Pinnacle Airline pilots are among the lowest paid pilots in the United States. The management does not pay them for pre or post-flight duties and the hours spent between flights at waiting airports. Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), an airline union representing pinnacle workers, has engaged in several negotiation sessions with the management in an attempt to reach a new contract favoring the pilots. It claimed that in accordance with section 6 of Railway labor Act, the pilots were entitled to negotiations with management for a new contract. In March 2008, an independent arbitrator ruled that the management of Pinnacle Airlines violated Collective Bargaining Agreement entered with its pilots by refusing to negotiate job protection after ALPA presented a petition. These negotiations prove how airline unions seek to ensure that management does not violate the rights of airline workers.
How can airline workers organize a union? The process starts when co-workers sharing the same concerns meet and agree on the issues facing them while working at an airline. The issues facing them may be unfair treatment or low wages. The next step is building a committee of co-workers that will represent the work place. After this, the committee needs to obtain a simple majority support from other workers in the airline. They can achieve this by having a one-on-one discussion with each airline worker.
Election for union officials in airline industries occurs after 5 years in national and international unions. Every member of the union has a right to be given reasonable opportunity to nominate the candidate of his own choice. The union is supposed to mail a notice of election to all the members 15 days before the election date. They elect the officials using secret ballot among members in good standing. After the union official is elected, every member has a right to protest the elections by filing a complaint.
In conclusion, it is evident that airline unions help to fight for the rights of pilots and other workers of airlines. This can be proved by how ALPA helped Pinnacle pilots in collective bargaining with the management of the airline. The unions also help to ensure fair representation and trial for every employee. Furthermore, every member of a union has a right to be elected as an official.
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