TA Reached for Atlas/Polar Dispatchers

Delta Echo

Well-Known Member
#21
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.
And this why we have the right to organize, negotiate and keep management in check.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
#23
I believe unions are necessary in the airline biz because if you have an FAA certificate to do your job you serve to masters. You serve the FAA and all their pesky FAR's. You screw up with the FAA and you could lose your job. You also serve your company that signs your paycheck but just wants the boxes to move. Just wanting the boxes to move can create a conflict with the FAA master sometimes and the union can offer you some protection.
 

A-9er

Well-Known Member
#24
I believe unions are necessary in the airline biz because if you have an FAA certificate to do your job you serve to masters. You serve the FAA and all their pesky FAR's. You screw up with the FAA and you could lose your job. You also serve your company that signs your paycheck but just wants the boxes to move. Just wanting the boxes to move can create a conflict with the FAA master sometimes and the union can offer you some protection.
Those are good points. In the electronics business, we don't have that kind of federal oversight.
 

F9DXER

Well-Known Member
#25
Like anything there are good and bad sides to it. I can say after 20 years in this business that included non union and union. I would prefer the latter.

I have had to deal with 2 LOI's and each time the union's legal section gave me advice and helped me do what was needed. It didn't cost me anything. If this had happened in a non union position, I would have been shelling out some big bucks.

Take it for what it is worth.
 

A-9er

Well-Known Member
#26
Like anything there are good and bad sides to it. I can say after 20 years in this business that included non union and union. I would prefer the latter.

I have had to deal with 2 LOI's and each time the union's legal section gave me advice and helped me do what was needed. It didn't cost me anything. If this had happened in a non union position, I would have been shelling out some big bucks.

Take it for what it is worth.
Begging your pardon, but what are LOI's? Why would you have had to shell out money?
 

womanpilot73

Well-Known Member
#28
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 think that once you begin working as a dispatcher, you're going to have a change of heart. There is great value in being in a union position and bravo to those that represent us and fight for us in contract negotiations.

I can honestly say, working at non-union and union shops, I'm grateful for the union. Is anything perfect? No. But it's leaps and bounds better than it would be without it. The non-union shop used and abused and there were no options for even attempting to right the number of wrongs that were happening on a daily basis. I can't imagine what it would be like at my current shop without the union, but I've heard enough pre-union stories to be damn grateful that we are in a union position now. I observe daily what the non-union employees have to deal with and I'd never make it long term in this position if I had to deal with half of what they do.

Best advice - keep an open mind and don't let past experience cloud your view and judgement of what is there to protect you.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

A-9er

Well-Known Member
#29
LOI = Letter of Investigation. It comes from the FAA and is not something to look forward to.
Ok, I figured that in the context of what F9 said, it was something bad. It's good you had someone to stick up for you. Had the union at the shop I'd worked for done stuff like that, I'd have been happy to pay the dues; I'd have considered it money well spent.
 

A-9er

Well-Known Member
#30
I think that once you begin working as a dispatcher, you're going to have a change of heart. There is great value in being in a union position and bravo to those that represent us and fight for us in contract negotiations.

I can honestly say, working at non-union and union shops, I'm grateful for the union. Is anything perfect? No. But it's leaps and bounds better than it would be without it. The non-union shop used and abused and there were no options for even attempting to right the number of wrongs that were happening on a daily basis. I can't imagine what it would be like at my current shop without the union, but I've heard enough pre-union stories to be damn grateful that we are in a union position now. I observe daily what the non-union employees have to deal with and I'd never make it long term in this position if I had to deal with half of what they do.

Best advice - keep an open mind and don't let past experience cloud your view and judgement of what is there to protect you.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
WP,

As someone who spent the vast majority of his working life in non-union establishments, I cannot disagree with anything you said. I've seen and experienced some wrongs myself. For example, I saw guys get fired for no good reason; they weren't counseled on what they did wrong or how to improve; they were just shown the door, which is wrong.

As I stated previously, I didn't mind paying dues; what bothered me was getting NOTHING IN RETURN for them. The same things that happened at previous non-union jobs (like getting fired without cause) happened there too, but the union did not stick up for the guys I worked with; they did absolutely NOTHING for them. I felt as if I were throwing my money away with every paycheck. THAT is what bothered me.

No, if the union had done something (like stick up for the guy with the LOI's above), I'd have had no problem with the dues; shoot, I'd have considered it money well spent. What I object to (not just with this but in general) is throwing my money away. That sticks in my craw, big time.

Well, it's a beautiful day here, so I'm going to get my Honda out for a bit. Since I leave for school tomorrow, I won't be able to do that until I get back...
 

womanpilot73

Well-Known Member
#31
Ok, I figured that in the context of what F9 said, it was something bad. It's good you had someone to stick up for you. Had the union at the shop I'd worked for done stuff like that, I'd have been happy to pay the dues; I'd have considered it money well spent.
Don't forget - those dues are a tax write off. And yes, as a dispatcher, it is $$ well spent.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

CS0290

Well-Known Member
#35
If you use any tax prep software, it asks something along the lines of - are you a union member/paid dues? And then asks how much, which is on your W2 or paystub at the end of the year - I forget which.
Well this past year it didn't matter since we aren't union at my shop now but will be when 5Y takes over.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

A-9er

Well-Known Member
#37
It is up to a certain income level. And industry standard paid dispatcher at a major wilL hit that pretty early in the pay scale. I think you may have a couple more years WP.
I would think it also depends on whether you can itemize. For most years, the standard deduction works better for me...
 

womanpilot73

Well-Known Member
#38
It is up to a certain income level. And industry standard paid dispatcher at a major wilL hit that pretty early in the pay scale. I think you may have a couple more years WP.
True. Once I hit that "income level", are a certain portion still tax deductible or do we lose that benefit altogether?

For you guys just starting out, this won't be an issue. Your dues will be tax deductible at the regional level, as well as the first 2-4 or so years at a major.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Delta Echo

Well-Known Member
#40
Ok, I figured that in the context of what F9 said, it was something bad. It's good you had someone to stick up for you. Had the union at the shop I'd worked for done stuff like that, I'd have been happy to pay the dues; I'd have considered it money well spent.
To clarify, I have not been issued any LOI's. However, they do exist and the Feds can issue one to you. You are absolutely correct that having union backing to defend you is huge in this and other regards, which is why having one in this business is so important.
 
Top