Commenting on the above, I'll give an example of a quick economic about-face and how a company can respond: I got hired by a box hauler in 2000 during dot-com inspired economic hotness. This company (Wiggins) was "sooooo happy to have you" and "was gonna have to start parking airplanes due to lack of twin qualified pilots" according to the C.P. He promises me a set run, he promises jumpseat agreements that don't exist, etc. Fast forward to Oct. 2001, the economy craps out, pilots on the street, general mayhem and the attitude shift begins. First give me some extra flying within the UPS structure. Then a couple of charters they pick up off an ad hoc service in addition to the UPS schedule. Finally its, "Hey, you guys are gonna carry a pager 24 hrs a day because you're being put on charter search." Now its a completely different job yet of the 4 of us at my base I was the only guy who walked right then. It didn't hurt me because I had other stuff going on, but it is a great example of what a union is supposed to prevent. Had I needed my job or had 5 or 10 years invested I might have just needed to bend over. Our C.P. there who I genuinely liked and think really cared about the pilot group could do nothing, as he was dug in geographically and was older and could risk nothing. I'm currently living vicariously through some friends at Atlas who are experiencing something similar and I wonder how ugly that would get without their union. As an aside to what Ppragman said, I consider myself to have worked for only one really quality company in my flying career and consider them quite rare after observing this industry for 30 years. This outfit was driven to provide quality service and to make money but never seemed to let that cloud how they treated employees. That company was Spernak Airways in Anchorage and I thank them for helping me see that things could be different.