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Old 05-04-2007, 06:40 PM   #1  
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After reading Dave Webb's email this evening, I interpret this to mean that FDX ALPA has now switched sides over the age 60 issue and is recommending a change because:

1. It's inevitable
2. They want to have a say in the implementation of the rule

Also, he said that they are "stridently opposed to any regulatory change that prohibits a pilot from exercising their seniority rights."

I interpret this to mean that when the rule changes, anyone, regardless of age, will be able to exercise their seniority and bid the left seat.

Good luck fellow FDX'ers, it's going to be a painful ride because:

If you're junior (meaning both not a captain and/or junior in your current seat), you are going to be junior a very long time.

Please correct me if I am wrong in my interpretations.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:00 PM   #2  
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Dave Webb is absolutely hardover on the idea that the guys CURRENTLY on the panel be allowed to come back to the left seat.

Not only is this freezing our careers, it is putting them in reverse.

This is going to blow our relatively united pilot group into smithereens.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:20 PM   #3  
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It also means a serious erosion in support for the future of our MEC if we don't tread very carefully.

I had a talk with an MEC rep two weeks ago about this very issue. If ALPA is going to "roll over" and say its enevitable, and provide a windfall for some captains, then we need to look at how our compensation package is structured. There are a lot of people who are going to take a career earnings hit on this, and perhaps one way to offset some of it is shrink the gap in pay between the left and right seat.

Now...I know the idea is blasphasmous in a lot of ways--but roll with this argument and hang with me a bit.

First--this is NO way diminshes the respect for the guy in the left seat who has the ultimate decision authority and responsibility. I'm a single seat guy--you don't have to explain to me the responsibility that goes with being captain of the vessel. Every guy on our property has been a captain somewhere.

However--there has been a very large earnings windfall for a select group of pilots--period. If that group chooses to patronize and say "well...seniority says I can do this....we've always done it this way....you'll get yours later...." AFTER winning the 5 bonus year lottery, they cannot help but expect some backlash. WHO is going to be be supporting ALPA in 2015? In 2020? In 2025? Who is going to fight (like our MEC did) to improve retiree care and post retirement benefits? If we do it right--it will be those junior guys who are now FOs. If we don't...division is going to take place on a level not seen since the first attempt to unionize.

If we don't find a way to soften the sting we just placed on about 52% (+/- 3 percent according to the email) of our dues paying members, then we have gutted our long term support for the short term gains. I am afraid that will come home to roost in support for future ALPA and MEC level issues.

I'm about 100 numbers from captain on the last bid. I don't think this change will keep me from "getting mine" if I want it. However--I want--and need--a strong union supporting our crew force five, ten, and fifteen years down the road. More than half of the crew force just got screwed. Sorry--that's life. We are big boys and understand the rules. However--if we are run roughshod over AFTER the legislation change and told "its for our own good" by our own union, you cannot but expect the junior pilots to eventually question what's in it for them, and are there other alternatives?

In my opinion, our next contract needs to address this by providing a larger gain for the right seat than the left. In other words--some of the "gains" of this windfall need to be passed down. Can it be equal? Probably not. However--grabbing a handful of cake off the table and refusing to even pass any crumbs to anyone else at dinner is not only bad form, it sows the seeds of revolution. We better find a way to at least share some of that cake or the natives will soon be at the door with torches and pitchforks.

...and for what its worth...I want to support the current team. However--I own a ranch and know how to use kerosene too. I like ALPA because ALPA is OUR union at the moment. However--I've still got my FPA pins, and my buddies who are teamsters, IPA, or SWAPA all have axes to grind with national. I hope we don't forget where we came from...

Last edited by Albief15; 05-04-2007 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:29 PM   #4  
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I was under the impression that the telephone pole that yielded the 52% number was by invitation only, not the current ALPA survey that ALL of us are entitled to voice our opinions.

Seems extremely biased that the union would pass a resolution WITHOUT the results of the survey we took as a union (meaning together, not a select few of invitees).
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:34 PM   #5  
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I'm about 100 numbers from captain on the last bid. I don't think this change will keep me from "getting mine" if I want it.
I think you're wrong bud. This is going to get passed this summer in congress. We lost Inouye, and a bunch others that were on our side. And the company won't be running a MOAB until this thing shakes out anyway.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:39 PM   #6  
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Nice post Albie.

I guess I am just parsing DW's email, but he said the poll found 52% in favor with 3% margin of error, so he called it a dead heat. But does that automatically mean that 48% were against? Weren't there any "Don't know" voters. I guess I am just saying that I would like to see the breakdown so that I have a better understanding of what they have found.

I am against all of the back seaters losing their seniority. Use it to bid each and every month for your engineer line, and I will never complain a bit. Honestly though, it is quite a windfall for these characters. It has been said, but these guys advanced while everyone senior to them left at sixty, and now they get to feast at the top of the list for 5 extra years. With all of the cost savings the company is pushing, is it really expected that the company should have to bear the retraining costs for about 200 guys? What kind of cost are we talking about that will come right off the bottom line - and all though I can't be called the biggest company man, is it right that Fedex should bear that burden?
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:40 PM   #7  
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Originally Posted by Albief15 View Post
It also means a serious erosion in support for the future of our MEC if we don't tread very carefully.

...
What this means is to a greater extent then ever, our MEC (and National) need to proceed with a great deal of transparency and open dialog. The impression of a pre-set outcome or collusion within certain groups, even if not valid, will undermine the support and credibility of this union for decades.

I've made calls on this issue, and whatever side you are on...you should too. Win or lose--we've got to be together on the back side of this. The ONLY way to do that is is EVERYONE feels like the process was fair and open.

Regretfully...I don't see that now. I'm trying to keep an open mind. I'm contacting my LEC/MEC folks. I'm "discussing" this in professional terms. But ALPA needs to stop coming out of a smokey room with "pronouncements" and start allowing membership to see this process.

So far...the only thing I've thought when I read Wally's diatribe and this latest letter was "kiss my @ss...." Anyone who knows me and how I've supported the ALPA team knows I'm not a rebel or a malcontent. We just need to make sure there is a bit more open discussion. I figure if it gets under MY skin, there are some VERY fired up people tonight around MEM.

An irony--funny or not--is this latest push to increase the age by ALPA helps a tremendous number of older non-members. They are again reaping the rewards of someone else's efforts...
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:46 PM   #8  
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They pass this wherein the over 60 guys get rights back to a front seat...I become a non-member. End of discussion.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:52 PM   #9  
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The impression of a pre-set outcome or collusion within certain groups, even if not valid, will undermine the support and credibility of this union for decades.
You bet... we're going to be talking about this last poll - with the change in password procedures - in twenty years. My distinct impression is that the poll was merely window-dressing. The policy was already decided. Am I wrong? Answer me this: 52% wasn't enough for Dave. What percentage WOULD have been enough? 55? 60? 65? This is called shooting a moving target.
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Old 05-04-2007, 07:52 PM   #10  
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They pass this wherein the over 60 guys get rights back to a front seat...I become a non-member. End of discussion.
You wont' be the only one. There will be a lot more just like you. And all of us lose.

I don't think you should quit. But I've had the same thought too at times, and I understand the sentiment. I also think the union needs to push for some ways to offset some of the damage.

If we cannot stay united--contact 2010 will be a joke. THIS kind of sentiment is exactly why the union needs to find a way to take care of everyone....not just the top half.

Sleepy? You listenin'? Your work didn't quit with the last contract. You need to let these old men know--in fighter pilot terms--how important it is to keep this group together. The letters I've seen from the MEC Chair and Vice are VERY out of touch with the guys like hamfisted we know are out there.
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