Don Hudson

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Posts posted by Don Hudson

  1. IFG;

    Re "did you guys in Lotusland hear about our "Rae Days" back when?"

    Absolutely we did...we watched Rae with a lot of interest. He was the one who said to a reporter that, although slightly left wing, ;) , he resented the impression that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and what's more, the upstairs maid, cook and nannies also resented it.

    dh

  2. Duke;

    I get the very strong sense that AC will have changed radically by the time a year has gone by. The result may worth the price of admission...

    One sense will be that aspect of community and common cause which, through forces largely beyond our control, have prevented us all from aiming our gaze outwards instead of in.

    Don

  3. Mr Frustrated;

    Re "Wages are a very small part of the overall cost equation but takes the most focus as it appears the easiest solution."

    With this, I agree. In direct costs (no benefits/pensions/sick days etc added in), on a full A340 with 284 passengers, each passenger will pay about $28CAD for their flight crew on a 13hr flight to Hong Kong, and perhaps $30 if there's a fourth.

    That's about the same as the security fee and the Airport Improvement Fee combined.

    Think about that for a moment.

    On domestic flights, the amount is smaller.

    On corporate culture...

    I have seen dagger's opinions that it doesn't matter. I believe there is something more to the opinion because frankly the depth of the opinions this member offers is out of sync with the shallow view that people's sense of community and well-being don't matter to a business. So I suspend judgement on that.

    One thing I do believe: This CCAA filing will unite Air Canada's employees like the proverbial hanging in the morning. There's nothing like a common cause...

    I have seen many, many comments expressing how "poorly" Air Canada employees treat their customers. However, I have yet to actually hear enough stories to make that a truism. It seems to me just another band-wagon approach, begun by those who don't fly much or who have an interest in washing our face with snow. The experiences I have had and have witnessed on every, (not just some) AC flight I have been on, has been uniformly excellent, and concerned with the customer.

    No one from any other airline will be able to claim a 100% passenger satisfaction rate either. I am sure our competitors have their share of "problems". They just don't make good reading, especially in the present environment...

    Fire the "old and slow" employees? Pretty simple-minded pedantic approach, making it easy to brush off such a "suggestion". Good, solid and dedicated work comes from all levels...experienced and old, well-trained and young...the spectrum is very wide. Even from your own experience, you must admit that there are duffers and hard-workers at all levels. In your world, who would you get rid of, how, and why? Just asking.

    Don

  4. Hello Greg;

    Lovely day on the coast...

    Re "This then all fits with what you have said in your post, and also seems to be consistent with the actions that Judge Farley has taken, particularly in regard to his appointing of Judge Winkler."

    Yes, I think so. That is the sense I have of it. I believe for those with the antennae, the signals are very strong indeed.

    "What I'm trying to sort out in my own mind is this. It appears to me that the courts are taking a very activist position in all of the proceedings and they are not going to allow anyone to put AC into liquidation. Would you agree with that Don?"

    As per the above observation, yes, I would agree. In fact, Farley, in his direction to Winkler made succinct observations regarding the "social" factor of an AC "failure". That means to me, that a very wide view is being taken on this filing.

    At the same time, and I believe you would agree, I think that such a determination of the filing's outcome (that AC will survive) should not be relied upon to "extract" the maximum from the process. We must rely upon those who's senses are very finely tuned by experience and in-depth knowledge. In our own case, I believe we have those people in place. The reason I think we collectively must now act is that it is plain that all other stakeholders are appearing at the table and not just the employees. While we cannot hope for complete fairness at all times or in all quarters and appropriate sunshine on the entire process, there is enough there that the employees should act accordingly.

    Don

  5. Hello Phil; Always good to see your thoughts.

    If recent jurisprudence indicates that collective agreements have the same level of legal authority and protection as business contracts, (in other words, if a company breaks a collective agreement, its breaking the law and can be prosecuted), then I think that is a good thing. In BC however, we are not as enlightened, and the Liberals are still doing as they wish....A rabbit trail I will pursue here no further.

    Re "This is a more than strong enough incentive in my book."

    Agreed. Completely...

    Don

  6. Greg;

    I strongly suspect the judge has the power to unilaterally "create" an agreement. Labour law does not consider Collective Agreements "sacrosanct" in the same sense that a business contract is. We only need to take a look at our own Liberals here in BC and their unilateral cancellation of the BC Nurses Union contract last year to know that this is possible.

    In Negots 2000, Federal Minister Bradshaw indicated to us during our work with Mr Outhouse that it would be in our best interests to settle. While we may value the results in different ways, there was little doubt that an "agreement" was on its way. I suggest that this is even more the case today for union representatives which do not come to the table.

    Don

  7. Hello John;

    Great day on the west coast, eh?

    Re " ... what are your thoughts as to moving the scope line?"

    They've changed over the years and with circumstances. "Scope" after all, is your issue as well with the 3rd tier carriers and its not a simple answer regardless of which part of AC one flies for.

    On scope, really, there's no percentage in setting up a stationary target from an old ACPA guy, simply so others can shoot at will. I suppose I don't mind having my thoughts shot at, but that specific exercise is pointless and I don't have the time, nor do I want to engage in the scope debate. Opinions on the matter are essentially irrelevant anyway, as we're all along for this ride, with the wheelhouse locked and largely inaccessible except for the "opportunities" to give on command. Who knows what will be on the table or what our work will look like when this is over. We both know that a great deal is going on in the background.

    One thing I know would be a factor in any such discussion is our mutual histories. I have close friends who thought that one seniority list was the only way to go even before Picher. We know of other opinions only too well.

    We should know a lot more however, by August or so.

    And yes, when I refer to "Air Canada employees", of course I include Jazz. And Zip etc. We collectively have a very strong interest here. It behooves every one of us to at least consider those two goals.

    Off to kill some weeds again...

    Don

  8. (Posted as a new topic to bring the thread forward)

    JakeYYZ;

    Don't disagree with a thing you've written in your message to Mitch, especially about CCAA not being an accident, (May 11).

    Re "A gentlemen’s agreement not to poach one another’s business, is not what free enterprise and competition are all about."

    ... and competition for all. All except for the "former" Air Canada. This industry has never been fully de-regulated. Its free market for only a few. If AC had been free of government interference, government policies and government/ministerial politics like other major companies in Canada like Bombardier*, GE, Thompson etc etc, we might have had a chance to fix whatever was specifically broken with our model, (to use a hackneyed phrase).

    But part of what was "broken" in the past model was the constant and persistant invigilation by Minister after Minister after Minister, done with a level of ignorance and blunt stupidity bordering on negligence or at least dereliction.

    If its to be free market "de-regulation", let's have at it. But its been special rules for Air Canada since 1988. The ACPPA needs to be repealed and AC needs to be set free in the same manner as all other real private enterprise businesses.

    Rovinescu has characterized it himself: this is the true separation point...the true severing from the real Mom Corp - the Canadian Government, the moment beyond which AC truly becomes its own company.

    Air Canada must have the freedom to compete in the marketplace, unfettered by the worn-out apron strings of Ministerial whims, backroom politics and intransigent bureacracies.

    If the new, leaner AC that emerges from this process will be allowed to compete under fair (read "unfettered" ) rules that are the same for everyone, then I hold out hope for the draconian measures which are about to unfold for all of us, managers and line employees alike.

    If its going to be the same, broken model where government "policy", (read "severe competitive restrictions" ) applies to Air Canada only, and we have to stick to the old broken-model rules that hobble Air Canada only, (which in the end, really means serving government policy through employee job loss and wage reductions), then we'll be back here again starting over, only with wages and benefits somewhere between 25 and 40% lower.

    While I don't know the players (Texas Partners/GE Capital) and thus I remain aloof as far as cheering too loudly about their participation, I was cheering very loudly when Collenette and Co. were shut out of "helping" :( , and instead AC sought private funding and investment.

    While we employees are going to arrive at an agreement sooner or later, much of the future success of these very significant roll-backs will be under a cloud until the Canadian government simply butts out of our private business and lets us compete under true free-market rules.

    After offering the best service we can for our customers, our singular goal for Air Canada employees should be to wipe the smirk off of Clive Beddoe's face, just like his goal is to embarrass us and wash our face in snow every chance he gets. That's what its all about. (nothing personal here Wj'ers...on the flight safety level, we all talk...).

    Don

    *Maybe with the welfare granted Bombardier in terms of billions in taxpayer grants, loans, forgiven debts, and subsidies to buyers of Bombardier's products in other countries this may be a poor example...

  9. (Posted as a new topic to bring the thread forward)

    JakeYYZ;

    Don't disagree with a thing you've written in your message to Mitch, especially about CCAA not being an accident, (May 11).

    Re "A gentlemen’s agreement not to poach one another’s business, is not what free enterprise and competition are all about."

    ... and competition for all. All except for the "former" Air Canada. This industry has never been fully de-regulated. Its free market for only a few. If AC had been free of government interference, government policies and government/ministerial politics like other major companies in Canada like Bombardier*, GE, Thompson etc etc, we might have had a chance to fix whatever was specifically broken with our model, (to use a hackneyed phrase).

    But part of what was "broken" in the past model was the constant and persistant invigilation by Minister after Minister after Minister, done with a level of ignorance and blunt stupidity bordering on negligence or at least dereliction.

    If its to be free market "de-regulation", let's have at it. But its been special rules for Air Canada since 1988. The ACPPA needs to be repealed and AC needs to be set free in the same manner as all other real private enterprise businesses.

    Rovinescu has characterized it himself: this is the true separation point...the true severing from the real Mom Corp - the Canadian Government, the moment beyond which AC truly becomes its own company.

    Air Canada must have the freedom to compete in the marketplace, unfettered by the worn-out apron strings of Ministerial whims, backroom politics and instransigent bureacracies.

    If the new, leaner AC that emerges from this process will be allowed to compete under fair (read "unfettered" ) rules that are the same for everyone, then I hold out hope for the draconian measures which are about to unfold for all of us, managers and line employees alike.

    If its going to be the same, broken model where government "policy", (read "severe competitive restrictions" ) applies to Air Canada only, and we have to stick to the old broken-model rules that hobble Air Canada only, (which in the end, really means serving government policy through employee job loss and wage reductions), then we'll be back here again starting over, only with wages and benefits somewhere between 25 and 40% lower.

    While I don't know the players (Texas Partners/GE Capital) and thus I remain aloof as far as cheering too loudly about their participation, I was cheering very loudly when Collenette and Co. were shut out of "helping" :( , and instead AC sought private funding and investment.

    While we employees are going to arrive at an agreement sooner or later, much of the future success of these very significant roll-backs will be under a cloud until the Canadian government simply butts out of our private business and lets us compete under true free-market rules.

    After offering the best service we can for our customers, our singular goal for Air Canada employees should be to wipe the smirk off of Clive Beddoe's face, just like his goal is to embarrass us and wash our face in snow every chance he gets. That's what its all about. (nothing personal here Wj'ers...on the flight safety level, we all talk...).

    Don

    *Maybe with the welfare granted Bombardier in terms of billions in taxpayer grants, loans, forgiven debts, and subsidies to buyers of Bombardier's products in other countries this may be a poor example...

  10. (Posted as a new topic to bring the thread forward)

    JakeYYZ;

    Don't disagree with a thing you've written in your message to Mitch, especially about CCAA not being an accident, (May 11).

    Re "A gentlemen’s agreement not to poach one another’s business, is not what free enterprise and competition are all about."

    ... and competition for all. All except for the "former" Air Canada. This industry has never been fully de-regulated. Its free market for only a few. If AC had been free of government interference, government policies and government/ministerial politics like other major companies in Canada like Bombardier*, GE, Thompson etc etc, we might have had a chance to fix whatever was specifically broken with our model, (to use a hackneyed phrase).

    But part of what was "broken" in the past model was the constant and persistant invigilation by Minister after Minister after Minister, done with a level of ignorance and blunt stupidity bordering on negligence or at least dereliction.

    If its to be free market "de-regulation", let's have at it. But its been special rules for Air Canada since 1988. The ACPPA needs to be repealed and AC needs to be set free in the same manner as all other real private enterprise businesses.

    Rovinescu has characterized it himself: this is the true separation point...the true severing from the real Mom Corp - the Canadian Government, the moment beyond which AC truly becomes its own company.

    Air Canada must have the freedom to compete in the marketplace, unfettered by the worn-out apron strings of Ministerial whims, backroom politics and instransigent bureacracies.

    If the new, leaner AC that emerges from this process will be allowed to compete under fair (read "unfettered") rules that are the same for everyone, then I hold out hope for the draconian measures which are about to unfold for all of us, managers and line employees alike.

    If its going to be the same, broken model where government "policy", (read "severe competitive restrictions") applies to Air Canada only, and we have to stick to the old broken-model rules that hobble Air Canada only, (which in the end, really means serving government policy through employee job loss and wage reductions), then we'll be back here again starting over, only with wages and benefits somewhere between 25 and 40% lower.

    While I don't know the players (Texas Partners/GE Capital) and thus I remain aloof as far as cheering too loudly about their participation, I was cheering very loudly when Collenette and Co. were shut out of "helping" :( , and instead AC sought private funding and investment.

    While we employees are going to arrive at an agreement sooner or later, much of the future success of these very significant roll-backs will be under a cloud until the Canadian government simply butts out of our private business and lets us compete under true free-market rules.

    After offering the best service we can for our customers, our singular goal for Air Canada employees should be to wipe the smirk off of Clive Beddoe's face, just like his goal is to embarrass us and wash our face in snow every chance he gets. That's what its all about. (nothing personal here Wj'ers...on the flight safety level, we all talk...).

    Don

    *Maybe with the welfare granted Bombardier in terms of billions in taxpayer grants, loans, forgiven debts, and subsidies to buyers of Bombardier's products in other countries this may be a poor example...

  11. (Posted as a new topic to bring the thread forward)

    JakeYYZ;

    Don't disagree with a thing you've written in your message to Mitch, especially about CCAA not being an accident, (May 11).

    Re "A gentlemen’s agreement not to poach one another’s business, is not what free enterprise and competition are all about."

    All except for the "former" Air Canada. This industry has never been fully de-regulated. Its free market for only a few. If AC had been free of government interference, government policies and government/ministerial politics like other major companies in Canada like Bombardier*, GE, Thompson etc etc, we might have had a chance to fix whatever was specifically broken with our model, (to use a hackneyed phrase).

    But part of what was "broken" in the past model was the constant and persistant invigilation by Minister after Minister after Minister, done with a level of ignorance and blunt stupidity bordering on negligence or at least dereliction.

    If its to be free market "de-regulation", let's have at it. But its been special rules for Air Canada since 1988. The ACPPA needs to be repealed and AC needs to be set free in the same manner as all other real private enterprise businesses.

    Rovinescu has characterized it himself: this is the true separation point...the true severing from the real Mom Corp - the Canadian Government, the moment beyond which AC truly becomes its own company, to compete in the marketplace, unfettered by the worn-out apron strings of Ministerial whims, backroom politics and instransigent bureacracies.

    If the new, leaner AC that emerges from this process will be allowed to compete under fair (read "unfettered" ) rules that are the same for everyone, then I hold out hope for the draconian measures which are about to unfold for all of us, managers and line employees alike.

    If its going to be the same, broken model where government "policy", (read "severe competitive restrictions" ) applies to Air Canada only, and we have to stick to the old broken-model rules that hobble Air Canada only, (which in the end, really means serving government policy through employee job loss and wage reductions), then we'll be back here again starting over, only with wages and benefits somewhere between 25 and 40% lower.

    While I don't know the players (Texas Partners/GE Capital) and thus I remain aloof as far as cheering too loudly about their participation, I was cheering very loudly when Collenette and Co. were shut out of "helping" :( , and instead AC sought private funding and investment.

    While we employees are going to arrive at an agreement sooner or later, much of the future success of these very significant roll-backs will be under a cloud until the Canadian government simply butts out of our private business and lets us compete under true free-market rules.

    After offering the best service we can for our customers, our singular goal for Air Canada employees should be to wipe the smirk off of Clive Beddoe's face, just like his goal is to embarrass us and wash our face in snow every chance he gets. That's what its all about. (nothing personal here Wj'ers...on the flight safety level, we all talk...).

    Don

    *Maybe with the welfare granted Bombardier in terms of billions in taxpayer grants, loans, forgiven debts, and subsidies to buyers of Bombardier's products in other countries this may be a poor example...

  12. (Posted as a new topic to bring the thread forward)

    JakeYYZ;

    Don't disagree with a thing you've written in your message to Mitch, especially about CCAA not being an accident, (May 11).

    Re "A gentlemen’s agreement not to poach one another’s business, is not what free enterprise and competition are all about."

    All except for the "former" Air Canada. This industry has never been fully de-regulated. Its free market for only a few. If AC had been free of government interference, government policies and government/ministerial politics like other major companies in Canada like Bombardier*, GE, Thompson etc etc, we might have had a chance to fix whatever was specifically broken with our model, (to use a hackneyed phrase).

    But part of what was "broken" in the past model was the constant and persistant invigilation by Minister after Minister after Minister, done with a level of ignorance and blunt stupidity bordering on negligence or at least dereliction.

    If its to be free market "de-regulation", let's have at it. But its been special rules for Air Canada since 1988. The ACPPA needs to be repealed and AC needs to be set free in the same manner as all other real private enterprise businesses.

    Rovinescu has characterized it himself: this is the true separation point...the true severing from the real Mom Corp - the Canadian Government, the moment beyond which AC truly becomes its own company, to compete in the marketplace, unfettered by the worn-out apron strings of Ministerial whims, backroom politics and instransigent bureacracies.

    If the new, leaner AC that emerges from this process will be allowed to compete under fair (read "unfettered") rules that are the same for everyone, then I hold out hope for the draconian measures which are about to unfold for all of us, managers and line employees alike.

    If its going to be the same, broken model where government "policy", (read "severe competitive restrictions") applies to Air Canada only, and we have to stick to the old broken-model rules that hobble Air Canada only, (which in the end, really means serving government policy through employee job loss and wage reductions), then we'll be back here again starting over, only with wages and benefits somewhere between 25 and 40% lower.

    While I don't know the players (Texas Partners/GE Capital) and thus I remain aloof as far as cheering too loudly about their participation, I was cheering very loudly when Collenette and Co. were shut out of "helping" :( , and instead AC sought private funding and investment.

    While we employees are going to arrive at an agreement sooner or later, much of the future success of these very significant roll-backs will be under a cloud until the Canadian government simply butts out of our private business and lets us compete under true free-market rules.

    After offering the best service we can for our customers, our singular goal for Air Canada employees should be to wipe the smirk off of Clive Beddoe's face, just like his goal is to embarrass us and wash our face in snow every chance he gets. That's what its all about. (nothing personal here Wj'ers...on the flight safety level, we all talk...).

    Don

    *Maybe with the welfare granted Bombardier in terms of billions in taxpayer grants, loans, forgiven debts, and subsidies to buyers of Bombardier's products in other countries this may be a poor example...

  13. Snowshoes;

    Re "Since we lost our own forum last year, I find it very difficult to sense on a timely basis what my ACPA representatives frame of mind is."

    The AC Pilots Private Forum is an excellent "commons" where everyone meets electronically. Try, http://pub15.ezboard.com/baircanadapilotsprivateforum

    and get signed on. I'm sure the moderator will help out.

    In my opinion, the mini-WAWCON survey, (which is the way they should all be, but many wouldn't agree) is the right thing to do and gives the MEC/Negots/LRD a good basis upon which to take action.

    Like motions at meetings, such surveys do not imply that specific action follows, but grassroots is about trends and rarely about specific results based upon individual (or small-group) cases.

    If you're wanting to know more, simply call your LEC Chair, or one of the Vices. They'll be glad to spend the time to update you...give them time to get back to you however.

    kind regards,

    Don

  14. Hi Snowshoes;

    Re "I wonder why I have to get the latest ACPA perspective from you on this forum instead of our MEC chair..."

    Hear you: silence isn't always golden when you're looking for info on how things are going.

    However, in my opinion and for me as a member, the ACPA communications have been timely, informative and appropriate.

    Let me make an observation on why I think this is so and why I think we should accept the level of communication we have as sufficient, at least for the time being:

    There is a difference between the communications offered informally as an opinion by an ex-executive member who may understand the process and wish to offer one man's thoughts, and the official (legal, in the end) issuings from the Association's Executive. The first has no import but may help flesh out details for those who may not know the process well. The second form the official record of public communications of the union.

    So the union is faced with the need to communicate effectively, but at the same time not send unintentional "signals" through "clarifications", especially in these hair-trigger times. So the message is always kept as succinct, (clinical) as possible, sticking to what is happening, rarely going into why, or who etc.

    There is also the matter of time...to construct a message well which fulfills these needs, it sometimes demands more time than is physically available by the time meetings, emails, phone calls etc etc are completed by all concerned. That's a matter of fact, and not an excuse I realize, but its a pretty bouncy world out there right now...

    As I have said publicly many times, I trust the ACPA leadership completely, to make appropriate judgements on matters which affect the viability of the airline and the future of the profession. I do not expect wholesale yielding, for that serves no one's purpose and plants seeds for later trouble. Nor do I expect a "whites-of-their-eyes" approach. I know very well, that our MEC, Negots Team and Labour Relations people have a very clear grasp of affairs and a great deal of experience. Our Negots Team has been together since we constituted it in early 2000.

    Hope this helps, Snowshoes...

    Cheers,

    Don

  15. Dagger, and others following this initiative:

    A great deal has, and is going on underneath this kind of initiative. It is not, as some may perceive, "about time"... ACPA has been in serious discussion about serious matters for a long time, and intends, as the press release states, to do its part.

    For those who think that voting will take too much time, please remember two things:

    1. Voting will not take much time. For those not in ACPA, we do it electronically and it can be done very quickly. The time being taken is not to accomodate the voting process, but to accomodate flight schedules which sometimes have crews away for a week. To be fair to all, as much as possible everyone must be given the opportunity to vote.

    and,

    2. The ACPA Constitution requires that the membership vote on all money matters.

    Circumstances are not so dire as to force an abrogation of the democratic process. Unlike the Canucks, we must maintain a focussed discipline throughout this entire very difficult process and not "run in the dark" precisely when we need clear, measured thinking that balances time pressures with procedure. That is, after all, what being an airline pilot is all about.

    The MEC already has made some accomodations to the company on matters which might properly have been put before the membership. I for one, support such action in that case, but a 10% cut does need to come to the membership.

    That said, and given the 30% reduction in hours and therefore in the pilot payroll already in place made possible by the flexibility granted by various LOUs (further reduced by a 412-pilot decrease in the roster through attrition in the last year and a half), I think the pilots will still come to the table. We are and always have been a long, long way from the folly of demanding "full pay to the last day". Our LOU and voting record proves this.

    At the same time, we see others bellying up as well. I think that's good to see and it will bring others on board to get this company back on its feet and making money. (I'll stick my neck out and say that I think double-digit profits are not an unrealistic outcome within two years ... a long time in this business!).

    In August, as the release says, we'll have a clearer picture of where this is all going.

    Don Hudson

  16. b52er;

    Look...its bad enough for the security of our entire industry that someone tried to sell this document for money. And its even worse when the dumb newspapers make money broadcasting exactly what's in the manual to even more people than its reached already by this fiasco.

    But posts that reproduce the newspaper story once again for the entire anonymous world to see and perhaps use is irresponsible and I think the post should be deleted. Nobody here needs to know that information and it is now freely given to those who might now try to obtain information in other ways.

    Don't we get it, folks? Why hand our enemies - those who used our industry as weapons of terror - the very information which can help those enemies?

  17. Originally addressed to neo, but important for all airline employees:

    As stated before, airline employees know their industry is in trouble and I am confident would be willing to do their part.

    But the realities of power politics has to be taken into account in any decision by employees to "give at the office".

    The relative "safety" of organizations which largely hide in the weeds,(while employees are highly visible) as they take money from airlines (our passengers, really) for "services rendered etc", has to be understood as we consider how we are to collectively come to terms with our industry's difficulties.

    I will be damned if I am going to give up wages only to see others on the periphery of this industry benefit, while the sole target of any roll-back I choose to offer is my airline.

    If all employees' wages/benefits/contractual arrangements are on the table, so should every "service" arrangement airlines have with outside agencies be, beginning with the $24 "security" charge and moving right quickly to fuel taxes.

    It would be an interesting exercise to take a look at how much is extracted from the airline industry in terms of "services" and balance them against wages. While wages would likely still be more, I'll bet the next 5% give-back that the difference is not nearly as great as we might think. Yet it is in those "silent services" interest to ensure that employees are the target of roll-backs.

    This isn't a "sinister" plot by those agencies. Its just good management on their part. We need to be aware of it before we make crucial decisions.

    It is naïve to assume that such outsiders are not watching the pressure mounting on employee groups with some satisfaction.

    Don

  18. Dagger;

    No strike is "successful". It is a sign of failure.

    There are others far more capable than I who can (and if necessary, should) discuss this first ACA pilots' strike, but the failure must be shared, and not attributed to the pilots alone.

    These things arise out of sincere intentions to avoid the final act, as well as mistaken signals which confuse and anger the already-primed parties.

    I will not go into details as I simply don't have the time or interest on this issue anymore, but I will say that the labour relations climate all through 1998 (after Interest-Based Bargaining was tried that spring and failed), was poisonous to say the least and had been for some time.

    The main issue which triggered the action was the augmentation issue and that began in Vancouver, but there were other issues which could hardly be called secondary, including the very difficult simulator environment created by many sectors in response to Airbus training and transition issues, many from 1995 on. Intimidation by failure was a strategy practised during this time and pilots felt justifiably threatened.

    I am sure that seen from the other side, such "tactics" were merely a beefed-up training program which was responding to the enormous pressures created by the largest growth period and training program in Air Canada's history. In the end it doesn't matter, because the membership had felt, in their opinion, the last lash.

    The augmentation issue, (with threats of dismissal) in August of 1998 rallied the membership and a fatal game of brinksmanship ensued.

    But please...this was not a pilots' strike; this was a strike at Air Canada in which the pilots were parties. It was not executed in a vacuum.

    Suffice it to say that from my perception, the present climate is vastly improved and although confrontational and still ready with the potential for mistaken signals (pretty normal), the difference is in the willingness to solve problems and come to conclusions rather than escalate the responses.

    Don