What is a scab in the airline pilot world?


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I've read countless times the term scab over at flightinfo.com... but really have no idea what the term is. They say Mesa pilots are, AA Eagle, etc, etc.

But what exactly makes you a scab, and what add's you t the "list" that pilots actually have of so called scabs?

So far, I know it's something about unions, picketing, lowering the bar oin the profession.

Could anyone fill in the rest please

Happy New Year!!
The only time you actually become a "scab" is when you cross a picket line to work at an airline that is on strike.

Bad bad news.
You don't EVER want to be listed as a scab. It's when a pilot crosses the picket line and goes back to work for the company when everyone else is striking. I know a pilot who did that when he flew for Eastern, after Eastern went down he could NEVER and I mean NEVER find another job. He is now flying corporate for Baron Hilton.
Okay that's what I was thinking... but for example say your flying as a pilot with Delta, the Delta's pilot's union (DALPA?) strikes... but you really aren't involved with DALPA, do you picket, or what would you do? Take an LOA, call in sick? What if flying is a must, ie. house payments, children?

Kind of a sad thought... I hear some pilots looking for jumpseats to commute don't get them, because the Captain had the "scab list" in his flight bag.
If you're a pilot for Delta, you're involved with DALPA by default. If you elect to become a non-member of the union, you're still bound by the contractural obligations between DALPA and Delta while paying 'contract admin' fees that are pretty much equal to what you'd be paying in dues.

Personally, if I knew I was flying with a pilot who scabbed while I was on strike, I'd probably swap the trip. And if I couldn't swap the trip, it'd probably be 'checklists only' and nothing else because I couldn't stand to socialize with a person that enabled the company to keep us out on strike longer while he went to work in pursuit of his own interests.
Okay, makes sense. Though like in the mid-90's when Northwest was on strike, I'm quessing there must have been a heavy number of pilots flying while the other's were on strike? Which would make a great deal of NWA guys scabs.

Another thing... if you did not strike, but are apart of the union, would you bid all of your sick time, file LOA? Or just picket with everyone else, lol


Also thanks for the replies, appreciate it.
I don't think any NWA pilots scabbed, but I might be wrong.
, guess I thought it wasn't that extreme. I always thought during an airline strike, you had 50/50, something or other, not the entire group.
Out of curiosity, what percentage of the guys flying for an airline are "management pilots?" I guess this would include check airmen, standards guys ... what else am I missing?

What is typical for them to do during a strike? They're certainly still union members, but they're also management.
Managment pilots strike with the rest of them.... that is the point of a "union".. all for one. You strike.. you all strike.
Pretty much anyone on the seniority list with eligibility to fly would be on strike. Even if the chief pilot decides to start up the APU, crank a couple engines and take off on a revenue flight, he would then be on the scab list.

Enough nasty thoughts, just remember if I hear that you scab, I'll break out your windows myself!
I remember flying TWA in the early 90's and they had a sort of unofficial "sick out" for about a week to tighten the screws on management. Our flight was delayed for about 10 hours! Either the FO or the captain would show and the other would call in sick so they couldn't leave. Then the reserve guys got stretched so thin they couldn't cover everything and a LOT of flights got canceled.
A scab is a term used in the labour movement in general, and not just related to airline pilots. Basically any worker which crosses a picketline during a strike is scabbing, and essentally antagonizes themselves with the rest of the workforce.

The same principle applies whether or not the workers are within the same union. For example, I believe the Teamsters have good record of refusing to cross any picketlines, even at the companies their members are not involved with. This means that if a Teamsters driver has to make a delivery to a warehouse where the workers are on strike, they will unload the goods outside the picket line, or not at all, thus forcing management to move the goods themselves.

Question for Doug

What is a scab list? Who maintains it? And how does it get passed to other airlines?

I'm just curious, because I hear scabs don't get hired, but I would think that airlines would rather hire someone that scabbed to try to keep their services working during a strike.

"Managment pilots strike with the rest of them.... that is the point of a "union".. all for one. You strike.. you all strike"

Not at my company they don't. We had a strike once and the management pilots all flew their butts off to move as many airplanes as possible while the line pukes walked the picket line. Management pilots at my company are not in the union and only fly the line for proficiency...the rest of the time they do....management stuff. They are also usually hired straight into management without being a line guy....though some line guys have left and gone into management. Management pilots at my company have no union, no seniority list, no contract, and no work rules other the FAR's. They also get upgraded to Capt much, much, faster than those in the union and make a bonus over normal Capts pay plus stock options and I'm sure lot's of other bennies I don't know about. I've heard the goal is to have one management pilot for every 10 line pilots. Not sure if this is industry standard or not...but I doubt it.
The Eleventh Circuit Court referenced the following definitions, in footnote 7, of a scab in Dunn v. ALPA

"The various definitions of a "scab" in the labor context are: "(1): one who refuses to join a union (2): a member of a union who refuses to strike or returns to work before a strike has ended (3): a worker who accepts employment or replaces a union worker during a strike (4): one who works for lower wages than or under conditions contrary to those prescribed by a union." Webster's Third New International Dictionary 2022 (1986)."

All that being said, the most common usage of the term "scab" and the most aggregious violation, is when a union member refuses to strike or returns to work before a strike has ended, or a worker accepts employment and replaces a union worker during a strike. IOW, crossing a picketline.

Being a "scab" is very, very bad.
The ugly side of the airline industry

Enough nasty thoughts, just remember if I hear that you scab, I'll break out your windows myself!

[/ QUOTE ]I'm really, REALLY disappointed to hear you say something like this, Doug--joking or not.

I read something on flightinfo recently that quite honestly, sickened me. Suffice to say, after reading it, I have no desire to EVER work with the people who engaged in such criminal, thug-like behavior at Northwest Airlines. Strike or no strike, such conduct is morally, ethically, and professionally reprehensible. Management stabs labor in the back EVERY DAY, and I don't hear of campaigns to induce suicides among management or their families. Absolutely sickening.

Read it for yourself and come to your own conclusions.
Re: The ugly side of the airline industry

Dad was a Teamster!
Re: The ugly side of the airline industry

LOL Aloft,

Doug's comment wasn't even compared to some of the stuff said over at flightinfo about "scabs". Now I see why AA/Mesa pilots aren't liked so much over in that forum.

I was talking to my mom about this, she mentioned her friend recently got a job at Vons market. Mind you this market store, plus some others in SoCal are on strike. She said here freind was getting threats at her home... one to her 9 year old daughter.
She's just trying to pay the bills.

Brings me to another thought. What if the money is absolutly needed, like a sick child, etc, etc... would people consider them scabs even then?