from 2 years ago; I've been told the new one they're signing these days is different but better.

It looks good to me, as far as it goes. There are some really nifty provisions. I like the part about being paid in training, and I like the part about being paid even if furloughed.

I don't like the part about being an At-Will employee. Yes, even with the contract, the pilot is an At-Will employee. As much as folks will insist that nobody has been NOT renewed, the fact remains that a pilot MIGHT not be renewed if he were known to be a union organizer.

Those types of contracts are made to be broken. The cost to the Company of breaking one of those contracts would be, in the grand scheme of things, miniscule.


The strangest part of it, in my mind, is why it's so secretive. Find a JetBlue pilot that will show you a copy of his contract...






(No, there's no non-disclosure clause in it.)






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zkmayo

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Ridethelightning,

No, they would furlough in seniority order, its just that they would pay you guarantee each month for the amount of time left on your contract.


Tony C,

I have mine filed away in my desk at home. Its about 20 pages of 8 1/2" by 11", not bound like my last ALPA contract, and it sent to newhires shortly after the employment offer. There are two copies sent--one to sign and return, and one for your records. Its pretty straightforward and Jetblue hasnt been the type of place where you need to go digging into your contract to see if the co violated it so there is not really much of a need to carry it around. Its not really all that exciting of a document. If you have a friend here, ask to see their's sometime. Im sure almost everyone files it away in a safe place too.
 
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furloughed dude

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I believe the reason it is there is so the pilots won't unionize. It makes it difficult to organize when you think the company won't extend your contract. It is a great way to keep the troops in line. If you show up to work and keep your pie hole shut, you will get extended. I don't know if anyone hasn't been extended.

The jetblue agreement isn't a negotiated contract. The company makes the rules, pay rates, benefits, etc. When the pilots didn't like the 190 pay rates, they made a big stink, but in the end, it didn't matter.
 

FlyBoeingJets

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Tony C,


Thanks. Is there anything in the contract about a non-compete clause? The JetBlue guys are tightlipped about it. If you leave JetBlue during the contract period are you restricted from piloting for another airline?

FBJ
 

klhoard

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We'll find out the "dark side" when 51% of the pilots have been on the E-190 for three years. . .
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Until then, enjoy the ride!! (And the trans-con turns)
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wndshr

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Blue Dude said:
Nothing happens. At the five year point, the contract renews. They send you a copy, you sign it and then send it back. That's it.

There are no strings, except on the company side. You can leave anytime you want. If you are furloughed, you're still paid guarantee through the end of your contract.

Why isn't the contract perpetual, i.e. of indeterminate length? I don't have a good answer for that. Maybe the five year figure was thrown out there by the lawyers to put a dollar figure on the company's potential liability in a downturn. Do I like it? Well, not exactly, but I don't give it much thought either. Noone has ever been nonrenewed and for morale and other very good reasons I don't see it ever happening.
my OPINION:

i think they have a 5 year contract because of the flight attendants. you look at SOME of the senior mammas at the legacies who should have retired LONG ago! they deliver terrible service with a free attitude. the ones with great attitudes are still lurking, but becoming less and less abundant.

if there is a renewable 5 year contract it puts a little more pressure on the F/A's to perform at a level that is expected of them. doesn't song have this now??? I think it is a GREAT idea because it has the potential to recycle the bad attitudes and replace them with fresh ones. ( i guess that is bad if you are an a $$, but great if you are the guy/gal that has to fly with that a $$)

the reason the pilots have the same thing is uniformity. can you imagine the stink it would raise if the pilots didn't have the same thing...we already get options and they don't. they don't like that! although our options are worthless for most of us!!
 

TonyC

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FlyBoeingJets said:
Tony C,


Thanks. Is there anything in the contract about a non-compete clause? The JetBlue guys are tightlipped about it. If you leave JetBlue during the contract period are you restricted from piloting for another airline?

FBJ
I'm looking at a Contract dated September 15, 1999 with a September 2000 Amendement. There is NO non-compete clause in this contract.


There are two provisions that someone might carelessly mistake for a "No Compete" clause. There is standard "full time, attention, and energies" language to establish that the pilot will not, while employed as a JetBlue pilot, "engage in or become interested in another business, calling, or enterprise that is directly or indirectly related to the aviation industry including but not limited to any consulting activities, unless the Pilot shall have provided the Airline with thirty (30) days prior written notice of such proposed activity and the details of such proposed activity and have gained the Airline’s prior written consent to such proposed activity or engagement. Upon request by the Airline during the term of the Agreement, the Pilot agrees to provide periodic disclosure statements to the Airline summarizing the Pilot’s outside business activities. It is specifically noted that the terms of this provision do not apply to military activity." [As I began to paraphrase with care so as not to disturb any of the meaning, I found it was easier to simply copy and paste the text.]

The second related provision deals with pay and services while on furlough, or during a "reduction in hours."

"In addition, during such a reduction of hours, the Pilot shall continue to receive all the benefits detailed in this Agreement. Should the Airline require the Pilot to fly at all, even on a limited basis, the Pilot shall reasonably comply with that requirement. Should the Pilot fail to comply with any such requirement, the Pilot shall not continue to receive the salary and benefits detailed in this agreement.

Should the Pilot obtain other aviation employment as a pilot with another Part 121 carrier during such a reduction of hours, the Pilot will be considered to have voluntarily separated from employment for the purposes of this Agreement and would no longer be entitled to the provisions of this Conract."

I don't believe that someone could, after a careful reading of the above cited sections, consider either to be "No Compete" language.





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TonyC

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wndshr said:
can you imagine the stink it would raise if the pilots didn't have the same thing...
Yeah, kinda like the stink the pilots raised about the RJ rates - - that had a huge impact.





:)




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JackSparrow

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A more recent contract I've seens has an non-compete agreement at the end. The non-compete says you won't accept "re-employment" at your previous Part 121 carrier, its parents or subsidiaries, within 2 years of starting training at B6.
 
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TonyC

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JackSparrow said:
A more recent contract I've seens has an non-compete agreement at the end. The non-compete says you won't accept "re-employment" at your previous Part 121 carrier, its parents or subsidiaries, within 2 years of starting training at B6.
That's not in the version I have (which I have already stipulated is several years old).

Would you care to share the Contract to which you refer? Can we see?



:)


[Oops - - that's not the quote I thought I was responding to - - had to do a little detective work - - see post below.]


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FlyBoeingJets

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Tony C and JackSparrow,


Thanks. You guys are the "Myth Busters". The contract language sounds very reasonable if you wish to do something else after 2 years of employment.


FBJ

P.S. No flames, please. I don't make any implied statements on the whole union vs. non-union thing or the correctness of a renewable 5 year contract.
 

TonyC

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JackSparrow said:
A more recent contract I've seens has an non-compete agreement at the end. The non-compete says you won't accept "re-employment" at your previous Part 121 carrier, its parents or subsidiaries, within 2 years of starting training at B6.

Your original post:
JackSparrow said:
The way I read it, the non-compete says you won't accept "re-employment" at your previous Part 121 carrier, its parents or subsidiaries, within 2 years of starting training at B6.
One of the weaknesses of our written language is we can't know the tense of the word "read" in the above sentence. I took it to be the word that sounds like "reed" which I believe is the present perfect tense, meaning it's something you're doing right now. Since you changed the post, I surmise you meant to use the word that sounds like "red" (the color) which is the past tense, meaning it's something you have done at some time in the past, whether it was 30 seconds ago or 5 years ago.

Present perfect is a far more reliable witness than past. What you've done, essentially, is contribute hearsay. Do you suppose you could obtain a copy of the "more recent" contract that can be entered into evidence for the sake of a factual discussion?



Like I said, these contracts are so elusive.



:)




OH, and thanks for editing the post to clarify the meaning. :)





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