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  • Forget 2009, Is 2010 The Year For Airline Labor?
    Posted by Jennifer Michels 3:36 PM on Jan 05, 2010

    Airline labor unions that were hopeful in 2009 that the Obama administration would set right everything that had gone wrong for them over the past decade are entering 2010 as positively as they did 2009.

    And for good reason. Unions continue to add to their ranks as years of giving up wages and benefits have pushed airline employees to seek union protections. And then there is the pending National Mediation Board rulemaking to ease the election process; comments were due Jan. 4 to the NMB, which must now process the volumes it received on this subject.

    But don't take my word for it, let's hear what ALPA President Capt. John Prater had to say about 2010 in a New Year's message to members. Prater says his optimism "is not an optimism built on rhetoric alone."

    Prater notes that ALPA has many reasons to celebrate after 2009 successes in fighting pilot fatigue, gaining in collective bargaining and winning three new representation elections--Air Transport International, North American Airlines and the merged AirTran unit.

    As for its top priority, flight time/duty time regulations, Prater said, "In the U.S. and in Canada, these antiquated rules are teetering on the cusp of change, and this time, we will emerge with new regulations. See Prater's full message here.

    Somewhat ironic that ALPA did not immediately jump on the Obama bandwagon like nearly every other aviation-related union. I recall that ALPA, like no other union, has more Republican members than Democrats, ALPA leaders must tread carefully when backing a candidate.

    It will benefit, nonetheless, from "the new White House and a discernible uptick in the economy," as Prater said.


    Tags: tw99, ALPA, Labor, NMB

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