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Old 02-22-2011, 07:40 PM   #1  
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Default FDX TA-An opposing view

Having read what our NC emailed us, I felt I had to respond. I would first like to say that I do appreciate all the work that is done on the pilots behalf. From all of our ALPA guys. I am not trying to diss them, I just disagree with the majorities position.

Within the NC email, I inserted my thoughts in purple.....only because it is readable! Didnt think red was good. It could be construed as a cheap shot way of responding by inserting my comments into their letter. But that was the easiest way for me to do it.

It is my belief that we should be negotiating more sections that are presently being done in the TA. The FDA thing, which being a much better deal than we have now, in my mind is more of a benefit to the Company. Those are where the big changes are in this TA, and who proposed them?

I am all for improving the FDA stuff, but not at the cost of not improving everything else WE need improved now, at the same time. Those that are now at an FDA are their because the last LOA was good enough for them to go. And I am saying this as someone who just might bid an FDA in the future. But I say get all of the other stuff now too. It looks like the present TA benefits the Company and a small percentage of our pilots. I am not taking into consideration the 3%. That is another discussion!






What this Tentative Agreement is and more importantly what it is NOT
The Negotiating Committee has been busy preparing for the informational meetings, P2P calls, hub turn meetings and webcasts. We feel it is important to address some reoccurring themes/topics we are seeing to date. In an effort to be brief and to the point, you will find below our internal view of the facts and circumstances behind each of these issues, as well as “our opinions. Overall, we feel this approach meets the needs of the membership in 3 primary ways:
1. We feel our timeline to get to the “full scale” TA will not change materially. This statement takes in effect all the puzzle pieces: the NMB, political landscape, and Flight and Duty Time NPRM; it has been fully vetted by our Committee including detailed briefings with all of the resources we have available to us.
2. The fixes we all want, the backbone to our Section 6 openers, were not achievable in the near term. Are we to assume that unless our goals can be achieved near term, we are not going to try?None are sacrificed or lost by this TA. I would disagree by saying that in my mind, the FDA changes are what the Company really wants. I would argue that it will save them lots of money by making it more feasible for pilots to bid an FDA, which in turns makes it cheaper for the Company if the positions can be filled more quickly and without having to do the excess bids and all the other tricks they had to use to fill HKG. I do agree that their offer is good for the FDA; but I also feel that this is a big thing for them in terms of manning, scheduling, and operational cost. Once we give them these things, I feel that their willingness to bargain all the other things that need fixing like accepted fares, retirement, and what ever else we deem important will be much harder to achieve once the FDA changes are made. As obvious as issues like accepted fares and real time trip trading seem to those on the ALPA side, none of these fixes are “easy,” especially when the other party does not share the same problematic view we have in these sections. Of course they are not easy. Our leadership should not shy away or delay what we desire to achieve because it is not easy! The argument about the puzzle pieces above are hypothetical in nature and because of those “maybes”, we shouldn’t go back to the table and try to get what we want now? It would seem that, based on my feelings that the FDA changes they want are very important to them, if none of these fixes are easy, they will be a lot less easy once they can fill an FDA more expeditiously and much cheaper, ie, no SIBA or International trips that start from the US. Even if we were to continue to bargain under Section 6 and make tentative agreements/achievements, they would not be realized or implemented until a full Section 6 TA is complete. We feel this is at least 12-18 months down line from today. This leads back to the timeline discussion on point 1 above; we really view this as a 1 year extension that does not affect our timeline. The way it sounds, there has been a concrete timeline put in place based on variables that are hypothetical at best. However, this TA provides for an option to extend this TA concurrent with a second 3% pay raise should the circumstances warrant. We view this as a very important option. I agree that it is an important option. But at what cost?
3. Will we be better or worse off if we accept this TA?” “Better or at least no worse,” is the answer from our Committee. Finding a structure to improve the FDAs, (I would say that this is for their benefit, not ours. Even though it is better money for us) implementing the CBA sections already TA’d, and providing some well-deserved compensation pieces, well before we would ever see them in a “normal” Section 6 process, has been a critical part of our evaluation. Once again, I would have to say that giving the FDA stuff without continuing to negotiate for the many other changes we desire could be a very foolhardy strategy. It could be said that if you look at our past practices in the area of negotiating, we have made some foolhardy mistakes.
FDA LOA
The current LOA requires improvements for those pilots already assigned to an FDA. And for those that would bid it in the future! Good for the Company. The LOA also makes FDA assignments more palatable for a larger demographic as they bid future vacancies. Also good for the Company. They didn’t seem to think about a wide range of demographics before. But hindsight being 20/20, concerning the initial filling of HKG, they realize that they low balled us and it cost them. This LOA accomplishes many of these goals and moves the chains down the field. Not quite sure what that statement means. What about “leverage?” In bargaining, leverage is time specific and can easily be overplayed. Or under played. There are other reasons that will compel the Company to bargain in the future (e.g. NPRM compliance and B-777F ULR flying). It does give substantial improvements for those at or wanting to go to an FDA; undisputable! But those that are there now knew what they were getting when they bid it! Not saying it shouldn’t be improved, it should. Along with the other things we should have approved. As I stated above, it also makes it cheaper for the Company to do an FDA. I think there is a little leverage on our side because of my assumptions of their cost savings due to the changes. Therefore it is possibly a strong leverage point for us. I don’t quite understand the “time specific” statement concerning this particular perceived leverage.
1. The Current FDA LOA already allows a HKG MD11 base, simple as that. OK
2. Should the Company open HKG MD11 under the existing LOA, they will fill all Captain Positions. OK
3. New hires are standing at the door and can fill any First Officer seats, as required. Good point. It also assumes that there will be enough hiring and enough new hires that will want to go to an FDA.
4. CGN could be opened under CBA section 6, not likely, but an option. Not likely because of the cost. I don’t have any info, like maybe the NC does, concerning the governmental and regulatory requirements to open CGN, but most likely if done under section 6, it will be a lot more costly than if they did it under the new FDA proposal.
5. The use of FedEx pilots, in FedEx airplanes (always representing the best and most reliable option for moving FedEx freight), is vitally important to any part of a Scope clause. It seems that this statement is another supposition that was used before during the CDG FDA, and I would totally disagree with the presumption. It not only is the best and most reliable way, but to imply that the Company would outsource the flying or hire non FedEx pilots to fly our freight, to me, is almost nonsensical. If that were the case, they most likely would have done so long ago.
6. Tax Equalization - simply put, we continue to view this as a benefit. Our pilots are better off having tax equalization than “keeping” their IRS Foreign Income Exclusion and going at it alone to pay their foreign taxes. Our pilots in HKG and CGN would be paying more out of pocket without equalization. China and Germany are not the same as Subic Bay. We all know that they are not the same as SFS. That has been pointed out over and over. The last FDA LOA negotiations gave us leverage in this area, but because it passed as written, it is a moot point. The Company got what it wanted, and we will probably never be able to change that fact. A point where I think leverage was seriously under played.
7. Bottom line, we feel there is no more leverage in the FDA, especially when options exist to do business otherwise. I point out again, that their options are very likely to be much more costly. So to say that there is no more leverage in the FDA is basically throwing in the towel, based on misperceptions on our part! We are not fear mongers, just the facts as we see them. Will FedEx use those options if this LOA is not approved? We can’t answer that. We are positive though, that our Company will continue to do business in effort to improve the shareholders’ returns. True statement there. And, it does seem like a little misplaced fear mongering. But then again, I don’t know what all the info is that the NC has. Maybe we should be told. Even though this is a new NC team than what we had three years ago, I think they might be a little myopic on this point. FedEx wants to do business as cheaply as it can, for good reason. This LOA should give it to them. In return, we should be TAing all the other things we want.
4.A.2.b.
The Grievance Settlement provides for a permanent solution to the 4.A.2.b. Grievances. Here are some of the facts:
1. This settlement was limited in focus because both sides were only able to come to an agreement that specifically addressed the “open” parts of the grievances: “BLG disparity” and “duration.”
2. The PSIT settlement expires in January 2012.
3. This is not the “be-all and end-all” of the 4.A.2.b. saga. That will be bargained when we reach the CBA Section 4 discussions (e.g., inclusion of carry over, draft/volunteer limits, entry provisions or even elimination of the section). This section needs considerable focus and further polling to determine what the Membership wants when Section 4 is bargained. This should be done now, not later, in my opinion. And I know about the seemingly concrete timeline.
4. We have achieved a permanent solution that we feel is better than any award we would get from an arbitrator. This settlement allows us breathing room to establish a real fix in Section 4 under the backdrop of at least some permanent protections already on the books. So then, TA this and keep negotiating on the other things that need to be changed.
Safety Programs
The structure of this hybrid contract extension required us to include the ASAP and FOQA programs for your review and approval. However, neither our Committee nor the MEC Leadership in anyway views these programs as part of a “quid pro quo.” Safety should not and will not be traded. If the TA does not get passed, we intend to push for implementation nonetheless. But understand, this is our view. Again, TA this item also. This is about safety, and there should be no reason that the Company might say take it now, or never! And if they did, we would all have proof positive on their seriousness concerning safety vice punishment and control.This is a mutually beneficial thing for all.

The Money
This is not repayment of your losses under 4.A.2.b., it is a recognition of the time value of money and the need to keep moving the pay rates northward. We provided inflation vs. pay rate charts on the last update. It is clear to us that money in the pay rates affects every pilot and we structured the compensation pieces of this extension in this manner, to affect all pilots:
1. Retro pay only becomes relevant when there is a delay between contracts. While it is a powerful slogan and a positive hit to the bank account when it happens, it is not universally regarded as “guaranteed;” it is bargained and always comes out of the total pie at the end. This TA “cuts out the middle man” by garnering new pay rates, a related lump sum and per diem increases well before they are normally expected to come. They will not be part of the costing puzzle going forward. The need to push for retro in the next CBA has at least the next 12 months off the retro calendar. Good point.
2. The 1% payment is nothing other than a method to account for the recapture of pay back to our amendable date. Is it fair? I think so. You, individually, will judge that as a part of the whole package. Correlating the payment to actual earnings is universal. However, we hear and understand the concerns that some have prospered and some have not in CY 2010. There is no simple way to account for that concern, other than the maximum payout of $2,600 which is based on our pension earnings cap.
3. Per Diem - simply a continued recognition of the increased costs we bear while operating trips around the world. Do some properties have higher? Yes. However, this is one more item that will require much less focus as we tackle the big drivers in the next in the next CBA. Lets tackle them now, as stated previously. And the focus should probably have been a few notches higher on the rates.
Section 18 – Witness and Representatives
There have been some inquiries regarding the changes in section 18. We offer the following:
1. There are no changes concerning the manner in which a pilot is compensated for conducting ALPA duties on a full time basis. Pay continues to be set through ALPA Policy and with MEC approval.
2. There is codification of the ability of the Negotiating Committee to “go non-current” so as to best meet the needs of the Association with respect to the bargaining schedule and internal preparation.
3. This section allows the Association to conduct its business in an appropriate manner without FedEx interference or control.
Summary
We have been in the trenches; preparing, briefing, bargaining and fighting on your behalf, which is our Committee’s charge. In return, we ask that you educate yourself and digest the input provided by the Negotiating Committee and all ALPA sources. This deal meets the needs of our Committee – like you we are pilots. It has now been endorsed by your elected MEC Representatives to be sent for your consideration. My Rep was a dissenting voice, along with one other. Step 1 and 2 of this process take a great deal of coordination and pain to get through, but the most important process of all is going to take place beginning February 25, 2011 and we implore you to:
1. Ask any question(s) you have through any of the multitude of ALPA communication ports. Good point.
2. Evaluate this with an open mind; do not subject yourself to first conclusion bias. Good point. Is that to say that the first conclusion is a negative one, and we should reconsider? Just thinking out loud.
3. VOTE! It is both easy and a required part of being a Union Member. Your informed participation is the lifeblood of ALPA. Yep.
We thank you for your time and allowing us to represent you; it is a task that we have approached with diligence and care. And I thank you all for your time.

Fraternally,


The FedEx MEC Negotiating Committee

[email protected]

I agree with all three points made by the minority opinion. They are stated below…

1.We in the minority were not swayed enough by the argument that the NPRM is a major roadblock in and of itself; we saw it as a challenge that, if approached by FedEx appropriately, could only impede negotiations in a small area.
2.We felt there were so many areas unrelated to the NPRM left un-negotiated that the value of the items in the TA didn’t represent an appropriate effort at bargaining by FedEx.
3.We didn’t think this should be sent out for ratification because we felt this exit and the resultant delay is likely to prolong the process unnecessarily and diminish the value of the product that we see at the end of the full RLA process.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:09 PM   #2  
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Sorry, if it takes me more than 20 seconds to read your post, I skip it. Can you boil it down a little for us normal people?
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:20 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by Busdrivr View Post
Sorry, if it takes me more than 20 seconds to read your post, I skip it. Can you boil it down a little for us normal people?
He doesn't like it
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:23 PM   #4  
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Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
He doesn't like it
Thank you, I can go to bed now.
BTW, I will vote NO.
Thanks CUJO for the summary, it really helped.

Last edited by Busdrivr; 02-22-2011 at 10:29 PM. Reason: thought
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:00 AM   #5  
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Opposing View,

Great first post. I look forward to similar posts from you in the future. Such Brevity.

Note to Mods: Please secure some more bandwidth and storage capacity, as it looks like we're going to need it.

JJ
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:26 AM   #6  
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Originally Posted by Opposing View View Post
5. The use of FedEx pilots, in FedEx airplanes (always representing the best and most reliable option for moving FedEx freight), is vitally important to any part of a Scope clause. It seems that this statement is another supposition that was used before during the CDG FDA, and I would totally disagree with the presumption. It not only is the best and most reliable way, but to imply that the Company would outsource the flying or hire non FedEx pilots to fly our freight, to me, is almost nonsensical. If that were the case, they most likely would have done so long ago.
Get out of Conus much? We already have plenty of non-Fedex pilots flying non-Fedex planes on routes in Europe and South America. We also have non-Fedex pilots flying Fedex aircraft all over the US and Canada. It not only can happen...it does happen.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:38 AM   #7  
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Get out of Conus much? We already have plenty of non-Fedex pilots flying non-Fedex planes on routes in Europe and South America.
Do you know why this is happening?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBaron View Post
We also have non-Fedex pilots flying Fedex aircraft all over the US and Canada. It not only can happen...it does happen.
Canada is because they have laws that protect their flying in their country just like we have laws in the US.

Who are these pilots flying FedEx aircraft in the US that are not FedEx pilots may I ask?
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:38 AM   #8  
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QUOTE=TheBaron;952687]Get out of Conus much? We already have plenty of non-Fedex pilots flying non-Fedex planes on routes in Europe and South America. We also have non-Fedex pilots flying Fedex aircraft all over the US and Canada. It not only can happen...it does happen.[/QUOTE]

I think that a lot of those cases are due to the 5 freedoms regs concerning intra country flying. I know Canada, China, and Indonesia are a few examples. The other flying between countries could be due to lift, certain short term contracts, and other variables. I think the point is that FedEx wouldnt staff an FDA with a fair amount of pilots with non FedEx pilots. JMO. It would have been done already in HKG and other places already if that was the case.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:54 AM   #9  
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I think that a lot of those cases are due to the 5 freedoms regs concerning intra country flying. I know Canada, China, and Indonesia are a few examples. The other flying between countries could be due to lift, certain short term contracts, and other variables. I think the point is that FedEx wouldnt staff an FDA with a fair amount of pilots with non FedEx pilots. JMO. It would have been done already in HKG and other places already if that was the case.
I agree with this sentiment, and have argued it myself many times. However, like anything else, there is a point where the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. To pretend that there is not such a point is naive.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:13 AM   #10  
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VOTE "NO" ....................... This T.A. is a COP-OUT .................. So what if there is a NPRM that will call for increased staffing ? So what if the amount of time required to get the "full contract negotiated" is needed ? What the hell are my SERVICE FEES going towards ? I expect ALPA to do their jobs, to represent ME who is paying, to listen to the collective will of our crewforce .................. I am not asking for the MOON, but I want to see ALPA negotiate for us what we deserve, not excuses. This company cannot do without its pilot crewforce and they know it .................. Question is, do we know it ???
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