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Old 10-15-2010, 07:52 PM   #1  
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Default CAL MEC Update

147 Pilots on the Street
Oct. 15, 2010













A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
Throughout my service as MEC Chairman, I have taken the high road when talking about the issues that face our union, particularly the internal ones. Unfortunately, for the topics I want to discuss today, the truth travels on a subway. I apologize in advance for this departure from my style and normal restraint, but some issues simply cannot be ignored. There will be those who believe secrecy and silence are better strategies, and that I should keep this matter internal and that the MEC should deal with it behind closed doors. However, that approach has been attempted many, many times—to no end. There are times when ugly truths must be exposed for all to see to prevent greater harm. Over the past two weeks, your MEC and officers met in Florida for an MEC meeting and the biennial meeting of the ALPA Board of Directors. The purpose of an MEC meeting is to do the business of the pilots. MEC meetings are expensive, with time being our most valuable commodity. This MEC meeting, I think that it is possible that we spent more time discussing ethics and internal issues than we did real pilot issues. I wish I could report that the discussions were conducted professionally and were productive, but in fact the situation degraded to the point where I was forced to separate two of our reps from each other on two separate occasions and was told about another instance that occurred at an evening event.

The ALPA BOD that followed our MEC meeting certainly had its highs and lows as well. Many of you may have heard about my decision to run for ALPA First Vice President, as well as the course of events following the MEC’s decision to allow me to seek this office. When I first discussed my interest with the MEC, there were some who were initially surprised, telling me they felt as though the request let them down and that I was putting my personal interests ahead of those of our pilots. I listened intently to each of the MEC’s concerns. We talked honestly and openly about the reasons I had for wanting to serve our pilots as First Vice President and in the end, the MEC passed a resolution fully and wholeheartedly endorsing me for the position. The vote was 7-2, with IAH dissenting. In a nut shell, here are the reasons I gave the MEC.

First and foremost, the ability of the MEC and the officers to successfully perform the work of the pilots has deteriorated to the point where it is nearly impossible to do business in a professional manner and to reach consensus. This downward spiral began since the new IAH reps joined the MEC last March and reached a new low during the past several weeks. When I say consensus, I do not mean that every vote needs to be 9-0. I simply mean issues should be discussed professionally and the end vote should be decided on merit, not on political motivations. As a body, we should be able to have direct and at times heated debate, open discussion, compromise if necessary and ultimately be able to reach the best solution possible. Obstructionism for the sake of being obstinate shouldn’t be the goal of each meeting. I have lost count of the caucuses held to clear the air, how many e-mail chains I have read attempting to get IAH to play by the rules, or how many times the other MEC members have threatened sanction, all to no avail. This week was no different. Seeing no other recourse, the MEC presented a resolution questioning the IAH F/O rep’s ethics. When this tactic initially appeared successful, an olive branch was extended and the resolution was removed. Yet once again, later in the meeting, more ethics questions arose.

It is very important that as we go through this merger, we have a cohesive leadership team. I can assure you that the UAL MEC is united on merger issues. It was very apparent through the recent joint meeting with the UAL MEC in Denver and very specifically over the past nine days at the MEC and BOD meetings that the IAH reps are closer to the UAL reps than they are to our pilots. I will talk more about this topic in a minute, but for now, let me simply say that part of my desire to serve our pilots through a different position within ALPA was driven by the current makeup of the MEC and my lack of interest in getting into the mud with our IAH reps, with no possibility of resolution in sight. I have won many difficult battles over the years as MEC Chairman and I am fully prepared and able to continue to fight for our pilots, but I will not endorse missions that are devoid of any chance of success. For three years as your MEC Chairman, I have worked through the hard issues with professionals. For the past eight months, I have felt more like a kindergarten teacher.

There are other more private reasons for my decision that I explained to the MEC and I reluctantly share now to a broader audience. My wife has serious health issues and the national position would have allowed me to better balance my service to our pilots with my sacred commitments to my wife and family. Unfortunately, the IAH rep sunk to new lows, using this as an issue in the election politics. First I was told that the CAL IAH F/O rep said my wife did not really have any health issues and later I was told that she said that I should not be considered due to my wife’s health issues. Interestingly, this came from one of the IAH rep’s UAL cohorts, who balked at the degree to which her ethics had lapsed.

I do want to say again that only after the MEC decided to release me from my commitments to stay through the merger did I announce my candidacy. It was with the MEC’s endorsement that I threw my name into the hat to be considered as First Vice President. I have served our members throughout the years in many different union positions and I truly believe that I would have continued to represent the pilots of ALPA well in that capacity. In the end, Sean Cassidy (Alaska Airlines) won the election and I give him my full and complete support. Although the actions of a few left a bad taste in most of the MEC’s mouth this week, I realize that politics, of whatever flavor, is still politics. Sean will do a fine job for all of us.

The campaigning and election process was one of the ugliest and most embarrassing events I have experienced. The CAL IAH reps, along with some UAL reps, mobilized to spread lies and orchestrated a campaign to undermine my attempt to represent the pilots as First Vice President. I have been told that UAL opposed my election because they are angered by the strong position I took on an issue that is contrary to the UAL MEC position and could affect CAL pilots’ rights in the seniority list integration. This is understandable. What I cannot imagine is why the IAH reps would support UAL’s efforts to oppose my election based on this issue. Our entire MEC discussed the issue at length and instructed me to take exactly the position I did. I suppose I might understand why some UAL reps might be concerned with a CAL pilot in a national position, but why would a CAL pilot be so strongly opposed? The explanation was more evident when I was later told that IAH has been promised support from some UAL MEC members should either IAH rep run for MEC Vice Chairman when we merge the MECs.

I will give credit where credit is due. Sherry Quekemeyer and Brett Walker did a lot of work getting their message to all the delegates during the campaign period. Between working with their UAL brothers and sisters to organizing a spam e-mail attack that disparaged my name in the harshest terms, it is no surprise that the work of the pilots took a back seat to their efforts against my campaign. The e-mails were filled with patently untrue lies and were an embarrassment not only to me, but regretfully to the MEC and to our pilots as well. I don’t know how much effect the e-mails had, but I do know that I talked to literally hundreds of delegates who spoke of how inappropriate their anti-campaigning was and how it discredited CAL. Looking at who was involved in the spam attack, credit can apparently be given as well to a pilot I fired from the SPSC (with unanimous MEC approval) and a pilot who ran against me in the election for MEC chairman and lost 9-0. Personal agendas just get in the way of the truth at times.

I have spoken before about situational ethics, but I feel compelled to discuss this topic in more detail now. I adhere to a personal and professional responsibility to always act in an ethical manner and it is abhorrent to me when others twist ethics to their own advantage. When I became MEC Chairman three years ago, it would have been totally legitimate for me to bid B-757 EWR captain, with the accompanying higher rate of pay. However, I always bid what I would have bid had I not been MEC Chairman, because I felt it to be the most ethical way of bidding for system bid purposes. Unique bidding approaches (system or monthly) that allow a rep maximum time off with no flying is unethical in my opinion, but sadly, not strictly prohibited according to our policy. I don’t make the rules, but it is my duty and obligation as an MEC officer to consistently apply them, even when it is sickening to do so.

Last edited by Redeye Pilot; 10-15-2010 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:52 PM   #2  
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ALPA pilots are expected to read, understand and follow the ALPA code of ethics. Part of that code addresses personal behavior and the responsibilities that we, as pilots, have in conducting ourselves in a professional manner fitting of an ALPA pilot. It is well known that off-hours during the BOD include social hours and time for camaraderie. This casual interaction is an important component of learning to work together and forming the bonds of trust necessary to tackle difficult and potentially divisive issues faced by our union. However, when other airlines suggested at the BOD that I advise particular reps to stay away from their hospitality suites due to “extensive partying behavior,” I think it reflects badly on all Continental pilots and causes harm to our purpose. It is critical to be able to self monitor our behavior in a professional setting, or in any setting, for that matter. I will say that I sympathized with the hospitality suite hosts’ dilemma; I too am sick and tired of late night phone calls from the incoherent.

Over the past two weeks, I have been reminded that dirty politics are not limited to the federal, state or local governments. So for those who think they “won” this week, I respectfully submit this cold, hard fact: no pilot from the world’s largest airline holds a national officer position within ALPA – mission accomplished. For those involved, truth and integrity don’t matter; pushing their personal vendettas does.

As I mentioned at the start of my brief, it is not my style to air dirty laundry or to travel the low road. There are times when the truth is simply such that the high road is not available and laying out the facts is mired in muck. I want to thank the seven reps and five secretaries-treasurer who worked hard to combat the mistruths and who supported me. This week, the BOD ended and tomorrow we go back to the real work of fighting for our pilots. My term of office will end this coming March. Considering the relationship between the entire MEC and the IAH reps, some change is obviously necessary. The situation cannot remain as it is. What will remain is my full and complete commitment to obtaining for this pilot group the best possible JCBA and SLI possible, regardless of my position as either MEC Chairman or as a line pilot. Further, my promise and commitment to my fellow ALPA pilots to remain a pilot and not go to management has never wavered. I am first, foremost and always an ALPA pilot.

One Union. One Voice.

Capt. Jay Pierce
CAL MEC Chairman


NEGOTIATING UPDATE
The Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) crafted a compensation proposal this week that recognizes the value of the pilots’ contributions to the synergies of the merged United Airlines. The compensation proposal, while yet to be passed to management, would provide the 12,500 United pilots with industry-leading compensation. The JNC proposal has been briefed to the respective MECs of Continental and United. The JNC is continuing to finalize the remaining joint collective bargaining agreement (JCBA) proposals for its next meeting with the Company the week of Oct. 25.

Committee contact: [email protected]
.org • 281-987-3636 • U



DO 888-990-4227
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:09 PM   #3  
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Default Really?

Why post this Jerry Springer re-run for all to see?
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:42 PM   #4  
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Yeah... this message isn't exactly "the high road".
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Old 10-15-2010, 10:08 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUPERfluf View Post
Why post this Jerry Springer re-run for all to see?
Gotta love Union politics .......especially ALPA BOD election politics.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:50 AM   #6  
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Hmmmm, making back room deals for positions on the MEC after the merger is complete? Where have I heard that before? Hate to be an " I told you so" but..... I am now proven right more than "oncea757cap" ;-)

This is not the first of many of these things to take place. I wish Capt Pierce's wife well. However, my sniff test says the First VP job was more about the $$$$ involved to help him take care of his wife, versus being better able to serve the pilot group. Only because he try's to play the martyr card on his current bidding and pay. It was as if he was saying, " I had scruples at one point and now wish I hadn't. Now I need to do a Prater and Take It Back"

The ALPA guys make Tilton look like a nice guy with their shenanigans.

L

Last edited by Lambourne; 10-16-2010 at 06:25 AM.
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:18 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SUPERfluf View Post
Why post this Jerry Springer re-run for all to see?

Yep. That's exactly why I didn't post it. Anytime a "leader" uses terms like "getting down into the mud" or calls his detractors pigs, drunks or adulterers, you gotta think that he might have spent some time himself in similar "low places". The break down is a shame, the airing of it is an embarrassment, but it's the unknowing pilots that will suffer the consequences. These people have a way of pushing themselves to the top at your expense. Then again to quote Captain P, "It's not my style..."
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:24 AM   #8  
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In business you follow the money. In ALPA politics you follow the positions. Watch who elevates themselves in the combination and you'll find people that took care of themselves more than the group. It is sickening to see these clowns show their true colors.
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:39 AM   #9  
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You know, it seems that every time something is posted concerning CAL pilots, the UAL pilots get on here and act all "high and mighty". I'll be honest....I haven't heard ONE CAL pilot excited about this merger. The impression is that "big ole UAL" wants to walk all over us. It's evident considering that they wouldn't even vote for one of their future pilots to be on the National ALPA team, but instead endorsed a pilot from Alaska. Pretty pathetic. I will tell you that I, and about 4700 CAL pilot aren't looking forward to this merger. We can see the support we're getting from our UAL "bretheren" already, and it's not looking too good.
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:48 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lambourne View Post
In business you follow the money. In ALPA politics you follow the positions. Watch who elevates themselves in the combination and you'll find people that took care of themselves more than the group. It is sickening to see these clowns show their true colors.
It's kind of interesting how you are so "in the know" about OUR pilots/union members. For your information, I'm happy with the way our MEC leadership works. In fact, they DO return my calls/emails (yep, I'm just a lowly line pilot too). And I've been impressed at the speed of which they do so to. They are required to work for ME, not pilots at other airlines. So the fact that they don't make decisions based on what YOU want isn't relevant. They aren't required to be on APC answering posts to appease pilots they don't represent either. Further, not everyone has an agenda like you allude to. They perform a job I don't want nor have the time for. I applaud them for that. But how about toning down the "they only follow the positions" rhetoric? Some pilots DO have our best interests at heart as tough as that may be for you to understand. Flame away. Off my soapbox.....
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