The Sting

Bob Owens

Sep 9, 2002
When I look at this agreement I have to wonder what is really going on here?

The International has introduced a voting system that is new and unfamiliar to the members.

Despite the claims of the International the Presidents Council did not come up with this, many of the Presidents are too stupid to even realize this. Randy McDonald reportedly was given a paper from Gary Yingst, later, from what appeared to be the same peice of paper he read off a bunch of proposals. During the entire two weeks that they were down there, much of it on Company property, they met approximately 16hrs with the company. Most of that time was in Doom and Gloom presentations. The negotiations consisted of the council negotiating between themselves as to how to meet the companys number. They never even challenged the number!! International reps kept insisting that they had to meet the number even though the BK attorney said that if they came close that would be good enough.When the council came up with a plan, they submitted it to the International, who kept sending it back. Sometimes they accused them of trying to ''ruin the process''.Each time they eliminated an option they slowly but surely steered the committee until the only option that was left was the one that the International likely agreed weeks or months ago. The council was kept in session for 16hrs a day seven days a week while company and International officials went home every night. This is a way of trying to wear down the resistance.

As I look at this agreement I have to wonder what is going on here?

The company admitted back in the late 90s that the six year deal was a mistake, it had a negative effect on morale and they only way they could get anything done was with Overtime. Most line mechanics annual pay is the same or less now than it was before the raises. But now they seek to put in a more severe deal for a longer period of time.

The new process allows the member to change his/her vote at any time. Why is that?

The deal they put forward will cause extreme hardship for a long period of time.

If the contract does pass, the likely result is that even those who voted for it will come to work unhappy and performance will likely suffer as bad as the workers.
Does the company really want to put in all these concessions? Even if it passes can they run an airline where most of the workers are pissed off?

Could it be that in the final days of voting the company will all of a sudden say that due to some positive changes (government aid)and the efforts of their cooperative unions they can back off on the six years or some of the other harsh language changes? Could it be that as a result the Union will claim that thousands of votes were changed in the final days? Could the company and the union feel that this false reprieve will result in all the lemmings cheerily going to work thinking that lucked out by giving up more before bankruptcy than UAL got in bK? Are we stupid enough to fall for it?

We are being played.
Our Presidents council is a farce.
It is simply a means of making it appear that accontable local officials have control of the process. Three years from now, thanks to the ability to exchange information over the Internet most of these Presidents will be out. Thats suits the International just fine. The more cooperative and effective, from the Internationals point of view, will get appointments to the International. The rest will return to the floor desperately trying to defend themselves to their peers.
Not having to face the trouble of Democratic elections where they are judged by those affected by their decisions they stay and get better at BSing while a new crop of green presidents come to the council. They make easy marks, carefully molded into sacrificial zinc.Trained as mechanics or baggage handlers, elected by their peers because they are liked and trusted these guys are thrust into an unfamiliar arena and the International is quick to try and gain their trust. Once they gain that, they distance the elected official from the members by talking to each other about the sacrifices they make and the ungrateful membership. All the time holding out the impression that ''there might be a spot for someone like you in the International, you will be able to hobnob with rich important people and never have to run for office again''. For many the lure is irrestable, imaging never having to punch a clock again, never having to load another bag, change another tire, work night shift,expense accounts, free travel, take off whenever you want, you get to walk around in a suit and act like a college educated executive and you are accountable only to Jim Little, all the while still gaining seniority and as long as you ''tow the line'' and dont have sex with the girlfreind of people that you have to work with you get an additional pension from the union! So you are presented with this on the one hand or the prospect of having to face an ''unappreciative membership (its amazing how a handful of people can make someone feel that everyone feels one way or another)for reelection every three years or HEAVEN FORBID actually have to return to work under the conditions that the International convinced you were fair and equitable for them.

We are being played. Our union and the company have played a psycological game to make us feel powerless.Right now the company looks like its going to get a Grand Slam. So anything less will look like an improvement. Lets see what happens over the next seven days. Changes will be implemented and the new system will claim that the vote passed as people changed their NO votes to yes. The company may hope that their generosity will result in improved morale ( even though they just raped them) and the Union may hope that the impression that they saved jobs and kept at least a shred of diginity, although its the tiniest of shreds, will stop the coming exodus to AMFA. Even if it does not work, they may hope that the fact tha AMR was able to gain more in concessions than any other carrier got in BK will help drive the final nail in UALs coffin, they they can get all of those IAM baggage handlers and have more ATD members than both the IAM and IBT. Its a WIN-WIN for the Union and the Company,the problem is in order to provide two wins somebody has to lose twice, thats us.

What is going onhere can be answered with two words"

A grand slam would have been a 50% paycut - what AA has demanded is nothing better than a one-run double.
On 4/7/2003 12:40:54 PM FWAAA wrote:

So maybe you should try to replace the TWU - oh, that''s right - you already tried doing that and weren''t successful.

That battle isn''t over until we succeed!
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On 4/7/2003 12:25:30 PM FWAAA wrote:

A grand slam would have been a 50% paycut - what AA has demanded is nothing better than a one-run double.


Dont be ridiculous. That would be completely unworkable. You can only cut the pay so much and they have already gone beyond the max. When the Union suggested a flat 25% cut for one year, no other contractual changes the answer they got from the company/union was that it "would not be sellable to the members". Instead what they got was a cut that was bigger, but would only cut dues by 17.5% and will climb up to 40% by the end of the contract.

You cant expect to score 5 runs off one hit. It cant be done.

Care to place a wager on whether or not "new important details " concerning the contract are released before April 15th?

The voting process itself violates the TWU Constitution and By-Laws, therfore the LAW.

In 1995, the TWU also violated the law during the ratification process. The lawyers that Local 567 Committee sought advice from said the following:

The law has been violated but the problem is locating the property party defendant, the AA President's Council is not a legitimate organization under the D.O.L. Rules. The Presidents Council has no By-Laws on file with the Department of Labor. The lawyers finally concluded that the Local 567 Election Committee violated the law even though they followed the directions of the TWU International. The end result? We could now file for Injunctive Relief against ourselves.

The Presidents Council is nothing more than an International Patsy that will be revealed as illegal once legal action commences against the Dicatatorship.
On 4/7/2003 12:37:10 PM RV4 wrote:


What is going onhere can be answered with two words"


So maybe you should try to replace the TWU - oh, that''s right - you already tried doing that and weren''t successful.
On 4/7/2003 1:05:15 PM Bob Owens wrote:

Care to place a wager on whether or not "new important details " concerning the contract are released before April 15th?


No thanks - I don''t want to place wagers where I''m pretty sure the outcome won''t be in my favor.

Having gambled large on the very existence of the TAs (and I won that bet), my next decision is whether to gamble on the ratification of the TAs.
I''ve got to ask -- have any of you airline employees EVER been happy? Yeah yeah I know, before management screwed things up.....

Seems to me the AA board is going the way of the US board --a place that is overwhelmingly negative and not friendly.

All of you knuckleheads should have been labor lawyers. My god, the outrages that you''ve endured! Or so one would be led to believe after perusing these messages.

Your unions have led you astray -- you''ve been bamboozled, hoodwinked, lied to -- instead of preparing you for reality the union bigwigs were content to collect those dues and hobknob at the luxury gathering spots like southern Florida in January for their annual "winter" meetings.

This place is becoming overwhelmed by the sadsacks with the attitude that there''s a villain behind every corner!

My god folks -- get with the program! It is called market realities!

I''ve just changed from(NOT voting at all, because I''m so FU**/ing disgusted) to a straight line " N O " vote .

"Hey AA, reach for the soap" "Here it comes" !!!!!!!!!!!

"NO-hampshire" Black Bears