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Old 12-10-2008, 10:02 PM   #1  
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Joined APC: Jun 2008
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Default A Call to All Professional Airline Pilots

A Call to all Professional Airline Pilots

The Mesa pilots just voted in a 21 month contract. In September, 2010, there will be 12 ALPA airlines simultaneously involved in section six negotiations. Those of us involved have never had such a good “pattern bargaining” situation. We can join together and bring the airline pilot profession back from the dead only if we support each other in our struggles instead of encouraging division. I can guarantee everyone that it is the Mesa pilot group’s goal to obtain the industry leading contract.

I personally voted against this TA because I hoped we could send it back for a revision and do better. In fact I was one of the most vocal trying to persuade my fellow pilots to send it back to the negotiating committee. I am a proud member of the “Mesa 400” but I will not stand by and let people continue to insult me and my coworkers when it is obvious the ones throwing stones simply do not know of the facts or history of our struggles.

Some of the remarks I have endured and treatment I have received from my fellow aviators have prompted me to respond in an attempt to stop the divisiveness. I have so far dismissed the anti-Mesa sentiments as a few disgruntled ignoramuses but over the years I have begun to notice a chorus of hate directed at Mesa. The airline industry whipsaw strategy is slowly winning. Let me tell you that the pilots of Mesa have as much control over our management as your pilot group, ours just happens to be more hostile. The name-calling and hatefulness has to end if we are to improve this profession.

First let me address the idea that Mesa pilots are the “lowest” and “bottom feeders” and that we are “dragging the industry down" or "lowering the bar.” I agree that Mesa pilots have had to endure some of the harshest working conditions in the industry, but I suspect that most of the people posting disparaging comments have no idea what the Mesa pilots have gone through and fought for over the years. If they only knew that we behave as any pilot group would under the same circumstances they would support us instead of revile us. To criticize, stereotype and demonize any group of people without walking in their shoes is just ignorant.

Here are a few facts that may interest you:

FACT: Mesa Air Group pilots operate under arguably the most anti-union management in the industry. In 2003 the MAG non-union Freedom Airlines certificate was receiving, staffing and scheduling 1.5 CRJ-900 aircraft a month during our post 9/11 contract negotiations (See GoJet / TranStates).

FACT: There were never more than 90 Alter-Ego Freedom Airlines pilots in existence ever (the majority of those 90 being street hires).FACT: Mesa Air Group pilots secured the strongest scope language in the industry concerning alter-ego carriers in our 2003 contract.

FACT: Mesa Air Group pilots stopped Alter-Ego Freedom Airlines operations, captured their flying under ALPA and sacrificed any improvements in our original substandard contract in order to do so. This happened with the Bush administration stating that the appointed NMB would allow no strikes due to the post 9/11 national security issues. We were highly encouraged by all of the other ALPA MEC’s to accept so that others would have a template for alter-ego contract language. If only TranStates now had our scope.

FACT: Mesa Air Group pilots contributed portions of their paychecks to the Comair pilot group strike fund during Comair’s hard won contract.

FACT: Mesa Air Group pilots voted to integrate the furloughed CCAir pilot group into our seniority list after our management purchased, disbanded, and took the routes of CCAir. It was the right thing to do (I personally have over ten former CCAir pilots on the roster ahead of me in my base and most of them have a CCAir hire date after mine).

FACT: Mesa Air Group pilots were offered and declined to discuss USAirways 737 flying during USAirways’ bankruptcy. In return I get denied jumpseats.

FACT: Mesa Air Group Pilots have endured some of the harshest work rules in the industry and operated with integrity and professionalism.

I have seen Mesa pilots uprooted and replaced in domiciles too numerous to count and that flying be covered by other express code-share partners. Not once have I heard anyone at MESA mention that they thought that flying was “theirs”. I don’t know of any Mesa Air Group pilot personally responsible for making the decision to replace another code-share partner’s flying.

To sum it up I ask all of you to take a minute and consider reaching out with a helping hand instead of offering rude looks and ignorant comments.

There may just come a day when Mesa Air Group pilots have the industry leading contract and hopefully they will treat you with respect and understanding when you suddenly find yourself with “the worst contract in the industry”.

Now as for this new contract we have. Like I said before I voted against it. I don’t like it and I too wanted trip/duty rigs, etc. I too wanted stronger language protection because I have no trust of this management. Well now we have it until September, 2010 when we begin again. Yes I agree we probably could have done better but for those of you who continue to claim that the Mesa pilots voted in "the worst contract in the industry" consider this:

NO CONCESSION 21 month contract (Amendable Sept., 2010)

Scheduled or Actual pay which would increase average pay a minimum of 8.5% -20%

Line Guarantee with full cancellation pay and equipment pay protection

11 days off minimum for line holders and reserve
The current industry average line holder minimum days off is 10.8
Mesa line holder min. better than Great Lakes, Mesaba, Piedmont, Pinnacle, PSA, and Skywest
Same as ASA, Comair, Eagle, Gulfstream, Island Air, and TranStates

The current industry average reserve days off is 10.6
Mesa reserve min. now better than Great Lakes, Horizon, Island Air, Piedmont, Pinnacle, PSA, Skywest, and TranStates

Line Holder Min monthly guarantee 75.83 (#2 in industry)

Industry Leading Reassignment Pay
Company may reassign line holders during their trip only under two conditions: When operational on time schedule is threatened D+0 (United) or A-14 (USAirways)
Any other reassignment considered improper reassignment and paid on top of line guarantee at 200%.

Industry Leading Premium Pay 200%

Bid for Training event, seniority based, electronic Above Industry Average

Industry Average Vacation Accrual

New version of Navtech PBS
Other users: JetBlue, Delta, and soon Hawaiian

Industry Leading Pairing construction:
ALPA Scheduling Committee released monthly

Schedule Enhancement by FLICA for three days: no drop limit.
From Southwest Contract. No human intervention.
Only other Schedule Enhancement is Comair, ExpressJet, and Pinnacle

1 for 1 hold back provisions paid immediately and all passovers will be paid equal pay within 120 days. Industry Leading and Only carrier to have it.

Industry Leading Reserve Min monthly guarantee 75.83

So call your reps and tell them you want what Mesa got, ha!

Seriously, we all got into this game for the same reasons. I have friends at almost every airline out there. We all love to fly airplanes for a living and we all want to be treated with the respect we deserve. Let’s all make an effort to “raise the bar” but please place the blame on the anti-labor managements and we’ll collectively improve this profession and make it enjoyable again. The next time you see a Mesa pilot instead of looking at their i.d. and quickly looking away, try to look them in the eye and say "congratulations on the contract, good luck in 2010."

Thanks for your time,


Last edited by winglet; 12-11-2008 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Mistyped reserve line guarantee.
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