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Old 07-20-2005, 03:52 PM   #2  
Diesel 10
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Joined APC: Jun 2005
Position: 757 captain
Posts: 151
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Is there hope for ALPA at $60 per barrel?

. North America is the only region of world that is not currently
profitable.
. With fuel at $60/barrel long term, though, the future is uncertain unless
carriers price their product to survive.
. Europe carriers are nearly always close to 100% hedged to avoid the
problem U.S. carriers are currently facing, with the exception of SWA.
Sounds like a management problem AGAIN!


Question & Answer Session:

Q: How are recruiting efforts at JetBlue and other discount carriers?

. Organizing is fundamental to labor movement. Recently a major drive at
AMR, but only support from some pilots, not their union leadership, which
has changed hands numerous times in the last few years. Now working on SWA
and Airtran. JetBlue and Skywest have been frustrating. Trying to get a core
group of guys on the inside. JetBlue pilots aren't interested until their
JBLU stock vests (5 years per pilot).

Q: Are there still any Age 60 activities ongoing?

. ALPA board policy is to maintain current rule. Senate knows result of our
survey. Most old people want to change it, young people don't. ALPA
testimony will be to report the results of the survey. FAA will continue to
say don't change Age 60 rule. This current time around, we will get to see
what both the House and Senate really thinks about Age 60. Last time in '03
vote in Senate was 55 in favor of no change. This was the first time that
major airline managements weighed in.

Q: The FAA requires age 60, but PBGC doesn't recognize that as normal
retirement age for pilots, as it assumes age 65 for the maximum payout. Do
you have any feedback on legislation to get Age 60/65 recognition from the
PBGC?

. ALPA has been working on this for 2 years. Legislation introduced by Akaka
(HI), which ALPA wrote. ALPA doesn't have support within key committees in
Congress. Some there see conflict with the Age 60 rule, too. Should they
approve us to work longer so we can get credit, or should we just get the
credit based on Age 60 mandate? Congressmen and Senators are conflicted over
2 issues. The water is still muddy on this issue, but it is hopefully
gaining support. Not enough support, though, yet.

Q: North America is not a profitable place to operate an airline. Is ALPA
working with ATA or the current administration to adjust the playing field
to make it level for all carriers? (i.e. some upstarts/new entrants get free
gates, local government subsidies, etc.)

. ATA has a minority rule. Without 95% supermajority, nothing passes.
JetBlue and SWA can and do, therefore, effectively neuter the organization
on these issues. SWA only serves 60 out of the 429 commercial airports in
USA. The rest of the companies hold the industry structure together. In
consumer America, it appears to be all about low prices, free markets and
deregulation. Until costs get passed down, and small communities have to pay
"real costs" for their air service, nothing will change.

Q: There were supposedly 19,000 survey participants, but only 6,000 were
supposedly counted for statistical reasons.is this true?

. There was some statistical normalizing, but I am not an expert on the
subject. Perhaps Pete Janhunen, ALPA Communications might know more about
the statistics involved.

. Pete Janhunen: Phone interview numbers were presented in full, then
compared with the full 19,000 survey responses, then the numbers were pared
down for statistical analysis and accuracy. All sets of data were reflective
of the same results.

. Neil Swindells: Point differential changed 3% with normalized results,
with Age 60 vote difference going from 14% to 17% in favor of maintaining
Age 60.

. Captain Woerth: There was no effort to gain pre-conceived results to
maintain the status quo, otherwise there would have been no point to doing
any survey at all.

Q: Has a letter of agreement been made between ALPA and Canadian pilots to
allow pilots to fly to age 65? If so, are we allowing unsafe pilots to fly
here?

. There has not been an Age 60 rule in Canada in a long time. Canadian
licensing standards are different and allow pilots to fly to Age 65.

Q: Isn't ALPA National out of step internationally because 90%+ of ICAO
carriers are Age 65?

. No, but if you put it that way, the membership is out of step. They want
to keep age 60. ICAO is actually supposed to be age 60. Most airlines have
exemptions. ICAO is a voluntary, not regulatory organization.

Q: There is concern about the Age 60 process due to the Local Council
resolutions and the survey results. There is also concern about how ALPA
business is done globally within the Association. What is ALPA's intent for
doing business in the future? Is it going to be strictly polling?

. This question goes to the heart of big participation issues across all
unions. We need more people at meetings, but we are not going to govern by
polling. Polling is a good way to get a "good faith effort" feeling of the
whole body. Landum-Grifffin Act governs how our union does business on
issues regardless of the polling done or the Local resolutions. Union
representatives can not be mandated on how to vote at their MEC. It doesn't
matter if whole council shows up and passes resolutions. Officers use their
best judgment with all available information. Right now is worst of times.
No matter what a pilot's background, no possibility in world that we could
have predicted our current plight. Representatives have to take input from
every source and measure the needs of their particular constituency.

Q: Some pilots have been ALPA members for over 30 years and are throwing
their ALPA pins in the garbage because of the results of the Age 60 survey.
While that poll is used for justification for present position, its results
show that as they age, almost 100% of our membership will eventually want to
work past age 60. Some older pilots voted to give up our pensions to save
UAL. Now we are asking young pilots to give up short term promotions to save
senior pilots' pensions. We should only listen to what older pilots want and
not what younger pilots say. When they get older, they will want what we
want. We have put in more years and more dues paid. We have a window of
opportunity with a favorable Congress to get a higher retirement age. Do you
understand how serious it is to pass up this brief window of opportunity for
selfish reasons?

. We must focus on 2 things. 1) ALPA is a democracy. 2) You should expect
your leaders to follow direction.

. In '03 UAL pilots were the staunchest opponents to raising Age 60. Now
that their pensions are gone, things have changed for many of them. However,
until the democratic process tells us that we want it changed, this is the
position of the body.

Q: As a representative of both legacy carriers and regional carriers, what
message do you convey to them that is different than what we hear?

. It is the exact same message: Scope. They should not be against scope, as
they need it themselves. Mesaba is a prime example. They had a 48 hour
lock-out where the issue was scope over Big Sky. All pilots need the same
thing no matter what aircraft they fly: You need to protect the career.
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