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Old 09-24-2005, 09:50 PM   #1  
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Joined APC: May 2005
Position: -400 CAPT
Posts: 483
Default Polar MEC Chair Message

Ugh, make that ATLAS MEC message-

Crewmembers, this is your MEC Chairman Dave Bourne. Much has happened since the ALPA Executive council and your MEC discussed and received the answers to our inquiries on what “crossing a Picket line” means for the Atlas crewforce. I want to report to you that no one has crossed the lawful Polar crewmember strike picket lines in ANC and all aircraft movements out of ANC have ceased. As of right now, WE have had no crewmembers SCAB across the picket lines at ANC or the Training center.

Let me take a few moments to bring you up to speed on how we got here. Up until the decisions of yesterday were handed down from the MEC and ALPA National, we were as I said in my earlier VARS message, walking the narrow line of supporting Polar crewmembers by not flying struck freight, call signs, or Polar aircraft but were not yet exercising our explicit contractual and RLA rights not to cross the Polar picket lines. What Changed? First off, our Negotiating Chairman Paul Alves was taken hostage for honoring HIS explicit rights in our CBA to not cross a Polar picket line. This brought to a head a growing firestorm for your MEC and for ALPA National on what it means to honor a picket line. Representatives from ALL US and Canadian carriers within ALPA ie Northwest, Delta, United, FedEx, Continental, ATA, Astar ,and all others met with your MEC to discuss the union’s right to not cross a picket line, or in other words, the right not to SCAB. This in turn started an in-depth discussion as to what that means to Atlas crewmembers who are on a different certificate but wholly owned, operated, managed, and interchanged (alliance agreement) by the same management group. It was agreed to by 100% of the ALPA Executive Council (representing ALPA carriers throughout this country and Canada) that Atlas and Polar are tied together by our incestuous relationship due to managements’ blending of the operations, and therefore we ourselves clearly have too much at stake in the Polar strike ourselves, not to exercise our clear contractual and RLA rights to refuse to cross the Polar strike picket lines. Therefore, due to Atlas management’s decisions on the joint management and operation of both Atlas and Polar, and the taking of a hostage, which brought all of this to light, your MEC, with ALPA’s full endorsement and support, determined that we must and will honor the lawful Polar crewmember strike picket lines as if they were our own, and to cross is to SCAB. We have the explicit and legally protected right not to cross, and if we do not exercise that right, then our own CBA is damaged and the rights of every union member in this country are undermined and put at risk. That is why you see FedEX, Delta, Northwest, Mesaba, and a host of other pilots from other ALPA carriers showing up on the Polar picket line now. TO CROSS A POLAR PICKET LINE IS TO CROSS AGAINST THE CLEAR WISHES OF EVERY ALPA UNIONIZED PILOT GROUP IN THIS COUNTRY AND CANADA. This is why our solidarity and support is so important.

Turning to developments overnight, your MEC has become aware that the company is attempting to circumvent the lawful Polar picket lines established at Anchorage and our lawful honoring of them by rerouting Atlas aircraft to Fairbanks Alaska for technical stops and crew changes. Your MEC has just confirmed within the last hour that lawful Polar crewmember strike picket lines have formed at Fairbanks airport in Alaska. Therefore this morning your MEC must also and does consider Fairbanks Alaska a picketed facility. DO NOT CROSS THE POLAR CREWMEMBER PICKET LINE AT THE FAIRBANKS FACILITY IN ANY MANNER, FOR ANY REASON, AT ANY TIME.

I will now read the MEC’s most recent resolution regarding this issue.


WHEREAS, consistent with the Atlas crewmembers’ rights under the Railway Labor Act, the Atlas-ALPA Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) specifically provides that ALPA and the Atlas crewmembers may honor and “refuse to cross lawful strike picket lines established by or on behalf of pilots represented by any union lawfully certified or recognized pursuant to the Railway Labor Act,” and

WHEREAS, crewmembers employed in the service of Polar Air Cargo, Inc., represented by ALPA, are currently engaged in a lawful strike pursuant to the Railway Labor Act and have established lawful strike picket lines at a variety of locations throughout the combined Atlas-Polar Atlas Worldwide Holdings System, and

WHEREAS, Polar and Atlas are commonly owned, controlled, directed by the same management team, and are clearly acting as “allies” in the labor dispute with Polar crewmembers, and

WHEREAS the Atlas MEC desires to support our fellow Polar crewmembers in a manner that is explicitly authorized by our CBA and is consistent with law, and

WHEREAS the Atlas MEC on September 23, 2005 resolved, with ALPA National’s full support and endorsement, to fully exercise ALPA’s and the Atlas crewmembers’ explicit contractual right to honor and refuse to cross lawful strike picket lines established by Polar crewmembers at the airport facilities in Anchorage, Alaska and the joint Atlas-Polar Training Center in Miami, Florida until further notice, and

WHEREAS the Atlas MEC has since learned that Atlas management is attempting to circumvent the lawful Polar crewmember strike pickets and this MEC’s lawful honoring of said pickets at Anchorage by attempting to move Atlas operations from Anchorage, Alaska to non-standard airport facilities in Fairbanks, Alaska, and

WHEREAS the MEC has researched the matter and determined that there are lawful Polar crewmember strike pickets established at the airport in Fairbanks, Alaska,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the picketed airport at Fairbanks, Alaska is also now considered a picketed location by ALPA and the Atlas MEC.

IT IS ALSO RESOLVED THAT Atlas crewmembers shall not cross the Polar crewmember strike picket lines established at Fairbanks, Alaska for any purpose.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, notwithstanding the above directives, new-hire Atlas crewmembers who have not completed their Initial Operating Experience plus a following first revenue leg should continue their training until those milestones are reached, and that the above-stated directives do not apply to probationary crewmembers who have not yet achieved their one-year anniversary.

IT IS ALSO RESOLVED THAT the special Atlas MEC meeting at which this resolution is adopted will be recessed to the call of the MEC Chairman, to be reconvened at times to be determined by the MEC Chairman.


SECOND: Unanimous

APPROVED: Unanimously, September 24, 2005.

In closing, your MEC recognizes that this is a very emotional and unsettling time. We all want to work, and we will work, but we cannot and WILL NOT cross a picket line of Polar Air Cargo. We cannot and WILL NOT become this nation’s SCABS. We have the full backing, support and resources of ALPA National and the over 60,000 ALPA pilots. We will update you ASAP. Thank you, continue to do your job, and fly safe.

Last edited by Freighter Captain; 09-24-2005 at 09:51 PM. Reason: changed Polar to Atlas
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