Discussion in 'Flight Control/Dispatch' started by Mainline_or_bust, Apr 6, 2017.
Are the Southern Air dispatchers part of this TA as well?
Not at this point
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Word is it will be August when SOC happens.
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Are you allowed to vote/consider an alternative union to Teamsters?
The question is why would they?
You know, if there's one downside to aviation, it's the unionization that pervades the industry. To me, the unions are nothing more than another hand grabbing my paycheck BEFORE I see it, and giving me absolutely NOTHING in return.
Many years ago, I worked @ STL. I refueled the airliners back when TWA was there. I did everything from DC-9s to B-747s. The Teamsters 'represented' us, though that's being generous. From what I could see, they did nothing of the sort. What it amounted to was having my paycheck confiscated to pay the fat salary of a union rep who we never saw! I knew his name, but I never saw the man there. We had a two tier wage scale with NO PROVISION WHATSOEVER to go from B scale to A scale. Once an A scaler retired, quit, or was fired, that was it; no B scaler could move in and take his place. AFAIAC, the union did absolutely NOTHING for us-nothing! To me, they were just another hand (along with the tax man, of course) grabbing my paycheck before I saw it, and giving nothing in return.
There may have been a time in our history when unions were necessary; a quick look at the coal mines in the 19th Century will bear that out. However, they have long since outlived their usefulness, and they now serve only to enrich the union leadership at the members' expense.
Can't say I agree with you there but that's okay. We all have opinions.
Maybe other unions in other companies are different. I can only speak from MY experience, which was limited; that was the only unionized employer I ever worked for. Based on my limited experience, I was NOT impressed. As I said above, they took our money and did absolutely NOTHING for us.
Also, what colors my opinion is how the teachers' union treated my late mother when she voted 'no' for a strike decades ago. My brother and I attended the same school system, though it was a different building than where my mom worked. The other teachers threatened my mom that they would fail us if she didn't go along with them.
From what I have heard, this is why PAFCA has become a popular option at some of the majors...
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If you have good and honest management then a union is superfluous. If they have a rule book and abide by those rules, then you're good.
However, I couldn't imagine working for my current employer without a union. I've seen how they treat non-union employees. It's a shame to cut some ones healthcare and require them to work on days off while the exec board reaps 20% annual raises and profits in the billions.
In our field a legally recognized contract is a must. Management is always looking to take what they can and ignore those who make the machine work.
Unions also deliver things companies otherwise wouldn't give, especially in airline dispatch. Plus who will be there to represent you when management takes you into the office?
I get sick of hearing people whine about dues. Do they not see what that gets them in collective bargaining and a legally recognized CBA? Plus, at 1 to 2 percent dues are far less than what you will have stolen in income taxes or that many pay for health insurance.
Point is, after almost 11 years in this business, most without a CBA, I see the night and day difference of having one vs. Trying to get something on your own. Ask for anything that cost $ and they will laugh you out of the office, but with a union, there isn't going to be that type of treatment.
Finally, Teamsters is a solid group and works to deliver great improvements from the first contract. I know, because I've seen this with the pilots at my airline and soon we dispatchers will reap some of those same benefits.
Remember, give management an inch and they'll take a mile or more.
I never saw the union help out guys at my shop-ESPECIALLY the A scalers. The company looked for any reason to get rid of them, because they didn't have to replace them; once A scale was gone, it was gone. I wouldn't have minded paying dues had I gotten SOMETHING in return for them. They took our money, but when it came time to DO something in return (i.e. represent us when management took us into the office), they were nowhere to be found! We had a union in name only where I worked.
All unions are worthless because your short tenure in one 20 years ago had weak leadership. Got it.
im guessing that your teamster group numbered in the 1000's. Where most dispatch groups are a much smaller and tighter group. So, the representation is much more focused and available to individuals. So, we all may have had a different experience by a long shot.
No, a union is not perfect. No human organization is. But, especially in a small dispatch group, it's only ever going to be as good as what the membership is wilig to put into it. I'm lucky i work with a very united group when it comes to being.... let's just say "challenged" by our management group.
As far as your A scale / B scale problems, keep in mind it was the current membership at contract time that sold the future employees out to get a higher wage. So again, the Teamster organization didn't create that issue, the membership at the time did for their gain. And you're back to your union's quality being a reflection of its membership.
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I'll try to address your points one by one.
First, our shop had 100 guys in it when I was there-hardly a large group. It certainly wasn't in the thousands.
Second, I've been around enough to know that any system or organization, even if perfect, will cease to be perfect once humans are put into the equation.
Third, I thought that the union would send a representative to either do the negotiations, or at least help out with them. I know that, when I read about other union negotiations (e.g. the coal miners), that the news reports would talk about company and union representatives meeting to hammer things out. Where was our rep? He wasn't around-at all! I never saw the guy. It was the classic no-show job, and it was at OUR expense! That's what I didn't like.
To be fair, I wasn't around long enough to be part of a contract negotiation. Given TWA's shaky finances and my low seniority number, I saw the writing on the wall; if TWA went belly up, I'd be one of the first shown the door-end of story. I quit and did other things. I knew that management wanted to eliminate the A scalers, and they were on track to do that.
Fourth, since I've spent the majority of my time working in non-union shops, I know what it's like to be challenged by management. I know I saw guys who were fired for, shall we say, spurious or questionable reasons. I was challenged/threatened by management a time or two myself. Though they may have made their veiled and not so veiled threats, they'd never fire me because I was too valuable to them. I could do everything in our department. When I left my last job, they needed TWO guys to replace me! Even on my last day, they were telling me it wasn't too late, that I was welcome to stay. The trick is making yourself so valuable that the company literally cannot afford to fire you.
Finally, though you didn't bring this up, I will. I'm not a fan of the seniority system. Why should longevity be the only criteria for keeping someone on and firing someone else? Aren't employees hired to do work that the company needs to be done? Aren't employees there to move business forward? Aren't employees supposed to help advance the company's mission? Therefore, shouldn't those who are there be the ones who do that best? If a person with two years service adds more value to the company than someone with ten years, why should the ten year person keep their job? How is that fair? How does that promote excellence?
Yes, I know that, to become a dispatcher, I'll have to join a union. I'll do it and keep quiet about it. That said, I don't know if I'll LIKE it.
I have a problem with management telling labor they have to take a cut, but they don't. One thing I learned in the Navy is that, if you want guys to follow you no matter what, you have to LEAD BY EXAMPLE; you cannot tell them to do something and not do it yourself. That was why Patton was such a revered leader; he got out in front and led the charge.
That's the whole trick, isn't it? I've worked places that had good, decent, and honorable management; working at such a place is a pleasure. I've also worked for places with bad management (i.e. your current employer), and it's no fun. The only thing you can do is quit and do something else.
Unfortunately, no matter what business or industry you're in, management is in the driver's seat; they hold the power, and that's not good. Lord Acton got it right all those years ago: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
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