Have Unions Outlived their Relevance?

Zephyr

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Feb 11, 2003
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Have the unions outlived their relevance? Especially ALPA.
We all agree that airline employees (especially pilots) are grossly overpaid (humor me for a second).
We know that ALPA has captured excessive pay for a small group of pilots, probably to some extent at the expense of a vast number of sweatshop pilots who are willing to slug away at poverty wages in order to someday capture the overpaid, easy lifestyle of a major airline pilot.
Now that ALPA has proved irrelevant at retaining even the most senior of all pilot perks (the pension) is it not time to put a fork in ALPA (and perhaps other unions)? (Long live APA!)
It is now evident that even National ALPA may be planning on using US Air to enrich other major airlines (haven''t heard a peep out of D.W.) in the same manner that is seems they have used Comair and other sweatshops in the past to enrich the majors.
Should employees not save their dues for their own pocket, and be like all the employees of the rest of corporate America?
Perhaps without unions, wages would seek their normal level...
when pigs fly.
 

LavMan

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Feb 12, 2003
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Ask yourself this:

If there were no unions at US Airways, what would have the Double Dave's done to the workers when they have Carte Blanche?
 

N786P

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Nov 8, 2002
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So tell us Zephyr, What are "Normal Wages" to you...?? No, I am not a pilot either...
 

LavMan

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Feb 12, 2003
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Here are some postings on other threads that have occured:

1992, ALPA take concessions and then all the non-union workers at U lose there vacation, sick time, OJI bank. 40% of the full time workers down graded to part-time, mass layoffs, pensions frozen, hours cut from 40 to 25 hours, lose family coverage when downgraded, forced to pay $300 a month for insurance,

1992...the year I like to refer to BEING BENT OVER BIG TIME!!!!! What did my group recieve in 1992, lets see a frozen pension, frozen payscale for 7 years with no cost of living raises, a week less of vacation that I had to put in my sick bank and god forbid if I used all 5 days. If I did use the 5 days it was level one on the way out the door. Think that covers it in a nut shell. What did I get in return, a deposit into my 401k and a check after 5 years if memory serves me correct for about $400.00 dollars. Bascially the company made out on the positive side big time with what I gave up and got in return. Where was the union groups when at that time we were non union? Did they give us any support??? No. I understand the frustration on the pension issue with the pilots but sorry...have no sympathy at all. My group has been there and done that as I am sure other groups also have. Chip brings up the issue of a 58year old pilot approaching retirement age. Well some of my fellow res and ato agents went through the same scenerio in 1992.
"It's 11:59 and I want to stay alive"....Blondie
 

Retired1

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Aug 19, 2002
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LavMan all that you say is true and they are still doing it to someone not in the union. I retired before the union got in so on this last round of health insurance changes effective May 1 they are gong to charge me plenty. My medical for option 3 goes to $256.00 for me and my wife where if i had been retired under CWA it would be $103.00. So noone should doubt whether they are better off or not with a union.
 

RowUnderDCA

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Oct 6, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 3/5/2003 11:21:26 PM Zephyr wrote:

We know that ALPA has captured excessive pay for a small group of pilots, probably to some extent at the expense of a vast number of sweatshop pilots who are willing to slug away at poverty wages in order to someday capture the overpaid, easy lifestyle of a major airline pilot.
----------------
[/blockquote]

This phenomenon of the extremes growing and the middle decreasing is a problem for our ENTIRE society. However, I think ALPA's model is extreme and ultimately unsustainable. You don't even have to bring up the example of 'regional' pilots v mainline.

Just take the example of a pilot that choose to begin his career in the late 60's with say Braniff, as oppossed to American. Is there any meritorious difference between the pilots that chose Braniff over American? But what is the outcome as to their careers? If the starting wage was higher and the top out wage was lower, things would be a lot more rational. Too much uncertainty and dumb luck having SO MUCH impact on our lives causes people to feel abused (putting aside actual abuse by the powerful that, I hear, occurs)

Look at health care, housing and education..... a few (sizable minority) of BIG WINNERS and MANY MORE BIG LOSERS..... fewer in the middle.

This is a problem for society. Difference is fine... luck is fine.... too much difference resulting from small differences in luck or even merit causes our society and civility to deteriorate. Pretty soon the 'middles' won't be able to afford reasonable health care, because the super-rich will soak up all the resources because they can pay SO MUCH MORE.

just an example..... (i worry too much
 
OP
Z

Zephyr

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Feb 11, 2003
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I certainly agree that Unions are necessary as long as there are carpetbaggers, of which we have no lack.

My point is really that ALPO is not a union. It has become an association of distribution. How can ALPA fairly represent sweatshops and Major airlines at the same time? There is no greater conflict of interest.

Some are aware that the trucking industry union is different. Teamsters is the union of choice in the trucking industry. They have a national freight agreement that equally covers the union drivers at all the unionized carriers.

In addition to that, Teamsters has the money for the pensions, unlike with ALPA. When CF recently went out of business, all of the drivers did not loose their pension, because Teamsters has the money. For those drivers that cannot take early retirement, the other union companies have to hire the CF drivers before they hire anyone else. And they won’t be hired at neewbie wages, they have to hire them on with pay for full credit of previous time served.

ALPA could learn a lot from a few “dumbâ€￾ truckers.
 

LavMan

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Feb 12, 2003
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Rogue, get real.

Before the IAM did you have this?

Sick time
Vacation time
OI protection
Pension
NO more PPG
Scope Language
Grievance Procedure
 

diogenes

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Aug 22, 2002
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Hello, Zep,

I certainly understand your line of reasoning. I'm of the old South, where unionism was akin to communism. My first encounter with unions was when I came aboard Piedmont at the tender age of 21. Mechs, pilots and f/a's were union; we agents never saw the need. It took US Air to change me into a radicalized unionist.

Having said that, the unions cannot survive long-term in their current form. Here are a few things I'm working to change.

1. Currently, the leadership, from the local to the international level, changes about as often as the old Politburo. A corollary of this fact is group-think. You can be a dedicated, hardworking unionist, but if you EVER question the prevailing wisdom, you are dogs**t the rest of your life.

2. We've gotten away from Samuel Gomper's advise - stick to bread and butter issues. 99% of the unions have sold their souls to the Democratic party, and bought into their social agenda. Why on earth is any union concerned with social issues such as gun control or abortion? They have good members on both sides of issues such as these - for God's sake, union guys work in gun factories. The Republicans have done an excellent job using these wedge issues to peel off nominal Democratic voters. Here's a little tidbit that's a fine example. In the 2000 Presidential election, IF a majority of union members that were also gun owners had voted Gore, Gore wins the election. Now, I'm not saying we sell out to the Republican party, either - the right wing in control wants to destroy the labor movement. I can remember a time when moderate Republicans from the Rust Belt were friends of labor. We'd do better in a moderate, as opposed to polarized, political climate.

3. The leadership needs to reflect the membership. As a middle-aged, white guy, I want to see more women and minorities in posistions of executive power. No affirmative action tokenism; just let them work their way up the ranks.

4. In this electronic era, there is no reason not to have better education and outreach for the dues-paying member. There is also no reason not to regularly poll and act on the membership's desires. The days of physically showing up at the local are waning. Time for a 'virtual' lodge.
 

AP Tech

Veteran
Sep 4, 2002
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You may wish to start putting slashes through a number of those benefits as long as the IAM keeps up the same type of negotiating. Belive me we do need a union here at U because if the company had their way we would have to pay to work there.
 

mga707

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 3/6/2003 12:14:19 PM Zephyr wrote:

ALPA could learn a lot from a few “dumb” truckers.

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[/blockquote]

On the other hand, AFAIK no ALPA president has ever wound up as part of the foundation of some stadium or other major construction project...
 

Hubturn

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Dec 23, 2002
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Zep doesn't have a clue as to what efforts were made to get to the majors, however, he may be on to one point, unknowingly. Maybe it is FINALLY time for a national contract.
 

Walmartgreeter

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Mar 6, 2003
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I predict the "national contract" will happen, about the time the pilots at DAL suddenly realize the last domino has fallen. If the U pilots fail in their attempt to at least freeze their plan (this may have already happened based on the last codaphone)then pension failures will spread like wildfire throughout the airlines, and other groups, until Congress steps in late as usual. Hi B.P.
 

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