Time to say NO MORE

1IDBLKJEW

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Hey Maaaaaaan Sammy-D here,

Here’s a dumb question for everyone. When the heck is the first ALPA pilot group going to stand up and say NO! Cast a strike vote, and just walk out. This is ridiculous. I am ashamed to wear the pin. We have lost all credibility and leverage as a union. We are a complete joke.

It was one thing to pitch in and INVEST in our airlines (mismanagement) as a show of good faith and as a business deal after 9/11 by taking temporary concessions. Those should have been considered loans and there should have been a return on those investments. Those days of professional generosity are over. Now most ALPA carriers have been through their second or third round of concessions, not to mention SO LONG retirement. At this point it is extortion and union busting, and we are bending over and taking it. I think the 1113 motions are going to be common place. Next stop Delta and NWA.

Every ALPA carrier’s management knows how spineless we are so they just keep going for more because they know that they can threaten, intimidate and get it. This is thanks in part to the fact that the senior pilots (who by the way negotiated most of these CBA’s) stand to lose the most by walking out. So I guess there will be more yet to come. Maybe as soon as the captains are down to FO wages we will realize that its time to say enough is enough.

I have been a supporter of ALPA and, have benefited from my membership all these years, but at what price. Considering the condition of the industry, and how badly we have ALLOWED ourselves to get beaten up, I think 2% of my salary, 3 furloughs, several concessionary contracts and the past 5 years of my life is too much. And I am one of the lucky ones. I guess I expect more from my dues that just a seniority number and a lawyer if I get my pee pee spanked.

When Boeing engineers didn’t get a good deal after a few months, they shut Boeing down and came to an agreement. Pilot group’s talk big to the media, then eventually succumb to threats, intimidation and cave in after months and months. What kind of collective bargaining it that. Face it we are wimps. No one is willing to call their bluff and stop this downward spiral. Does everyone really think the airlines are just going to shut down and file ch. 7 if we walk out????? That is pathetic.

I think ATA had a great opportunity recently to let management have it by voting no on the last concessionary TA. They cast a strike vote when mgmt filed the 1113 motion; did anyone ever even hear the results of that? No. Instead they passed the TA with 59% and 15% of the pilots didn’t even vote. That’s pretty sad. They should have walked out. They know this isn’t going to save the airline.

Time to call their bluff people. Time to say no. ALPA at the national level should be intervening at this point and advising all locals to say no more. Otherwise Time to branch off and start over on our own.
 

TWA Dude

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1IDBLKJEW said:
Does everyone really think the airlines are just going to shut down and file ch. 7 if we walk out?????
Some will. Do you want it to be yours?

Unable to take the initiative, ALPA is now in full-time damage-control mode. IMHO this won't change until the economy allows it.
 

747Rubani

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enough
we just tried that here at polar and got no support from ALPA. ALPA totally wimped out.
 

FlyBoeingJets

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1IDBLKJEW said:
... This is thanks in part to the fact that the senior pilots (who by the way negotiated most of these CBA’s) stand to lose the most by walking out.
ALPA is run by the senior piots for the senior pilots. Sometimes it's good and sometimes not so good.

If you look at the successful strikes and threatened strikes, they are in periods of good revenue or in times with prospects for immediate improvement. This time looks different to me. With jet fuel going up 43% in the last quarter, I have to wonder what leg we have to stand on.

Stand up for wages, but cut your flights by 20%, or more, due to declining ticket sales. On the flip side, management is trying to cut too deep.


I know we have heard the doom and gloom often the last couple of years, but the brokerage houses' voices are getting even louder now. They say one or more carriers are looking at Ch 7 with current economic conditions.
 
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FlyChicaga

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It might be time to disband ALPA, and reform the union to include all airline employees. Pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, gate agents, rampers, fuelers. The whole lot. Yes, working under different labor contracts, but under the same goals and leadership. What the hell would management do when their entire workforce was unified under one union, say, the Air Line Employees Alliance or something like that? Flight attendants walk? Rampers walk? Everyone walks. Plus, the unity that might come from it, when the ramper pushing you back is a member of the same union as you? Someone who you shared a picket line with when management tried to rake you over the coals? Like some of the other trade unions. Ahh, pipe dream I know. Maybe in a perfect world...
 

FR8mastr

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The US Airways 170 pilots have said NO. I also do not wear the pin out of shame!

ALL OR NONE!!!
 

IB6 UB9

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FlyChicaga said:
It might be time to disband ALPA, and reform the union to include all airline employees. Pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, gate agents, rampers, fuelers. The whole lot. Yes, working under different labor contracts, but under the same goals and leadership. What the hell would management do when their entire workforce was unified under one union, say, the Air Line Employees Alliance or something like that? Flight attendants walk? Rampers walk? Everyone walks. Plus, the unity that might come from it, when the ramper pushing you back is a member of the same union as you? Someone who you shared a picket line with when management tried to rake you over the coals? Like some of the other trade unions. Ahh, pipe dream I know. Maybe in a perfect world...
At least you could now raise the ticket prices.
 

MedFlyer

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FlyBoeingJets said:
If you look at the successful strikes and threatened strikes, they are in periods of good revenue or in times with prospects for immediate improvement. This time looks different to me.
Bingo. When times are good, the threat of a strike will work. Look at the DL pilots back in 2001. Times were good (or at least it appeared that way) and Mullin was afraid of a strike. So he caved to the pilots and gave them huge raises that DL could not afford.

But now times are different. If the DL pilots go on strike now, a quick liquidation of DL would occur. So unless your are willing to throw your seniority away (which most guys with any real seniority won't do), a strike isn't going to happen.
 

Tejas-Jet

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FlyBoeingJets said:
ALPA is run by the senior piots for the senior pilots. Sometimes it's good and sometimes not so good.
Soooooo....maybe the junior guys need to start getting involved, by attending meetings....introducing resolutions....running for office....all it takes is time...

Tejas
 

mar

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Us vs. Them

FlyChicaga said:
It might be time to disband ALPA, and reform the union to include all airline employees... Plus, the unity that might come from it, when the ramper pushing you back is a member of the same union as you?
When I first read your post I thought--Maybe that's not a bad idea--but then I just had to think a little more to the Atlas/Polar situation and realize it probably is a pipe dream.

Here are two groups, same union, different contract that have descended into a bitter rivalry....all to the benefit of management.

I'll say this after my 12 months of "probabtion" and three months as an ALPA member in "good standing"....the first contact I ever had from ALPA was on my anniversary when they sent me my form to authorize a payroll deduction for my dues.

Not terribly impressed so far; especially these last two weeks.
 

1IDBLKJEW

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An all airine pilot union yes. That should have been what pilots did back in the beginning. Didnt they try by the way??

But to include all employees would be a bad idea. There is a lot less solidarity in the other employee groups. Too many part time employees that couldnt care less about union protections because their spouses have good jobs. If you had an all airline employee encompassing group you would never get anywhere.

I think.
 

flightimer

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yeah
I like the way you think,

I just don't think its going to happen:
The leverage the companies have is that they KNOW
their employees have personal debt and mortgage payments.
Who can afford a strike, collectively speaking?

Here's why:

BusinessWeek says that total household debt in the US was more than 100% of our disposable annual income last year (2001). Now that is scary.
  • The total consumer debt is at 1.7 trillion dollars. (You can visualize a trillion dollars as a stack of $1000 bills placed one on top of the other, flat side on top of flat side, reaching 67 miles high.)
  • The personal credit card debt carried by the average American is $8,562 and the total interest paid in 2001 was $50 billion.... an average of $1000 in interest per consumer. The average consumer caries 8 cards and 20% of cards are maxed out.
  • There were 1.3 credit card holders declaring bankruptcy last year. Bankruptcies have exceeded 1 million per year every year for at least 7 years now.
  • If you keep your debt-to-income ratio low, you will more likely qualify for the lowest interest rates and best terms when you apply for credit.
USATODAY.com - Credit card issuers boost interest rates, late fees
Possibly argument against:
The Left Coaster: So What Does Greenspan Think About The Economy?
 

FlyChicaga

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1IDBLKJEW said:
An all airine pilot union yes. That should have been what pilots did back in the beginning. Didnt they try by the way??

But to include all employees would be a bad idea. There is a lot less solidarity in the other employee groups. Too many part time employees that couldnt care less about union protections because their spouses have good jobs. If you had an all airline employee encompassing group you would never get anywhere.

I think.
That's definitely not true. Yes, there are the part-timers who get their little paycheck and want the benefits. But, there are even more full-timers who have put their heart and soul into these blue collar jobs, and have so much to lose. I've met rampers and ops people with 30 years service to one company! I'd say at many places, particularly majors, you'll find more full-time-all-in employees than part-timers. At the regionals, maybe not so much.
 

DHPFLYN

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GO TEAMSTERS atleast they have balls and stick together. Was with them in 97' ups strike. Stood together and got what we wanted.
 

AA717driver

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DHPFLYN said:
GO TEAMSTERS atleast they have balls and stick together. Was with them in 97' ups strike. Stood together and got what we wanted.
Yeah, they did a bang up job for NetJets... Sorry, I don't want some mafia-owned truck driver heading up my union. A weak-d1ck, non-flying pilot from a "have" airline certainly didn't do my airline career any good. (ALPA did WONDERS for my non-union, Pt. 91 corporate career, however...)

Until we have pilots earnestly working for pilots--not just trying to avoid flying the line without having to go into management to do it, we will continue to wallow in fear and self-pity at our ever-decreasing pay and working conditions.TC
 

SirFlyALot

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MedFlyer said:
Bingo. When times are good, the threat of a strike will work. Look at the DL pilots back in 2001. Times were good (or at least it appeared that way) and Mullin was afraid of a strike. So he caved to the pilots and gave them huge raises that DL could not afford.

But now times are different. If the DL pilots go on strike now, a quick liquidation of DL would occur. So unless your are willing to throw your seniority away (which most guys with any real seniority won't do), a strike isn't going to happen.
I couldn't agree anymore. It is time to say NO MORE!

The line of thought layed out here by MedFlyer is the kind of thinking that will lead to further erosion and destruction of our profession. It is the line of thought currently embraced by ALPA. It is wrong.

We, as pilots, need to make changes. One definition of insanity is
repeating the same behavior and expecting different results. If we, as pilots, continue to do what we've been doing with respect to how we organize ourselves and how we negotiate, we can expect more of the same. We need to make changes; not little changes but big, revolutionary changes. We, as pilots, operate today under essentially the same system that we operated under during the era of regulation. Times have changed. We must change. We must write a new playbook.

To begin with, we as pilots must come together to form a national pilot's union with universal seniority (gasp!). Yes, of course, a system like this would have drawbacks. However, the system we currently operate under has more of them. What has the current system done for you lately? What will it do for you when your airline gets into trouble?

Our system of tying seniority to a single company plays right exactly into the hands of management. It causes us to have to completely start over if, for any reason, we want to or are forced to switch employers. It severely limits our options and makes us the biggest stakeholders in our given companies; bigger stakeholders than even management. It forces us to lash our fortunes and those of our family to the fate of a single company. Is this smart? Does management do this? No! Of course not. If the company goes under, then management can go on to a similar-paying job at the next company. Can we? No. We do this to ourselves and it absolutely works against us in today's environment. Maybe it worked during regulation. But we aren't regulated anymore and it doesn't work anymore. It gives management the upper hand.

A universal seniority system wouldn't necesarily have to be designed so that junior guys are continuously held down on the list. It could be designed in any number of ways. The point is that universal seniority would give back to pilots true leverage and would give all of us options. That's something we haven't had for a very long time. Management would immediately be stripped of a tremendous amount of power over us.

To make a system like this work would require a single pilot's union on a national scale. This would require pilots to come together like never before. Would this be hard to do? Of course. Won't it be harder, though, to watch your paycheck continue to shrink, your medical insurance premiums continue to skyrocket, and your work rules continue to evaporate? All good things require hard work and sacrifice. This will be no different.

I envision something akin to the West coast longshoreman's union or the NFL player's union. If the longshoremen go on strike, everyone goes on strike, and everything grinds to a halt. That is real power. The NFL player's union sets a league minimum payscale. We should do the same. We need to tell management at all of the airlines, "If you want pilots, you come to our union, and you pay them atleast our minimum payscale and you give them at least these minimum benefits." If you don't comply then you don't get pilots. Of course, to be effective, this would require being able to implement real and potent sanctions against the inevitable corps of scabs that management would attempt to recruit.

The naysayers out there will say this is all a pipe dream, or they don't want to give up seniority, or this won't work, or that won't work. Well, you know what? Our system right now is broken and it's not doing you or me or our families any favors. At what point will you think changes need to be made? How bad will it need to get for you to want to take action? You people who are afraid to change and are unwilling to alter course are as much of a threat to our once great profession as the soulless management ghouls who seek to disembowel us.
 

flyby

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Help Wanted

HELP WANTED

Leadership Specialist

- Represent and unify 10's of thousands of Airline Pilots
- Preserve the Piloting profession
- Requires the ability to see "The Big picture"
- CPR Certification a PLUS!!!

Send resume to: ALPA
 

Ty Webb

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SirFlyALot said:
I couldn't agree anymore. It is time to say NO MORE!

To begin with, we as pilots must come together to form a national pilot's union with universal seniority (gasp!). Yes, of course, a system like this would have drawbacks. However, the system we currently operate under has more of them. What has the current system done for you lately? What will it do for you when your airline gets into trouble?
. . . . . We need to tell management at all of the airlines, "If you want pilots, you come to our union, and you pay them atleast our minimum payscale and you give them at least these minimum benefits." If you don't comply then you don't get pilots.
Welcome to the party. I have been saying that on this board for three years now . . . once pilot costss become "fixed costs", airline management will actually have to find real, meaningful ways to manage the airline, including raising prices and cutting capacity.

Maybe now that pilots of Delta, Northwest, United TWAAmerican, and USAirways are now all feeling the pain of it at the same time, maybe now things can get done.
 
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