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  • Bill Swelbar Takes A Hard Line On Airline Labor
    Posted by Jennifer Michels 7:05 PM on Jan 05, 2010

    Just as I was blathering on about whether labor is indeed having its day with the Obama administration (see my post below in this queue), fellow blogger Bill Swelbar was tapping out his own labor perspective for 2010 in his Swelblog.

    Swelbar has been taking a hard line with unions, and is taking ALPA to task in particular in his latest blog: Let's Make Today's Unions Tomorrow's Source For Labor.

    Bill suggests that the reason unions find themselves in the state they are currently in, is one of their own making.

    "ALPA and others negotiate contracts with mainline carriers that proscribe the terms on which an airline can outsource flying to its regional partners.  Under the restrictive collective bargaining agreements common in this industry, most airlines can’t even make these important business decisions without the authorization of the pilot unions."

    In his blog, Swelbar challenges ALPA President Capt. John Prater to become part of the solution. Referring to the Colgan Air crash last year, he says that scope clauses in contracts contribute to a situation in which airlines are forced to outsource flying to their regional partners.

    He further writes: "In a recent post, Sacred Cows and Fatigue, I referenced a thought-provoking column by Michael E. Levine in Aviation Daily that took on some of the debate over regional flying today.  In it, Levine noted that the February 2009 Colgan Air crash near Buffalo raised issues about pilot experience, fatigue and performance that “underscore the need to revisit negotiated seniority rules and pay scales that pay pilots more to fly bigger aircraft, leaving some of the least experienced pilots to do some of the most demanding flying.”

    Tags: tw99, Labor, Swelbar, ALPA

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