AirTran ALPA drive

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Evil Landlord Capitalist
Well folks, it's finally happening. Wish us luck.



November 28, 2008

Dear Fellow AirTran Pilot:

We are pleased to announce the formation of AirTran Pilots for ALPA—a group of AirTran pilots with diverse backgrounds and experience. We are Captains and First Officers, NPA volunteers and those who have never volunteered. Some are former ALPA members, others are former Teamsters. What binds us together is a common vision of better representation and a brighter future for our fellow AirTran pilots.

These are our guiding principles: First, we all believe in our company and are committed to its growth and success. Second, we all believe that AirTran pilots need and deserve effective union representation. Third, we all believe that recent representation activities don’t provide the opportunity for AirTran pilots to obtain and review complete information about choices we have for our future.

As most of you know, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has started an organizing drive and is circulating authorization cards. Some of you have expressed the belief that those cards will just permit the Teamsters to meet with the NPA Board. Others seem to have signed cards out of frustration with the NPA and the lack of progress in negotiations with the Company. But many pilots we talk to haven’t been told that by signing a card they are authorizing the Teamsters to petition the National Mediation Board for a representation election.

AirTran Pilots for ALPA believes that we can't sit idly by, waiting for the NPA Board to complete debate about a merger process, while the Teamsters organize and circulate cards. The NPA Board has been examining this issue since August, and we still don’t have guidance from the president when we will get information about both unions and when we’ll have the chance to give our input. At this point we don't know when, how, or if the NPA Board will act. The Teamster card push causes us to take our own steps to obtain more information about our choices and insist on a balanced approach. Therefore, we feel that we must move forward, as we firmly believe that ALPA – a Union exclusively for pilots, by pilots, and of pilots – presents a superior choice to the Teamsters.

Why ALPA? From our discussions with fellow AirTran pilots, we think that you’re most interested in an improved collective bargaining agreement, stronger contract enforcement, better benefits, enhanced job security, and world-class safety support. We know that ALPA has the professional negotiators, lawyers, communication specialists, analysts, and infrastructure to back up those programs and support us.

Why ALPA? We think there is a huge difference between a national union that is dedicated, structured, and resourced to support pilots on these issues and a union that is structured to support issues important to truck drivers, warehouse workers, and ground employees. We think there is a difference between a union like ALPA, where we elect pilots to make decisions and recommendations; and a union like the Teamsters where decisions for our pilot group are made by hired business agents who aren’t accountable to us. We think there is a difference between a union like ALPA where financial and organizational decisions are made only by pilots; and a union like the Teamsters where truck drivers, warehouse workers, and ground employees—who vastly outnumber pilots—make that union’s financial and organizational decisions. Inside the IBT, the Airline Division is a very small part of their membership, and pilots are a small part of the Airline Division.

While we come from different backgrounds, we all agree on one more thing — that ALPA will support us better and provide much more effective representation than either the NPA or the Teamsters on the issues that matter most to us.

It’s this backdrop that has caused us to circulate authorization cards for ALPA representation of AirTran pilots. Although we strongly prefer that the NPA pursue a merger with ALPA, if the Board continues to delay and the IBT continues to collect cards, we can’t stand by while important decisions about our future—including whether we want ALPA or the Teamsters—are made without the full participation of our pilot group. These cards can be used to petition the National Mediation Board for a representation election. We hope that the NPA Board will take steps to get more information from both unions very shortly and provide it to the pilot group in a balanced way following its December 11–12 meeting. In the meantime, we intend to make sure pilots have the opportunity to receive information about both ALPA and IBT.

This is a serious matter, and we invite you to gather facts and ask tough questions. We’ll be circulating cards and trying to answer your questions. If we don’t know the answer to your question, we’ll track down the information and get it to you.

If you would like to support our efforts to bring ALPA to AirTran, please send an e-mail to apfa09@gmail.com. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail. While this initiative is already supported by a large group of AirTran pilots, participation by even more volunteers is welcome and will serve us well. We look forward to meeting with you soon and talking with you about ALPA representation. Thanks!

AirTran Pilots for ALPA
P.O. Box 82700
Atlanta, GA 30354
 

Minuteman

“Dongola”
Out of curiosity, how will this affect the pilots at AirTran who are unable to be "members in good standing" with ALPA? Any idea what the size of that group is?

Good luck!
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Evil Landlord Capitalist
Out of curiosity, how will this affect the pilots at AirTran who are unable to be "members in good standing" with ALPA? Any idea what the size of that group is?

Good luck!
That group is only about 20-30 pilots now. Most of those guys have retired. But ALPA usually allows them back in for these kind of situations if they agree to pay dues. It's a way of not creating a divisive issue at the outset. Not saying that I like it, but it is what it is.
 

Velocipede

New Member
Out of curiosity, how will this affect the pilots at AirTran who are unable to be "members in good standing" with ALPA? Any idea what the size of that group is?
It all depends on how "forgiving" the MEC is. We have an Eastern scab. Our MEC was not forgiving. Once a scab, always a scab.

That group is only about 20-30 pilots now. Most of those guys have retired. But ALPA usually allows them back in for these kind of situations if they agree to pay dues. It's a way of not creating a divisive issue at the outset. Not saying that I like it, but it is what it is.
As I said, it all depends on the individual MEC. CAL decided to let the '83 boys back in.
 

Cruise

Well-Known Member
Nice, may both our pilot groups soon join the ranks of ALPA pilots.

Good luck on the drive! :)
 

JoelT

Well-Known Member
It all depends on how "forgiving" the MEC is. We have an Eastern scab. Our MEC was not forgiving. Once a scab, always a scab.



As I said, it all depends on the individual MEC. CAL decided to let the '83 boys back in.
If the CAL pilot had an outstanding balance or fine then they had to pay it before being allowed back in. The ironic thing is that the Turbo SCABS (those that were hired off the street in '83-'85, the vast majority of CAL SCABS) were never ALPA members so they could not be fined.
 

Velocipede

New Member
The ironic thing is that the Turbo SCABS (those that were hired off the street in '83-'85, the vast majority of CAL SCABS) were never ALPA members so they could not be fined.
That's how ALPA works. Despite what some people think, local MECs determine what happens even is National advises them otherwise.
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
That's how ALPA works. Despite what some people think, local MECs determine what happens even is National advises them otherwise.
You mean like when National says "Don't insist on date of hire, it'll never happen" and the MEC continues to do so? :)
 

Velocipede

New Member
Pretty much. Or when they told our NC, "This a pretty good deal, you should take it" but they insisted on an arbitration, lost it and we got a 20-30% pay cut out of it.

Yeah, like that.
 
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