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Old 20th Oct 2016, 01:45
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: KEV
Posts: 2
Calling them scabs, really? Are Emirates pilots Scabs? The ME3 are massively undermining all legacy carriers worldwide, that still doesn't mean that somebody who works there is responsible for it. Dumping hard politics onto the backs of employees - great stuff (sarcasm!). Next thing we know Air Berlin guys are accused of scabing because they will assist in the Eurowings project. I call BS on it!

Short intro:
The US job market for pilots has really picked up strongly, lots of hiring going on at all stages of the industry from 91/135 to 121. Many reach their long aspired career goal of flying for one of the majors. Some guys hold MD-8X Captain at one of the big three after only 1 or 2 years.

Norwegian FLL:
Norwegian is using agency contracts to staff their planes. A (shame on those europeans) standard practice in europe that is unusual in the US. Understandably they'll get some flak for this, especially as there are so many "better" jobs to be had currently here in the states.

To call guys taking those "lesser value" jobs Scabs is absurd. A Scab is someone, as has been mentioned above, who crosses a picket line during a strike to take a position that wouldn't even be available if it weren't for the strike in the first place or someone who willfully flies routes of his striking colleagues.

Are pilots at "bottom feeder" US cargo or regional airlines Scabs? Technically, they are doing the same job a pilot at one of the majors is doing for less renumeration, thereby undercutting the industry, sort of. How come the unions who are so adamant about Norwegian have accepted 15000 USD starting salarys at part 121 regionals? How come the US airlines bitching now employ foreign based cabin that are paid less money than beeing US based?

Who here can, in times of ever increasing "human resources" and at the same time diminishing numbers of jobs overall (look at Europe!), afford the noble attitude of refusing to take up work as the terms are beneath what AA, UA, DL etc... offer. Off course there is always a bottom line, for me that would be straight out paying to fly (Lion Air Indonesia etc..). Take the EU for example. The ME3 are dumping 380s on us like there is no (uhh I mean "Hello") tomorrow. A typical european is usually limited to a handful airlines because of language barriers, whereas a pilot in the US has access to the busiest commercial aviation market in the world. Many in the eu join low cost airlines, and sometimes that first job on the shiny jet feels like a dead end after so many years. Other are laid off, their bases are closed or they just can't stand Turkey (the country!) or the ME3 anymore and come back to the first job they can find.

Yes, the terms for the Norwegian contract aren't on par to what most guys in the US are used too, but for the average non legacy europilot 10k/month is a new, sad reality.

I would like to end with a quote from the other Norwegian thread. It is one thing to comfortably look down from the "good jobs" to those "below". Instead of accusing and confronting one another, those that are in the comfort zone could show a little empathy. Here is the quote, and unfortunately the part about "nobody looking out for you" is true.

Here is a piece of advice for you from nearly 30 years of flying, and well over two decades of doing it professionally on three different continents:

The industry is a mess and there is nobody who is going to look out for you, not your union, not your company, not your colleagues. And every new airline that comes along is ALWAYS accused of "lowering the bar", or "dragging down the profession". Anyone that innovates, regardless of industry, is considered dangerous and faces opposition (look at the opposition to Uber or the issues Elon Musk is facing getting his Tesla cars to the market in a lot of countries). As time passes, the innovator or new entrant becomes the establishment and soon another new entrant is branded as "evil".

Let's look at some of the airlines in North America as an example. In the early 1980s a new ultra-low cost airline called PeoplExpress was founded. Pilots were poorly paid, lacked union protection, and were forced to do jobs like taking tickets, helping to load bags, and clean the cabin. They were considered dangerous and their pilots were often accused by their peers as lower the bar of the profession. Fast forward 30 years and where are all those guys who were working for PeoplExpress? They are all senior captains at United (Continental bought PeoplExpress and now Continental has merged with United). So the guys who were at one point lowering the bar are now the senior ALPA members at one of the largest legacy airlines in the world.

Southwest was also considered dangerous at one point, so much so that the establishment went to court to fight them.

Virgin America was considered the worst airline in North America by the established airlines and the unions. The pilots were treated poorly and looked down upon for..."lowering the bar" (see a common theme here?). Now VX is a proud ALPA member and being merged with another legacy airline.

Southwest airlines required their prospective pilots to get a 737 type rating for nearly 40 years, only recently dropping the requirement. While SWA was never officially tied to the type rating mills, they certainly had a close relationship with one or two, and thousands of pilot shelled out thousands of dollars to get their 737 ratings hoping for a shot with SWA.

So my point is that while the idea of paying for a type rating, or providing a bank guarantee, or paying for training, or paying for line experience, may not be palatable for most of us, the reality is that this is overwhelmingly what the industry is. For every guy that gets hired by a big legacy airline, has everything paid for, and has a nice trouble free 30 year career before riding off into the sunset on his nice pension, there are 20 or 30 other guys who have to bounce around between multiple airlines, working multiple contracts and various parts of the world, or who end up flying for second rate carriers. If you are certain that you are going to land your dream job at Lufthansa, Delta or Qantas, then go ahead and roll the dice and be thankful if you land it. But refusing another job because they are "lowering the bar" will do nothing to change the industry. The only thing that will change the industry is the market.

Here is a piece of advice I got from an acquaintance of mine. At 25 years old he was hired by PeoplExpress and is now a senior 777 captain at United based in EWR. When he was hired at PeoplExpress, friends and acquaintances of his that got hired at PanAm, TWA and Eastern all accused him of lowering the bar. He has ended up having a nice and relatively steady career, while most of them have ended up bouncing around with several different airlines. His advice to me was to always take the best available offer that you have, even if it may not be the best job out there. Because you have no way of knowing what will happen over the next 10, 20 or 30 years. What may be a crap job today can end up being the best job in 20 years, and the best job today may not exist in 20 years.
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