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Old 07-20-2005, 03:53 PM   #3  
Diesel 10
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Joined APC: Jun 2005
Position: 757 captain
Posts: 151
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Q: When you say that the seat mile cost is much higher for a 50 seat jet,
the only solution is low pay rates or no flying, isn't it?

. We are in a vendor relationship. Air Wisconsin is a good example. The
company said "We are going to lose our whole business as we are exclusively
a UAL feeder, so you have to give us pay cuts." The pilots said "We are not
taking pay cuts to subsidize the airline." A while back they took a pay cut
to pay for long term security with UAL. Now they are grieving pay cut due to
the current circumstances that management has let occur.

Q: Some pilots have worked for many other unions and they shake their head
at ALPA National. The PAC is a good thing, but our union has derailed. We
can read quotes from "Flying The Line II" about unity but with 41 carriers
all pulling in different directions, we are in shambles. What are we doing
to fix unity, because without it we are nothing?

. In my first week in office, I held a special meeting and started a pilot
unity campaign. So, we increased our organizing campaign, but that is not
enough. In the maritime and building trades, you are loyal to a job, not a
company, like in airlines. There is a tribal mentality in the airline pilot
business. There used to be camaraderie, but now we are all tribal. No other
humans on this planet care about us. AFL-CIO convention at the end of this
month and we are fighting amongst ourselves because of our lack of political

Q: Where do we stand with overall effectiveness within AFL-CIO?

. We pay them 8 cents per member per month. Not much political clout, but we
do what we can to use their clout whenever possible.

Q: If you lost of your wages and your pension, would you like to keep

. Yes.

Q: You say ALPA is a democracy, but don't you think that there are certain
issues that we need to take the lead on?

. We did take the lead by polling the group. I have differing opinions than
the board on many issues, but it is not appropriate for me to use my opinion
to go against the will of the body, which is YOU, the membership.

Q: There are rumors about JetBlue and an 8 hour rule exemption. Can you fill
us in on that and does ALPA oppose changing the rule?

. Yes and Yes! In the 90's, FAA was thinking about changing rules. Never
materialized. IFALPA embraces our rules. When I got wind of JetBlue's plans,
I personally called the FAA Administrator and told them ALPA was against it.
The FAA swears that there will not be an exemption given to anyone. The
local NY FAA let JetBlue do some illegal test flights with augmented crews.
UAL pilots are greatly exposed to this threat due to their high number of
augmentation flights in the international arena. This would put hundreds of
jobs at stake here and at other ALPA carriers. ALPA is all over this one.

Q: There are certainly problems with our selfish nature of society. However,
it appears cabotage is coming and will screw us all. If ALPA doesn't have
any political power within the AFL-CIO, are we are going to see this? What
is ALPA doing to stop it?

. Cabotage is contained right now. The European Union has pulled it off of
their wish list.

Q: Some of us are confused regarding ALPA's dual representation role. How
does ALPA handle this?

. I don't see any difference between that and UAL vs. NWA vs. DAL. We should
all want the same thing. Same pay, same work rules, and same pension. Since
deregulation, the regional/feeder carrot has always been cheap labor working
for less, but eventually moving on to flying bigger airplanes and making
more. These feeder jobs were stepping stone jobs. These pilots didn't care
about pensions or work rules. Now these jobs are more long term in this
industry. This has changed their focus, because now they see that their
interests are exactly the same as yours. If we see a difference between
pilot groups, things are all lost. ALPA was even sued by these feeders over
scope clauses. It is wrong to think that job security isn't important. It is
also wrong to fight each other. Feeder pilots are not a problem, but the
tactics their companies use against them and us are.

Q: Most of the issues that we are talking about are out of our hands. UAL
CEO Glenn Tilton is out there planning out the next 20-30 yrs. What are
ALPA's long term plans for the next 20 years in the global market?

. First, we are trying to get rid of word "regional" from our lexicon.
American threw out Eagle, now they are in ALPA. We have virtually all of
these carriers except Skywest and Chautuaqua.

. Internationally, we have had a strategic plan since the early 90's. We
sell ALPA services to different international pilot groups. Economic and
Financial Analysis works with different pilot groups to educate them on the
end results of things like cabotage and foreign ownership. Indeed, foreign
ownership is a bigger threat than cabotage now. We are spreading our message
to unify pilots internationally. ALPA is more on the frontlines in Europe
with airlines like Ryanair than even our European allies.

Q: What about oil now that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is nearly full?

. What affects the oil industry affects pilots. The strategic reserves are
almost full, but oil is still very expensive. China and India are only a 3%
factor in the growth of petroleum use. This shouldn't make the price of oil
double. Our government needs to send signals to the world market that oil
needs to stabilize.

Q: What we are seeing at UAL is an attack on our profession by management.
We fly full airplanes, yet somehow we can't make money. Prices can't go up
because of the shell game that the airlines are playing. The goal seems to
be to eliminate the union. We are not unified. This is why this is
happening. The stick is gone. We have no power. In the process of a new UAL
pilot contract during the bankruptcy, the completely separate LCO fleet was
developed. Why is there no LCO representative on the UAL MEC?

. The office determines if the bargaining process is correct and ensures
that labor law has not being violated. Other than that, each company has
state's rights to negotiate their own contract.

(Eric Popper, C12 S/T, interjected that at least eight members of the MEC
are LCO pilots. A resolution passed at the MEC established that a LCO pilot
serve on the System Schedule Committee at all times.)

Q: We want to look forward to negotiations in a time of more leverage. While
most pilots are in favor of "Decision 83," has ALPA looked at paying by
flight hour or duty hour?

. The ALPA CBA Committee constantly looks at bargaining goals.

Q: Some pilots feel that ALPA is not proactive, but too reactive. We should
fight the loss of our pension with an SOS. We are too timid. We are
producing more and getting less. As you can see from the low turnout for
this meeting, ALPA National is not leading effectively. We need less
rhetoric, more effectiveness. What can we do?

. Let's talk about an SOS. Was there a strike ballot at UAL over the
pensions? No. How can we have an SOS in this bankruptcy case? With Eastern,
the SOS might have happened if the government had not threatened the MECs
with illegal job action and jail time.

Q: Where are we going from here? People have second jobs. Some want to
emigrate. How are we going to survive merging/consolidation in terms of
seniority integration?

. Fragmentation is the buzzword. Mergers are late. Where would UAL be
without fragmentation of Pan Am? I wish we could have done better with
Eastern. Consolidation was trying to happen prior to 9/11. Consolidation
benefits pilots. Pan Am pilots were working for a weak carrier with poor
pay, they went to UAL which was much better for them. NWA could fragment the
Pacific to AMR quite easily. We need to treat each other like UAL/PAA did
and do right for each other.

Q: ALPA publicly states that we don't represent retirees. Why?

. That is our policy.

Q: Is ALPA going to support over Age 60 if it becomes law?

. Yes. We will honor and support the law.

Q: Could you live on $29k per year if you were in my shoes?

. No.
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