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Delta and unions

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Delta and unions

Old 10th May 2019, 22:37
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Delta and unions

BBC headline "

Delta Airlines staff told 'don't unionise, buy video games'


https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-48225646
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Old 10th May 2019, 22:49
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Old 11th May 2019, 13:02
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Originally Posted by slast View Post
BBC headline "

Delta Airlines staff told 'don't unionise, buy video games'


https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-48225646
Wow, I had zero idea that any US airline was not unionized 100%. The tweet sounds like it was made up by the same bloke who came up with the diet coke napkin idea.
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Old 11th May 2019, 13:59
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I would suggest that death threats are nothing new for outfits like the IAM.
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Old 11th May 2019, 18:01
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Originally Posted by b1lanc View Post
Wow, I had zero idea that any US airline was not unionized 100%. The tweet sounds like it was made up by the same bloke who came up with the diet coke napkin idea.
Delta traditionally has had pretty good relations with their employees - hence no need for a union. Back in the late 1980s, the Delta employees went so far as to have a big fund raising effort - enough to buy one new 767 - and 'gifted' it to the airline (it was named the 'Spirit of Delta' - I flew on it a couple times).
Don't know how things are lately though - heard that things went down hill after the merger with Northwest.
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Old 11th May 2019, 18:18
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The former NWA employees can’t get over not being union. They keep bringing up a never ending series of union votes. As soon as one ends they launch another. So far all have failed.
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Old 12th May 2019, 00:56
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This is a pilots forum. Delta pilots are represented by ALPA.

ALPA, despite warts, is: THE. pilots. union.
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Old 12th May 2019, 13:12
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Originally Posted by CaptainMongo View Post
This is a pilots forum. Delta pilots are represented by ALPA.

ALPA, despite warts, is: THE. pilots. union.
What about ground staff, machinists, back-office, FAs?
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Old 12th May 2019, 13:30
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Originally Posted by CaptainMongo View Post
This is a pilots forum. Delta pilots are represented by ALPA.

ALPA, despite warts, is: THE. pilots. union.
I would consider the lack of unions for F/As, mechanics, etc, to be of considerable interest to the pilots who participate on this forum.

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Old 12th May 2019, 13:44
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Originally Posted by aterpster View Post
I would consider the lack of unions for F/As, mechanics, etc, to be of considerable interest to the pilots who participate on this forum.
One would think.
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Old 12th May 2019, 14:18
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Dunno how it works on your side of the pond, however after my recent experiences in a highly unionised airline in Iceland, which went bankrupt, by the way, my 2 cents are that I should've spent the union fees on entertainment because our's was one of the definite contributing factors to the above mentioned bankruptcy.
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Old 12th May 2019, 16:46
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Originally Posted by booze View Post
Dunno how it works on your side of the pond, however after my recent experiences in a highly unionised airline in Iceland, which went bankrupt, by the way, my 2 cents are that I should've spent the union fees on entertainment because our's was one of the definite contributing factors to the above mentioned bankruptcy.
The owner of said airline was determined to run it based on Icelandic labour to the largest extent possible, recognising the social responsibility of a large local employer. It can easily be argued his insistence on running with organised and relatively high-cost labour, was a contributing factor to the demise.

A labour market without labour representation is, however, an open invitation to unscrupulous employers, which they will readily and willing exploit to the largest extent possible. Depending on the good-will of a company to maintain respectful and decent labour conditions is a fickle thing, and is in eternal jeopardy as senior management comes and goes. A formal relationship seems to be the best solution, albeit it - like democracy - may often be described as the least bad option.
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Old 12th May 2019, 22:51
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Agreed. However 5* downtown hotels on layovers, crew transportation at homebase and highly overpaid and grossly underworked F/As were part of it in addition to local primadonnas sitting upfront...

Anyways, my apologies for going offtopic. Had to vent it out: I'm so effin furious with this lot on the rock...
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Old 12th May 2019, 23:02
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Originally Posted by SMT Member View Post

A labour market without labour representation is, however, an open invitation to unscrupulous employers, which they will readily and willing exploit to the largest extent possible. Depending on the good-will of a company to maintain respectful and decent labour conditions is a fickle thing, and is in eternal jeopardy as senior management comes and goes. A formal relationship seems to be the best solution, albeit it - like democracy - may often be described as the least bad option.
In the U.S., airline employees fall under the Railway Labor Act. Under the provisions of that law, an employee group has to be under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) to have a seniority list, grievance procedure, and job protection.
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Old 13th May 2019, 21:13
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Originally Posted by booze View Post
Dunno how it works on your side of the pond, however after my recent experiences in a highly unionised airline in Iceland, which went bankrupt, by the way, my 2 cents are that I should've spent the union fees on entertainment because our's was one of the definite contributing factors to the above mentioned bankruptcy.
Unions being responsible for airlines going under is nothing but an old wives' tale told to scare the youngsters. Unions will recognize when it is better to lower conditions to keep an airline afloat and save unionized jobs.

To all those who advocate spending the money on video games. Pilot working conditions are better than the average job because of unions. And they will only stay like this through unions. Those places paying nicely without unions do so because the majority of airlines is unionized and has set a certain level of compensation. That level was not written on the tablets of stone brought down from the mountain. Even a less-than-optimum union is better than no union.

If you're in doubt read up on the history of ALPA and check out the working conditions in the late 30s when airlines spurned unions and "when often a pilot's union card would only be discovered on his dead body after a crash".

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Old 13th May 2019, 21:25
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Originally Posted by Alpine Flyer View Post
Unions being responsible for airlines going under is nothing but an old wives' tale told to scare the youngsters. Unions will recognize when it is better to lower conditions to keep an airline afloat and save unionized jobs.

To all those who advocate spending the money on video games. Pilot working conditions are better than the average job because of unions. And they will only stay like this through unions. Those places paying nicely without unions do so because the majority of airlines is unionized and has set a certain level of compensation. That level was not written on the tablets of stone brought down from the mountain. Even a less-than-optimum union is better than no union.

If you're in doubt read up on the history of ALPA and check out the working conditions in the late 30s when airlines spurned unions and "when often a pilot's union card would only be discovered on his dead body after a crash".
Children spent their 'working days' in coal mines not that long ago.
With respect to the 'damage' unions do, ponder this: A 30 year veteran mechanic and union member or a cost focused, KPI/Bonus inspired CEO. Who does the most damage?

For what it is worth, there is plenty of literature to support that fact that level of union membership has little impact on airlines.
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Old 13th May 2019, 21:57
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Unions have a wide variation in quality, both by trade and by local. Some recognize that they are a business partner with the employing company and others do not, some unions have engaged membership while others are mostly made of members that have never been to a union meeting and may not even know what a union does. Some self regulate the membership (either skill level or general behavior) and other unions get a sour reputation. Some have reputable leaders and others elect criminals. While a few unions have contributed to the downfall of certain companies or even whole industries(within a nation), the core issue was rarely a simple matter of high base pay, eg 1970s/1980s Detroit didn't loose gross profit margin it lost market share due to a drop in basic production line quality and general failure to adapt.


The biggest issue I have with pilot unions in the USA [and it isn't that big of a deal] is the archaic short-sighted way they setup the seniority lists, basically locking members into going down with the ship and causing problems with mergers. Sure time with a single company and union matters the most but some lesser credit should be given for total time. (like 100% for the current job, 90% factor for time at same union different airline, 75% for other union and airline, 50% for non-union hours. Other time like CFI or 135 maybe 50-60%? The multipliers are just for illustration not exact calculation.)
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Old 13th May 2019, 22:00
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Originally Posted by Alpine Flyer View Post
Unions being responsible for airlines going under is nothing but an old wives' tale told to scare the youngsters. Unions will recognize when it is better to lower conditions to keep an airline afloat and save unionized jobs.
You might want to read up on what happened to Hostess Bakery:
https://www.nationalreview.com/corne...y-james-sherk/(from November 2012)
Hostess — the maker of Twinkies, Ding-Dongs, and Wonder Bread — had struggled financially for years. It lost over $300 million in 2011. The firm proposed reducing its benefits to stay competitive. Unsurprisingly Hostess’s unions balked. But after examining the firms’ books, the Teamsters reluctantly accepted the cuts.
But Hostess’s other union — the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union — would not.
The union went on strike. Hostess warned them that the strike would quickly bankrupt the company. The Teamsters warned the Bakers the company wasn’t bluffing, but the union chose to keep striking. Hostess announced it had no choice but to file for bankruptcy. More than 18,000 employees will lose their jobs.
I distinctly recall the head of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union "Declaring Victory" when Hostess filed Chapter 7 and 18,000 people lost their jobs - most of them members of his union.
A pyrrhic victory if there ever was one...

Unions have their place. But they can also become destructive when they lose sight of the overall goal.


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Old 13th May 2019, 22:23
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......the makers of asbestos clearly blames the terms and conditions of their workers for damaging the profitability of the business. The sales slump was based on the poor media image of the workforce, not the product......

On another story, the fish and chips aliance blames collectivsim and the dip in profit, for making cunsumers aware that deep fired food is not the same as fruit and veg
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Old 15th May 2019, 19:51
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My comments were confined to airline unions. I am unfamiliar with bakers' unions.
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