FROM WOODEN WINGS
While positive changes have occurred-largely as a result of arbitration victories and actions taken by the pilots, many changes remain to be made at United. Management's vindictiveness after the strike institutionalized labor strife at United that continues to eat away at the fabric of the company and its employees. The punitive reduction of the 570's seniority and the continuation of fleet-qual compensation only serve as a continuous reminder of the hatred and anger. The degrading B- scale must end. The incestuous Flight Operations management structure must be drastically changed. It exists today because of a number of years when only those who had demonstrated blind obedience to a now-disgraced management were allowed to participate.
But United's pilots have reason to be optimistic. ALPA in general and the United and Eastern pilots in particular have sent a message to managements in this industry. "The strength of our Association has really been revitalized," says Hall, "with our `war chest,' sophisticated communications techniques and ability to unite cohesively. I believe we're going to make some good things happen in the future and I think airline managements are going to think twice before they take on a pilot group again."
But the hated B-scale, although only a fraction of the scope Ferris and the board envisioned, still plagues this company. As Warren Villareal, UAL-MEC No B-Scale Committee Chairman recently said, "The B-scale salary structure was not just an assault on the new hire pilots, it was an assault on the A-scale pilots." As long as the cancer is allowed on this property, all United pilots are threatened.
A few years ago no one envisioned the challenges the United pilots would have to confront in order to protect their careers and profession. The inner strength and courage the group displayed has left little doubt that United's pilots are indeed made of the same stuff as the men who created ALPA during the era of the wooden wings.