Recommended Posts

Hopefully we get the same result as the WS pilots did when they cancelled their vote - a better deal.

I'm curious as to why the vote was cancelled. Why not let it happen and have the TA voted down? Now, obviously there could be mechanisms that kick in with a no vote that are premature, but as an outsider this has been a confusing process to follow. Why send deal out for ratification in the first place, shouldn't the MEC have showed some courage and made a recommendation either way? Not saying this procedure was wrong, just unusual when compared to the procedures other unions follow.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately there is so much more than meets the eye.....seems to be a bit of turmoil within. There will probably be more "earth-shattering" news coming out within a few days/week.

Well if it is already out in the Press.....

The Globe and Mail

The Air Canada Pilots Association has scrapped its April 15-27 ratification vote on its tentative labour pact with the airline.

The union's master executive council said Friday that it “will meet next week to consider alternatives.”

Parts of the tentative labour pact with Air Canada (AC.B-T2.36-0.05-2.07%) pilots “proved controversial,” said the union, referring to management's plans to launch a low-cost carrier and place new hires on defined contribution pension plans.

A group of dissident pilots declared it had gathered about 1,300 supporters on a website petitioning to recall council chairman Bruce White.

edited to add one of two known Press releases..

Edited by Kip Powick
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious as to why the vote was cancelled. Why not let it happen and have the TA voted down? Now, obviously there could be mechanisms that kick in with a no vote that are premature, but as an outsider this has been a confusing process to follow. Why send deal out for ratification in the first place, shouldn't the MEC have showed some courage and made a recommendation either way? Not saying this procedure was wrong, just unusual when compared to the procedures other unions follow.

The MEC were divided and they tried to cover it up with a smoke screen. The upside is that 3500 Pilots have woken-up and are now paying very close attention.

I suspect they will try to pull out some of the hot button items and take another run at a vote.

In the mean time the Chairman is going to be removed, which isn't the answer in my view. The entire MEC has to go.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well this has just turned into a Keystone Cops routine... We have a group of conspiracy theorists running around whipping up hysteria, with minds made up...

The issue is not the TA, it is the entire union leadership...if the membership distrusts the TA that much, then they needed to throw out all elected officials.

All, I repeat, all ACPA elected officials need to resign immediately, the Negots committee needs to be disbanded, the union has to hold re-elections for all positions, then a new MEC formed, new Negots Committee nominated, and finally another CA negotiated...

I expect this would take over 12 months to happen.

As Dagger said, this is terribly confusing. The fact that the NC sent the TA to the MEC, and the MEC sent it out for a vote, means that they (MEC and NC) support the agreement (at least by a majority). The stupidity of this is that the lack of endorsement by the NC and MEC makes the conspiracy theorists froth at the mouth.

The MEC could have preempted all this by stating prior to negots commencing that they would not explicitly endorse any TAs brought to the membership. Obviously, the fallout from the coerced deal in 2009 where the MEC was required to endorse the deal has come back to bite the union...

All around, a poor showing by the MEC, and the membership of the union....

Link to post
Share on other sites

The MEC were divided and they tried to cover it up with a smoke screen. The upside is that 3500 Pilots have woken-up and are now paying very close attention.

I suspect they will try to pull out some of the hot button items and take another run at a vote.

In the mean time the Chairman is going to be removed, which isn't the answer in my view. The entire MEC has to go.

The MEC chair is a spokesman and nothing more, his departure at this juncture would be for optics and nothing more. The Negotiating team should resign immediately, it is they as a group who brought this travesty forward.

The deal imo, can be salvaged with some work, but not from this negotiating group, they are far out of touch with the group and the direction they were given.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well this has just turned into a Keystone Cops routine... We have a group of conspiracy theorists running around whipping up hysteria, with minds made up...

The issue is not the TA, it is the entire union leadership...if the membership distrusts the TA that much, then they needed to throw out all elected officials.

All, I repeat, all ACPA elected officials need to resign immediately, the Negots committee needs to be disbanded, the union has to hold re-elections for all positions, then a new MEC formed, new Negots Committee nominated, and finally another CA negotiated...

I expect this would take over 12 months to happen.

As Dagger said, this is terribly confusing. The fact that the NC sent the TA to the MEC, and the MEC sent it out for a vote, means that they (MEC and NC) support the agreement (at least by a majority). The stupidity of this is that the lack of endorsement by the NC and MEC makes the conspiracy theorists froth at the mouth.

The MEC could have preempted all this by stating prior to negots commencing that they would not explicitly endorse any TAs brought to the membership. Obviously, the fallout from the coerced deal in 2009 where the MEC was required to endorse the deal has come back to bite the union...

All around, a poor showing by the MEC, and the membership of the union....

I don't know about 12 months, but here's the moral hazard. As the CAW discovered in 2009 when it rejected a perfectly good deal only to get zilch six months later, if there is good stuff on the table when the economy is uncertain, grab it. Don't be caught out cold if the economy tanks - or the Tories win a majority. Best to get back to the table ASAP, scrap the most contentious item, and take the rest. Do not get engaged a fratricidal battle within the ranks that could last into 2012. Those Tea Party dickheads in Congress could provoke a US debt default by June and that would mean a double dip recession.

You know if AC head back into crisis mode, you will have to swallow the DC pension for new hires. A Tory appointed arbitrator might insist. Not sure if he'd greenlight the LCC, but he might. An arbitrator also would recognize that the pay increases and other financials were in part predicated on the DC pension and LCC issues, therefore if you want to get all the good stuff, you have to make the pension and LCC issues work, whether that's with different fences on the LCC issue, or a different contribution formula for the DC pension. That's all out in the open now, and it's fair game for a Tory-appointed arbitrator, so you are better off making it a positive than running away from it.

So my advice is, let cooler, calmer heads prevail. Have the leadership identify the biggest sticking points and go back to the table. Pretend this vote fiasco didn't happen. Have the MEC promise that the next TA will carry with it an official recommendation to accept, or they won't send it out.

By the way, what actually is the story about the 1,300 signatures. Are they all legit? Duplicates? Retirees? I've seen these petitions rigged before. The dissidents could look like excrement if the recall demand isn't 100% kosher. I'd watch that, too.

If you look like a pack of crazies, the feds will have a ready excuse to deal with you like one,

Edited by dagger
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know about 12 months, but here's the moral hazard. As the CAW discovered in 2009 when it rejected a perfectly good deal only to get zilch six months later, if there is good stuff on the table when the economy is uncertain, grab it.

Yes, well, that's the problem - there isn't "good stuff" on the table. It's a step backwards in almost every section of the contract. It's a complete concessionary deal.

Don't be caught out cold if the economy tanks - or the Tories win a majority. Best to get back to the table ASAP, scrap the most contentious item, and take the rest. Do not get engaged a fratricidal battle within the ranks that could last into 2012. Those Tea Party dickheads in Congress could provoke a US debt default by June and that would mean a double dip recession.

Yes, or the interest rate could rise slightly and wipe out the pension deficit along with the "need" for a concession.

You know if AC head back into crisis mode, you will have to swallow the DC pension for new hires. A Tory appointed arbitrator might insist. Not sure if he'd greenlight the LCC, but he might.

So my advice is, let cooler, calmer heads prevail. Have the leadership identify the biggest sticking points and go back to the table. Pretend this vote fiasco didn't happen. Have the MEC promise that the next TA will carry with it an official recommendation to accept, or they won't send it out.

By the way, what actually is the story about the 1,300 signatures. Are they all legit? Duplicates?

There are some duplicates. I created a duplicate myself when I clicked the back button on my browser and accidently re-submitted myself. From what I understand the actual number to force the vote is 30% - we're nearing 50% so I don't think the few duplicates will be an issue. The petition only forces a vote to be organized - the results of the vote need to be/will be verified.

Retirees? I've seen these petitions rigged before. The dissidents could look like excrement if the recall demand isn't 100% kosher. I'd watch that, too.

If you look like a pack of crazies, the feds will have a ready excuse to deal with you like one,

Link to post
Share on other sites

This place is overcrowded with Middle Management, that couldn't run a successful Tim Hortons Franchise. When someone (anyone) gets serious about running an Airline, we'll start to listen. Other than doing it on the backs of the Pilots...again.

That is largely the fear of "Zip Deux."

Edited by Johnny
Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some duplicates. I created a duplicate myself when I clicked the back button on my browser and accidently re-submitted myself. From what I understand the actual number to force the vote is 30% - we're nearing 50% so I don't think the few duplicates will be an issue. The petition only forces a vote to be organized - the results of the vote need to be/will be verified.

I find it interesting that it is accepted that a petition must be backed up with a vote in one instance (recall), but in the other (ratification), the voice of the dissidents seems enough to bypass the defined process and completely wipe out thousands of hours of work without a vote.

Why not put it to a vote and, when it gets rejected, go back to the company with some hard numbers to prove that things need to be fixed? The way it is now, the company is going to say to the union, "All you have is a few hundred ranters at meetings and an internet petition at 30% that is actually off topic. Where's the beef?"

Showing up with hard numbers will be a lot more inspiration for the company to go through the process to get a better contract than just anecdotal objections. It would be corporately irresponsible for the company to simply roll over without proof that what they had spent so much time negotiating was truly not passed by the rank and file.

Now that the contract is out there, it can't hurt things to just put it to a democratic vote.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it interesting that it is accepted that a petition must be backed up with a vote in one instance (recall), but in the other (ratification), the voice of the dissidents seems enough to bypass the defined process and completely wipe out thousands of hours of work without a vote.

Why not put it to a vote and, when it gets rejected, go back to the company with some hard numbers to prove that things need to be fixed? The way it is now, the company is going to say to the union, "All you have is a few hundred ranters at meetings and an internet petition at 30% that is actually off topic. Where's the beef?"

Showing up with hard numbers will be a lot more inspiration for the company to go through the process to get a better contract than just anecdotal objections. It would be corporately irresponsible for the company to simply roll over without proof that what they had spent so much time negotiating was truly not passed by the rank and file.

Now that the contract is out there, it can't hurt things to just put it to a democratic vote.

Well, a conspiracy theorist might say that the negotiating committee is complicit in trying to get the thing to pass - that they are also emotionally attached to the tentative T/A and don't want a hard number NO vote to happen any more than the company does. There has been much discussion on the private forum about wanting to do the vote and get a strong NO to throw back into the company's face but you never really know what will happen. Worst case would be for the thing to pass or fail by a slim margin - if it passed by a slim vote count this would simply confirm that the company did the absolute minimum needed and if it failed by a slim margin the company could maybe get it to squeak by with a slight adjustment here or there.

All things considered I think that having the vote cancelled helps the company more than the pilots though. This way the company gets time to crank up the doom and gloom predictions and perhaps some of the anger fizzles as some of the heat goes away. The next T/A will be slightly tweaked and perhaps some guys tip toward YES. Already I have heard comments about how much money was spent to get this T/A and that a tweak is better than starting over - definitely not my opinion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

dagger,

Calin's definition of 'success' is that he gets to implement his plan. He doesn't care if the TA passes at 90% or 51%. ACPA seems to have bought into this as well although the membership appear to be applying significant pressure to ensure that their elected minions take direction from the rank and file, not the corner office at AC HQ.

For the AC pilots, 51% is a failure. Divided group is a failure. That is why the ratification vote was cancelled.

Link to post
Share on other sites

All things considered I think that having the vote cancelled helps the company more than the pilots though. This way the company gets time to crank up the doom and gloom predictions and perhaps some of the anger fizzles as some of the heat goes away. The next T/A will be slightly tweaked and perhaps some guys tip toward YES. Already I have heard comments about how much money was spent to get this T/A and that a tweak is better than starting over - definitely not my opinion.

Well, I think what's happening if you look at the Globe and Natl Post today is that the airline is taking over from the union in framing the issues. Not by promoting doom and gloom per se. If the company is out selling the LCC, it's giving a message to the pilots and making this an issue for a government-mandated arbitration.

http://www.theglobea...article1987669/

Personally, Seeker, I think the horse has left the barn

You ignore it at your peril, because there is a risk that if the union - this bargaining team or another one - puts their fingers in their ears and whistles Dixie when the company tries to talk about the LCC that you create the basis of a de facto final offer arbitration in which you have no position except to reject the concept while the company puts forward a revised plan with what an arbitrator would consider reasonable fences. With such a disparity between positions, the company would likely get some form of LCC. Better to negotiate the best terms possible than to have the concept imposed on you.

Edited by dagger
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I think what's happening if you look at the Globe and Natl Post today is that the airline is taking over from the union in framing the issues. Not by promoting doom and gloom per se.

Not yet, and not externally.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I think what's happening if you look at the Globe and Natl Post today is that the airline is taking over from the union in framing the issues. Not by promoting doom and gloom per se. If the company is out selling the LCC, it's giving a message to the pilots and making this an issue for a government-mandated arbitration.

http://www.theglobea...article1987669/

Personally, Seeker, I think the horse has left the barn

You ignore it at your peril, because there is a risk that if the union - this bargaining team or another one - puts their fingers in their ears and whistles Dixie when the company tries to talk about the LCC that you create the basis of a de facto final offer arbitration in which you have no position except to reject the concept while the company puts forward a revised plan with what an arbitrator would consider reasonable fences. With such a disparity between positions, the company would likely get some form of LCC. Better to negotiate the best terms possible than to have the concept imposed on you.

dagger,

Do you actually believe this crap that you write or are you just acting as an agent?

Unless you are Stephen Harper lurking aviation web boards on a saturday morning, you are vastly overstating the possible outcome. So what will be the new state of collective bargaining at the Federal level - have the employer put out ridiculous demands and hope that they will be implemented legislatively?

Sorry sport, Canada isn't Republican (yet).

Edited by rudder
Link to post
Share on other sites

Not yet, and not externally.

Here's the rub, Seeker. Air Canada employees and unions cried bloody murder when Milton sold off AC's maintenance, Aeroplan and Jazz holdings for the benefit of the investors who had rescued the airline in 2003-04. Now, along comes a president with a different mindset who wants to build up new businesses, and nobody wants to participate because of real or exaggerated concerns rather than look at ways to make new businesses happen in a way that mitigates or minimizes those concerns. There are two ways for AC to grow its business given its current costs - and they involve growth that arbitrages down the airline's CASM. You can either help that happen by negotiating the terms and conditions, or you can leave the airline exposed to cyclical downturns and when the next crisis occurs, you will be forced to give in on those and other issues to keep your job/income/lifestyle. And terms when that happen might be worse than what you could have negotiated.

I'd prefer to enable profitable growth, because it can even out the wild swings AC goes through as an international carrier. I don't think you're worse off in the end and you would likely be better off. And you wouldn't have to go through these incredibly stressful crises that come every time the economy tanks, or oil price skyrocket, or a terrorist on a plane tries to light a bomb in his drawers or shoes, etc. I suspect your bargaining committee was thinking outside the usual AC union box, but a lot of employees are still locked into pre-deregulation thinking about the nature of the airline and its business.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the rub, Seeker. Air Canada employees and unions cried bloody murder when Milton sold off AC's maintenance, Aeroplan and Jazz holdings for the benefit of the investors who had rescued the airline in 2003-04. Now, along comes a president with a different mindset who wants to build up new businesses, and nobody wants to participate because of real or exaggerated concerns rather than look at ways to make new businesses happen in a way that mitigates or minimizes those concerns. There are two ways for AC to grow its business given its current costs - and they involve growth that arbitrages down the airline's CASM. You can either help that happen by negotiating the terms and conditions, or you can leave the airline exposed to cyclical downturns and when the next crisis occurs, you will be forced to give in on those and other issues to keep your job/income/lifestyle. And terms when that happen might be worse than what you could have negotiated.

I'd prefer to enable profitable growth, because it can even out the wild swings AC goes through as an international carrier. I don't think you're worse off in the end and you would likely be better off. And you wouldn't have to go through these incredibly stressful crises that come every time the economy tanks, or oil price skyrocket, or a terrorist on a plane tries to light a bomb in his drawers or shoes, etc. I suspect your bargaining committee was thinking outside the usual AC union box, but a lot of employees are still locked into pre-deregulation thinking about the nature of the airline and its business.

Well Dagger, much of what you say is true. The problem, however, is that the corporation is trying to get us to sign a blank check and they haven't earned our trust. The LCC is still nothing more than a wet-dream, no business plan at all. They have again dangled the carrot of a unspecified incentive plan - "with the details to be determined". Yup, really! How many times do they expect us to fall for that bait and switch and they have demanded completely unrealistic flight and duty times and pay. There may be some benefits to the corp of having a LCC, and may be some benefits to the pilots too. Here's a suggestion; draw up a complete business plan with actual incentive milestones and some realistic flight and duty times, pay, etc. Fill in all the blanks in the LOCs and then we may be able to discuss it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For the AC pilots, 51% is a failure. Divided group is a failure. That is why the ratification vote was cancelled.

Regardless as to how I see the value of the contract or anyone's opinion of the outcome of a vote, I don't see what right maybe 40% (IF the petition is valid) of vocal members have to derail the process of a legally negotiated agreement hashed out by a duly appointed negotiating committee and put forward for a vote by a democratically elected MEC.

A 51% vote cannot "split" the pilot group, because in a private ballot environment, it is not possible to identify the distinct groups. It just means that no one will admit voting for it, just like trying to find someone who admitted to voting Liberal in the early 80's.

The US doesn't "split" apart just because the vote between Democrat and Republican is very close.

According to whomever is talking to the newspapers, the two major issues are LCC and DC pension. The former has the potential to add lots of new jobs and keep our competition at bay. Sure, there are probably a few things to fine tune it.

The fear of the latter seems to be based on some fear of future retribution by currently unhired pilots who may actually prefer DC and have absolutely zero chance of finishing their career under DB even if we waste negotiating capital to fight for a DB for them now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well Dagger, much of what you say is true. The problem, however, is that the corporation is trying to get us to sign a blank check and they haven't earned our trust. The LCC is still nothing more than a wet-dream, no business plan at all. They have again dangled the carrot of a unspecified incentive plan - "with the details to be determined". Yup, really! How many times do they expect us to fall for that bait and switch and they have demanded completely unrealistic flight and duty times and pay. There may be some benefits to the corp of having a LCC, and may be some benefits to the pilots too. Here's a suggestion; draw up a complete business plan with actual incentive milestones and some realistic flight and duty times, pay, etc. Fill in all the blanks in the LOCs and then we may be able to discuss it.

Well, as I suggest, go back to the table and negotiate the terms. Earning our trust is bafflegab to me. It's an excuse to do nothing. If the LCC is a wet dream with no business plan, you have nothing to be concerned about. Go to the table and hammer out some conditions based on a can-do rather than a won't do philosophy. No LCC plan is going to be fully formed from Day 1, and even if it was, some of you will turn around and claim that no business plan should be trusted. As for "realistic flight and duty times, pay", sure, but just remember the idea is to arbitrage down costs, not simply extend all the current terms and conditions to a different cabin configuration. Better yet, get the assurances as per the type of flying mainline and LCC will do, because as long as mainline has equal or better growth opportunities (with the 787s), then I see nothing wrong with having discount brands and paying staff accordingly.

I really look on markets like Amsterdam, Dublin, Glasgow and Manchester as a different proposition entirely from any route which has full year and/or business travel potential. Having just done a RT through Munich, a route that didn't start out as a business travel market but where you won't find many AC J seats today, I also believe that some routes can begin as LCC material, and so long as you fly them, and build up a presence, you may seem them turn into mainline flights with 787s.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, as I suggest, go back to the table and negotiate the terms. Earning our trust is bafflegab to me. It's an excuse to do nothing. If the LCC is a wet dream with no business plan, you have nothing to be concerned about. Go to the table and hammer out some conditions based on a can-do rather than a won't do philosophy. No LCC plan is going to be fully formed from Day 1, and even if it was, some of you will turn around and claim that no business plan should be trusted. As for "realistic flight and duty times, pay", sure, but just remember the idea is to arbitrage down costs, not simply extend all the current terms and conditions to a different cabin configuration. Better yet, get the assurances as per the type of flying mainline and LCC will do, because as long as mainline has equal or better growth opportunities (with the 787s), then I see nothing wrong with having discount brands and paying staff accordingly.

I really look on markets like Amsterdam, Dublin, Glasgow and Manchester as a different proposition entirely from any route which has full year and/or business travel potential. Having just done a RT through Munich, a route that didn't start out as a business travel market but where you won't find many AC J seats today, I also believe that some routes can begin as LCC material, and so long as you fly them, and build up a presence, you may seem them turn into mainline flights with 787s.

Nice try Dagger. Once Air Canada's LCC proves a route, there is nil to zero chance of it changing to the higher cost mainline carrier. It's 'probably' more cost effective changing seats at the LCC - I'm being facetious by they way. Like QANTAS and JETSTAR, more and more of QANTAS flying is going to their LCC carrier. At some point in the not too distant future, QANTAS will simply re-brand JETSTAR as the new QANTAS, and voila, you have a new legacy carrier with all the cost benefits of a LCC.......... and then onto the next phase, setting up a new LCC carrier.

I can't argue however with the thrust of your comments/arguments. The world of aviation is changing rapidly and nothing (not even a Liberal vote) will move our profession back to the way it was that is in the 50's and 60's. My personal opinion is that the LCC issue has been raised and will form a major part of Air Canada's agenda during negotiations. I don't see an easy way out of this quagmire...............tough times ahead for both sides I'm afraid.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice try Dagger. Once Air Canada's LCC proves a route, there is nil to zero chance of it changing to the higher cost mainline carrier. It's 'probably' more cost effective changing seats at the LCC - I'm being facetious by they way. Like QANTAS and JETSTAR, more and more of QANTAS flying is going to their LCC carrier. At some point in the not too distant future, QANTAS will simply re-brand JETSTAR as the new QANTAS, and voila, you have a new legacy carrier with all the cost benefits of a LCC.......... and then onto the next phase, setting up a new LCC carrier.

I can't argue however with the thrust of your comments/arguments. The world of aviation is changing rapidly and nothing (not even a Liberal vote) will move our profession back to the way it was that is in the 50's and 60's. My personal opinion is that the LCC issue has been raised and will form a major part of Air Canada's agenda during negotiations. I don't see an easy way out of this quagmire...............tough times ahead for both sides I'm afraid.

There is a fundamental difference between Jetstar and this AC concept. Well, two really. The first is that Jetstar is getting 787s and from the outset some of the routes it is targeting have the look of possible mainline routes. The second thing is, ACPA has a chance to learn from the Jetstar experience by negotiating fences that make it a trtue LCC. First, constrain the size of the operation, keep it 767, institute ASM ratios, etc. As for the question of an LCC route going mainline, we'll have to agree to disagree. If a market matures to the point that it attracts a fair bit of business travel, and Air Canada isn't ready to serve that demand with its real business product, another airline will swoop in and take away not only the business traffic but a portion of the leisure as well. Let's say Dublin. Say, 10 years from now, when Canada and the EU have a maturing free trade agreement in place, Canada-Barcelona traffic contains an increasing mix of business travel. If AC is trying to serve that with a seasonal LCC, or via Madrid, then Iberia/BA will step in with a two-class nonstop and take that market away.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Dagger offers the Koolaid.

CA's don't mean much when economic pressure is the order of the day. Let's be fair Dagger, aviation labour is going to continue to give ground regardless. For the employee it's either, accept the reality, or move on.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.