Why we need a union at Onesky/Flexjet/Flight Options
I feel we definitely need a union at Onesky/Flexjet/Flight Options, and I’m glad we have one, because of my experiences within the past six months.
I was part of a crew en-route to pick up passengers and had a mechanical issue. The company asked us to divert, which we did. On arrival, we were told that we had been assigned another aircraft. We also noted that the passengers would be driving to our location. Not wanting to waste time, I told the captain I would grab my stuff; button up the outside of the aircraft going into maintenance and start the preflight/inventory of the other plane. He said fine, and he would write up the problem, take care of the interior and then go look for the stock since it was cold.
I started the inventory and called the FBO to get the coffee, ice, papers, and catering ordered. The captain grabbed the stock (maintenance said they would take care of the original aircraft’s stock for us), and got it stowed. We got everything ready and then two people show up at the aircraft door and said “We are from Flexjet and we are here to help.” They didn’t give us their names, but I recognized the one that came to the aircraft door. I told them they could follow up on the catering. By then, the captain was talking to the other person outside the aircraft. I finished the inventory and checks as we were being pushed in front of the FBO to get fuel.
By this time, it had started snowing so I went to get the clearance and the captain began looking into performance calculations. It took longer than usual to get a flight plan from flight planning and I noticed I had received a voice mail and missed call. It was a manager who left a very terse message to call back. While waiting for the flight plan, I returned the call. This manager apparently got a message from one of the people who showed to help, who was also a manager. The manager on the phone kept repeating that we are all trying to get this recovery done. Not once was there a “What can I do to help?” After getting fuel, getting the clearance, noting there would be no delay getting out, getting de-iced and anti-iced, we finally departed.
The captain emailed the OneSky manager that was at the FBO. His reply was not too surprising from my point of view. The manager basically in so many words accused us of being lazy, and implied that we took our time to make the company look bad because we supported the union. Now we get to the ironic part. The manager didn’t pay fanatical attention to detail and check who made up our crew. The captain was very anti-union, and yet was accused slowing down to support our Union. This shows that the company will even throw their supporters “under the bus” in a knee jerk reaction to a customer disservice. Without our Union, we won’t have a contract to protect us from false accusations or unfair treatment. We will be employed at their will without any recourse.
I am glad I had a Local 1108 Steward to call and consult on this issue. I urge all those thinking of voting for “no representative”, to reconsider. You may one day be in a situation like the one I described. Without our Union, we don’t have the right to consult a pilot representative, let alone just cause protections and arbitration. We can’t afford to lose this and the many other protections we have with the IBT1108.
FO Dean Hagarty