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So how would a Union work in reality on a day to day basis?

 

Let’s say that you work for a company and they need a medium pilot for drills and or skiing. You have been working there for 1 year but there were no medium seats available so you have been flying the company Astars instead....you have medium drill/ski experience with a previous employer.

 

There is another pilot that works for the same company; he has a medium endorsement but minimal longline experience and he is not very good at it. Catch is he has been working for the company for 1 week longer than you. Who would be the right person for the seat in the drill ship? Obviously the guy with more experience (assuming all else is equal) but what would the union have to say about this? Skill and experience don’t matter much; the union is all about seniority....who has been there longer?.

 

A Chief Pilot need to line up crew for a new job starting next month.....it’s a tough job, hot, high, precision is required....new customer with the potential of lots of additional work. Trouble is the guy who is “due” to go out is not the best choice that the company has. Can he keep the “due” pilot at home and send someone else? What would the union say about that?

 

I have never worked for a Union so I may be jumping to a lot of conclusions. Can anyone give an example of a Unionized industry that parallels helicopters where there is such a wide variety of skill is possessed by its members and variety of experience is required for the different types of work they do?

 

Some of my observations come from watching a friend that works Airlines....skill, aptitude, attitude, customer relations have absolutely nothing to do with promotions, pay, endorsements etc....it’s all about seniority...who started working there first. Leave one airline and join another and seniority is out the window.

 

What about contractors? Is there a place for contract engineers and pilots in a unionized industry?

 

Seems to me that Unions work in an environment where differing skill levels compared to co-workers is not that important. It could perhaps work in a “Closed” helicopter environment, say offshore IFR. The route is the same day in day out, the schedule is the same; the required pilot skill is the same because the job is always the same. This is not the case in a VFR company that runs R-44, 206, Astar, 500, 212 and does everything from sightseeing to forestry, to logging, drills and skiing.

 

How does a Union get involved in that? I think we all agree that we should be making 180 G a year working 2 on 2 off and maybe a Union could help with that....but can you imagine the logistics of the average Helicopter Company trying to run its operation where the crew is unionized?

 

Lets say you think the owner of the company you work for is an ***, but you have been there 4 years and have some seniority. Are you going to be willing to throw your seniority away to go work somewhere else? Right now if you have the skill and experience you can go straight to the “top” of the pecking order of another company. Are you still going to be able to do that in a unionized industry or are you now going to be behind the guy that has less than half the experience you do.

 

Anyone out there that is “Pro Union” have any real insight as to how it might actually work?

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Yes I know Plumber but they are unionized therefore popular answer prevails, to assume otherwise is only wishfull thinking. The logic works like this:

 

1. Unionized= Cant cut it and lazy and below standard and need protection and should work at mcdonalds or get out of they dont like it.

 

2. Non unionized= Amazing and superior in every way and the true capable employees can totaly cut it and therefore dont need protection.

 

Its one or the other, just read into past posts on the subject, this is the popular thinking.

 

P5

 

 

 

A truly enlightening post.

 

Tell us more about the lazy under qualified pilots who work for the Canadian Coast Guard, Hydro One, Ornge and CHC.

 

I'm all ears!

 

 

Then go read this; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect

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Union will not work industry wide. Might work with the Large companies but I don't think that would ever happen. An association for the benifit of the members might work.

 

Whatever the words "association" or "union" mean in your mind, they mean exactly the same thing in the eyes of Labour Canada.

 

Been there --- got that T- shirt --- with the Canadian Helicopter Pilots Association conflict at Okanagan Helicopters in 1983.

 

Good luck with this.

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So how would a Union work in reality on a day to day basis?

 

That is entirely up to the members of the union. YOU get to decide the answers to all those questions when you negotiate your Collective Labour Agreement (contract).

 

There are many misconceptions about unions, and I will admit I was totally non-union for most of my life. However there comes a time when you just get tired of having to accept what is doled out or change companies.

 

I now believe that a labour contract and union representation can be beneficial to both the employee and the employer.

 

The employer knows exactly what his costs will be for a fixed period of time (3 years usually).

 

The employer no longer has to field countless emails and phone calls from the field bitching about this or that. He simply refers them to the contract or their union rep.

 

The employee knows what his rights are and that he has to live with what ever HE voted for in the contract.

 

The employee knows that advancement, perks, assignments, etc will be transparent and no more back room deals.

 

Not one person in our union wants to put CHC in a competitive disadvantage, but we do want what is fair to all.

 

The biggest threat to operators in Canada is from themselves, not from a collective labour agreement.

 

All operators in Canada have basically the same fixed costs. a/c, parts, insurance, etc. The only wiggle room they have is on crew.

 

So lets imagine for a moment that this cost is also pretty much fixed. Now operators would have to bring rates up to what they must be to be profitable and safe or go out of business. What you have left would be the well managed operations, those run by people who make money by using their heads.

 

Hoping everyone has a safe and profitable summer.

 

 

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Only worked for a Union once...as a logger on the Coast. I had years of experience and I was FAST. Only problem was that I didn't have any seniority... It was the only game in town so I went on "Staff" on a contract basis ie Management. So next tour I showed up and one of the good old boys didn't. Let me tell you that it definately didn't go over very well with the rest of the boys on what I previously thought was a rather large Barge LOL. The money though was the best I ever made on an hourly basis and the food was always good.

 

Can't see it working in the VFR Bush industry though. We are generally a pretty driven lot, plenty of Type A guys/gals who want to go out and put out and try out and perform. While a generally unspoken rule we all seem to silently understand it....and in the very variable world of helicopter operations it just don't work that well I don't think...very large companies excluded.

 

Also consider that a good chunk of the companies out there have been/are run by owner operators/pilots etc, who are/ have all worked their collective butts off and probably been there done that. You don't have to like them but you should respect them at least for that.

 

Good luck and Fly Safe all.

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construction unions have existed for years. employees work out of a central hiring hall and go to work for whatever company needs them. The union runs the benefit package and pension. the companies know they have a pool of highly skilled and qualified people, to draw from at pre-determined wage packgage

they have the right to name hire a certain amount of personnel. this helps with contuniity and allows them to retain a core number of people.

There are many parallels between the construction industry and the helicopter industry, such as seasonal work, jobs in different towns, etc.

If it can work for the construction industry with its many different employers in different areas. why not our industry.

It would certainly allow for a decent and fair wage, pension and benefit package which this industry certainly needs.

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Guest plumber
construction unions have existed for years. employees work out of a central hiring hall and go to work for whatever company needs them. The union runs the benefit package and pension. the companies know they have a pool of highly skilled and qualified people, to draw from at pre-determined wage packgage

they have the right to name hire a certain amount of personnel. this helps with contuniity and allows them to retain a core number of people.

There are many parallels between the construction industry and the helicopter industry, such as seasonal work, jobs in different towns, etc.

If it can work for the construction industry with its many different employers in different areas. why not our industry.

It would certainly allow for a decent and fair wage, pension and benefit package which this industry certainly needs.

 

It doesn't work all that much for construction anymore either. Lots of smaller companies underbid contracts and get them.

 

Alot of union construction is do to agreements with other unionized customers. I.E Cominco, Pope and talbot.

 

I've done both sides of the fence and unions just want your money, some of the most corrupt people I've met in my life have been union big wigs.

 

One more Idea lets vote NDP next election and see how much we will all be working. They're big union supporters :D

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