13 August 2009

Pilot Unions Scupper WN/F9 Deal

You have to admire the way unions seem to shoot themselves in the foot.

I think most of us had hoped and believe that this sort of union behavior was a think of the past. Apparently not so. Thus the US bankruptcy court ruled yesterday as the WN bid included a requirement for the 2 pilot unions to agree.

So here is the bottom line. F9's pilots (700 of them) and WN's pilot's (6,000) of them could not agree on the seniority issue. Thus the bid failed. Thus F9 ends up with a value of 108 million from Republic Airlines Group vs the much larger cash bid from WN.

I think it's high time that someone tackled the seniority problem with a set of rules that makes sense. The simple answer would be merge them based on suitable dates. However a bad merger could result which was the situation at the Pan Am/National merger. So the best answer is to put in a single set of rules that is based on COMPETENCY and hours in the cockpit rather than the date of hire.

And to the two pilot unions. Shame on you both.

However there is a little bit of silver lining in this. Frontier stays independent (which was my preference if anyone was asking) and the team at F9 stay intact and will continue to keep prices in check! So perhaps the real winner will be the consumer. Zut Alors!


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