Well, this has me just about mad enough to spit. The most recent issue of Teamster magazine has a proud article ("All Systems Go," May 2006, condensed version here) about GoJet pilots certifying the Teamsters as their union. Not only are the Teamsters willing to sacrifice every principle that unionism holds dear for some extra dues money, but they'll gleefully brag about it, too. I'm embarrassed to say I'm a Teamster.
For those who aren't familiar, GoJet was an alter-ego airline started by Trans States Airlines owner Hulas Kanodia to circumvent the contract in place at TSA, which is represented by ALPA. The Trans States pilots protested strongly and filed a grievance with the National Mediation Board. The NMB ended up siding with Kanodia, but the real surprise was one of the petitions filed in support of the company: International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Airline Division. These are the same folks that represent pilots at my airline. Nevermind that GoJet and airlines like it are a direct threat to the security of regional pilots everywhere - the IBT saw an opportunity to poach some dues money. Jimmy Hoffa Sr. lives on through the culture of corruption that pervades the Teamsters. No wonder these scumbags left the AFL-CIO, they'd have been kicked out over this.
I'm writing this as someone who is generally pro-union and is actively involved in the union at my airline. You can imagine what this does to those pilots that're already ambivalent about union membership. I've had several fellow pilots tell me they'd like to stop paying dues over this. The IBT Airline Division has undermined unity at our pilot group at the time we need it the most: contract negotiations.
My beef is with the IBT Airline Division, not the union leadership at my airline. Our ExCo recognizes what a threat alter-ego airlines pose to us, and sent the airline division a strongly worded letter expressing our grave dissapointment. Unfortunately, that's about all we can do short of decertifying the crooks. I still support my local leadership 100% and will continue to help out. But in the meantime I've peeled the IBT sticker off my flight bag. I'm too embarassed to be publicly associated with that outfit.