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Old 07-22-2020, 07:37 PM   #1  
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Default LAX C16 speaks the truth

C44...thoughts??????? Concessions????

的 never blame myself when I知 not hitting. I just blame the bat and if it keeps up, I change bats. After all, if I know it isn稚 my fault that I知 not hitting, how can I get mad at myself?迫Yogi Berra



July 22, 2020



Fellow Council 16 pilots:



Last Friday, Southwest Airlines vice president of Flight Operations announced that 24 percent of its pilot group applied for their version of the voluntary early out program (VEOP) or their version of a SIL. As a result, the Baltimore chief pilot reportedly declared that pilot furloughs will likely be avoided. On Monday, Alaska Airlines reported that they too have enticed enough volunteers for their various programs to likely dodge furloughs.



These two timely declarations came within days of Delta Flight Ops Senior Vice President (SVP) John Laughter痴 July 17 memo in which he proclaimed, not so prophetically as it turns out, that 努e cannot [preserve all jobs] only with voluntary options such as VEOP and paid leaves. This has been shown at our competitors with WARN notices being issued even with paid leaves being offered. (emphasis added)



It痴 time the Delta pilots held our 斗eadership accountable for their failures. If Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines leaders can see the value in working cooperatively with their union leaders to create and implement mutually beneficial solutions that ultimately permit all pilots to keep their jobs, then so can Delta痴 management. It痴 not a matter of whether they 田an do it, but rather a matter of whether they have the courage, humility, and integrity to do it.



No more excuses. No more free passes. No more blaming the bat. We challenge Flight Ops management, as well as our CEO, to fully abandon their ongoing 電emand style of negotiating, their incessant and insatiable drive to extract concessions, as well as their irrational efforts to prioritize antiunion optics over sound business dealings, fiscal responsibility, and genuine leadership.



Chairman痴 Corner: Flight Ops Management and the Four-Strike Strikeout*

I知 a baseball fan. When my team wins, I lavish praise on the manager and the players. When my team loses, especially if that becomes a chronic condition, then I hold the team accountable. When you think about it, that痴 life. We are typically rewarded for our successes while we rue (and hopefully learn from) our failures. For those of you who aren稚 baseball aficionados, a quick lesson:



In baseball, a batter gets three strikes. Swing and miss at three pitches, and you find yourself on a walk of shame back to the dugout, sometimes with a chorus of boos raining down upon you. In extremely rare instances, though, the baseball gods might smile upon the batter and grant them a fourth opportunity, as when the umpire calls a balk on the third strike, nullifying the pitch.



Four strikes. What a gift. It痴 something that any batter should cherish and be certain not to squander預n opportunity to redeem oneself and deliver a hit for the team. Flight Operations SVP, Mr. John Laughter, has made it to the big leagues, or what players affectionately call 鍍he show. Like a minor leaguer called up to the show during a late season playoff run, Mr. Laughter was admittedly thrust into a difficult and unfamiliar position at a challenging time. What I saw was a pilot group receiving him with a mix of hopefulness and skepticism. Pilots welcomed the change but wondered whether he was prepared for what he was getting himself into.



It didn稚 take long for Mr. Laugher to step into the batter痴 box. With his memo of March 24, announcing management痴 decision to renege on the spirit and intent of the SIL agreement from LOA #20-01, he swung and missed wildly on the first pitch. We, the team, shook our heads at how badly he missed. But we took a collective breath and wrote it off as a case of nerves or maybe bad advice from above or, perhaps, below. Strike one.



With his April 2 memo, Mr. Laughter doubled down on management痴 fiscally irresponsible decision to refuse SILs. In that memo, Mr. Laughter erroneously claimed that SILs would only provide $8 million in savings for May and June and that 吐rankly isn稚 enough. Forget that management had previously claimed that the savings would be $10 million (also a woefully inadequate estimate). Forget too that management had repeatedly claimed that they would 斗eave no stone unturned to reduce cash burn. Mr. Laughter痴 second opportunity to connect resulted in an off-balance swing as he screwed himself into the dirt, twisting and flailing. Strike two.



Now it was getting real. Still, there was hope that the batter would learn from his first two mistakes, make appropriate adjustments, and drive the next pitch into the gap a chance to show the team that he belongs in the show. But then came the third whiff. With his memo of Friday, June 26, distributed a mere couple hours after ALPA and management had agreed to the VEOP LOA, Mr. Laughter dampened the mood with the announcement that management was choosing to send Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notices to 2,558 pilots, warning that management was preparing to furlough them. Mind you, no other employees received a similar memo. Why was that? Consistent with management痴 ongoing antiunion campaign, they chose to single out pilots, to make an example so that other employee groups would see how unionized employees were treated at Delta Air Lines. The message? Don稚 organize unless you want to be furloughed as well. Strike three.



With that third straight miss, the pilot group let out a collective groan. But then the ump called the balk and permitted the elusive fourth opportunity. Desperate to make contact, Mr. Laughter distributed his latest memo last Friday, July 17. And with that, he swung and missed for a fourth time. The hack was so bad that it can only be compared to swinging at a pitch in the dirt as the bat slipped out of his hands and sailed into the stands. In this latest fiasco, Mr. Laughter brazenly disrespected the negotiating process by bypassing ALPA痴 duly elected Negotiating Committee and MEC. He chose instead to negotiate directly with you, the membership, hoping that he would divide and conquer the pilot group. It痴 a page from a management playbook so timeworn that it must date back to the old timey playing days of Lou Gehrig and Mel Ott. As with his previous disastrous swings and misses, it failed miserably. Strike four. Take a seat.



I知 torn. On the one hand I壇 like to call Mr. Laughter out and hold him responsible for his multiple missteps. He has repeatedly failed the pilot group despite our high hopes for refreshing and bona fide leadership. On the other hand, due to those same missteps, I致e never seen this pilot group so unified, so engaged, so driven, so unionist. Thus, in a bizarre twist, I almost want to thank him.



Of course, being unified against something耀uch as an intransigent, unreasonable, and untrustworthy management team擁s not as rewarding as being unified for something. As Mr. Laughter takes his seat on the bench and awaits his next at bat, if I were his manager, this is what I壇 tell him:



鏑earn from your mistakes, John. Think about what you did wrong and make the necessary adjustments. This is an unforgiving league. But it痴 not too late for you to experience glory. You will have another opportunity to bring victory for the entire team if you deliver for them. Your teammates are not your enemy. Next time, throw out the old playbook, dig into the batter痴 box, stare down that pitcher, ignore the chatter from those above and below, and focus on doing the right thing for your team. In short, get a damn hit.



*Note: Incredulously, as this Wave was about to go to press, I learned that Mr. Laughter has swung and missed yet again with yesterday痴 town hall meeting comments and memo in which new excuses for reneging on the spirit and intent of the SIL deal and for failing to come to an agreement on an extensive SIL deal were introduced. Additionally, he is continuing to negotiate in public. Please reach out to our CPO and respectfully let them know that management痴 actions, including their utter failure to live up to their simple promise to do 兎verything they can to avoid involuntary furloughs, is an unconscionable failure. A complete lack of credibility currently plagues the 4th floor, and this must be dealt with. This management team is the outlier in the industry and, frankly, they should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to hold hostages in exchange for a ransom in order to opportunistically extract concessions from the union.
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:44 PM   #2  
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Great baseball recap of events. Exactly how I feel, it痴 nice knowing I知 not the only one.
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:45 PM   #3  
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Well done, C16!
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Old 07-22-2020, 07:50 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaww View Post
Great baseball recap of events. Exactly how I feel, it痴 nice knowing I知 not the only one.
Add me to that list....I have a lot of friends also feeling the exact same way.
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:40 PM   #5  
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If only they could negotiate as well as they pontificate...
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Old 07-22-2020, 08:42 PM   #6  
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In all fairness, I値l actually give 44 some credit for their comm yesterday. Nice change of pace for them.
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Old 07-22-2020, 09:38 PM   #7  
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Granted, JL has set an exceptionally low bar to clear when it comes to releasing comm in tune with the pilot group. Even so, both C44 and C16 have outclassed JL by a country mile with their letters.
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Old 07-23-2020, 04:26 AM   #8  
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C44 actually put out a really good update on Tuesday


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Old 07-23-2020, 05:03 AM   #9  
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I admit, I stopped reading after the first 3 paragraphs of whataboutism. There are 2 things in common to both Alaska and Southwest.....they are single aircraft fleets and they are essentially domestic only carriers. So, while they fly planes just like we do at Delta, they aren't a close business model.

Are these two considerations important regarding comparative analysis? If this is addressed in the letter further on, I'm sure you'll let me know, or if they aren't important, likewise.

PS....didnt read it all cause I forgot my glasses, so take it a little easy on my effort and also on typos...phone screen is really small.
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:07 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck Rogers View Post
I admit, I stopped reading after the first 3 paragraphs of whataboutism. There are 2 things in common to both Alaska and Southwest.....they are single aircraft fleets and they are essentially domestic only carriers. So, while they fly planes just like we do at Delta, they aren't a close business model.

Are these two considerations important regarding comparative analysis? If this is addressed in the letter further on, I'm sure you'll let me know, or if they aren't important, likewise.

PS....didnt read it all cause I forgot my glasses, so take it a little easy on my effort and also on typos...phone screen is really small.

Well I mean other than your first paragraph being factually incorrect, sure.


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