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Now THAT was a cheap shot. It was meant to be insultuous, not funny. That work for you!!! ;)

 

As 212wrench said earlier, "And there is the problem right there. This post is discussing problems that we all face and in three pages it collapses into bickering. No wonder it is what it is."

 

Not my idea of a conversation, BR so I'll leave you to your happy, respectful thoughts. Don't forget your meds.

 

Cheers . . . . .

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Guest Bullet Remington
As 212wrench said earlier, "And there is the problem right there. This post is discussing problems that we all face and in three pages it collapses into bickering. No wonder it is what it is."

 

Not my idea of a conversation, BR so I'll leave you to your happy, respectful thoughts. Don't forget your meds.

 

Cheers . . . . .

 

Yes, I am aware thta thi sis not your idea of a convesation, CJ. I have beem PM'd by three other pilots and told exactly how things work in your world. You have my sympathy.

 

I would love to see your point of view, unfortunately, I can't stick my head that far up my own arse!!

 

Good Luck in the field. You WILL get spanked out there!! :lol::lol:

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It is almost certainly true that no one really wants unions. They add a level of complexity to already complex situations. Never the less, employees are continuously motivated to unionize. There must be reasons for this and generally speaking these have to do with the employer taking advantage of the employee in some way. A typical example of this is employer’s requesting to work overtime without additional pay or to work on days which had been promised to the employee as days off.

 

While some employees are aggressive enough to fend for themselves in such situations, a great many are not. The advantage rests with the employer when he bargains with individual employees. It is the employer who issues the paycheques and employees who refuse extraordinary work fear dismissal at worst or gaining a reputation as one who is not a team player at best. For an employee who has a family to support and payments to make, no income for even a few months can be a disaster. His motivation to comply with even outrageous requests is high.

 

Quality of life is as important as money. Mothers and fathers must spend sufficient time with their children to ensure they are properly raised. It is particularly difficult for helicopter engineers and pilots to ensure this sort of thing.

 

Almost all helicopter engineers and pilots work under an ‘at will’ agreement with their employers. Without any sort of contract the employee can be fired and it is likely that he has no recourse whatsoever to recover his job. The employer does not need a reason to fire a worker under an at will agreement. Job security for employees is essentially nil.

 

It must be mentioned that sometimes employers get the short end of the stick. It must gall them enormously when they have invested training and other resources in a pilot who then quits in favor of another job for perhaps a small increase in pay. Collective agreements can also address this situation.

 

Employers intensely resist employment agreements because they deprive them of control. Yet, it is rare for a helicopter user and a helicopter provider to not have a contract some of which can be lengthy and detailed. Contracts are part and parcel of the business environment.

 

Collective agreements are contracts. Parties to contracts promise each other to do things. The employee promises to work and the employer promises to pay. It is only sensible for employees to insist on promises regarding: when they will work; how much they will work; how much they will be paid; the conditions under which they will work; compensation for overtime; a grievance procedure.

 

Some labor contracts require the employee to: work a certain amount of overtime to facilitate the employer’s operation; be tested for drugs; spend a certain amount of time in the field. All of the benefits of a contract do not necessarily accrue to the employee. Even union employees can be fired.

 

In at least one instance, a major U.S. airline facing bankruptcy was able to reach an agreement with the pilot’s union for a reduction of wages which was paramount in rescuing the airline. Some years later, the pilots regained their pre-crisis rates of pay. This is an example of a union and a company working together for the benefit of both.

 

No sensible union or association will ever insist on wages or other compensation that will force their employer into difficult circumstances. A person’s job is one of the most important things one possesses and one will generally do all one can to protect it.

 

Engineers have no limits on their duty day. The general limit for pilots is 42 consecutive 14 hour days. This is disagreeable and arguably medieval. Engineers should pray that if their duty day is defined, the result is a better deal than pilots have.

 

An association of engineers and pilots such as the College or HEPAC can be almost as effective as a union provided that its members stick together. This may not happen. Did not the members of the Helicopter Association of Canada once agree to maintain sensible hourly rates for their machinery? This arrangement lasted until they were out the door. If it was thought useful, an association could provide its members with generic contracts that would be tantamount to collective agreements. If there was solidarity amongst the members, this might work.

 

In any event, a formal association is sure to be a useful thing. This forum is a de facto association of helicopter pilots and engineers and it has advanced their cause to at least some extent.

 

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Yes, I am aware thta thi sis not your idea of a convesation, CJ. I have beem PM'd by three other pilots and told exactly how things work in your world. You have my sympathy.

 

I would love to see your point of view, unfortunately, I can't stick my head that far up my own arse!!

 

Good Luck in the field. You WILL get spanked out there!! :lol::lol:

Hey BR:

 

Well, I must admit you were certainly right about the cheap shots, they're your specialty. I'm sorry that what little I've said has made you so angry, but I think you were probably angry to start with, as others have noted. It must have been a long 38 years.

 

If you want to let me know "exactly how things work in [my] world", I'm all ears, but best as a PM as we've wasted enough of other people's time here already.

 

And I don't need your sympathy.

 

Bye, Cheers . . . . .

 

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...

In any event, a formal association is sure to be a useful thing. This forum is a de facto association of helicopter pilots and engineers and it has advanced their cause to at least some extent.

 

I agree, Fred Lewis' comments sum things up well. It's useful to start with some basic truths like these about the helicopter business and see if there is enough common ground to build on. Some of my own thoughts:

 

* the idea of uniform, fair working conditions with fair hiring/firing criteria is appealing but requires a common objective and sustained member involvement. These qualities are not naturally found in the bush flying culture.

 

* successful unions are probably run by professional organizers, not by the members. The pilot/engineer community, even together, is not large and is widely dispersed making the chances of a volunteer effort succeeding fairly slim. I work with several volunteer groups and there is often lots of advice but not much help.

 

* worker/employer agreements rest on mutual trust. My observation is that both parties tend to be fairly opportunistic, always looking out for the next best deal rather than building long term relationships. This may be partly due to the seasonal nature of the business with the spring-time "musical chairs" event.

 

* I don't hold out much hope for a helicopter industry worker's group unless it piggy-backs on an established, successful union or association.

 

In the meantime, the best we can do is offer exceptional value to our employer and hope that they will recognize that when compensation and job security is discussed. If they don't, try another employer.

 

Cheers . . . .

 

 

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