Mesaba TA...we'll see how the vote goes

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
Mesaba TA...we\'ll see how the vote goes

Jan 11, 7:11 AM EST

Mesaba, Pilots Reach Tentative Contract

By RENEE RUBLE
Associated Press Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Mesaba Airlines and its pilots reached agreement on a tentative contract early Sunday, averting a strike that could have threatened the regional carrier's survival.

The agreement came after talks had stretched more than a day past a strike deadline. No details were released.

Mesaba, which ferries passengers from rural areas to Northwest Airlines' hubs in Minneapolis, Detroit and Memphis, said it would resume nearly full operations on Sunday.

Mesaba spokesman Dave Jackson declined to take questions about the contract. The airline issued a statement praising "the professionalism and contribution" of its pilots.

Tom Wychor, head of the Mesaba unit of the Air Lines Pilots Association, said the agreement puts Mesaba pilots in line with their peers without putting the company at risk.

"This is a very competitive agreement for the pilots and for the company," Wychor said. "It's a good agreement."

Before the agreement was reached, Mesaba canceled 73 flights for Sunday because of the uncertainty. Jackson said those cancellations would stand but another 543 departures were expected to go off as planned.

Both sides said no details of the agreement would be released until it has been presented to pilots, a process that could take 10 days or more.

Pay was a key issue. ALPA said about half of Mesaba's pilots earn less than $35,000 for full-time work. Talks dragged on for more than two years, and in October, 98 percent of the pilots authorized a strike.

Mesaba's only customer is Northwest Airlines, which owns 28 percent of the smaller carrier, provides its airplanes and handles its reservations. About one in every 12 passengers flies part of their trip on Mesaba. About 20 cities have no air service other than Mesaba.

Mesaba said it needed to keep its costs flat to continue flying for Northwest, which has another regional carrier, Pinnacle Airlines. Pilots for both Northwest and Pinnacle had said they would not fly new routes or larger planes to make up for the strike.

Mesaba canceled all of Saturday's schedule, stranding many travelers.

That included Tom Lee, of Queen Creek, Ariz.

Lee said he wasn't even aware a strike was looming until he arrived at Minneapolis on Saturday afternoon from Phoenix and found his connecting flight to Aberdeen, S.D., canceled. He was traveling to Aberdeen to be a pallbearer at his best friend's funeral.

"They didn't tell me anything, nothing, when I checked in this morning," said Lee, as he researched car rentals and other flights. "Northwest said I could get a refund if I fly back today to Phoenix, but that doesn't get me to Aberdeen."

Lee said he would look at other options next time he visits family and friends in South Dakota.

"I like Northwest, I fly them a lot," Lee said. "But this has got to make you question."
 

flycanuck

New Member
Re: Mesaba TA...we\'ll see how the vote goes

I hope they come to an agreement. Because if they don't my vacation plans could get really screwed up.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
Re: Mesaba TA...we\'ll see how the vote goes

It will take two or three months before the vote, I would guess. It will be status quo on the old contract until then. If the pilots did vote it down, they would go back to the table for a while before another strike threat.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Re: Mesaba TA...we\'ll see how the vote goes

I've only been through one strike, but it wasn't as scary because I was waiting for a class date with Delta.

Some of the things to look for are going to be the work rules. Generally the pay is extraodinarily important, but almost even moreso are the work rules.

Whenever a new TA is struck, the company will come out with "We're offering the pilots an X% raise" whereas some of the average Joe pilots may be miffed about loss of vacation days or some other quality of life element like America West and their negotiations a few months back.

Pilot contracts are pretty complicated things, I'm still trying to figure out the one we signed back in 2000.
 

IrishSheepdog

Sitting in the median
Re: Mesaba TA...we\'ll see how the vote goes

I'm anxious to see the details. Particularly in pay for the SF-340.
 

junkstream

Well-Known Member
Re: Mesaba TA...we\'ll see how the vote goes

FlyChicaga:

What is your FO pay beyond first year? I know your CA pay up to 3rd year. Is that where it maxes out? I could not find your rates on the ALPA site. I know you're non-union, but they have the rates of other non-ALPA carriers.

Anyway, Mesaba's '96 contract is slightly higher in pay in all but first year FO pay.

One bad thing about Mesaba's present contract is that they pay the SAME for FO's on the Saab as the Avro. Also, their FO's max out at fifth year pay. In '96 no one thought we'd see 5+ year FO's at the regionals, but that's a little different these days.

Are you guys talking about trying for ALPA again in Jan?
 

shooter13

New Member
Re: Mesaba TA...we\'ll see how the vote goes

Not to derail the thread but I have a question. Do pilots at non-union carriers join ALPA?
 

junkstream

Well-Known Member
Re: Mesaba TA...we\'ll see how the vote goes

No. To be a member of ALPA, you must work for an ALPA union carrier. Like other unions, you're an apprentice member for your probationary period. Once that ends, you're voted in as a member in good standing and begin paying union dues.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Re: Mesaba TA...we\'ll see how the vote goes

Well there are exceptions. Once in ALPA you can stay in by maintaining an Associate Membership. So it is possible that a non-union carrier may have some ALPA members, but the only real advantage is getting the magazine.

ALPA does not represent them at those carriers!
 

stultus

New Member
Re: Mesaba TA...we\'ll see how the vote goes

[ QUOTE ]

Mesaba, which ferries passengers from rural areas to Northwest Airlines' hubs in Minneapolis, Detroit and Memphis, said it would resume nearly full operations on Sunday.


[/ QUOTE ]

Like when I flew them from DFW to MEM a couple of months ago? Gotta love the media.
 
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