If the data is correct that over 50% of domestic flying in the US is done by regional aircraft, the majors clearly are united in driving that cost down. In order to successfully complete the recent round of mergers, promises were made to pilot groups to increase wages and improve working conditions. While increasing domestic flying with larger regional aircraft, the majors appear to also trying to reduce that cost.
American Eagle pilots are being "whipsawed" as are the other regionals. Clearly ALPA has no interest in defending the pilot profession at the regional level.
"Friday December 20th, 2013
The path forward
Hello New York –
Today the MEC
sent an email detailing management’s demands for concessions. I urge you to review the email. In case you missed it, I’ve appended it to this email. Similarly, I’ve attached a communication from our incoming President Pedro Fabergas.
Apparently, we didn’t give sufficient concessions during bankruptcy. Management has long held the belief that you and I are overpaid, and our brothers and sisters at PSA
validated those thoughts when they lowered the Regional bar even further without even being under direct duress. Management is now emboldened to try and replicate their beatdown of PSA
elsewhere. If not here at Eagle, then somewhere else. I have no doubt that many small regional carriers will raise their hands and ask for the opportunity to provide concessions to AAG partly because ALPA has constantly preached we have no leverage and ALPA is hesitant to arrest the “every man for himself” mentality that pervades this profession.
Management beat up a small carrier into mimicking deals struck at bankrupt airlines like Pinnacle and now think that should be the model for everyone going forward. The 3000 pilots of Eagle, plus the 8000 pilots of Skywest, plus the 3000 RAH pilots must now all follow what the 500 did at PSA
. Or else.
While in bankruptcy, we here at AMR pulled together in a “it’s us versus Wall Street” mentality that saw you give amazing dependability and operational excellence to our fledgeling operation. In bankruptcy, AMR owned their mistakes of the past and provided a path forward for Eagle pilots that required management to perform as promised. USAir management has no such loyalty, and has indicated in quite a frank fashion that they are the ruthless WalMart of the air and will shop our flying to the lowest bidder, even if such bidder has no realistic chance of actually providing a good product.
Throughout bankruptcy — for the past two years — you provided your all to this company. You fought severe emotional drain and uncertainty, and you brought the planes in safely and on time. You worked miracles and went the extra mile when necessary to keep Eagle a bright shining star in the industry. In fact, you did such a good job that management took your name and plastered it on aircraft belonging to other workgroups in the hopes that passengers wouldn’t notice it wasn’t you flying.
And now you are being told you cost too much again.
Throughout the upcoming weeks and months, I urge you remember that management thinks you and I are worth less. We, and our efforts, are worth less. We can be replaced by somebody else willing to fly those planes for less. Please remember that as you go about your incredibly complex and difficult tasks. When things go wrong, when you must fix someone else’s mistake, or anytime you have to go the extra mile or work a miracle, remember that you are worth less to this new management.
Over the Christmas and New Years week, Ray, Me and the MEC
will work to craft a response that enhances the career prospects of Eagle pilots while minimizing the damage. But I’m not confident of our prospects. USAir is primarily interested in validating PSA
’s deal, and the only way to do that is to force another (preferable larger) player to accept the same terms. Are you willing? Please send your thoughts on the path forward to us, and the entire MEC
Sam & Ray"