• NC Software is having a Black Friday Sale Event thru December 4th on Logbook Pro, APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook, Cirrus Elite Binders, and more. Use coupon code BF2020 at checkout to redeem 15% off your purchase. Click here to shop now.
  • NC Software is proud to announce the release of APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook version 10.0. Click here to view APDL on the Apple App store and install now.

The Magenta Line, October 16, 2009

dgoldenc

Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2002
Posts
9
Total Time
6000+
[FONT=&quot]“The commitment that Larry made is the same commitment I will make—but…I will not put the company at risk to fund that plan.”[/FONT][FONT=&quot] – Soon-to-be CEO Jeff Smisek firing the latest of what will be many shots at the lump-sum option of our “A” Fund. Mr. Smisek? A commitment is not a commitment if you keep trying to find ways to weasel out of it.[/FONT]


[FONT=&quot]Today is Friday, October 16, 2009 and there are 8 items for discussion.[/FONT]


[FONT=&quot]Item 1: [/FONT][FONT=&quot]New chief pilots in the office[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Our new EWR chief pilots are Bill Borelli and Pam Krueger.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]While we welcome them to the office we would also like to remind them that they were once regular line pilots, union members, and union officials and urge them to conduct themselves as such.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]These are newly-created positions that will expand the number of chief pilots in the office even though our base is theoretically shrinking.[/FONT]


[FONT=&quot]Item 2: [/FONT][FONT=&quot]management Reminds Us of Our Responsibilities, or The NASA Fuel Memo, Part II[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]It must be fun being in management: show up at 10 a.m. (or later), have a couple of cups, wander the halls, suck up to the guy above you while scheming on his job, take a long lunch, write an eye-glazing memo while under the influence of a post-lunch, food-induced stupor, stumble to the Beamer and head home.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]A couple of days ago, we all got another one of those memos. You know the ones we’re talking about: There are Pilot Bulletins that must be viewed prior to your next flight. Please go to OTHER > PILOT BULLETINS to view and acknowledge the bulletins.Yeah. Anyway, as we read this one, we had an eerie sense of being here before—only the other way around. The last memo cautioned us not to take too much fuel or our retirement just might not be funded anymore. This one warns us not to take too little or we might run out—of fuel, not retirement. Those management guys! They must be wild-men at the office parties![/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]In honor of our eagle-eyed fuel-management hawks downtown, we searched the archives for our first take on management fuel-meddling. This was our Council 170 Secretary/Treasurer’s first writing assignment for his ill-fated stab at the Council 171 Communications Committee Chair. From October 2007:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]“Houston—we have a problem…”[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]-[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Jim Lovell, Astronaut[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Ah, fall—the smell of burning leaves, the earlier sunsets, kids trick or treating—and management: all tricks, no treats.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]In his most recent missive, Continental’s Vice President of Intergalactic Sub-Orbital Spaceflight Operations reminds us that we are the earthly equivalent of NASA and the Astronauts, and that each takeoff we make is backed by hours of labor as our ground crews frantically work their slide-rules and prepare us for blast-off.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Amidst highly-technical NASA-like terms such as “bump” and “uncomfortable”, this latest memo assures us that we, as Astronauts, just don’t know what we’re doing when we override Mission Control’s highly accurate Fuel Uplift Plan Profile and that if we’re not careful we could not only lose our retirement, we might make a bigger “carbon footprint”, too. “Carbon footprint”? This sounds like something our dogs do on our living room floor every now and then. But when that happens, I pretend not to notice and ask my wife, “Hey, honey? Would you see if my car keys are out on that side table by the sofa? I have to go grocery shopping for you then get you that certificate for your facial and day-spa getaway. Oh, and I Tivo’d Oprah and Dr. Phil for you.” She falls for it every time—almost. Boy, the look on her face as she passes me on her way to the bathroom with the latest “carbon footprint” wrapped in tissue—now that’s priceless.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Where was I? Oh, yeah, “carbon footprint”. I may have just fallen off the baggage cart on my way to Cape Canaveral—I mean, “Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport”—but I’ve kind of always thought that’s what we Astronauts were supposed to do: turn more fossil fuel into “carbon footprint” than anyone else’s Sub-Orbital Space Program—“airline”, I meant to say—then collect our huge retirement checks and call it a day. The Director of Sub-Orbital Operations, however, disabuses us all of both of these notions in his Mission Profile Statement, insisting that we carry too much potential “carbon footprint” on a daily basis and that we just need to trust our Manned Sub-Orbital Space Flight Engineers—“dispatchers and load planners”, that is—as they painstakingly spend hours planning each of our Sub-Orbital Insertion Missions—or “flights”. The Director’s memo continues to fret that, “Adding [potential carbon footprint] indiscriminately however, without critical thinking increases burn, may reduce payload…and ultimately reduces profit-sharing and possibly pension funding.” I think it also said something about painful swelling and itchy rash but I don’t have my copy of the Mission Planning Document in front of me at the moment to refer to for verification.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Your [Local Council] Representatives have studied this Mission Planning Document at great length (well, they talked about it over beer and wings at Hooter’s), and have determined that the proper course of action is for our Astronauts to strictly adhere to Starfleet Command’s Sub-Orbital Mission Insertion Plan Profile and NOT add ANY extra “potential carbon footprint” on ANY of your sub-orbital missions. This, your representatives have determined, will meet Starfleet’s goals thus:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]- It reduces the need for critical thinking—or any thinking for that matter[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]- It does not increase “carbon footprint” thus saving rare dinosaurs for our future generations to enjoy—It’s for the children[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]- It allows us to carry more rubber “carbon footprint” out of Hong Kong[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]- It ensures our continued reliance on Starfleet Command’s promises as opposed to real pay[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]- It allows Senior Starfleet Commanders to pretend for a while longer that they actually intend to pay us our “A” fund money in anything but carbon credits[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]And, most importantly:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]- It ensures that our Senior Starfleet Commanders can continue to stuff more millions of dollars in their pockets every day, continues to “fund the future” of their special Deep Space retirement programs, and allows them bragging rights around their buddies at all the other sub-orbital space programs: “Hey, our Astronauts worker harder, ask fewer questions, and line our pockets more than your Aeronauts. And, boy, are they dumb! So there.”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]So, next time you’re strapped in, all systems go, A-OK for blast-off, remember this: the few hundred pounds of fuel the company thinks you don’t need, since you have no critical thinking skills and are unable to determine such weighty (ha, ha) matters for yourself, just may be the difference between the successful completion of your mission at the correct destination (Cape Canaveral) and a divert (Edwards Air Force Base) short of where you were supposed to go. So, please, take what dispatch gives you—and only what they give you—and divert whenever you have the slightest doubt about your ability to continue to your planned destination with “comfortable” fuel. And whatever you do, remember that the Space Shuttle is supposed to land with dry tanks; we aren’t.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]We’re sure things must have changed between then and now—we just can’t find any evidence of it.[/FONT]


[FONT=&quot]Item 3: [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Mystery manager “Bumps” Fuel to Make His Life Less “Uncomfortable”[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]In the category of, If We Did This, We’d Be Fired, comes this:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Several pilots have contacted us recently about the “add-fuel” habits of one of our downtown luminaries. It seems our mystery manager comes out to fly EWR trips now and then—and is in the habit of adding in the neighborhood of 10,000 pounds of fuel for his Atlantic-crossing return flights so he can fly low and fast. When queried by his crew for the reason, his answer is: I want to make an earlier flight back to Houston.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]When we (just pilots) end up on the right side of a fast flight plan, we always seem to wait for our gate, spend quality time in the Ballpark, and explain to our passengers that, while we did land an hour and ten minutes early, we’re still going to deplane 45 minutes late and please see the red coats for your connecting flight information. Our mystery manager just never seems to experience the same joy the rest of us do when we arrive early. His gate is ready and his commuter flight awaits.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Just like vice presidents Erwin and Compton and their game of Shade The Truth a couple of weeks ago, this week’s Mystery Manager has never understood the concept of lead by example—and that makes him unworthy to lead at all.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT]
 

dgoldenc

Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2002
Posts
9
Total Time
6000+
[FONT=&quot]Item 4:[/FONT][FONT=&quot] One of the Best Places to Work Can’t Come Up With Benefits to Match[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Every time we see a press release, every time we get on an airplane, every time we read the Daily News Update (well, we don’t read it but somebody must), our management team reminds us how good we have it here: 1000 Best Places to Be Employed At That Has Some Employees, 500 Top U.S. Domestic Airlines That Fly People Around, or, our favorite, One of the Million Best Places in the World to Work That Aren’t Technically Sweatshops.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]So, we guess it kind of puzzles us, year after year, why we don’t have benefits befitting our stature as the valued employees management claims we are. Then it came to us: management doesn’t actually value us, they just say they do.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Next year’s benefits election illustrates the point: either pay more money for the same coverage as this year or pay the same for less coverage. And there’s still no Blue Cross. But there is an option called Vinny’s Limousine Service and Health Insurance. Just kidding. But, with the choices we have, there should be—we’d never be able to tell the difference.[/FONT]


[FONT=&quot]Item 5: [/FONT][FONT=&quot]LTSW (Let the System Work)[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]We recently had an event in one of our western layover cities that illustrates perfectly the resources we, as union pilots, have at our disposal.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]One of our Captains and his First Officer had just arrived in town and were heading out to get a late dinner. As they were walking, the Captain had a medical emergency. The seriousness of the situation led the First Officer to call 911. [/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Once at the emergency room, the First Officer called the Union Duty Officer. This notification began a sequence of events that had already been well-planned and rehearsed.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]It was late on the east coast—about 02:00—but the UDO who took the call made three calls of his own: one to the Critical Incident Response Committee (CIRP), one to the leadership of our MEC, and one to your EWR LEC reps. CIRP, in turn, notified the EWR chief pilot duty officer.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Within minutes, the Captain’s wife had been notified and travel arrangements made for her trip to join her husband over 2,000 miles away. The CIRP duty officer also contacted her and put the combined services of the union at her disposal.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]After a couple of difficult days in the hospital, the Captain’s condition stabilized and he was finally released to go home with his wife at his side to accompany him.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The First Officer—who set the system in motion—and everyone else involved—from the UDO, the MEC and LEC leadership, the CIRP Committee, and the EWR chief pilot’s office—all deserve our thanks for a job well-done. The system was well-designed and well-thought-out and it worked as it was intended to.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The lesson is this: you are not alone. The resources available to all of us as unionized Continental Pilots are vast and they are as close as the nearest telephone. If you need help—help of any kind—make the call. The system is not just designed for medical emergencies; a call to the UDO brings a whole host of services and assistance to you and it’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and all over the world.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Remember: the UDO is for emergency and/or time-critical situations. Once notified, the UDO can bring everything together and get the right people for the situation involved. The UDO program is a tremendous resource available to us all. Use it.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Item 6:[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Captain Abbott’s Neighborhood[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The new flight operations update is out and it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. If you get a mailed copy it should already be clogging your mailbox like the Coupon Clipper or the ads for Pizza Hut or Radio Shack (“The Shack™”). If it comes to you via email, it should be in your junk mail folder. We beg you not to read it. It could cause spontaneous brain hemorrhaging.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]We, however, risk all in your service. But remember: we are highly trained professionals and we have special protective gear and equipment. Do not try this at home.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]To summarize: Fred thanked us for our attendance at the last round of management manure-spreading, told us what a great time he had answering our “direct” questions, and says he can’t wait for the next round in November. Neither can we.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Some highlights (?) from the Q&A— translated for your safety:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Q: Why are we furloughing?[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]A: Because we can. We also may not be done. Just because you escaped us the first time doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet. We still think we can squeeze a few more things out of the union if we scare you bad enough. We’ll get back to you when the time is right for us to maximize the psychological impact of our decision. In the mean time, be sure to tell your family you can’t make any decisions about their futures because you don’t know if you’re going to have a job or not.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Q: Why don’t we have IROs working all back-side-of-the-clock flights like a real airline might?[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]A: Because we think the FARs are good enough for you.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Q: Why isn’t the EWR crew room nice like the IAH and CLE crew rooms?[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]A: You’re kidding, right? Oh—you’re not kidding? OK, well, we just can’t resist any opportunity to p**p on the EWR pilots because, while they may be 51% of our pilots, they are 95% of our headaches. Those guys you elected—jeez—we never saw that coming. You start making our lives easier by taking what we give you and liking it, we may throw you a new recliner and some handles for the urinal flushers.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Q: There are certain flights where food isn’t available due to an early check-in. Is there anything that can be done?[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]A: Yes. As soon as you fly someplace that has food, buy all you want.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Q: Our manuals are too big. How’s that EFB-thing coming along?[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]A: The Electronic t∙Bag© (Powered by Windows® Vapo-Ware™) we chose because it was the absolute rock-bottom cheapest thing we could find is running about as reliably as any other Windows®-based product. Also, the hardware is still $39.99 per unit and until we can get that cost down to $14.99 or less, Mr. Smisek® has refused to fund the program any further. In the mean time, we continue to pay millions of dollars for back, shoulder, arm, wrist, and neck surgeries due to injuries caused by flight bags that are too heavy and too awkwardly placed in the cockpit.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Q: I’m nearing retirement and I want to take the lump sum. Is management planning to take away the lump-sum option?[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]A: Is this a trick question?[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot] No, we are not “planning” on taking away the lump-sum option (wink-wink) or, as we used to say, we have no plans at this time to take away the lump-sum option. We might, however, oh, let’s just say “forget” to fund it up to the top like we do our own program, or maybe the market takes another bad turn and it falls into liquidity shortfall (accountant-speak for “it ain’t got no money in it”), or maybe, jeez, maybe some of you old guys get scared and take a hammer to the piggy bank. In any case, we are fully and completely committed to pay the lump sum (wink-wink) unless, in our wildest dreams, it might endanger the company—then we’re not so committed to it. Plus we kind of like being able to grandstand in front of all the other employee groups by telling them how we’re gonna stick it to the pilots.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Q: What happens if the plan has a liquidity shortfall?[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]A: You’re out of luck if you wanted the lump-sum. And if you didn’t want the lump-sum, we’re thinking maybe you shouldn’t be operating multi-million dollar aircraft.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot] Nah, just kidding, we have a good plan for you. We’ll place you in a high-quality annuity that will be very competitive with what Social Security pays and if you still have a mortgage and actual obligations because you trusted us when we promised you years ago that your “A” Plan would be there for you just like ours is for us, we’ll refer you to Section S-O-L of the new and better retirement plan documents.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]The rest of the FOU talks about the system bid and how all the new flying in IAH suddenly appeared right after your EWR reps were elected and how defending the EWR fortress took a back seat to making sure all the flying was equally distributed to “balance” IAH and EWR—even though the flying is still in EWR. There was also some gobbledygook about how EWR was bent-over so 32 fewer pilots had to commute.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]All in all, Jackson Martin and Tom Stivala’s—sorry, we meant Fred Abbott’s—discussion of the system bid and the management justifications for jeopardizing our NYC fortress hub to stick it to the EWR pilots took about a page and a half. As we wrote recently, if it takes more than the back of an envelope or a cocktail napkin to draw out and explain a staffing formula, figures are lying somewhere.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][/FONT]
 

dgoldenc

Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2002
Posts
9
Total Time
6000+
[FONT=&quot][/FONT] [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Item 7:[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Request for Committee Volunteers[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]All of our committees need volunteers. If you are one of the many somewhat selfish and untested among us, if you are interested in committee work, if you have special artistic talents of any kind, or if you just like to chew the legs off your dining room table, we want you to help your fellow EWR pilots. If you are interested or have previously expressed interest via e-mail or a phone call, please confirm your continuing interest in an e-mail to Captain Kaye Riggs, Secretary-Treasurer, LEC 170 at [/FONT][FONT=&quot]kaye.riggs@alpa.org[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. Please put your name and the word “Volunteer” in the subject line.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Item 8:[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Next Meetings[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Our next local council meeting has been scheduled for October 28th at the Newark Airport Renaissance Hotel. This is a change from our normal meeting place at the Marriott. There is an ongoing shuttle from the P-4 AirTrain stop. Those driving to the meeting will have their parking validated just as at the Marriott.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]This meeting will be an excellent opportunity to hear our outgoing Alliance Committee Chairman Alfredo Suarez and Hotel Committee Chairman Tom Tremblay. Bring your questions on our impending STAR Alliance affiliation and our hotels. Also, this meeting will be early enough to get your resolutions on the agenda for the November MEC meeting, scheduled for November 2nd through 6th in Houston. [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Captain Jayson Baron, EWR Council 170 Chairman[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]jayson.baron@alpa.org[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]610 442-3817[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]First Officer Tara Cook, EWR Council 170 Vice Chairman[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]tara.cook@alpa.org[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]610 220-8904[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Captain Kaye Riggs, EWR Council 170 Secretary-Treasurer[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]kaye.riggs@alpa.org[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]830 431-0450[/FONT]
 

Dizel8

Douglas metal
Joined
Feb 27, 2003
Posts
2,817
Total Time
Huh?
Love it!

Same ******************** everywhere!
 

Booker

The Ladies Man
Joined
Apr 5, 2002
Posts
693
Total Time
4100
Top notch as always, guys!
 

HHH

Well-known member
Joined
May 17, 2003
Posts
106
Total Time
4000
As I am no longer based in EWR, I no longer get these. Thank you for posting on flightinfo!

Great work as always.
 

SFR

Pilot Guy
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
720
Total Time
6000
What is great about this???

This is just useless info. I like the first item about Smisek. Did you guys know that he will have a fiduciary responsibility to the share holders to keep the company going. I think that he should not risk the company for the A fund.

You guys have no clue about the big picture. The reason for the company is to make money, not to hire pilots (or retire them).
 

SFR

Pilot Guy
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
720
Total Time
6000
I do like a few items, but the majority of it seems to be anit-management. Keep up the good union work!!! I need to file a claim soon
 
Top