Connect and get the inside scoop on Airline Companies

Welcome to Airline Pilot Forums - Connect and get the inside scoop on Airline Companies

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ. Join our community today and start interacting with existing members. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free.


User Tag List

Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-22-2020, 08:54 PM   #1  
Gets Weekends Off
Thread Starter
 
FollowMe's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Feb 2018
Posts: 526
Default UALPA Turning Organized Labor on it's Head

Pilots have always been a perplexing group to study on whole, seemingly fueled by a mixture of coffee and cognitive dissonance. On the one hand we (by and large as a group) make a comfortable living thanks to collective bargaining, yet on the other hand overwhelmingly support political candidates who are downright toxic to labor struggle, typically backed up by dropping buzzwords like "capitalism" and with a healthy dose of American Exceptionalism. Never mind the fact that Adam Smith, the father of American economics, held the Labor Theory of Value as foundational to his economic principles. For those that don't know the Labor Theory of Value implies that value can only be created by imparted labor (e.g. a chunk of gold buried in the ground is worthless until labor is imparted to it, namely someone digging it out and cleaning it up). I only bring Smith up to demonstrate how little understanding of economics, and in particular the history of American economic theory, most pilots possess. I'm happy to discuss economic theory, however that is not the main topic of my bewilderment here. At issue is that this most recent crisis has seemingly pushed pilots beyond even a mere air of contempt towards labor while benefitting from it's vehicles and principles, to actively rearranging the entire concept of relationships between labor and the businesses it supports.

Organized labor was a natural outgrowth of the deplorable business practices of the early industrial revolution which placed capital as the center of value, and labor simply as a pawn to serve said capital. It's aim was to prevent individual workers from being pitted against one another in a race to the bottom in both wages and conditions. Organized labor has but one clear and simple goal, to establish acceptable parameters for the conditions and rates under which a labor work group will operate in the service of a company or industry. Enforcement of those parameters is only an extension of that one solitary goal, as without enforcement the parameters are themselves meaningless. Individual institutions (fraternal orders, associations, etc.) within the broader organized labor movement certainly have their own specific pet goals (congressional outreach, member support, etc.), however these goals are not related to the operation of the business in a direct way, at best they are tangential connections which drive primarily back to the root goal of establishing and enforcing acceptable parameters.

Once a labor group has set it's acceptable parameters, it is now up to the business and it's agents to decide how labor (among the many other varying assets) will be deployed to support the businesses goals. From time to time those business agents may find that the parameters established by it's labor are [seemingly] in conflict with the businesses goals or operational capabilities. This most frequently occurs during negotiations to increase the parameters (e.g. negotiating an amendable RLA agreement); but may also occur during times of crisis. Under these scenarios the business agents approach the labor agents with figures typically known as a "pie", meaning this is how much money the business has to spend on it's labor assets.

Under this scenario the labor agents must decipher whether there has been an adjustment to the market for it's members labor (e.g. the going [inflation adjusted] rate for a farrier in 1875 was likely considerably different than in 1920). If so, the labor agents are well within the boundaries of their one goal to adjust the parameters to meet the market adjustment. To be crystal clear on this point, though in this scenario the business agents may have been the ones to bring the question of adjustment to the labor agents, it is the labor agents who have the duty to ensure that an adjustment is necessary (or in the case of negotiating an amendable agreement; that the lack of, or mitigation of, upward adjustment of the parameters is necessary). To belabor the point one degree further, all that the labor agents in this scenario are doing is saying our members are "X" (pilots, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, etc.), and we agree that the wage and conditions under current market for "X" are "Y". That is universal. That is unified.

Now, this brings me to why what UALPA has done is a complete and total reversal of the one fundamental goal of organized labor. The entire underpinning of the organized labor movement is that "WE" are universal, "WE" are unified, and "WE" are one. Labor establishes what "AN" pilot costs, what "AN" electrician costs, what "AN" carpenter costs. Business then decides how to use that labor at that cost, or negotiates for a universal change to the acceptable parameter. Labor does NOT decide what "THIS" pilot costs and what "THAT" pilot costs; or what "THIS" electrician costs and what "THAT" electrician costs.

Unfortunately, UALPA has changed the rules of the game for all of us. When UAL came to UALPA and said "Given our current agreed parameters with you, and our current revenue structure, we will be forced to make the business decision to use less of your labor in the immediate future", UALPA did NOT go to market to ascertain if there had been a measurable correction to the market rate for pilots such that a universal adjustment to pilot parameters was necessary. It instead regaled itself as an agent of the BUSINESS and not an agent of LABOR, and set itself upon the course of deciding how to apportion it's labor to meet the current business goal. In doing so it has opened another door to managements the world round to shove their proverbial foot in. In doing so it has forsaken it's one and only goal of setting UNIVERSAL parameters for the labor it represents.

Moreover, by doing so it completely undermined the very protections it had fought for and won in protecting jobs. Scope triggers, displacements, retraining, all of the varying expenses pertaining to reduction of force were specifically fought for and necessarily at the expense of SOMETHING else. There can be no claim that the decision to turn business agent and adjust the labor cost by individual cross sections of the pilot group is a job protection action, without also completely invalidating the "job protection" that has been written into the UPA (PWA, CBA, etc.).

I regret that this sub is less traversed than others in the forum, and as such will limit the exposure of the thread, but I have no doubt that it will not stop the flames from erupting. I want nothing but the best for every pilot who ever flies, yet I'm certain that my appeal to actual organized labor and unity will draw more than it's fair share of hate. Flame on. If you actually hear what I'm saying, please don't be apathetic. Speak up. Get involved. Volunteer. We will never move forward (apart from 2 steps forward 3 steps back) if we don't.

In Unity (for every pilot, from student pilot to 65 year old 777 pilot, to 85 year old GA pilot).

Last edited by FollowMe; 10-22-2020 at 09:26 PM.
FollowMe is offline  
Old 10-25-2020, 09:47 AM   #2  
777 - ret
 
Huell's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Apr 2020
Position: Waco CG-4 center seat
Posts: 787
Default

Somebody got their little girl panties In a wad.

Gawd bless your cotton pickin little heart.
Huell is offline  
Old 10-25-2020, 12:34 PM   #3  
Gets Weekends Off
 
biigD's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,066
Default

Sir, this is a Wendy’s.
biigD is offline  
Old 10-25-2020, 10:24 PM   #4  
Gets Weekends Off
Thread Starter
 
FollowMe's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Feb 2018
Posts: 526
Default

Glad to see you both put tremendous effort and thought into your replies.
FollowMe is offline  
Old 10-26-2020, 06:48 AM   #5  
Gets Weekends Off
 
BrazilBusDriver's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Dec 2018
Posts: 163
Default

Well, I'll admit that I'm following this at arms length since it has little effect on me, but I think the "full pay to the last day" guys are missing one key point - the value of a pilot is still, say $200/hr, but the new LOA (as I understand it) is divvying up the work based on seniority, but with concurrent reductions in days of work each month. This is nothing new with organized labor. Trades come to mind in the upper midwest - young guys by and large don't get steady amounts of the indoor work that still exists in the winter. Seniority rules.

I'm all for organized labor, but I, for one, think it's great that all those junior guys are going to have jobs instead of fighting for the scraps of money left in broke unemployment coffers and the handful of cargo jobs that exist.
BrazilBusDriver is offline  
Old 10-26-2020, 08:19 AM   #6  
Gets Weekends Off
 
da42pilot's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Mar 2017
Posts: 553
Default

UALPA didn’t go to the market to see if market rates for pilots changed?

There is, currently, a vast oversupply of pilots of historical proportions. It far and away exceeds demand for pilots. You’ve got to be completely blind to think anything other than this.

Also, the Labor Theory of Value has long been discredited.
da42pilot is offline  
Old 12-16-2020, 12:46 PM   #7  
"Yinzer an'at"
 
Allegheny's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jun 2012
Position: Sittin at the puter
Posts: 140
Default

I have no dog in this fight. I am old and retired and I don't and didn't work for United but I did work for American.

The APA boards point to the United example as one of Unity. The junior members see the United ALPA pilots as a group showing true unity. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...oid-job-losses

Meanwhile at APA - https://www.local10.com/news/local/2...ts-in-october/

I will leave it up to the readers of this board as to which method is the most acceptable. Two different unions two different decisions. I will say this, that APA tried to mitigate furloughs and had a number of leave types available. The company wants to shrink. United open it's ask with some major scope relief. It is my understanding that they didn't get it.

Holding an opinion on either side of this issue does not make one a bad unionist to my way of thinking.
Allegheny is offline  
Old 12-17-2020, 08:09 AM   #8  
Prime Minister/Moderator
 
rickair7777's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2006
Position: Engines Turn Or People Swim
Posts: 28,518
Default

The senior guys (enough of them anyway) presumably had the ulterior motive of helping the company avoid BK, or possibly even liquidation. Or at least helping it hold it's market position and not be crippled by cascading waves of training events over several years, while single-fleet LCC's eat their lunch in the recovery.

Unlike most of the union labor examples you mentioned, pilots are locked into their respective companies by the seniority system... their wagons are chained to one pony. Apples to Oranges.
rickair7777 is offline  
Old 02-02-2021, 11:00 AM   #9  
Line Holder
 
BrianH's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Feb 2021
Posts: 32
Default

With the age demographics changing as they are, it will be interesting to see where the "pilot's" focus will gravitate. I am willing to guess the junior pilots will rule the day sooner than expected and their focus will not be on the senior pilots careers.

Unity is hard fought and easily lost. When any group feels left out, the finger pointing starts, the wagons are circled and the rice bowls are fiercely protected at the expense of us all. Doing the right thing every time takes more energy, but in the end, best value for all must be the goal. Anyone who does not have that as a core belief is part of the problem and should be removed from office, we are labor. There has been enough damage done already. It is time for accountability at all levels.
BrianH is offline  
Old 02-02-2021, 04:01 PM   #10  
Prime Minister/Moderator
 
rickair7777's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2006
Position: Engines Turn Or People Swim
Posts: 28,518
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianH View Post
With the age demographics changing as they are, it will be interesting to see where the "pilot's" focus will gravitate. I am willing to guess the junior pilots will rule the day sooner than expected and their focus will not be on the senior pilots careers.
????

1. Age has little to do with it. It's all about seniority... why would a senior pilot (of any age) be more concerned with junior pilots than himself? Makes no sense. The only thing different about a young senior pilot is that he cares if the company exists in 10-15 years.

2. How will junior pilots rule anything? If they're junior, that obviously implies there are senior pilots who will of course look after their own interests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianH View Post
Unity is hard fought and easily lost. When any group feels left out, the finger pointing starts, the wagons are circled and the rice bowls are fiercely protected at the expense of us all. Doing the right thing every time takes more energy, but in the end, best value for all must be the goal. Anyone who does not have that as a core belief is part of the problem and should be removed from office, we are labor. There has been enough damage done already. It is time for accountability at all levels.
I'm not sure what you're complaining about... if this covid thing had happened 20 years ago, there would 30,000 pilots on the street in the US alone. Between uncle sugar and union creativity there are a lot of junior pilots getting pay and benefits to do nothing right now.
rickair7777 is offline  
 
 
 

 
Post Reply
 



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Martinaire Caravan down DirectTo Safety 30 03-30-2017 03:24 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:53 PM.