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I'm not savvy to the inner workings of labor negotiations at the airlines.
If airline management is offering substandard contract terms, is that just a sign that they're anticipating a slowdown in the industry?  And they're just trying to "run out the clock" until the economy cools, airline traffic decreases, and union members have less bargaining power?
Is there any penalty for the airlines if they keep "kicking the can down the road" when it comes to signing a pilot contract?
 
 

Correct, there is no penalty to the airline to continue working under the status quo after a contract is amendable aside from potentially not attracting or retaining as many pilots as needed (generally a problem more for ulcc types).
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1 hour ago, TheNewGazmo said:

Yes; this is exactly what they are doing.  Trust me; management is smarter than we are.

No.  Other than flying our contract, there's not much the pilot group can do.  I keep hearing that we need to stop picking up open time/premium.  LOL!!! Yeah, like that's going to happen when people are making tens of, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars per year picking up premium.  The "stick it to the company" is just not happening across the pilot group because this industry drives a "feast or famine/get it while you can" attitude.  Tomorrow may not be as lucrative.

Seems to be a trend across the board at the moment. I think you are correct that the various management groups are outplaying the various pilot groups these days. The strategy seems to be: avoid any real negotiations, maybe throw in a small pay raise in the form of an extension or short term (~2yr) contract to keep pilots satiated, and wait for the next recession/downturn to roll around so you can cry poor and negotiate a long term concessionary contract. Lots of pilots seem to be having trouble seeing the long term play here. Also, ever since the APA got sued years ago, unions have been very timid in providing any kind of direction to their membership. There was once a time that certain phrases (do the work of one pilot, fly YOUR line, no waivers, no favors, etc) actually meant something and you’d see whole pilot groups pulling in the same direction (taxiing at a “safe” speed, strictly flying the flight plan (ie no shortcuts), never blocking out early, not picking up open time). Those days are largely gone & there doesn’t seem to be much fight in the unions anymore. I think that might be a symptom of a largely older pilot group that has a lot to lose if labor relations sour and a lot to gain by picking up extra flying & padding their retirement funds. Maybe things will change a bit as more of the old guard retires. 

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FedEx negotiations - no different than the standard industry-wide teeth gnashing. A very vocal minority complaining on Airline Pilot Central, about 12 angry men just screaming at each other, mostly about personal issues, and mostly without ever providing a real solution. Standard internet board chaff.

We're just over a year into negotiations. Both company and union say mean things about each other. It's business, it's not personal. Most guys are just flying their line, and there are a few that will again make over $1M for the 3rd year in a row. I still can't control what other people do in life. Oh well.

No credible rumors about pay rates and work rules yet. If we're lucky, we'll see a TA before peak. If the historical 2+ year timeline holds, we'll see a TA in the spring. Unclear which timeline we're on.

Union/company politics are just as draining as normal governmental politics if you let the evil in. I've found that keeping the bull$hit at arm's length is effective mitigation...just fly the line like cog that I am, then go home to hang out with my favorite people on the planet. From my seat, FedEx is still the best job in aviation

There's beauty in being a cog. A well paid cog, but a cog nonetheless.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/2/2022 at 3:41 PM, ImNotARobot said:

FedEx negotiations - no different than the standard industry-wide teeth gnashing. A very vocal minority complaining on Airline Pilot Central, about 12 angry men just screaming at each other, mostly about personal issues, and mostly without ever providing a real solution. Standard internet board chaff.

We're just over a year into negotiations. Both company and union say mean things about each other. It's business, it's not personal. Most guys are just flying their line, and there are a few that will again make over $1M for the 3rd year in a row. I still can't control what other people do in life. Oh well.

No credible rumors about pay rates and work rules yet. If we're lucky, we'll see a TA before peak. If the historical 2+ year timeline holds, we'll see a TA in the spring. Unclear which timeline we're on.

Union/company politics are just as draining as normal governmental politics if you let the evil in. I've found that keeping the bull$hit at arm's length is effective mitigation...just fly the line like cog that I am, then go home to hang out with my favorite people on the planet. From my seat, FedEx is still the best job in aviation

There's beauty in being a cog. A well paid cog, but a cog nonetheless.

Preach.  Well, shortly at brown we'll vote in a 2 year extension that'll bump up the baseline pay for the group.  We're team players like that.  Thank the new Teamsters leadership.

Edited by FourFans130
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On 7/2/2022 at 1:41 PM, Prozac said:

 I think that might be a symptom of a largely older pilot group that has a lot to lose if labor relations sour and a lot to gain by picking up extra flying & padding their retirement funds. Maybe things will change a bit as more of the old guard retires. 

It changed when airlines went from a Defined Benefit Plan to a Defined Contribution Plan.

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1 hour ago, Springer said:

It changed when airlines went from a Defined Benefit Plan to a Defined Contribution Plan.

I’m at an airline that still has an A Plan & the ‘I got mine’ “independent contractor” attitude is alive and well. 

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On 7/4/2022 at 4:38 PM, Prozac said:

I’m at an airline that still has an A Plan & the ‘I got mine’ “independent contractor” attitude is alive and well. 

That "independent contractor" may have gone through previous years of upheaval, pay cuts, mergers, and a BK.  Those  hired in the last 14 years have only experienced pay raises and bonus checks unheard of in the past.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, xaarman said:

Found the independent contractor

Doubtful. 

Accurate observations don't indict the speaker just because someone doesn't like it.
 

The truth hurts only when it should. 

Edited by HuggyU2
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9 hours ago, Springer said:

That "independent contractor" may have gone through previous years of upheaval, pay cuts, mergers, and a BK.  Those  hired in the last 14 years have only experienced pay raises and bonus checks unheard of in the past.

There is truth in this statement. Still, there’s a time to make hay when the sun shines, and a time to fall in line and pull in the same direction. 

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On 7/8/2022 at 7:55 PM, xaarman said:

Found the independent contractor

I am assuming that was directed at me.  You sir have no clue.

Me?  Hired by my #1 and #4 choice.  #1 brothers went on strike.  Refused to cross as a replacement...promptly fired.  Went to #4.  There we supported our striking brothers at Eastern and Continental by gladly paying monthly assessments for several years.  Gladly paid assessments for our long retired pilots that had little benefits.  Gladly paid two merger assessments.  Stood side by side with my brothers on the picket line when we struck our airline.  Suffered through 6 CEO's all of which left with millions; two of which parted with $200+ million each.  Went through BK, pay dropped from $220/hr to $139/hr.  Retired early so Prozac and others could move up a number and enjoy the "fruits" of our years of past struggles.

Might want to thank that senior guy hired prior to '08 the next time you fly with him.

In solidarity with my Continental brothers, carried a "No Lorenzo" sticker on my fuselage for 20 years:

 

RV4L.jpg

Edited by Springer
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On 7/8/2022 at 1:02 PM, Springer said:

That "independent contractor" may have gone through previous years of upheaval, pay cuts, mergers, and a BK.  Those  hired in the last 14 years have only experienced pay raises and bonus checks unheard of in the past.

There's always an excuse. The guys hired in the last few years spent 10-17 years stuck at the regionals. The TWA guys got stapled twice. B-scale, mergers, integrations, bankruptcies, pandemics... It's always something. You either act as a unionist or the bad times will persist. You don't have to like it. I don't. But it's a unionized career, so act accordingly. You did, but others don't.

 

I always find it funny when an old guy tells me about how when he was hired they said he'd be a captain in 5 years and they'd have to back up a dump truck full of money to his driveway. Then he got screwed by xxx or yyy and it took decades to get where he was "supposed to be." That's why he can't afford to follow the union guidance this time. Sorry.

 

But don't worry, he tells me, you'll be a captain in 5 years and they'll have to back a dump truck full of money to my driveway, so I shouldn't worry about him acting like an independent contractor, it'll be different for me...

 

Even after a pandemic these guys still don't see the irony or hypocrisy. But pilots are funny creatures...

Edited by Lord Ratner
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9 minutes ago, Lord Ratner said:

I always find it funny when an old guy tells me...

Ironically, that's doesn't appear to be the case at UAL currently.  I would say it's not "the old guys" that are caving to the "independent contractor" mindset as we move through our TA process.  Obviously just my opinion.  

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I hope a lot of AF guys that have no goal in life besides jumping to the airlines at the earliest opportunity read this stuff for context. An airline career is fantastic, but I hear a lot of young guys that think it’s all perfect and zero drawbacks that have zero clue. 
 

I’ve talked to a bunch that literally don’t even know there’s a union and how they’re anti-union. Best of luck with that in the airlines.

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36 minutes ago, Danger41 said:

I’ve talked to a bunch that literally don’t even know there’s a union and how they’re anti-union. Best of luck with that in the airlines.

They'll learn.  I won't post links so as to not derail the thread, but you'll forgive a guy for reading recent [non-pilot] union headlines and thinking they're sofa king crazy.

Edited by nunya
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There’s no excuse in this day and age not to have the good, bad and the ugly on any one outfit. There is really nothing out there that will exonerate anyone from claiming they had no idea what the airlines are all about: $$$ (Yours/Theirs), Unions, Seniority, Equipment, Schedules, Jumpseating/Positive Space/Gateways/Homebasing, Cargo vs Pax, FA’s, Domestic vs International, Retirement plans, Soft Pay, Vacation, Sick Leave, Guarantee, Line Holder, Reserve, Long Call, Short Call, Domiciles, Paid relocation, Line Check Airman, Sim Check Airman/DE, Training Center opportunities, hotels, transportation, green slip, scab, etc, etc, etc. If for some reason it doesn’t suit you just quit. There is plenty of time to job search in hotels at a minimum. Yes, it is a quagmire but just ask a question and someone will pipe in with the answer at their outfit.  “Independent Contractors” live at all outfits some more than others and it seems cyclic like every disaster scenario this industry goes thru every decade or thereabouts.

Nothing is perfect and the airlines provide a very good lifestyle if it aligns with your priorities whatever they may be. It’s not for everyone and should not be sold as such, but it does provide opportunities that are rarely found in others sectors. It’s what you make of it.

Edited by AirGuardianC141747
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10 minutes ago, nunya said:

They'll learn.  I won't post links so as to not derail the thread, but you'll forgive a guy for reading recent union headlines and thinking they're sofa king crazy.

And it will only get crazier… Economy, Recession, War, Inflation, combination of all and or something else. It is a crazy industry.

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1 hour ago, Danger41 said:

I hope a lot of AF guys that have no goal in life besides jumping to the airlines at the earliest opportunity read this stuff for context. An airline career is fantastic, but I hear a lot of young guys that think it’s all perfect and zero drawbacks that have zero clue. 
 

I’ve talked to a bunch that literally don’t even know there’s a union and how they’re anti-union. Best of luck with that in the airlines.

Agree. The bro network has this information at its fingertips these days. A caveat: Yes, mil guys still show up clueless about airline unions, their necessity, and their history. The unions see this in pretty much every new hire class and are prepared to nip it in the bud early. I’ve seen some of the most staunchly anti-union dudes & dudettes turn into some of the biggest proponents & volunteers within a year or two. I’ll add that while there are certainly downsides to the airline career, the QOL, money, time off, and general flexibility are head and shoulders above anything I experienced in my AF career. I have to remind myself of this from time to time, as, with everything in life, it’s all relative. 

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WTF is going on with the airlines now with delays/cancellation? In the last 30 calendar days, I’m at 70% delays or cancellations including 100% on current trip. 

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WTF is going on with the airlines now with delays/cancellation? In the last 30 calendar days, I’m at 70% delays or cancellations including 100% on current trip. 
Summer weather, higher PAX loads, more flights, ATC saturation, manning shortfalls, etc... stuff that happens every summer, but I suppose the manning shortfalls are compounding the issues.
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Update. Another delay to go along with the previous 3. SWA for context. I saw their pilot union tweeting at the company about overbooking flights without crews to make it happen. 
 

I know this isn’t unique to SWA, but is there anything that can be done to get this straightened out in our transportation system? I know I’m just venting here, but it just feels like it’s emblematic of this whole country being just kind of crappy in a lot of areas that used to be solid. 

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I mean, the airlines could pay for more staff. Or they can overbook and bank on an algorithm on how many people will/won’t show and have lower costs, but potentially cancel some and burn a few customers.

Penny pinchers go for the second route. SWA used to be the exception, but nowadays the CEOs really don’t give a shit about customer service, just about share prices and cutting costs.


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Update 2: Anti-skid went out so delayed to fix that but then a storm hit and we’re stuck on the ramp until we can actually fix something.

Mods, feel free to start a new thread of Danger41’s slow descent into psychosis.

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Update 2: Anti-skid went out so delayed to fix that but then a storm hit and we’re stuck on the ramp until we can actually fix something.
Mods, feel free to start a new thread of Danger41’s slow descent into psychosis.
When I got hired with the airlines, it took everything in me to not let my "military-TypeA-try to fix everything" mentality get the best of me. Just let it ride... you get paid by the minute.
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