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Old 09-27-2012, 03:51 AM   #1  
SLI best wishes!
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Default The right Culture!

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September 26, 2012

The biggest challenge is making sure that we develop the right culture of the combined companies. Doing what you say you’re going to do, doing your best to deliver on it, recognizing when you make mistakes – we call that dignity and respect - treating each other like you’d like to be treated.

There’s a building trust through information and through honesty and doing what you say.

Jeff Smisek, Welcome Aboard video, Dec 29, 2011

Dear United Pilots:

As we attempt to conclude a Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA), there has been increased rhetoric coming from some Vice Presidents and Chief Pilots about the “need to change the culture of the United Pilots.” These have not been isolated conversations but have been spoken before employee audiences. This has to come into focus this week after ALPA (UAL and CAL) recently won a grievance against the company for last year violating Section 4-B of the Transition and Process Agreement (TPA) that both in flight operations and in training “neither Airline will interchange Pilots between their operations.” Rather than attempt to collaboratively resolve the joint training for Instructors and Evaluators for this year, management scheduled it anyway, attempted to skirt around the Arbitrator’s decision, got caught, and blamed ALPA for interfering in management’s business. In the end, management complied with the Arbitrator’s decision but not without disparaging comments. There have been other attempts to employ new provisions of the JCBA ahead of any membership ratification including 767 Sabre training without an MOU in violation of the UAL CBA.

So is this the culture that management wants to change: make an agreement, violate it, have the violation upheld by a neutral Arbitrator, attempt to avoid the Arbitrator’s decision, and then blame ALPA? Assuredly, there are a multitude of issues facing the company that the JCBA will resolve; however, until then, the United Pilots’ CBA, the Continental Pilots’ CBA, and the TPA all remain in effect. I am certain that if a vendor or outsourced contractor of United did not perform in accordance with their contract, then United management would react no differently than ALPA when its contract with United is in violation. Is that the culture management wants to change?

I agree that the biggest challenge to us after the JCBA will be developing the right culture of the combined companies. Whether it is in the Safety, Training, EAP or any other arena, solutions exist that are beneficial to all parties. A recent success is the agreed-to joint CIRP program with all the Chief Pilots. Sometimes, all it takes is a phone call from management. You have our number.


We are United,




Captain Jay Heppner
Chairman, United MEC



Air Line Pilots Association, International
Air Line Pilots Association, International

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Old 09-27-2012, 04:55 AM   #2  
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Lee,

From the company's point of view, is there an economic factor driving a need for change? The answer to that question will guide you to the environment we are facing.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:33 AM   #3  
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Is this letter for real?
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:00 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ottolillienthal View Post
Is this letter for real?
Yes it is.
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:25 AM   #5  
SLI best wishes!
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Originally Posted by SpecialTracking View Post
Lee,

From the company's point of view, is there an economic factor driving a need for change? The answer to that question will guide you to the environment we are facing.
Not sure if you understood my point for posting this..But just to be clear it is not missed again, here it is....Jeff can take his culture change and stick it where the sun don't shine!
Because it is not shining right now and it has not been shining for the past 10 plucking years from where I am standing.
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:26 AM   #6  
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Pierce's response will be forthcoming.
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:57 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeMat View Post
Not sure if you understood my point for posting this..But just to be clear it is not missed again, here it is....Jeff can take his culture change and stick it where the sun don't shine!
Because it is not shining right now and it has not been shining for the past 10 plucking years from where I am standing.
I completely understood your first post.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:56 AM   #8  
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Their ideal Culture

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Old 10-08-2012, 04:22 AM   #9  
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This is from C34:

“BOY, YOU HAVE GOT TO GET YOUR MIND RIGHT”

Anyone who has seen the movie Cool Hand Luke remembers that line. It was what the prison warden told Paul Newman just before he chained and beat him, then worked him day and night until he claimed he had his “mind right.” What that meant was that he had given up all resistance and completely submitted to the authority of the warden.

Well, welcome to the new management at United who intends to beat you until you have your “mind right.” Recently, our MEC Chairman, Captain Jay Heppner, sent all pilots a letter stating that management has been meeting with the Continental pilots saying that they “have to change the culture of those United pilots.” In other words, force us to give up all resistance and submit, unconditionally, to their authority. It seems management is getting irritated that we are doing things like enforcing our contract. They’re not used to that and think we need to be chained and beaten until we get our “minds right.” Management will not be satisfied until we are all cowering and crying, “We have our minds right,” thereby submitting to their unconditional authority.

Last week I became involved in assisting one of our furloughed pilots who had accepted a position with Continental and had run afoul of the chief pilot in Guam who has been known to proclaim his disdain for United pilots. Our furloughed pilot had had a medical issue which had caused him to be off work for several months. Upon being cleared to return to work he was sent to a PC. When he arrived, he was put in the simulator and told “go.”

Having not flown for so long, and not being familiar with the numerous new procedures that had been implemented during his absence, he requested some form of training before being given his checkride. This request was denied and he was told, “That’s how we do it at Continental. If you don’t like it quit.” So he did.

He left the training center and sent his letter of resignation. Imagine his surprise when management then refused to accept his resignation and instead ordered him to appear at a disciplinary hearing in which they intended to fire him not just from Continental, but from United as well (in violation of every agreement we have with management).

It was at this point that I got involved, and on short notice, our MEC Vice-Chairman, Captain Rick Perry, personally represented him at the hearing. The result of the hearing was that management accepted the pilot’s resignation. While Rick did an outstanding job of representing him, it certainly shows management’s petty vindictiveness when, after telling you to quit if you don’t like the way they operate, they refuse to let you resign and instead insist on firing you.

Unfortunately, this Continental way of threats and intimidation is beginning to show itself in our own SFO flight office. With increasing frequency Dan, Ben and I are having to defend pilots on vague and unspecified charges (“violating the Working Together Guidelines” is a favorite), and despite having done absolutely nothing wrong, pilots are being forced to attend Enhanced CRM training (ECRM) as a disciplinary measure. To be fair, the flight office does not consider ECRM discipline, but mandatory attendance is certainly intended to help the pilot get his “mind right.”

For any pilot who has not read “From Wooden Wings”, or who has not read it recently, I recommend you do. It was written by Captain Pat Palazzolo and is the most accurate and complete history of our strike in ’85, but just as importantly the aftermath and management’s vindictive efforts to force the United pilots to get their “minds right.”

Management at the time was made up of pilots who were not ALPA members and who subjected pilots to arbitrary and unreasonable discipline, enlisting the help of everyone they could to demean and weaken the pilots. Just like now, management at the time routinely denied grievances without regard to merit.” Also, “an onerous and demeaning code of conduct was unilaterally imposed on the pilot group that was so vague that a pilot could be charged with an offense for doing just about anything management didn’t like. This sure sounds an awful lot like the “Working Together Guidelines” that have been imposed upon us.

“From Wooden Wings” describes the managers in ’85 as “scabs” so this behavior was to be expected. What is disappointing is that today’s managers hide behind ALPA wings and proudly tout themselves as ALPA pilots. In reality they are fooling no one. We know who and what they are, and we will never forget.

They are also on a fool’s errand, for the United pilots are not made up of weak strike breakers who think only of themselves, but of stronger stuff. And, at the risk of butchering a quotation I was made to memorize many years ago, “These traits and qualities are so deeply ingrained that no stress or strain will ever erase them from our character.”


Faithfully and Fraternally,



Council 34 Secretary/Treasurer
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:33 AM   #10  
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Well, as a Furlough, accepting a position at CAL, and been "flying a forklift" for 4 years, with only enough flight time for my BFR, I can tell you, I am really nervous now.
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