New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Seattle Council 54 Flash Update
January 5, 2009
TO: All SEA Pilots
FROM: Jim Stuart, Council 54 Chairman
Jeff Panioto, Council 54 Vice Chairman
Art Aaron, Council 54 Secretary-Treasurer
This is your LEC perspective regarding our current situation.
1. First and foremost each of us must focus on SAFETY. With the dramatic
changes that have and will occur in our company, it can be easy at times to
be distracted from the task at hand when we are in the cockpit. Take care.
2. Please read the Ziplines published by our MEC officers on December 22,
2008. Your Council 54 officers wholeheartedly support the position
articulated in that message. That Ziplines also effectively speaks to several
important issues confronting all of us.
3. The NWA and Delta MECs are scheduled to meet the middle of this month for
the purpose of combining into one MEC. The timing of this event is problematic because we have not resolved three major issues before us.
.. Determine a fair dispute resolution process for the millions of dollars
at stake for the premerger NWA pilots. So far, Captain Moak has insisted that
the former Delta ALPA pilots prosecute the grievances on behalf of the
former NWA pilots. Former Delta pilots, in discussions with Delta
management, would then determine what a fair settlement would be for the former NWA
How motivated do you think the former Delta pilots will be in
getting money from management on our behalf? Remember Letter 19! Former Delta ALPA,
in discussions with Delta management, was willing to have the former NWA
pilots be on a B-scale for three years while they continued to get pay
.. Determine a fair dispute resolution process for seniority list arguments
resulting from the acquisition of replacement aircraft, furloughs, or many
other critical issues.
.. Determine a fair dispute resolution process regarding the transition of
the former NWA pilots to the new Delta pilot working agreement. Of
particular note so far, the former Delta ALPA and Delta management want to
keep the former NWA pilots on different duty rigs and monthly caps until
basically SOC (implementation of single operating certificate). That means
not only are we paid less than the former Delta pilots for the next year or so,
but it might also deprive us of hundreds of pilot jobs due to the staffing
difference between the two contracts.
Were this to continue, we would be on a partial B-scale due to duty rigs,
and we will miss out on promotions to higher seats. Of course, after SOC, the
former Delta pilots can bid on all the non-fenced seats of the former NWA
pilots that will come open as a result of the increased staffing required by
the new Delta pilot working agreement. Delta ALPA is content with their
position, which again aligns itself with management against the former NWA
All three of these issues are in conflict with the former Delta pilots'
parochial interests. We do not want to take control of issues that pertain
exclusively to the former Delta pilots because that would be inappropriate,
and we certainly feel that it is inappropriate for them to control the issues
that affect only us. This conflict of interest is egregious and it MUST BE
remedied prior to the melding of the MECs. Any airline union would want
nothing less. Does not the concept of "duty of fair representation" come to
4. Throughout this merger process it is apparent that ALPA National has
chosen to side with the former Delta pilots possibly because of their size.
Note, for example, the signing of Letter 19 by Captain Prater leaving it up
to the former NWA pilots to manufacture leverage to avoid an inferior
three-year contract when contrasted with the former Delta pilots. Look also
at the ruling of the Executive Council in defining initial implementation of the
seniority list in a way that hinders the former NWA pilots from having an
effective voice at "the table" for those issues exclusively their own.
It seems that ALAP National will allow a larger pilot group to steamroll a
smaller group. The pilots of any ALPA carrier should take note of what has
happened to us if they believe there is a possibility that they too could be
involved in a merger? Is it not elementary that each member of ALPA needs
to be treated with genuine concern and not empty rhetoric?
One notes the decertification of the four ALPA carriers involved in their
two mergers. The continual trampling on a minority, particularly a minority of
significant size, not only makes a mockery of a union, it leads to
ruination of that union.
5. Captain Moak and Delta ALPA have had a spotty record so far in "team
building" with us. Their actions have not matched their rhetoric of
Putting everything that has happened in the past behind us, which is
essential for our mutual success, is possible only if their actions
recognize our value to our union and our corporation. Taking the control of our
specific issues (listed above as 3.a.b.c) from us this month is not
conducive to the success of this body. The fact that Delta ALPA refuses to support what
we, or any union, would require in this circumstance is not only
shortsighted, it is a critical misjudgment that could be avoided.
Furthermore, Captain Moak and Delta ALPA have given no signal that they are
interested in sharing any actual power in the governance of the 12,000-plus
pilots. They barely outnumber us (13 voters to 12 voters) on the new DAL
MEC, and they apparently want all the committee chairs as well as effective
control of the committees themselves. They want to control the MEC officer
billets of importance as well. Oh, to be sure, we will have some token
positions to make it "look better." Sounds just like the Karl Rove plan of
the rule of our country by 51 percent that we have seen for the better part of
this decade. How did that work out for our United States of America? After
eight long years and a lot of damage, even some hard-core Republicans wanted
to go in a very different direction. Let's do this right so that we can be
the effective union that we are capable of being for the benefit of our
entire membership and truly set the gold standard for the entire
6. The NWA MEC meets next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to discuss
strategy. We have a problem with some of the members of our own MEC with
regard to their responsibilities, and they are directly undermining the effort of
the NWA MEC to represent and advocate for you in the issues listed above.
For instance, DTW Secretary-Treasurer Thomas Tucker divulged some of our
MEC's confidential strategy session in an update to the DTW pilots. The
outgoing MSP FO rep, Jon Lewis, has e-mailed the DAL MEC his nonsupport of
the NWA MEC's position. Jon Lewis HAS VOTED IN FAVOR of our strategy! He even
voted in favor of filing the grievance over the trip/duty rig problem! We
only found out Jon's disagreement with us was when he e-mailed ONLY THE DAL MEC
and EVP Ray Miller and gave them the Council 1 update, voicing his
disagreement with Council 1 chairman's perspective on the update! But EVP
Miller responded to BOTH the NWA and DAL MEC to rebut the Council 1 chairman's
update that had pointed out Captain Miller's vote against NWA pilot issues.
The NWA EVP, Ray Miller, advocated against the NWA MEC's position at the
last Executive Council meeting. During a question at the October election of
the EVP, Captain Miller stated that he does not like the NWA MEC officer
leadership and has a poor working relationship with many members of the MEC.
He also stated that he could not wait to see the MECs merged!"
Is it possible that these individuals are undermining us to curry favor with
7. Captain Moak and the Delta MECSince your MEC officers have been
dealing with Captain Moak and the Delta MEC, we have consistently told you
that actions speak louder than words. At the arbitration hearings, the Delta
team told the arbitrators the economic windfall that the former NWA pilots
were getting with the new contract.
What the arbitrators and some of you are not aware of is the fact that there
was a better contract tentatively agreed too if Captain Moak and the Delta
MEC would have agreed to binding arbitration in the event that a negotiated
seniority list could not be achieved. They chose not to and gave up money
for everyone as that TA subsequently dropped dead!
Captain Moak and the Delta MEC then moved forward without the NWA pilots and
signed Letter 19 at less money for themselves and LOWERED the pay rates on
the A330, an aircraft that their own pilots would someday fly! Is not the
purpose of a union, along with safety, to enhance the pay and working
conditions of its members both current and future?
In 2002, after 9/11, and in a tough economic environment, NWA management
(under Richard Anderson) and NWA ALPA agreed to a two-year contract
that included 10.25% more pay by the end. In 2008, Captain Moak and the
Delta MEC agreed to a contract that was four years long, with pay raises of
4%, 4%, and 4%, and increases in the DC of 1%, 1%, and 1%. Equity was also
achieved. To make this merger go forward, Delta management needed scope
relief from Captain Moak and the Delta MEC. This was significant leverage
that Captain Moak and the Delta MEC had! After a 40% pay cut in Chapter 11,
was the 5% raise and equity good enough? By truly working with Captain
Stevens and the NWA MEC, could we have achieved more? We knew we had a 7%
raise on 1/1/09. What could we have achieved by working together? 9%, 10%
12%? We will never know.
Finally, we ask by disenfranchising a large group of pilots, how does the
new Delta MEC that ALPA National and Captain Moak with the old Delta
MEC are in such a frantic rush to formhave a snowball's chance in
hell to succeed? Is the foundation sound or is it faulty? It might look good
on day 2, but how will it hold up in the time to come?
We will begin to know on January 17, 2009, how the foundation is
Fraternally and in unity,
Jim Stuart, Chairman