RJDC and my life

spongebob

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I do not spend too much time recently on this message board, primarily because 75 percent of all posts are the same 3 or 4 old dogs rehashing why RJs are great and the RJDC is going to win. Then those posts degenerate into a your Momas ugly and my Dad can whup your Dad.

I have read some of the previous posts by Surplus and his buddies on the significance of the RJDC and its suit and I have to agree that ALPA is too small a place for both pilot groups. The union does NOT represent its regional pilots well in issues that relate to scope.

But please, if you are a regional pilot and you love the job and never wish to join a "mainline" carrier, then please create a new union that will represent you against management and ALPA. The concept that ALPA can give all its members the best representation at all time is flawed. It is NOT TRUE.

Even though I am still paying for my MBA years later, I can tell you that from a management and marketing point of view, RJs can mean profits, but so can large jets, widebodies, small turbo-props and even supersonic transports. The right mix is an ever changing solution that is optimized by factors that are controlled by management. With that said, the goals of management and labor are slightly different. As management, the ultimate goal is value and income to the shareholder and although that leads to good things for labor, our goal is pay, benefits and work-rules. Mngmt loves RJ pilots because they pay you peanuts, costs go down and profits go up.

As a mainline pilot, I want my company to make money, but not at my expense. I want them to be solvent enough to pay me well, pay my retirement and give me security. That means I want them to buy more big planes, fly longer routes and GROW. RJs do little more that provide feed. If a 767 can fly a thin route and lose money, I am happy as long as a 777 flys to Europe and makes a hefty margin. Helping the company by moving that 767 route to a smaller plane (as in an RJ), does not help me even if it can put another million in the CEOs pocket.

The RJDC wants things that are detrimental to my career. I hope regional pilots bow out of ALPA and start (or join) a union that best represents them, even on issues that are detrimental to mainline labor. It is the least you can ask from your union.

But let us not mince words, your desires and actions are detrimental to my career goals. You are taking the profession in a low-paid, high work direction, and that is dangerous to me. I hope you do not drag the companies who own you back to the days when your pay-for-training regionals were a norm (think early 90s!) by working for peanuts on 18 hour rigs.

The best thing mngmt can do for me and my fellow pilots at mainline is to jettison the regionals. It should be your dream, that way we can no longer hamper your careers.

I do not believe the egalitarian BS you have spread about there being "enough fish in the ocean for all of us". I do not take it brotherly when more and more of my flying is going to operators of smaller planes at regional carriers.

Well this is the end to my venting. I will leave you, hopefully to a job. I just wish somebody would pay me well to fly gliders and I would not even bother with this MB.
 

~~~^~~~

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I disagree - you are better off with the "Regionals" in "your" union. Allow me to explain why.

ALPA national retains full authority to approve contracts negotiated by your regional partners. No regional can, under the Constitution and Bylaws, negotiate apart from ALPA national's authority as the exclusive bargaining agent.

In effect, ALPA national's power gives you control over your regional partners. Six airlines clearly run ALPA, while the 47 domestic member airlines are powerless to put together even a defense to a roll call vote when the majors get together at either the Board of Directors, or Executive Counsel level.

When (IF) the regionals form their own unions they will gain the right to bargain collectively with management apart from the restraints of ALPA national. At that point your union loses control of the agenda.

Of course, the better way for you to control the situation is one list. Under one list (for each brand of flying) scope could be made to work. Delta pilots would fly Delta brand passengers period - simple and enforceable.

Rather than blame the regional pilots for trying to achieve representation, why don't you ask your MEC members why they sold you on scope that does not work? Why don't you make demands of those who took your money and negotiated your contract?

It is funny that you mentioned the 767. Did not the 767 replace 747's across the Atlantic? Don't 767's allow your airline to fly to destinations that were not previously served with direct international flights? The same 747 / 767 analogy can be applied to 737-200's and RJ's. The RJ is part of your airlines domestic fleet system. The best policy for you and your union is inclusion - that gives your pilot group all the airplanes, all the dues and all the control over your domestic flying.

Think about it....
 
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Timebuilder

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I think he's onto something.

Ever hear that old Roman expression? Keep your friends close to you, and your enemies? Closer.
 

FlyComAirJets

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spongeblob,

First of all, if anyone should be leaving the union, it should be you. It is the thinking of elitist snobs such as yourself that is the antithesis of what unionism is all about. Your attitude comes across as: what is good for ME is good for the profession and if it means the annihilation of a few lower paying pilots' jobs, so be it 'cause its all about ME!

Secondly, if you knew anything about ALPA history, you would know that they have already tried something like a seperate union for regionals. It was called the Union of Professional Airmen. Go ahead, look it up in Flying the Line Part Deux, its there. Didn't work then, wouldn't work now. But hey, the same lessons from alter ego to the notorious B-scale are also being revisted. Its deja vu all over again.

Jettisoning the regionals would be your worst nightmare.
 
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CFIPilot

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Ya know what, SpongeBob, you're right, the shorter routes, the "Regionals" as everyone likes to call them, they ARE creating a revolution in air travel. Kind of like the kind that big business and unions have a hard time recognizing. I just hope enough pilots out there have the knowledge and wherewithall to do exactly what you say...form their own union.

I'm not one of the typical respondents to this board. I'm educated enough to know that what you propose in exactly what is going to happen!. You like to sit back and think that what you have done up unitl know makes you immune to what other pilots are facing...well, I'm sure that the time you waste posting messages on this board are well served to you, the rest of us low timers look at the current situation very closely. Ya know, I wonder what your opinion would be if this same conversation were to take place 10 years ago. (And to be honest, what am I going to be saying to some punk 10 years from now when he's saying the same thing to me!!! At least I'm smart enough to see it coming...)

Bottom line is, I'm sick and tired of hearing senior pilots, whatever their level, defend the fact that they deserve where they are, and to hell with anyone who challenges their position. I'm a career changer, and where I come from, the old saying goes..."What have you done for me lately?"

To all the pilots out there, take heed...Most people that understand business already know...THINGS ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE!!!

You all can argue about it all you want, but the almighty dollar rules, and if you think your precious seniority number, or your dues to ALPA matter...check again. Maybe today, but the times are a'changin.

Just my two cents...
 

skydiverdriver

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Ha Ha, the joke's on you! Leave the union, that's a good one. Then we will have as much power as Eagle does over American. What do you think we are, a bunch of idiots? Apparently you do. I would suggest you try a more intellegent strategy than this one, as it has been tried before. We are going to defend our rights and continue the lawsuit, and not listen to stupid suggestions like leaving our union. I'm sorry that you joined a union that has bylaws that protect ALL of it's members, but that was your choice, not mine. Perhaps next you'lle suggest we leave the USA because the laws here protect the minority against the majority.

Thanks again for the good laugh, and keep the suggestions coming!! Oh, one other thing, I feel that the rjdc lawsuit is going to save the industry, and help your career. If I didn't believe that, I would not be helping them. So, someday when they win and the industry gets better, I'll be expecting an apology. Good day sir.
 

spongebob

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Thanks for the comments...

I would like to thank most of you for your comments. It is nice to see that after I take some time to write out a message for this forum, some of you spend some time to comment.

In response to some of the comments:

To Mr. Wiggly wings, I see your point on being more in control of the RJ agenda by keeping them in the union. Actually what I had in mind was spin them out of the company not the union. A split from the union would be an answer for the RJDC lawsuit that correctly points out that ALPA is not serving them well. As to the 767 vs. 747... these are both planes that give pilots enough pay, job enjoyment and decent work rules to live. Three RJs flying CVG-PHX in lieu of a 757 takes us in the wrong direction on these issues.

To FlyComairJets, don't get pissed at me, I just disagree with you, that’s all. I am anything but elitist (that is also what a flight attendant told me because I did not agree with her that FAs should be paid as much as pilots!). When I joined the union I hoped it would represent me as well as fellow pilots at my company. I think it is a bit odd even to have other airlines represented. My thought is if this union is SO bad to RJ operators, you need your own union. ALPA should represent the desires of the majority. Scope is one of those desires! I hope you guys get an advocate that pushes your agenda equally.


To CFIpilot, being young and inexperienced is not a sin, nor is being poorly informed. What is bad is smoking Crack or whatever it is that made you write that abomination of a letter. Your free flow, stream of consciousness writings are hard to understand.
I do deserve what I have or where I am, I did work very hard to get here. I am where I am because of luck and lots of sweat (how more deserving can you be?). The reason I did not join an airline till age 35, is because I was out working hard, getting experience and the quals necessary. When you have walked in these shoes, come complain about me deserving or not. Finally, let me say that, if you want to flourish in aviation, it is often advisable to listen, read and sometimes let the old-heads talk!

And to Skydiverdriver, dude you don't make much of an argument, you have the "my Daddy can beat your Daddy" comments. Stay in the union or leave, same to me, but I think you are not likely to get the union to take your position by suing them. But hey, maybe I'm wrong.

And last, if an airline can make money by flying BBjs over the Atlantic (see this weeks Av Week), mainline mgmt can have better marketing solutions than what we are currently looking at. Remember, just cuz mgmt loves them, don't mean we have to roll over!
 

aero99

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I have followed some of this RJ debate for the last few months when nothing else interesting is on the board- sorry guys, its a boring debate, and I'm not flying for a living, so I am truely just ignorant in the whole issue.

I do wonder what the RJDC supports would think if these "air taxi" services kick off in the next 10 years-example the eclipse jets.

What if the roles were reversed and some air taxi pilots wanted what you want from the mainline guys? Would you feel the same way?

I know this is a long shot, and I don't believe that this will happen, just food for thought.
 

skydiverdriver

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Yes, absoulutely. If the taxi guys were purchased by Delta, and they wanted to merge with us, and get fair treatment from our common union, we would fight just as hard for their rights.
 

LearLove

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Maybe I'm wrong but...

Look it seems like everyone has a solution, comment, opinion on this. But what I keep seeing is that if there is one list per company merged DOH it would all go away. Then it would leave companies to compete with eachother instead of labor groups.
 

FlyComAirJets

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aero99,

How would the RJDC supporters feel about a merger with "air taxi" types? GREAT!

Actually, our contract has a specific section titled Acquisitions which states in part, "...if the company establishes or acquires an air carrier...It will also operationally merge the 'acquired carrier' and become a single carrier with a single pilot craft or class, a single collective bargaining agreement, and a single integrated pilot seniority list." Not that is what I'd call a merger!

A LOT of conditions would have to be met to make it happen, and as Publisher reports, the trend these days seems to be away from mergers and towards divesititure (under the present corporate structure). If we could, we would do it so fast, it would make your head spin.
 

RichardFitzwell

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Re: Maybe I'm wrong but...

Flyin@500agl said:
Look it seems like everyone has a solution, comment, opinion on this. But what I keep seeing is that if there is one list per company merged DOH it would all go away. Then it would leave companies to compete with eachother instead of labor groups.
I am all for 'the one list' concept but DOH kills it for me. In the past, the regionals have been a stepping stone to the majors. Personally, all I have ever wanted to do is fly big airplanes at a major airline. The regionals have suddenly been turned into a career for many and these pilots have been slapped in the face recently with this reality.

Many people that would never continue on with the dream of flying at the majors (for reasons like no degree, an accident, an incident, whatever) see this lawsuit as a way to earn the respect, success and income they feared they would never achieve in their career path. It's hard to argue with their reality.
 
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skydiverdriver

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Aero99,
How can you say that you are ignorant, when you read all of the good information presented here? You may be undecided, or feel that you are uninvolved, but how can you remain ignorant? Also, for those of you that think this has nothing to do with you, do you think that the restructuring of all of the airlines would change your life? It might matter to you even if you don't work in aviation.

Richard,
Who ever said DOH to you? Do you know that this was a rumor, started by ALPA, to make mainline pilots think that regional pilots were after their senority? No regional pilot, that I know of, has ever seriously asked for, or expected DOH in any form for any merger. So, does that bring it back to life for you?
 

skydiverdriver

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And, if Delta were someday purchased by a large airline that flew only space shuttles and global sst's, and refused to merge them, Delta pilots would be suing thier common union, just like we are. We are doing the right thing, and it will be better for everyone, even if some don't see it just yet.
 

Tim47SIP

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Rich wrote - "I am all for 'the one list' concept but DOH kills it for me. In the past, the regionals have been a stepping stone to the majors. Personally, all I have ever wanted to do is fly big airplanes at a major airline. The regionals have suddenly been turned into a career for many and these pilots have been slapped in the face recently with this reality.

Many people that would never continue on with the dream of flying at the majors (for reasons like no degree, an accident, an incident, whatever) see this lawsuit as a way to earn the respect, success and income they feared they would never achieve in their career path. It's hard to argue with their reality."

1. Dont think actual DOH is an issue. DOH with COM/ASA then staple to the bottom of Mainline.

2. Mainline would still have requirements like, a degree, 5000 hours in X or Y, no accidents, first class med, etc. Don't have the quals, you dont get to bid up. Pretty simple if you ask me.
 

RichardFitzwell

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skydiverdriver said:
Richard,
Who ever said DOH to you? Do you know that this was a rumor, started by ALPA, to make mainline pilots think that regional pilots were after their senority? No regional pilot, that I know of, has ever seriously asked for, or expected DOH in any form for any merger. So, does that bring it back to life for you?
Hey sarcastic,

I was responding to Flyin@500agl's post...

You need to mellow out!
 

aero99

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skydiver,

I am and will be ignorant because I have only read parts of arguments from this board and from the fact that I don't and won't fly for a living. No matter how much I read, I will be ignorant to seeing the way either side sees the issues.

In my opinion, more RJ's means more jobs over the long run. It is also a fact that not all commercial pilots will get a chance to make 300k plus and fly the wide bodies. This issue hasn't really changed since the RJ debate started. Not everyone gets to be a Major League pitcher either. Yet, many dream and work very hard to get there.

Airlines are going to do everything in their power to reduce cost and maximize profits. If that means RJ with 50, 70 or 90 seats flying what the mainline pilots fly then it is and will happen. No different in any other industry. Eat or be eaten. That being said, I can't see the rationaliztion that the RJ pilot should be paid what the 76 pilot makes. I can see how this could make that same RJ pilot very angry as if they are being taken advantage of. You are. That is business and that is how businesses survive in the airline industry, medical industry and law industry to name a few.

I saw on an earlier post that RJ Capt can top out at 100k per year. Don't know how accurate that is but seems rational. With more RJ's and fewer widebodies I don't see anyway around some aspiring RJ pilots having to be " stuck" at this level. We are in pretty bad shape if we find ourselves unhappy flying for a career and making 6 digits. 100k a year is a nice income. So is 300k a year, but everyone can't make the top pay.

I wish I had a solution. I understand how hard it might be for some to realize that their initial dreams might not become as fruitful as they original thought. At the same time, there will always be a side of me that wishes I could have flown for a living no matter what Union issues are at hand.

You guys have the best job in the world and even if you don't get to fly the aircraft you wanted to, you will still make a very nice income, while doing what you love to do.

The grass is always greener......especially for us stuck flying the desk.

Good luck to all of you and fly safe.
 

FlyDeltasJets

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skydiverdriver said:
Yes, absoulutely. If the taxi guys were purchased by Delta, and they wanted to merge with us, and get fair treatment from our common union, we would fight just as hard for their rights.
Actually SDD, while that sounds noble, it is incorrect. CMR's recently ratified contract includes language which forces mgt to combine the lists of only those carriers which operate airplanes with 19 or more seats. It appears that you have done the same thing that you are accusing us of. Seems a bit hypocritical. Those taxi guys would be in the same position you are, and there would be nothing you could do for them.

P.S.
My info regarding CMR's contract might be incorrect, as I do not have a copy. However, I believe that I remember seeing the 19-seat limit. Please correct me if I am wrong.
 

bobbysamd

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Flying RJs v. not flying at all

Good post by Aero 99. I've tried to follow this and similar debates. I come from the same perspective. I am living proof that not all commercial pilots get hired and are paid the $300K. I applied, unsuccessfully, to nearly every commuter to try to fly anything. Not only will management try to reduce costs and maximize profits, historically it keeps trying to reduce staffing.

I agree with Aero 99 100%. I was never in it for the money, though I expected to be compensated fairly and treated properly. I was in it because I loved to fly. To be paid (fairly) for it was just icing on the cake.

Hopefully, someone will solve this dilemma.
 
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