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Fred Lewis

Union Drive

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Why couldn't they give you a proper tent?

Hybrid,

They could have, I don't know, just being cheap. (customer is one of the wealthiest people in Canada, I now know why!!)I have 2 wall tents and heaters etc. at home, we just didn't know when we headed north. Next time, we will travel complete! Good flying job though, many days of pure wet misery with a few unbelievable nice weather days in the Yukon that made it all worth while. Dawson city is very cool place too! I would do it again in a minute, but will bring my own tent.

B.M.

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Ha Ha, I do know who the client was.

 

That's exactly my point Black Mike, proper accommodation could have easily been provided. I was on a drill job in Northern BC, great people, great owners, fantastic food, great hours and the company was making great money, as was I. The rub, 4 guys in a tent. Not easy flying 8-11 hour days mostly on a line with 3-4 hours sleep. My question was to the GM, " Can we not afford 5 grand for a tent when the company is making a million +?

 

If an association was formed it would put everyone on a level playing field. It's simple (or should be) the operator tells the client he will provide hard working crews that will do a great job for them. All we ask is give them a clean, quiet, warm place to live where they can be properly rested. Then they will be happier, rested and most importantly, safer. Proper accommodation and food are a small investment compared to a bent up piece of aluminium, or worse.

 

I am not talking about a union, just an association to address common interests.

 

For example: TFW issue

Flight and Duty Times (both pilots & AME's)

STD & LTD

Dealing with TC ( too long to process endorsements) for example

 

Trying to negotiate wages and such is not workable, there are way too many variables.

 

Of course I am dreaming in techno-colour!

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maybe we should get the opinions of some unionized helicopter people. perhaps some ont hydro or MNR pilots and maintenance personnel , would tell us how they would gladly give up their lousy old unions and how lazy and incompetent they have become since they are now represented by a union. I have been on many jobs where the only non union trades are the aviation personnel (and usually the lowest paid, with no benefits, longest rotations). These jobs seem to get completely on time, budget, etc. funny how that is

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I now work in a unionised position. What do you wanna know?

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If you work in Canada, you work in a union. That union has a set of rules for workers to protect them. It is called the Canada Labour Code. If you want more rules than this, then you need to form a union particular to your profession. If you are happy with the current standard, than stick with the status quo. But it sound like many do feel abused by their employer. Any labour union would not have to veer too far from the the rules in place now, but could be more specific to the work that is being carried out. We alll know aviation is a different beast. It can be tailored any way the members want. Example: If members do not vote for a seniority system, the "lazy" will not be protected.

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Hybrid,

The pup tent did suck, and you probably do know the client, there is only one like him that I know of! As for the employer, he was in the next tent over, for the full 2 months (less some mandatory days of) There were several other companies ready to jump on this contract if we decided to leave,(and no, our rates and minimums were not in the toilet) food was excellent, second pilot was happy to make $1000. plus per day on the worst fire season in B.C. history. He was welcome to leave anytime, if he wanted to, but is still with us today, flying a nice new 407.

There was a time in my life/career where I would have jumped all over this kind of job and I'm sure there are a number of guys/gals out there today that still would. Sounds like a perfect gig for the young, adventurist, single no kids sort of pilot. Money doesn't sound bad either. If you have advance notice, you could set yourself up quite comfortably in a tent. So my question is, what would an association/union do about the pilots that want to do this type of work. They're out there whether they be eager low timers or seasonal contractors that do long tours all summer and play all winter sailing their sailboats around the world. Is your pilot club going to outcast these people? Are you going to boycott the companies that hire them?

Sorry to play devil's advocate again, but..... no, I lied, I enjoy it.

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You know what Fred....since you have come onto this forum, you are without a doubt one of the biggest whiners I have ever seen here.

It becomes somewhat annoying your constant snivelling and bleating about an industry, that you obviously did not research much prior to choosing your carreer path.

Man up for christsake.....if you hate working conditions so much, bail and go do something else.

You remind me that anyone can buy a licence....

H56

 

I would greatly appreciate that before you give away my title of " The biggest Whiner" to someone else ( ( (that took dedication and hard work) that you at the very least have the courtesy to provide some notice. Kinda like getting it in the back door without a reach around. poor form!

 

P5

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Actually, I just noticed a warning point on my name. I have no idea what it means, but am guessing it is not a good thing. Is there a reason that I am the only one that received that?

Rather odd you were warned? About what? Seems as though opinions are welcome as long as they do not insight the truth. Then the warning is given not to offender but to the corrective action or opinion. I suggest you look into the Asche conformity experiment to get a better understanding of exactly what you are dealing with. it's quite amusing. As soon as momentum is gained and it contravenes the accepted norm warnings are issued. Several other descriptive terms then come to mind, like willful blindness or disingenuous.

 

The dynamic is really quite interesting and if you understand it and have experienced for yourself, the industry is full of bullies. Just a year ago or so there was a guy that went ballistic and actually shot up a helicopter. people get pushed to the limit and have no recourse, are black listed etc. Maybe it's time for some form or association or union, if only to protect the industry from its self.

 

P5

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Skidmark

 

The answer is nothing. Off the top of my head.

 

BC Hydro or whoever is represented by the IBEW. I recall when times were booming in BC and they had some wildly radical union members. When all the dams and powerlines were built, those radicals were let go and the other linemen were kept on to go into production or whatever. They are still members of the IBEW. In the little town that you live in, is your local electrician a member of a union? I am guessing not, maybe he is, but his business isn't union. Why are electricians paid what they are? They certainly have skills, and all one has to do is play with a little wiring in your house to see that there can be some danger. And if you do play, stay away from the 220. They are paid well because that is the norm. Because unions got them to that point. Large companies may have unions. When they do their planning, they take that into account and budget accordingly. Do you think that those non-union electricians have more skills in their profession than you do in yours, is it more dangerous?

 

And I will ask you this? You are so hugely adamant against unions, do you tell hydro or whoever the union member is in your helicopter that he is a dickwad and he gets paid way too much for what he does and he is useless and on and on and on. Or is that person you have in your helicopter actually kind of a nice guy, professional to the nth degree, a really hard worker and not calling you a capitalist pig. Fancy that, you mean you can be a member of a union and not be a dick?

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Maury,

Never did I say I was against unions. I'm just very sceptical of one ever working that blankets the entire Canadian VFR pool of helicopter pilots. If you look at the pilots in this country that are unionized they work for organizations that are backed by either federal (RCMP) or provincial (MNR) governments or the public (air ambulance) or a mix of all of that. Usually they live where they work and are on a monday to friday or short mix of days and night schedules (4 and 4's). They are also paid salary and not flight pay or other incentive pay. They typically don't stay in places that begin or end with the word "Camp". Much easier for a union to track work conditions and monitor pay against inflation/cost of living and such. I'm sure this is most cases and not all.

 

Now take the VFR market with all the various sized companies scattered from coast to coast. Organization or even some what of a level playing field doesn't exist. From one machine operators to 75 plus machine operators. All with different pay structures, all with different requirements. Some are in desirable to live in places others out where Shrek wouldn't even call home. We all expect to make a good living for what we do, and I always have, however there are no guarantees when the majority of us are on some sort of incentive pay system. If we sit we make way less. The operator makes way less too. So in this day and age when tariffs are where they are and work is scarce how do you expect a small company to support a unionized employee that is promised a certain wage and benefits. There are going to be companies closing their doors and experienced pilots that can't find work as it is. I can only see the financial cost of a union forcing more companies out of business faster. The union is the wrong fight for now or at least energy that should be redirected. I've seen a lot of change in the last few years. I've seen pilots not getting called to work because they live too far away and the plane ticket would be too expensive. Spares inventories dwindling away. Pay and minimums decreasing. I could go on with all the problems and variables i see but I just think that with things being as desperate as they are a union would be the nail in the coffin and everyone loses. No employer, no job, no need for a union anymore. I wasn't around before the deregulation of tariffs but there needs to be some sort of equalization before you can consider a union.

Thats my opinion and nothing more.

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