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Old 07-10-2008, 02:55 AM   #8  
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Joined APC: Mar 2008
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Originally Posted by ComeFlyWithMe View Post
Yes I realize the above question is an invitation to flame me. And I will not dispute this. But I have an honest question and, as someone about to begin this career, I would like an honest answer.

Are unions to blame for the current state of pilot pay, QOL, and working conditions? Here is why I ask: After 9/11, when the major airlines were all losing money, they all went to the unions and begged for wage concessions. The unions, fearing massive layoffs, obliged, and the low pilot pay we say today is a reflection of the unions' judgement in that situation. I noticed that the people who WEREN'T asked to "make sacrifices" were the airlines' non-union employees. Not just executives, but everyone from the non-exec folks in the corporate office down to the baggage handlers. From my perspective, it looks like having a union is like having a spokesman yelling "cut my pay!," since it's easier to bully a single entity rather than a bunch of independant workers. Pilots used to make as much as engineers, architects, and lawyers. None of those groups are unionized, and as independant workers their employers can't cut all their pay in one fell swoop. It seems as though pilot pay has dropped because the unions legitimize the process of cutting pay. From what I've seen, only in a unionized workplace can management look every employee in the eye and tell them their pay is being cut.

What are your thoughts on this? I'd like to be enlightened here.
Management would not even have to "bully" a single entity/union to a lower pay standard at a non-unionized company. In essence, management could do whatever they wanted to employees with regards to pay and work rules.
Unionization in the transportation sector is difficult because most unionized employees cannot use the greatest tool/weapon against management which is a strike. It's difficult for airline unions, such as ALPA, to really strong-arm management into better pay or work rules. While I'm not saying it's impossible for an airline to strike, it's very difficult to get to that point legally.

An important thing to remember also is that unions didn't form because management was doing such a great job taking care of employees. Unions formed because of neglect to a company's employees' needs.

By the way, if you really want to start some flame just tell everyone that you love Mesa and that your willing to pay for your type rating just to fly a shiny jet.
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