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UPS Chief Pilot Breaks in for Schedule Change

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Jan 2, 2003
Anyone able to offer some creative solutions to not being obliged to accept a schedule change imposed in this manner? Violence is absolutely justified here if you suspect danger. However, if I knew him, recognized his voice, asked a few questions... I would be worried he was there to tell me something bad had happened to my family and might not take him out after opening the bathroom door.

To: UPS ”We are a Union – not a Social Club.”

Greetings Fellow IPA Crewmembers,

This is IPA President Bob Thrush with an update on the JA and Open Time Policy and information about the ongoing issues regarding the potential furlough of IPA Crewmembers.

I will also be discussing the upcoming vote on the Unity Fund and the Flight Qualified Supervisor issue as well as a couple of recent issues of concern.

I will start by stating that -------”We are a Union – not a Social Club.”

Regarding the Open Time and JA Policy, it is working. We are seeing unprecedented Management Emergency Flying and the Company struggling to find ways to ensure all trips are covered and prevent possible system service failures due to no IPA crews available to operate uncovered trips.

I am asking every IPA crewmember to keep our belts tightened and continue to apply pressure on the Company by complying with the Executive Board request to not accept JA’s or pick up any Open Time. Regarding the Bottom 170 who have received furlough notices; though the EB has indicated that it would be acceptable for these crewmembers to pick up Open Time and accept JA’s, it should be noted that nearly 95% of those in the bottom 170 have also complied with the request and are totally supporting this effort. This is what unit and solidarity are all about and it shows the resolve, not only of those 170, but of the entire Independent Pilots Association.

Regarding Open Time and JA, I would like to give you some actual numbers from last year and demonstrate the possibilities for limiting or even eliminating the furlough moving forward.

Last year IPA crewmembers picked up more than 88,000 hours of Open Time and accepted more than 7,000 hours of JA. This is over 95,000 of credit time and, considering vacations and training conflicts, equates to at about 120 full time staffing positions for IPA pilots. Just using those numbers and even if the Company were actually considering the furlough of 300 pilots, 100% participation in the Open Time and JA policy would prevent the furlough of 120 IPA crewmembers. The fact is though that block hours and volume is steadily increasing and resolving to continue this effort will likely prevent the furlough of the majority of those the Company has decided to use as bargaining chips in their failed attempt to extract contract concessions from IPA.

Our IPA crewmembers’ efforts prove conclusively “We are Union – Not a Social Club.”

We are now seeing unprecedented violations of our scheduling articles and unprecedented attempts to circumvent the process used to properly schedule cross domicile reserve crewmembers. The system is teetering on the brink right now of possible mass service failures due to poor planning and improper staffing on the part of UPS crew planning and the Airline leadership. I and the EB commend the entire group and ask that you continue in this effort. We are tracking all MEF flying and ask that all crewmembers continue to report ANY management crews you see operating trips via the IPA website report form when you are out on the line.

We are continuing to have discussions with UPS Labor about the possibility of mitigating the furlough and we are still looking at alternatives to furlough that do not involve contract concessions. If there are any breakthroughs in these discussions you will be updated immediately.

Regarding the upcoming vote on the Unity Fund: After extensive discussions covering many hours over a period of weeks, the Executive Board came up with a plan that we felt was in the best interest of those who may be potentially furloughed and also in the best interest of the IPA as a whole and with regard to upcoming contract negotiations and funding for those negotiations. We ask that you get behind the decision of your elected representatives and support this resolution by passing it with an overwhelming majority. This sends a message to UPS as well as to those crewmembers who are very concerned about family medical issues in the event they are actually furloughed. It not only demonstrates solidarity and our resolve as an Association but also shows that we are compassionate and understanding of the basic needs of our fellow IPA crewmembers who may have to endure the Company’s misguided plans to furlough. It alleviates a major concern for those crewmembers who may have family members with ongoing medical issues and the possibility of having to endure catastrophic medical costs associated with those issues.

Regarding the vote on the Flight Qualified Supervisor issue: The Executive Board spent a great deal of time discussing the various ways of addressing the issue of the “airline-within-an-airline” and the plan before us, which is to get at least 50% plus 1 of the FQS to send in cards for IPA representation, is the quickest, easiest and most cost effective for IPA. We were told by two different attorneys that regardless of the method we chose, the likelihood that the FQS would be integrated by date of hire was over 95%. Since that was likely the final outcome, regardless of the route we chose, we decided to save time and money and ask you, the IPA membership, to overwhelmingly approve the accretion and integration of those FQS by Date of Hire. We have an unprecedented opportunity before us to end the “airline-within-an-airline” and your vote to allow integration by Date of Hire will be a major step in ending this once and for all. UPS’ own numbers given at the numerous meetings they have used to scare their own managers is that it would take 1.7 IPA crewmembers to fill each FQS position – this is due to the fact that they work 22-23 days a month versus the average of about 14 days a month for an IPA crewmember working under the collective bargaining agreement. I ask that you all get behind the decision of your Executive Board and overwhelmingly vote to approve this measure.

Your overwhelming support of these measures will prove conclusively that “We are a Union – Not a Social Club!”

Regarding MEF flying after an IPA crewmember is furloughed. The EB has put the Company on notice that we will not allow ANY MEF flying if there is even one IPA crewmember furloughed. If there is even one IPA crewmember furloughed, and there is even a single minute of MEF flying, the IPA will immediately and vigorously seek an injunction and cease and desist order against the Company in Federal Court. We believe the Company cannot furlough IPA crewmembers and then contend they don’t have enough IPA crewmembers to operate scheduled flights and then cover that flying with FQS crewmembers doing MEF.

“We are a Union – Not a Social Club!”

With regard to the situation that occurred in ANC a couple weeks ago, we had SDF reserve crewmembers who were on scheduled layovers in ANC with scheduled return DH several days later and therefore, not required to be available or on call as the contract does not allow reserves from one domicile to sit reserve in another domicile. When crewmembers elected to not answer their telephone, one Company ACP allegedly decided to act on behalf of the Company and take matters into his own hands and went to the Marriott crew hotel. He then got a bellman and a hotel maintenance man and went to the rooms and knocked on the doors – doors which had DO NOT DSTURB signs on them and that were locked and safety latched. In one case the ACP had the hotel maintenance man open the door and use a tool to open the security latch from the outside. In the same case the crewmember was actually in the shower and the ACP knocked on the bathroom door. Once they identified each other through the bathroom door the crewmember put on a towel and opened the door. He was subsequently handed a printout with his photo on it and a trip notification and the ACP vocally challenged him twice to acknowledge positive notification of his reserve assignment for a flight the following day.

Without getting into additional detail of the incident I can tell you that the Company has been put on notice that they can expect charges to be filed against UPS and the ACP in the very near future. IPA has contracted with an outside attorney and we are vigorously looking into all possible avenues to ensure the Company understands we will not tolerate these blatant intrusions and violations of our privacy and our contract when we are on layover and not required to be available.

We take these actions on your behalf because “We are a Union – Not a Social Club!”

I am asking for your united support for the decisions of the IPA Executive Board and Legal Staff in these matters as we go forward and for everyone to get out and vote and show your overwhelming support for the resolutions on the upcoming vote. The voting deadline is May 12.

We ask for you unprecedented support for one simple reason –-

“We are a Union – Not a Social Club!!”

I will have future updates for you as more information becomes available.

Have a GREAT day!!


Bob Thrush
Independent Pilots Association
He followed the contract to the letter. DH pilots at UPS are under no obligation to answer the phone on a 4 day layover. Lucky he's not a FFDO.
If that had been the ground (trucker) side of the house, that manager would have gotten his a$$ kicked.
He followed the contract to the letter. DH pilots at UPS are under no obligation to answer the phone on a 4 day layover. Lucky he's not a FFDO.

Who cares what letter he followed. How about answer the phone and be a team player supporting the company who pays your bills.
Who cares what letter he followed. How about answer the phone and be a team player supporting the company who pays your bills.

You've lost the edge Dude. You are just mailing it in now. I don't even know you anymore. Back to basics please. You owe it to yourself and to us.

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