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Old 09-23-2013, 09:08 PM   #1  
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Default Mergers: problems and solution

Mergers are among the worst career experiences a pilot can be subjected to. I've gone through five, each worse than the preceding. Different culture, different philosophy, different policies. Expect anything from backstabbing in "The Office" to fistfights in the cockpit. But the worst is not confrontation between the two groups: it's staff pilots of your own, smaller airline who try to keep their jobs at your expense. They know cutbacks are coming, and use the standards department (check rides) to score points with their new bosses by going overboard proving they show no favoritism. (It's a desolate feeling when nobody loves you.) Fasten your seat belts in the box if you're the underdog: your rides will be rough. So prepare for it mentally and spiritually, rather than hope it won't happen. Mergers are tests of character and ability to adapt. You'll do just fine if you know your job and understand the subtle difference between principled and inflexible.

As for seniority issues, consider the following excerpt from "Beyond Stick-and-Rudder."

As an industry, aviation now boasts a century of history. As a profession, it is mature enough to take care of itself if line pilots are willing to accept the challenge to take care of themselves. Given the necessary attention, pilots can establish their own order as do other professionals.

The model suggested is a self-policing professional society of Air Carrier pilots with a mandate and powers to license its members based on its own standards. It could overlay regulatory licensing, establish nationwide seniority, and take an active role in shaping the industry. Under dedicated stewardship, such societies could restore the captain's authority in the service of society, the Air Carrier, the passenger and the piloting profession. They could also assume responsibility for its members' professional ethics, which include loyalty to the employer. And loyalty, as argued above, includes freedom to disagree without fear of Management reprisal. Through his professional society, the pilot could disagree with Management policies and procedures with confidence and thereby fully earn his pay. Therefore, the establishment of professional societies is also in the interest of Air Carriers.

A professional pilot society could also make life easier for the Regulator. As a stabilizing force it could help maintain industry peace. Therefore, if civil service is looking for the proverbial "What's in it for me?" the answer is, the benefits of mutual cooperation. "I scratch your back by maintaining industry stability; you scratch mine by empowering me to do so. I'll pull the thorn out of your paw in exchange for the instrument I need to do it."

So everybody wins. The Air Carrier gets his money's worth; plus, as human factors risks diminish, his insurance rates stop climbing. They might even drop. The Regulator is spared ministerial pressure; the passenger can depend on safe and reliable Air Transportation; and the pilot can live up to the trust vested in him without having to operate on the fringes of the law or in fear for his job.

As for organized labor, professional societies should in no way encroach on the rights and aspirations of unions. If anything, they could be the instruments needed to smooth Labor-Management relations. In this age of airline failures, start-ups, acquisitions and mergers, nothing could appease their members more than prospects for the future and lower dues. Unions could continue to represent their members in labor issues, but would be spared the costs of maintaining specialized departments to handle professional matters.

In addition to maintaining professional standards, pilot societies could be mandated to maintain national seniority lists based on fixed Date of Hire. In practice, an Airline Transport Licence would entitle its holder to apply for certification and, if he meets the society's standards, he would be issued his professional society's licence. Then, the first time he gets hired to fly equipment over, say, 12,500 pounds, he would be issued a permanent seniority number. Airlines and pilots could still maintain any joint in-house lists such as Captains Bidding Lists to fill vacancies. However, they would be spared the destructive turmoils mergers inflict on the industry. In such cases seniority would not be an issue because a more experienced pilot needed for a more demanding posting would likely have a better seniority number than a rookie.

At present, employer-specific seniority not only restricts the employer's freedom to utilize his crews as he sees fit, but also sets the limits of our careers. It determines our positions, casts our career potentials in stone, generates injustices—and, as a consequence, poor performance—and forces unwise promotions and costly training. It is not uncommon to find a four-year "veteran" who had spent his entire "career" sitting side-saddle (Second Officer) being promoted to captaincy after only a few months of "stick-time" (as First Officer, or—the more expensive form of training—captain trainee). Meanwhile, an accomplished pilot with better than twenty years of experience and an unblemished service record is forced by the seniority list to sit side-saddle. And he is one of the lucky ones: he found a job after his previous employer failed. Aware of the problems such absurdities might cause, most major airlines will not even consider hiring a furloughed pilot in the prime of his career. Since the value of seniority is tied to a pilot's employment by one specific employer, it could be said that the taboos of our present seniority systems are binding indentures for both Air Carriers and pilots alike. So maybe it is time to start thinking about ourselves as free agents again.
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Old 12-20-2013, 12:09 PM   #2  
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It's beautiful...and will never happen...
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:01 PM   #3  
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Originally Posted by 9780991975808 View Post
Mergers are among the worst career experiences a pilot can be subjected to. I've gone through five, each worse than the preceding. Different culture, different philosophy, different policies. Expect anything from backstabbing in "The Office" to fistfights in the cockpit. But the worst is not confrontation between the two groups: it's staff pilots of your own, smaller airline who try to keep their jobs at your expense. They know cutbacks are coming, and use the standards department (check rides) to score points with their new bosses by going overboard proving they show no favoritism. (It's a desolate feeling when nobody loves you.) Fasten your seat belts in the box if you're the underdog: your rides will be rough. So prepare for it mentally and spiritually, rather than hope it won't happen. Mergers are tests of character and ability to adapt. You'll do just fine if you know your job and understand the subtle difference between principled and inflexible.

As for seniority issues, consider the following excerpt from "Beyond Stick-and-Rudder."

As an industry, aviation now boasts a century of history. As a profession, it is mature enough to take care of itself if line pilots are willing to accept the challenge to take care of themselves. Given the necessary attention, pilots can establish their own order as do other professionals.

The model suggested is a self-policing professional society of Air Carrier pilots with a mandate and powers to license its members based on its own standards. It could overlay regulatory licensing, establish nationwide seniority, and take an active role in shaping the industry. Under dedicated stewardship, such societies could restore the captain's authority in the service of society, the Air Carrier, the passenger and the piloting profession. They could also assume responsibility for its members' professional ethics, which include loyalty to the employer. And loyalty, as argued above, includes freedom to disagree without fear of Management reprisal. Through his professional society, the pilot could disagree with Management policies and procedures with confidence and thereby fully earn his pay. Therefore, the establishment of professional societies is also in the interest of Air Carriers.

A professional pilot society could also make life easier for the Regulator. As a stabilizing force it could help maintain industry peace. Therefore, if civil service is looking for the proverbial "What's in it for me?" the answer is, the benefits of mutual cooperation. "I scratch your back by maintaining industry stability; you scratch mine by empowering me to do so. I'll pull the thorn out of your paw in exchange for the instrument I need to do it."

So everybody wins. The Air Carrier gets his money's worth; plus, as human factors risks diminish, his insurance rates stop climbing. They might even drop. The Regulator is spared ministerial pressure; the passenger can depend on safe and reliable Air Transportation; and the pilot can live up to the trust vested in him without having to operate on the fringes of the law or in fear for his job.

As for organized labor, professional societies should in no way encroach on the rights and aspirations of unions. If anything, they could be the instruments needed to smooth Labor-Management relations. In this age of airline failures, start-ups, acquisitions and mergers, nothing could appease their members more than prospects for the future and lower dues. Unions could continue to represent their members in labor issues, but would be spared the costs of maintaining specialized departments to handle professional matters.

In addition to maintaining professional standards, pilot societies could be mandated to maintain national seniority lists based on fixed Date of Hire. In practice, an Airline Transport Licence would entitle its holder to apply for certification and, if he meets the society's standards, he would be issued his professional society's licence. Then, the first time he gets hired to fly equipment over, say, 12,500 pounds, he would be issued a permanent seniority number. Airlines and pilots could still maintain any joint in-house lists such as Captains Bidding Lists to fill vacancies. However, they would be spared the destructive turmoils mergers inflict on the industry. In such cases seniority would not be an issue because a more experienced pilot needed for a more demanding posting would likely have a better seniority number than a rookie.

At present, employer-specific seniority not only restricts the employer's freedom to utilize his crews as he sees fit, but also sets the limits of our careers. It determines our positions, casts our career potentials in stone, generates injustices—and, as a consequence, poor performance—and forces unwise promotions and costly training. It is not uncommon to find a four-year "veteran" who had spent his entire "career" sitting side-saddle (Second Officer) being promoted to captaincy after only a few months of "stick-time" (as First Officer, or—the more expensive form of training—captain trainee). Meanwhile, an accomplished pilot with better than twenty years of experience and an unblemished service record is forced by the seniority list to sit side-saddle. And he is one of the lucky ones: he found a job after his previous employer failed. Aware of the problems such absurdities might cause, most major airlines will not even consider hiring a furloughed pilot in the prime of his career. Since the value of seniority is tied to a pilot's employment by one specific employer, it could be said that the taboos of our present seniority systems are binding indentures for both Air Carriers and pilots alike. So maybe it is time to start thinking about ourselves as free agents again.
I agree with a lot of what you're saying, but don't agree with mergers being bad for pilots. The recent Delta/Northwest, United/Continental, and American/US Airways mergers have been very good for not only the industry as a whole, but also for the pilots long term career security. Short term painful, yes. Long term, good.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:30 PM   #4  
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I agree with a lot of what you're saying, but don't agree with mergers being bad for pilots. The recent Delta/Northwest, United/Continental, and American/US Airways mergers have been very good for not only the industry as a whole, but also for the pilots long term career security. Short term painful, yes. Long term, good.
Don't think you will know that until you retire, there will be other mergers, bankruptcies and external events.
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Old 07-30-2016, 04:05 AM   #5  
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Default Merger and Acquisition

If a particular organization is not doing well, then merger or acquisition is must for them. In such circumstances, it will be better to intimate company's employee beforehand so that they will not take this moment as a big shock.
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