TWU Local 577 News

Message from Allegiant Air Pilots
1/31/2016 7:01:00 PM by TWU Local 577

You can find the below letter from APA | IPT 1224 here.
Dear Allegiant Flight Attendant,
An experienced aviator learns to depend on and work with their crew. The pilots of Allegiant Air have a great respect for the professionalism, abilities, and experience of the Allegiant Air flight attendants. It is with regularity that an event is reported in which a flight attendant(s) played a vital role in a safe outcome of a potentially dangerous event. Evacuations, passenger assessments, serious mechanical issues detected in the cabin and many more scenarios play out with regularity which require the capabilities of a professional, experienced and career‐minded flight attendant. You play a vital role in the success of every passenger airline and it is with great respect and concern that we pass along the following message.
You have been told that being a flight attendant is not a career. You have been told to get an education if you want more. These statements are obviously intended to get you to submit to accepting less, to get you to give up the fight, and to make you feel that your career choice is meaningless and unimportant. Most likely, the people telling you this do not respect you, do not respect your choice of career, and want to drive down what they see as a cost and nothing more. These very same people would like to see you rid yourselves of your union representation, and to see you disarmed in the fight for better compensation and working conditions. Why trust these people to deal with you one on one? Their bad faith at the negotiating table in an attempt to defund your union should be more than enough to convince you that these people are not straight shooters.
Unions are necessary in this business!
We need unions. Aside from union activity, the Railway Labor Act (RLA) does little to protect workers and Allegiant slides through, exempt from even minimal state labor laws. We are forced to negotiate minimums and maximums. Without a union contract we leave it completely up to the employer to unilaterally determine our work conditions and to initiate change. We caution you to heed and learn from our experience! The company will say they will take input on changes, but as CEO Maury Gallagher testified in court, our former pilot agreement (negotiated by our pilots, not a national union) was all a kabuki dance to satisfy us. The company still believed they could change terms at any time without our input.
The Blame Game
For some it is easy to blame the TWU for a lack of progress. Yet, the simple truth is, the company does not want a contract. They want to continue to operate as they have in the past, to be able to change terms on a whim as they have done with scheduling and commission pay. They stall at the table to frustrate you.
As for the TWU being to blame on other issues, it is important to know that being part of unionized labor requires the members to step up and take part in the process. The more FAs that step up and take ownership, the better your representation will be. We can’t expect the national unions to do it all for us. It is easy to see how the TWU could employ an idea that worked well at another property, but when employed at Allegiant the FAs didn’t like it.
Generally speaking, this type of situation is usually the result of minimal input from the union membership. Rather than blaming the TWU, use this as an opportunity to take the initiative to get involved with the TWU so that together you can implement a strategy that will work for the Allegiant FAs.
What Happens Next?
If you vote to get rid of the TWU, you will lose all of the current progress you have made towards a contract. You may get a quick bump in compensation from the company, but they can change it as they have done in the past on more than one occasion. One instance many of you may have experienced in the past was when Allegiant based your seniority on sales. Didn’t they recently change your commission? With a union contract the company is bound by the agreements they negotiate with you. They can’t do these things without your input and agreement.
In Summation
In this business, unions are necessary. You already have the TWU on your side, keep your union representation intact and leverage it to achieve a fair first contract.
Without a contract, terms of employment can be changed unilaterally. You will not have an enforceable contract without a representative. Learn from our pilots’ recent experience.
Unions require member participation to be effective. We encourage you to stand your ground, support your union, and push for the contract you deserve.
On behalf of the Allegiant Air pilots,
Captain Cameron Graff, Chairman
Captain Corey Berger
Captain Greg Jones