Union mindset

FlyDeltasJets

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RJ,

Actually, I do get a vote. Two, as a matter of fact. The sytem board is made up of two DALPA reps (my votes), two company guys, and an arbitrator.
 

DaveGriffin

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Delta furlough grievance

FlyDeltasJets said:

Every example given are instances when the company is prevented from flying airplanes. That is clearly not the case. If it were, then ASA would not have grown by 32% YOY. You cannot claim forced majure for only certain types of airplanes.
FDJ;
This is exactly the distortion of fact that illustrates the lack of principle by which ALPA operates. Overall passenger miles are down. I think what angers you mainline guys more than anything is the fact that the natural reaction of passengers to cut back flying drives more business to the smaller airplanes. ASA is growing because it is more economical to utilize smaller planes to fly reduced loads of passengers. Passenger miles are down because the passengers have the same concern for their safety that pilots do.

The only decision passengers can make if they are concerned that Capt. Mohamed Atta will be in command of their next transcontinental 767 is NOT to fly. Pilots have the ability, through ALPA, to demand reinforced cockpit doors, sidearms and other measures. Just like the passengers reaction is a 180 degree opinion change from prior to 9/11, so is the pilot reaction. Both passengers and pilots seek to protect themselves from a deadly and unpredictable threat.

If this doesn’t qualify as force majeure then nothing ever will. Here is a quote I posted earlier and post again because it sums up ALPA’s true position very well.

"Capt. Stephen Luckey, longtime chief security official for the pilots group, acknowledged that the union's position is a 180-degree reversal. "That was on Monday," Luckey said of ALPA's earlier opposition. "We're at war now. We weren't at war on Monday."

Why are pilots allowed to seek actions that increase the chances of their survival but passengers are not? It is the threat of al Qaeda attack, and an interest in self-preservation, that is driving down passenger miles from the pre 9/11 levels, not economic reasons.
 

RJFlyer

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FDJ:
Actually, I do get a vote. Two, as a matter of fact. The sytem board is made up of two DALPA reps (my votes), two company guys, and an arbitrator.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the DALPA reps are there to present their case to the arbitrator. The company reps are there to present THEIR case to the arbitrator. That doesn't sound like a democratic voting process to me. But let's assume I'm wrong, and it is. Ok, so 'you' vote for the grievance, the company reps vote against it, and who decides? The arbitrator will make the final ruling. It's up to the arbitrator, no matter how you slice it. By the way, I don't 'hope' you lose. I merely believe that you will.

Nothing we say here will change anything, but that doesn't give you the right to be rude and insulting when someone posts an opinion that differs from yours.
 

FlyDeltasJets

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RJ,

Yes, you are wrong. Each of the 5 man board gets a vote. Granted, the arbitrator's is the only vote in doubt.

Secondly, I don't think that I have been rude and insulting to anyone. I'm not sure where that came from. I was a little short with Dave, and apologized for that.
 

73GDog

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RJFlyer,
I agree with most of your points. In your previous post, you were not being very specific. You essentially said there is a direct correlation between unionization and profitability which is not the case with Southwest. Why do you think Southwest and its' unions have a better relationship than most? I believe the difference lies within management. I would be willing to wager that if Southwest furloughed, their CEO would hold road shows in the pilot lounges and explain to the pilots why they are furloughing and answer any questions thrown at him. Leo has not made any effort to talk to the pilots and I believe his lack of interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with employees has a direct affect on the management/employee relationship. Delta management seems more comfortable suing its' pilots and violating the contract they signed rather than trying to form a healthy working relationship.
 

peepsmover

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First, I think it is fair to say that ALPA is not perfect, and just like any institution it has problems, but it also has a lot more pluses than minuses. The simple economic fact of the matter is that it will always be a balancing act, nobody honestly wants to "kill the golden goose." This has been reflected in numerous pilot groups taking concessionary wages, or going without raises for 5 years, so the pendelum has not always swung in a take mode for pilots. Certainly it is a challenge to obtain public support for a labor group that averages over $100K, but that has always been the case, and even despite the public's view, or Congress, the economic reality has always prevailed: no fly no money for both parties that invariably an agreement is reached. But before anyone gets to that drastic level, the Railroad Labor Act, ensures that the process is a long drawn out one, that really favors management in terms of not requiring an incentive to negotiate in a timely fashion. Still, the key element to remember is that ALPA does more than simply manage strikes, it has a slew of important committees that work to enhance airline safety both from the cockpit to airline system issues. In fact, you could compare work rules and wages with major international carriers like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, and you can see why their pilots are envious of their ALPA buddies. Also SWA is unionized, but just like any labor group they are looking at reaping more financial benefits. My hats off to those guys who fly 6 hops in one day and then roll into a 10 hour layover to get up the next day and do it again, been there done that and it is tough. Finally, even more important you need to ask yourself why is there a need for pilots to be unionized? Granted a bad union can even be worse than working without a union contract, but overall, the simple result is that an organized work force has more strength to negotiate. Why is that so wrong? How do you think America's labor force got a 40 hour work week and child labor laws? The benevolence of corporate america is writ large in the Enrons, Sunbeams, Lorenzo style CEOs. etc that there should not be much pause from anyone. The simple reality is that a corporation has to serve the bottom line, yet in the process it doesn't neccessitate the total sacrifce of the individual worker there has to be some give and take. Honestly, corporate officers have it much better than all of us, with their stock options that are treated differently than an employees, better retirement plans, and of course that wonderful concept the golden parachute. My corporation is not all evil they provide me with my job, but I also provide them with my service: we both need each other, therefore I recommend a healthy vigilance of both corporate actions and union actions.

"We must hang together or we certainly shall hang together" Ben Franklin
 

enigma

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Re: Need for Unions

kilomike said:
I have read with interest everyone's remarks about the union issue. I believe that we need to have strong unions to prevent workers from being cheated out of a decent livelihood.

How the (unprintable) can someone live on $7.50/hour and support a family??
Kilomike
Kilomike,
I don't know how someone can live on $7.50 an hour, but everytime one of those $7.50 an hour flying jobs opens up, there is a line of applicants a half mile long trying to get that $7.50 an hour. Now just who do you think is responsible for pilots getting paid $7.50 an hour? Heck as little as two years ago, pilots were willing to pay the airline for the privilege of working. Sorry to burst your bubble, but wages are set by what people are willing to work for. When pilots stop taking jobs that pay welfare wages, then pilots will stop getting paid welfare wages. It's pretty simple.
regards
 

kilomike

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Enigma,

Yes, you made a good point. If people refused to work for starvation wages, pay would go up. Unfortunately, there are too many people willing to do so.

Regards,
kilomike
 

RJFlyer

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73GDog:
Why do you think Southwest and its' unions have a better relationship than most? I believe the difference lies within management.
Yes, and with the employees as well. A good working relationship (or lack thereof) is a 2-way street. If both sides approach issues from a cooperative standpoint, instead of an adversarial standpoint, lots more gets accomplished and everyone comes away feeling like a winner. Unfortunately, that is the exception rather than the rule in the airline industry.
Delta management seems more comfortable suing its' pilots and violating the contract they signed rather than trying to form a healthy working relationship.
Who is suing, and for what? Whether they are violating the contract is obviously up for debate. And again, forming that healthy working relationship is a 2-way street. I haven't seen the Delta pilots holding out any olive branches.

FDJ:
Ok, so maybe I'm wrong about the vote thing, I'm sure it won't be the last time I'm wrong about something. But I'll repeat myself, in case you missed it: "let's assume I'm wrong. . . the arbitrator will make the final ruling. It's up to the arbitrator, no matter how you slice it." That hasn't changed, even according to you.
Luckily Dave, our furlough grievance is none of your **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** business, so I don't have to waste my time explaining our position yet again. We understand that you don't support our furlough grievance. We don't care.
Perhaps I didn't make myself clear in my earlier post. I'll try again. You don't get a vote. I don't care what you think of our case. Rant away.
Though it was directed at DaveGriffin, since he is in a similar position to many of us on this board, your comments would apply to us as well. I found your sudden lack of tact and tolerance rather surprising, and yes, rude and insulting. I am sorry if that offended you, just calling it like I saw it.
 

73GDog

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RJFlyer,
Delta sued its' pilots last year for failing to fly overtime. I have seen the pilots extend several olive branches since 9-11. SILs', and agreeing to delay crew rest seats for the 777 are but a couple. This aside, it is the CEO's responsibility to extend the olive branch. He is the leader of the company and the burden lies with him.
 

FlyDeltasJets

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RJ,

The sentiments were true, the tone was impolite. I suggest you read my subsequent post for an explanation. I have already addressed my error, coincidentally in a post addressed to you.

If people don't read my responses to them, it is little wonder how rarely anyone reaches an agreement.

Perhaps I am wasting my time.
 

DaveGriffin

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FlyDeltasJets said:
Luckily Dave, our furlough grievance is none of your **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** business, so I don't have to waste my time explaining our position yet again.
We understand that you don't support our furlough grievance. We don't care.
FlyDeltasJets said:
Dave,
Perhaps I didn't make myself clear in my earlier post. I'll try again.
You don't get a vote. I don't care what you think of our case.
Rant away.
FDJ;

I believe I do get a “vote”. If I understand the process correctly the grievance falls under the ultimate authority of the RLA federal law enacted in 1924.

From the nmb.gov website:
“Pursuant to the Railway Labor Act, NMB programs provide an integrated dispute resolution process to effectively meet the statutory objective of minimizing work stoppages in the airline and railroad industries. The NMB's integrated processes specifically are designed to promote three statutory goals:

· The prompt and orderly resolution of disputes arising out of the negotiation of new or revised collective bargaining agreements;
· The effectuation of employee rights of self-organization where a representation dispute exists; and
· The prompt and orderly resolution of disputes over the interpretation or application of existing agreements.”

So there are three parties being represented by the arbitrator in the grievance; ALPA, Delta and the public interest. Since the RLA was established to protect the public interest I do have a clear stake in the outcome, contrary to your repeated claim.

After learning the nature of your grievance and observing the attitude and mercenary approach displayed by your union, I believe it is in my best interest to actively support and advocate the “last best offer” legislation introduced by Sen. McCain to revise the antiquated laws currently governing the collective bargaining process.

Perhaps the President’s popularity arising from his leadership in response to the attacks of 9/11 will provide a political climate where this legislation will soon be enacted into law.

I also expect public awareness in support of that legislation will increase if they are informed of your union’s shameful position in the Delta furlough grievance.
 

surplus1

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FlyDeltaJets

Whew! I've been trying real hard to stay out of this one, but I just can't resist in view of your "right to vote" claim because, it doesn't actually challenge the actual vote casting. You are challenging the "right to express opinion" on this issue, not the right to vote. I take exception to that.

On your grievance I have no right to caste an actual vote. Nevertheless, if the arbitrator finds on your behalf, there is no doubt whatever that I and many of my peers will be directly and negatively affected. While I may not have the ability to caste a vote in the arbitration, I certainly have a right to argue its merits or lack thereof.

When your negotiators sat down at the bargaining table, they negotiated with your Company, provisions in your contract, that directly affect the future of my job. My rights and my future were bargained away by you, without my consent and over my objections. I was denied the "right to vote" on that as well. Both by your group and OUR union. The outcome still affects me.

When the RJDC group objected to that negotiating procedure (as you object now to the Company's claim of force majeure), they were told by the union and subsequently by your group, that they had no "right to vote".

Like you, they filed grievances. Subsequently and unlike you, they were denied the right to have those grievances heard, by the very union that they pay to represent their interests.

They next filed a lawsuit and subsequently have been vilified and called a variety of names for having the unmitigated gall to defend their own interests in a court of law. The mere fact that they chose to stand in defense of their interests and seek legal determination of their rights, is the current cause celebre for banishing them forever from the Kingdom (of injustice).

I must ask you this. If the process of grievance and arbitration was summarily denied to you in this contractual dispute, would you sue the Company to obtain a legal interpretation and decision? If your answer is yes, would you demand in that lawsuit that the Company make affected pilots whole? Would you ask for punitive damages to deter the Company from repeating similar acts in the future?

I think I know what your real answers are, but I'll wait to see if you put them in writing.

In my opinion, the ONLY reason you filed a grievance (and not a lawsuit) is because the law requires you to do so. The law further requires arbitration. If it did not, you'd have been in court in a heartbeat.

Well, we were denied the right to participate in deliberations that directly affected our careers in both the short term and the long term. We were denied a formal request for access to the internal procedure that could have resolved our complaints. We filed grievances and were denied the right to have them heard. Subsequently, we filed a lawsuit for which we are being dispised (by the people that harmed us and their friends).

All of what has happened to "us", is a direct result of actions taken unilateraly by "you", without our vote. It appears to me that your group (as represented now by you) seems to have a penchant for denying others the "right to vote" when their vote may be different from your own.

You may be able to find ways that deny me the right to vote, but there is NO way that you can deny me the right to speak, unless of course you would deny our Nation's Constitution, in the same manner that your group and OUR union leaders, denied the Union's Constitution.

I won't voice an opinion on the outcome of your arbitration, but I do hope that the hearing you get and the final judgement you receive, will provide more legitimacy than your group has so far been willing to afford to others who differ with your views.

Too bad the RLA will not allow you to sue if you don't like the arbitration result. I have a great academic interest in learning if you would, if you could.

"What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive".
 
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DaveGriffin

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DALPA furlough grievance

FlyDeltasJets said:
Dave, You are entitled to your opinion.
Thanks FDJ. You’re too kind.

FlyDeltasJets said:
We do not deny the devastating events of 9/11. We do not deny the effects it has had on our industry. However, we do argue that these events satisfy the requirement necessary to violate our contract. Every example given are instances when the company is prevented from flying airplanes. That is clearly not the case. If it were, then ASA would not have grown by 32% YOY. You cannot claim forced majure for only certain types of airplanes.
FDJ;

Force Majeure is absolutely a factor for the large airplanes only.

Do you know why ASA has grown while mainline has declined since the attacks of 9/11? It is because many of the passengers have “grounded” the big airplane fleet by electing not to fly. Why? Because they don’t want to play Russian roulette, gambling that they might end up riding a 757 or 767, commanded by Capt. Mohamed Atta, with the next stop the reactor core at Three Mile Island. All this in addition to knowing that a pair of F-15’s is ready to blow them out of the air if the airplane flies off course or loses communications.

Al Qaeda didn’t hijack a turboprop or an RJ, they hijacked 4 BIG airplanes. Passengers feel safer flying a puddle jumper with 70 seats or less, because the odds are that the smaller airplane is not a terrorist target. That’s why the passenger traffic has been migrating to small airplanes. The passengers, just like the pilots, are making decisions they believe will increase their flying safety.

I know you can’t stand it, but thems the facts. You should direct your anger at the Delta pilots with seniority above 1,700 who were unwilling to offer temporary wage reductions to help the junior pilots, as was done at Southwest. What great buddies you have.
 
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FlyDeltasJets

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Dave,

#1. The average passenger has no idea what kind of airplane they are flying. To imply that rjs traffic is growing because of 9/11 is laughable. First of all, rj traffic was growing long before 9/11. Second of all, rj traffic is growing because the amount of rjs flying is growing. Thirdly, rj traffic is growing because many mainline routes have been transferred to rjs. I reiterate" It is NOT growing because people don't like big airplanes. That is ridiculous.

#2. Why don't you tell me how much of a paycut the SWA guys took. Sometimes, when I don't know something, I don't post it as fact.

#3. The fact is, pay concessions are not out of the question. We have given before, and if need be, will give again. But we will not give to save jobs that are already contractually protected.

#4. In this instance, it is not the arbitrator's job to consider public interest. He has a very simple job description: study our contract and interpret the language. Period.

I don't expect us to agree. That is fine. I am certain you will respond with anger at ALPA for our actions. That is your right, and I don't intend to attempt to change your mind. But you might want to consider that as angry as you are at us for what you perceive is our indifference to 9/11, we are equally angry at Delta for using the tragic events as an excuse to do things they wanted to do for months prior to the attacks.

Surplus,

Our furlough grievance has absolutely no bearing on any pilots but our's.

I will agree, however, that the block hour grievance has more broad implications. Perhaps the decision in the furlough grievance will affect the block hour grievance, but not necessarily. It will be heard by a different arbitrator, and ideally, he should not consider anything but the contract. Realistically? Who knows? But I promise you I will be more than happy to debate the merits of the block hour grievance when it is heard.

Regarding the rest of your post, I think it is obvious that you and I disagree on the legality of our scope clause. It will have to be a matter for the courts to decide. Which is what is going to happen if the rjdc gets to court. I am praying they lose. I think they will.

I do, however, support your right to sue. If I thought I was being wronged, I would do the same thing. I believe that I would be more judicious in the amount for which I would ask, especially if my career had not yet been negatively affected. I would also never sue to abrogate another union member's contract.

What would I do? I would sue to force a judge to examine the bylaws of my union, and if they were not followed, I would seek to force them to comply with the rules. If they were followed, I would blame myself for joining a union with unfair bylaws. Also, if I were convinced that I would not be able to change the union's practices, I would consider starting or joining another that would more accurately reflect my beliefs.
 

surplus1

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FlyDeltaJets

Also, if I were convinced that I would not be able to change the union's practices, I would consider starting or joining another that would more accurately reflect my beliefs.
I really have no idea what the pilots will do if the lawsuit is unsucessful. [Based on comments on this board, there seem to be some differences between CMR and ASA pilots.] But, if I had to guess, I'd put my money on your having that union to yourself.

If Comair should decide to leave ALPA, I think that before too longer you'd see a steamroller reaction and the union will be left to UAL, DAL, NWA, CAL, and FDX with ALA hanging on.

I would not like to see that happen because I think that what would ultimately follow would become a bidding war for the flying. One that you guys can't win, but also one that would really hurt the profession as a whole.

The Scope that you all have would not hold the flying. Not because you should not have Scope, but because it is negotiable every time your contract becomes amendable and the price you'd have to pay to keep it would be prohibitive. You'd lose the narrowbody flying.

Scary. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that's an underlying factor in why the RJDC is suing instead of advocating secession.

Be careful what you ask for, you may get it.
 
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skydiverdriver

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I have heard that some business people actually do like flying in RJ's better. One reason, beyond the increased frequency of service, is the fact that they can get out of it faster. Most larger aircraft take a bit longer to empty out the passengers, and some people like this.

Anyway, I can't believe someone could still say that they can read these discussions and not come away with more information than they started with. If they do believe that, then there minds were allready closed before they got here. I suggest that they read a bit of history, and I hope they won't be running the country someday.
 

DaveGriffin

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Delta furlough grievance

Originally posted by FlyDeltasJets
The average passenger has no idea what kind of airplane they are flying.
You obviously hold your passengers’ intelligence in very low regard. C’mon FDJ, don’t be so condescending to the paying customers. Maybe they don’t know the specific aircraft model but they know the difference between a big airplane and a little airplane, and they certainly know the difference between a coast-to-coast flight and a short haul regional flight.

Originally posted by FlyDeltasJets
To imply that rjs traffic is growing because of 9/11 is laughable. First of all, rj traffic was growing long before 9/11. Second of all, rj traffic is growing because the amount of rjs flying is growing. Thirdly, rj traffic is growing because many mainline routes have been transferred to rjs. I reiterate" It is NOT growing because people don't like big airplanes. That is ridiculous.
Here are the facts:

4 big airplanes (2 757’s and 2 767’s) on coast-to-coast flights were used as kamikaze-guided cruise missiles.

It wasn’t an EMB 120 and an CRJ flying from Norfolk to Newark that totally destroyed the WTC twin towers.

Big airplanes were selected for the attack because: 1. They carry a lot of fuel, 2. They have a lot of mass, 3. There is more room for the 3-4 man team of suicide hijackers to maneuver outside the cockpit during the seizure of the aircraft, 4. They carry a larger passenger load which increases casualties and the emotional impact of the atrocity.

The flying public understands this all very well because they saw and heard it repeatedly on the news reports for weeks.

I didn’t say people don’t like big airplanes. I said that after 9/11 they are AFRAID to fly big airplanes. They are afraid because they believe that a big airplane is a more likely terrorist target. They definitely know the difference between big and small airplane as well as the difference between transcontinental 4 hour flights and short haul regional 60-90 minute flights. With al Qaeda’s highly publicized goal of attacking targets on American soil, if one must fly, shorter flights and smaller airplanes are viewed as safer.

Granted, these are big changes in the way people think. But it is no more radical than ALPA’s abrupt policy changes after 9/11 demanding that armed pilots now be authorized to shoot hijackers while the airplane is in the air, or that reinforced cockpit doors, previously considered a hazard to the safe escape of the cockpit crew, now be mandatory equipment.

And then we have the most radical change of all to follow 9/11: F-15’s on 24/7 standby with “shoot down rules” to intercept and destroy errant passenger aircraft deemed to be under the control of hijackers.

In essence frightened and concerned passengers have grounded a portion of the big plane fleet because they believe it is too dangerous to fly big planes.
 
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FlyDeltasJets

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Well Dave,
That's your opinion. Mine is that you couldn't be more wrong. We'll just have to disagree.


By the way, how much of a paycut did the SWA guys take? After all, you were criticizing us for not caring about our union brothers the way they do. I think you are right, and I would like to follow their lead. But I need to know how much of a cut to take. What was their's again?
 
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