Infuriated By Labor Dispute, United Pilot Cancels Flight

Passengers on United Airlines Flight 416 from Salt Lake City to Denver were in their seats, waiting to taxi to the runway, when their pilot suddenly announced that “an interpersonal confrontation [has] upset me significantly to the point where I’m not focused enough to fly you to Denver.” Apparently, the “interpersonal confrontation” started when the pilot was caught wearing his hat in front of management.

United’s pilots are understandably pissed that management is saving costs by axing 1,600 employees while simultaneously funding a $130 million executive cash bath. As a form of Ghandi-esque protest, the pilot’s union has asked its members to take off their hats in management’s presence—which seems counterintuitive, since we always thought taking your hat off was a sign of respect, not a way to flip a finger to The Man.

Anyway, this poor pilot KEPT HIS HAT ON! He was busted by another flight crew, and was so bent out of shape by the ensuing “interpersonal confrontation” that he decided to cancel his flight—which is much better than flying angry, because you really don’t want your pilot cutting off other planes or tailgating.

United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski said in an e-mailed statement that the flight was canceled according to company procedures designed to ensure flight crews are prepared to fly. The airline re-accommodated its customers on other flights and will give them “goodwill gestures,” which may include miles and travel certificates, she said.

Urbanski declined to identify the pilot or provide details of the incident, but she did not dispute the passenger’s account.

“We will conduct a full investigation of the events leading up to the cancellation and take appropriate, necessary action,” she wrote in the e-mail.

David Kelly, a spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents United pilots, said the union won’t comment on the incident.

The Federal Aviation Administration says it’s up to the airlines to determine when and how pilots can walk away from the cockpit if they feel unfit to fly. “But we’d expect that if the pilots aren’t fit to fly, they would not fly,” said FAA spokeswoman Alison Duquette.

And now we know how airline labor negotiations can directly impact customer service.

United flight canceled after upset pilot refuses to fly [USA Today]
(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. PHX602 says:

    Jeez, if we’re going to claim bullshit excuses, make it somewhat official sounding. Say it was myopic rectitis, where the pilot couldn’t see his ass flying that day.

  2. Ein2015 says:

    I hate unions.

  3. gibbersome says:

    What in the world is going on with United?!

  4. ohyeahright says:

    @Ein2015
    I hate executives.

  5. badgeman46 says:

    Seriously, that was a good call. All pilots are REQUIRED to recuse themselves from work if they under any emotionall stress that would interfere with the job. Seriously, would you want your captain stewing over his divorce or missed mortgage payments while you are landing in Chicago in bad weather?

  6. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    People want to complaint about pissy, upset pilots? Ask how that worked out for EgyptAir 990.

  7. Noiddog says:

    *static* This is you captain speaking. I won’t be able to fly you to your destination today because I have my panties in a wad. That is all. *static*

  8. azntg says:

    @badgeman46: Agreed.

    In a way, he got three revenges at once:
    1) by keeping his hat on, he managed to flip his finger against the executives and his union
    2) by cancelling the flight, he put the onus back to United to deal with the mess
    3) by cancelling the flight claiming his condition, he would not be held liable if an accident did happen.

    Of course, the customers won’t be happy and given the current situation where airlines are competing with each other on who can do worse, the guy’s a complete a-hole and it gives one more reason to avoid flying with United.

  9. @ohyeahright: I hate everyone.

  10. humphrmi says:

    OK so the kicker is, ALPA wants United’s pilots to take their hat off in the presence of management as a show of protest against management, and apparently this pilot didn’t do that, so the interpersonal confrontation had to be with another member of ALPA, not management.

    The irony is that he’ll probably get nicked by management (the same management he refused to show protest against) for canceling the flight.

  11. Mr_Human says:

    @Ein2015: You can owe whatever leisure life you have to unions, bud.

  12. parad0x360 says:

    The bigger issue here, at least to me is the fact that the airline execs are firing people so they can get some kind of bigger bonus.

    Customer service be damned we need to make those rich executives more rich!

  13. Logan26 says:

    @Ein2015: @ohyeahright:

    Both are equally at fault. They both drive up the price of products produce here in the US.

  14. socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

    Good for him.

    Pilots have alot of power though. I was on a flight where they couldn’t find a flight attendant and were waiting for another. 90 minutes of delays and myself and the other passengers waiting… out walks the pilot from off the plane and he starts cussing out the front desk.

    Needless to say within 5 minutes a flight attendant showed up, pulled from another flight, and was ready to go. From what I over heard it was “I have been waiting there long enough. get me an f-ing flight attendant now this plane isn’t waiting any longer”.

    I now respect my pilots that much more.

  15. agb2000 says:

    @humphrmi:

    The irony is that he’ll probably get nicked by management (the same management he refused to show protest against) for canceling the flight.

    You mean “the irony might be…” – since you just made that up with no evidence / reasoning. It’s not actually ironic unless it actually happens.

  16. Logan26 says:

    @Mr_Human:

    While unions were needed at one time, they need to go the way of the dodo bird, bud.

  17. CaptZ says:

    Unions are now used for keeping the undereducated, overpaid and hold to companies hostage to meet their demands. All things the union was created for are now handled by the government. Yes, we can owe many safety regulations to the union….but they a no longer needed. OSHA now handles all the unions represent. I am leading the way to have the union at the company I work for ousted. they must have at least 25% membership and they are dropping….no thanks to my conferences with those that still members. Our local union president and vice pres were recently fired for clocking each other in when the other was late…..nice show of responsibility and leading by example these assclowns were.

  18. Hairyback says:

    I hope that pilot gets that hat shoved up his ass, the prick. It’s not like flying is enough of a hassle.

  19. planet2334 says:

    So that other flight crew that gave the pilot shit should be paying for everyone’s flight. When are co-workers going to realize it’s there JOB to keep their mouths SHUT and get WORK done?

  20. am84 says:

    @Hairyback: I couldn’t have said it better myself. Get over it and do your damn job.

  21. Snowblind says:

    @badgeman46:

    He violated Rule 22:

    Clearly his judgment was not impaired enough to refuse to fly.

    If he was truly unfit to fly, he would have not had the judgment to determine that.

    Therefore, for having the insight to rescue himself claiming lack of judgment, he is clearly just trying to get out of work.

    Man, I should write a book about that or something…

  22. avantartist says:

    hats off to all [grin].

  23. quail says:

    @humphrmi: I don’t know all of the facts, but what I do know about labor law United would be foolish to fire the guy. There is precedent in pilots refusing to fly if they feel they’re not capable to do a safe job. He’d have United in court for years for unjustified termination.

  24. AgentTuttle says:

    Fight Club: We clean your laundry, we serve your food, we fly your planes, don’t fuck with us.

  25. differcult says:

    @Mr_Human: I owe nothing to Unions…welcome to owning your own buisness.

  26. BabyGorilla says:

    I’m fascinated by the fact that this site is used primarily to point out the flaws of huge companies in America and yet, a union, draws such negative comments.

  27. houston2882 says:

    unions sux but executives even more…how much is someone worth. in Sundays Atlanta Journel, CocaCola chief executive is making $21 million per year. $21 million. crap. I am not drinking anymore Coke product/PowerAde. way too much money being made here.

  28. coren says:

    Oh awesome, another union v non-union debate!

    @agb2000: No, ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife is ironic. I should write a song and go into business with Snowblind.

  29. humphrmi says:

    @quail: Well I didn’t say he’d get fired, there are a lot worse things that United can do than fire him. Like put him on a shitty Embraer flying between O’Hare and Bloomington/Normal.

    Honestly I hope he doesn’t get any flak from management. He was just trying to do his job, and apparently was getting shit from someone over whether he wore his hat or not, to “show solidarity”. Whoever called a pilot who was about to take control of an aircraft to complain to him about his hat-wearing behavior is the problem.

    I, personally, would not want a pi$$ed off pilot taking my life into his hands.

  30. kalikidtx says:

    this is what happens when you let the employees own the company, United has been on a downward spiral for some time now. I hope there are SERIOUS consequences for the pilot’s poor choice in judgment (he forgets to take his own hat off after his union agreed to do so, so he gets mad, and he cancels his flight. And there be some SERIOUS apoligies and refunds to every one on that flight! The airline industry is already bad enough without pilot pulling stunts like this!

  31. badgeman46 says:

    @Snowblind: Rule 22? Pardon me, but I have a commercial pilot’s license and have been flying since 1993 and I have no idea what you are talking about.

  32. WolfDemon says:

    You know, it’s a shame because I actually do enjoy United Airlines. I recently got back from a trip to Spain and had absolutely no trouble with both United and Lufthansa (German airline). We never had to wait in the plane long before takeoff. As soon as we taxied away from the terminal, we were taking off. We were able to get off the plane within 5 minutes of landing. For me, it was a great experience and I would fly United again.

  33. Tmoney02 says:

    @coren: “No, ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife is ironic.”

    No, actually that would just be unfortunate. And if you would like to use any other examples from Alanis Morissette’s song “Ironic” you would probably be wrong as pretty much all her situations are just unfortunate, not ironic.

  34. TechnoDestructo says:

    @badgeman46:

    Anyone got any rule 34 or can produce some rule 35 material on pilot-managment conflicts?

  35. Tmoney02 says:

    @badgeman46: Simmer down there. It was a joke reference to the book Catch 22. I will though pardon you ;P

  36. Trai_Dep says:

    It’s ironic that the anti-union union member, who didn’t want to join the symbolic protest, was the one that cancelled the flight. And it was the pro-union guys that wanted the whining hypocrite to fly the damned plane and service the customers. You know, be professional.
    It’s not ironic that the Freeper wingnuts blame the union when the opposite is the case. Expected, like a broken record, yes. Ironic? No.

  37. Eric1285 says:

    @Ein2015: Here’s to that! Down with unions. Why should they be allowed to form cartels and monopolies on labor?

  38. Trai_Dep says:

    @BabyGorilla: It’s mainly the Freeper/Red State types. They got their panties in a bunch because they heard there was a popular site that didn’t kowtow to Wal-Mart and established a beachhead about four months ago.
    Now they get their panties in a bunch when they get their butts handed to them when they’re confronted with logical, fact-based arguments: something that up til now, they’ve never encountered.
    They’re a minority, though.

  39. Eric1285 says:

    @houston2882: Um, executives receive that kind of compensation because they deserve it. They (usually) earn it through years of dedication and slowly rising through the ranks. They have proven that they (for the most part) are competent enough to handle the daily operations of a huge multinational corporation. How many people do you really think are smart enough to do this job?

    Unions on the other hand, pay high school dropouts and unskilled workers $30 an hour to do something that any monkey can be trained to do.

    Until monkeys can be trained to review quarterly statements and conduct strategic overviews, executives will continue to make the kind of money they deserve and unions will still be a useless drain on society.

  40. @badgeman46:
    Rule 22 as in “Catch 22″, not anything related to the FAA.

    @humphrmi:
    He probably isn’t facing reassignment to a shitty route on a shitty plane because the way pilot assignments and certification works. Just because you are rated to fly a 747, doesn’t necessarily mean you are certified to fly an Embraer. Commercial plane cockpits, etc can vary vastly, even within families (i.e. a pilot rated to fly a 747-200 may not be rated for a 747-800). A pilot needs to go through all sorts of training and testing to get type rated for a particular plane. It would be silly for United to spend the time and money getting this guy type rated on a lesser plane out of spite. Also, 747 pilots don’t grow on trees, and are not a resource that is wasted so frivolously.

    As for the pilot in question getting fired, that probably depend on all sorts of factors. Airlines (specially pilots) are very big on seniority. Depending on what the airline wants to accomplish and what its union contract says, they may fire either the most senior (who spend more money on healthcare, are closer to having their pensions vest, are entitled to the highest-paying routes, etc, etc); or the most junior, who are still sucking money being trained (i.e for new types, Captain-ness, etc), or simply because the union contract says “last in-first out” for layoffs.

  41. For the record, I wasn’t implying that Embraers or any other planes are “shitty”.

  42. humphrmi says:

    @Eric1285: I don’t disagree with your first paragraph, until you get to:

    Unions on the other hand, pay high school dropouts and unskilled workers $30 an hour to do something that any monkey can be trained to do.

    Umm, aren’t we talking about union pilots here?

  43. Eric1285 says:

    @humphrmi: I’m referring to unions in general. You don’t have to be smart to be a pilot. You just have to go through the appropriate training program. Obviously, you have to at least be responsible and willing to work, but those qualities alone should not be enough to guarantee people $30 an hour for a low or no-skill job.

  44. humphrmi says:

    @Crim Law Geek: I doubt this pilot is certified on a 747 flying from Salt Lake City to Denver.

  45. humphrmi says:

    @Eric1285: Oh boy. I’m just going to sit back and watch the flame show now.

  46. just another instance of pilot belligerence.

    i swear, as a passenger, i’ve never met an airline pilot who didn’t act superior and arrogant as shit.

  47. Dakine says:

    Same deal with truck drivers. Don’t piss them off or it’s YOU that will pay for it. Take a look at what they did to the price of gas in London.

    Don’t piss off your pilot.

  48. badgeman46 says:

    @corporateamericabites:

    Well, then maybe we should hire that kid who stocks the shelves at walmart, or the frycook at MickyD’s. I’m sure you’d have no problem with them flying the plane.

  49. Pylon83 says:

    @corporateamericabites:
    It’s not just airline pilots, it’s ALL pilots. (I’m one too).

  50. Eric1285 says:

    @corporateamericabites: Seriously. As an engineer, I’m willing to bet that I know a whole lot more about how the plane works than most pilots do. I may not know what all those controls and buttons in your cockpit do, but that doesn’t mean you get to pretend you’re better than I am.

  51. stinerman says:

    @CaptZ:

    A local Midwestern grocery store chain that I frequent (Meijer) is unionized. Almost everyone at my local store makes minimum wage, which in Ohio is $7/hr.

    The only union that has any real power is the UAW. Most other unions are nothing more than paper tigers.

  52. stinerman says:

    @Eric1285:

    If it’s really that easy to make $30/hr why don’t you sign up? You’re apparently literate, educated, and can do unskilled labor. Join your local easy-money establishment and scratch your ass. It’s gotta be easier than the engineering you’re apparently involved in.

  53. Joe S Chmo says:

    @corporateamericabites

    you make it sound like being arrogant is a bad thing. I personally want a pilot who is sure of himself flying my plane over some meek accountant type any day, bud.

  54. Dakine says:

    @stinerman: “The only union that has any real power is the UAW. Most other unions are nothing more than paper tigers.”

    I’d have to go ahead and sort of of disagree with that.

    The writers union managed to bring network television to its knees not too long ago. The California dock workers are fully capable of shutting down entire societies. They don’t work, Hawaii is starving. There are plenty of unions that have plenty of power to disrupt your life should they choose to do so.

  55. Eric1285 says:

    @stinerman: Did you ever stop to consider that $30 an hour might not be enough for someone of my intellectual capacity? That only works out to about $72k a year. Most intelligent people have much higher aspirations. What do you think the opportunities for career advancement are like for someone who’s supposed to be an unskilled laborer?

    Come on now, think a little bit before you try to make me look bad. You’re going to have to work a lot harder than that!

  56. Dakine says:

    The nurses union walked out over here a few years ago…. think they don’t have any power? Who the hell is gonna take care of your sick ass when the nurses walk out? The doctors? HAHAHA! Not likely.

  57. Mudpuddle says:

    Considering all those control panels and hundreds of tiny things that require attention that can make the difference between a successful flight or a really short air excursion. My vote is for the pilot who isnt distracted.

  58. rjgnyc says:

    oh good, a unions suck vs execs suck fight. the winner? people who want printed proof that consumerist is full of pointless bickering.

  59. MrMold says:

    Just love the engineers whose training is obsolete within 5 years giving other folks crap. Don’t believe me? RTFM. Yes, many engineers have fantasies about their contributions, skills, and importance. Fact is, without unions, many of our benefits would not exist. Government, specifically the current brand, spent decades NOT halting child labor, 60+ hour work weeks, disappearing vacations, mirage-style payrolls, and OSHA hazards.

    Worked with an engineer who told me the union was a waste of time. The same union that put his turnip son in 24-hour health care…that I and every other employee paid for. The same union that kept his pay when management told him he was salaried at $32K, no matter how many hours he worked. The same union that protected his job when he asked the union to fight for his pay for hours already worked.

    Mr Smug@ss can go work at the $30/hr job. Oh wait, it’s not good enough for him. Let some other person rot in industrial hell. The money is the ony thing that makes it worth doing.

  60. humphrmi says:

    @Mudpuddle: But @Eric1285 is an Engineer! He probably knows how the plane works better than the pilot! Those control panels and tiny things are obviously just there to make the big bad pilots feel smarter about flying planes than other people.

  61. Trai_Dep says:

    @Eric1285: In the US, the “appropriate training” of most air carrier pilots consists of Air Force training the majority of times. So you’re slandering veterans of the armed forces of the United States of America, who loyally sacrificed a decade or more of their life so that you might bad-mouth them while backwashing into your Big Gulp and gulping down your third box of “cheese” nachos.

    Sort of sucks when your irrational union hatred gets in the way of your unquestioned patriotism, huh?

  62. LogicalOne says:

    Take off their hats? I thought the standard protest was to remove one’s British Sugar Corporation Gilbert-and-Sullivan Society cuff-links.

  63. Pylon83 says:

    @Trai_Dep:
    That’s becoming less and less true. There are a LOT of Airline pilots who have no armed service experience.

  64. Eric1285 says:

    @Trai_Dep:

    Care to backup some of your claims? I don’t know if “most” commercial pilots are former air force veterans.

    I never said anything bad about the men and women who serve this country. It seems as if you have managed to selectively read certain parts of my comments and have chosen to intertwine them with your own ramblings. I can’t help you there.

    By the way, have you ever taken the armed forces aptitude test? It’s a joke. They may be out there fighting for our country’s interests, but that doesn’t make them intelligent. I have the utmost respect for what they are doing (indeed, I nearly signed up to join the Marine Corp a couple years ago but put it on hold to pursue other projects) but the fact that they are in the armed forces alone does not say very much about their intelligence. Neither does your attempt to discredit my comment.

  65. Eric1285 says:

    @Eric1285: Sorry, Marine Corps. It’s pretty hard to type when I’m trying to eat out of 3 different bags of junk food and washing down a big gulp.

    Oh yeah, please explain to me how I have an “irrational” hatred of unions. I thought I explained why I hate unions rather clearly. I simply don’t believe that unskilled or low-skilled laborers should be earning anything more than minimum wage.

  66. mgomega says:

    Hey, wasn’t “Flight 416″ the book that the plot of “Airplane” was based on? Hmmmm…

  67. This reminds me of the Consumerist story criticizing the car company for disposing of vehicles they thought might be unsafe.

    As in: WTF? The pilot felt he was not in a condition to fly and he aborted the flight. Would Consumerist have been happier if he flew when he didn’t feel safe to fly? Wouldn’t Consumerist then be writing about how he shouldn’t have flown and compromised passenger safety?

    Really, sometimes Consumerist makes me sympathize with the companies.

  68. @Eric1285: Um, executives receive that kind of compensation because they deserve it. They (usually) earn it through years of dedication and slowly rising through the ranks. They have proven that they (for the most part) are competent enough to handle the daily operations of a huge multinational corporation. How many people do you really think are smart enough to do this job?

    You forgot to put the tag after your post, right?

    Right?

    Right????????????????????

  69. Concerned_Citizen says:

    Hopefully they fire the flight crew that taunted this pilot. Union or not, hazing your co-workers should be a fireable offense.

  70. Mayor McRib says:

    The bottom line is, if the pilot was shaken by a coworker giving him a hard time, he would probably wet his pants and choke when the landing gear doesn’t come down. If you lack the intestinal fortitude to do your job, maybe you should look for some other line of work.

  71. coren says:

    @Tmoney02: Hence me commenting on people arguing about irony and referencing someone else attributing another person’s work as their own. Too elaborate a joke? Maybe!

  72. MercuryPDX says:

    I dunno… I see being nagged by a cheesed-off crew member on a “500 mile” flight for an hour and a half as more detrimental to the nagger.. not the nagee.

  73. @humphrmi:
    True, that flight would probably not use a 747, in fact, it would probably be a regional jet or something else small. I was mostly responding to what the GP said. Also, for the sake of simplicity, I also didn’t mention that a pilot type rated on a 747 would probably also be type rated on a variety of smaller planes (whatever he flew before he was promoted to 747). I have no idea if/when type ratings expire, so my original point may still stand firmly.

  74. Pylon83 says:

    @Crim Law Geek:
    Type ratings do not expire. They are just like actual pilot certificates that never expire (save for Flight Instructor certificates which DO expire every 24 months).

  75. finbled says:

    @Eric1285: While I agree with you that unions do more harm than good at this point, and there are certainly unionized jobs out there that pay too much for the skill required…still, why in the world would you try to make the link at all to pilots with a statement like “You don’t have to be smart to be a pilot. You just have to go through the appropriate training program.”

    Sure, and you don’t have to be smart to be a surgeon either. just go through the proper training program. Here’s one to chew on: You also don’t need to be smart to be CEO. You just need to go through the proper training program (MBA) and have some luck, and know the right people. I think the man living in the White House should easily prove your comments about people who manage vs. people who “do”

    Pilots, doctors and other high paying, prestigious jobs probably weed out more “dumb” people than the corporate ladder because there is an objective standard and everyone is judged by it.

    Now, it goes without saying that the definition of dumb and smart are subjective in a discussion like this, but here’s the final test: We’ll take a major airline pilot and one other random person who “passed the appropriate training program and is responsible and willing to work” for their unionized job. You put your life in one of their hands in some hypothetical situation that is not flying. which one do you pick?

  76. rellog says:

    @Eric1285: My god… yes, yes I know you’re a troll and all… but execs DESERVE the money. What kind of a halfwit are you? While I agree that unions have their faults, they have been and continue to be an import part of keeping companies from bullying and undercutting employees. Without unions, we’d never have had a middle class in this society. And unless your parents were rich and you have never had to work an honest day in your life, even if you do own your own business now, you owe where you are to unions.

    And to your comment about pilots, I guess the same can be said of executives- all you need is a MBA- which are as simple as paying out for it (the work is a joke) and to know the right people… doesn’t seem like it takes all that much at all… And for the record, most execs I’ve ever known are so stupid, they can barely run a computer, let alone build one.

  77. CaliforniaCajun says:

    @badgeman46:”I have a commercial pilot’s license and have been flying since 1993″

    You might want to suplement that pilot’s license with a library card.

  78. Pylon83 says:

    @rellog:
    I also believe that in most situations executives deserve the compensation they earn. Whether or not they can build or use a computer is irrelevant. They are being paid for their ability to manage and grow large organizations.

  79. Lambasted says:

    Bravo to the pilot!!!! I can’t tell you how happy this story has made me. I love when people have the fortitude and courage to stand up for their convictions. I’d be pissed off too. I wouldn’t take off my hat, salute, bow, or curtsy either. As I recall, we refused to pay homage to royalty and even started a revolution to throw them out on their royal asses.

    United Airlines management are clearly pompous little men and women who must suffer from a Napoleonic God complex to mandate pilots must remove their hats while in their regal presence. United management ranks up there with the all time, “I’d rather go hungry than work for you” people to work for.

    Why does Leona Helmsley come to mind?

    “Lawyer Alan Dershowitz said he once had breakfast with Leona at one of the Helmsley hotels and the waiter brought him a cup of tea with a tiny bit of water spilled on the saucer. Alan says Leona grabbed the cup from him and smashed it on the floor, then demanded that the waiter get down on his hands and knees and beg for his job.”

    Some jobs aren’t worth the paycheck.

    Oh and booo-hiss to the company butt licking snitches who just had to run to teacher to tell on the pilot for not taking off his cap. “Teacher!!!! He’s not taking off his cap! Isn’t he supposed to remove it while in your honorable presence?!” Good grief. We all know those people ate by themselves in the school lunchroom and were picked last for teams.

  80. seandavid010 says:

    What about the Teacher’s union, everybody? Without it the people who educate your children would be making a lot less than they are now (which isn’t too much to begin with)

    But yeah, I’d be pissed if I was on a flight that the pilot walked out on because he was having a bad day.

  81. hwyengr says:

    @Eric1285: Just so the whole Consumerist gang doesn’t think that all engineers are douchebags, I’d like to show my support for Unions and against exorbitant executive pay.

    Sincerely,
    Hwyengr, BSCE, P.E.

  82. Morticia says:

    While I don’t agree with the pilot abandoning his flight, like Lambasted I too think to expect a pilot to take off his hat has a sign of respect to management is ridiculous.

  83. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @Mr_Human: Unions began by protecting the working class, but now pretty much exist to protect the unions. The worker is just a means to an end for the union now.
    And folks who are pissing and moaning about the pilot…If he had flown the plane pissed off into say a MOUNTAIN, would you be happier?

  84. CaptZ says:

    @stinerman: Thanks for making me clarify…..I am in the auto industry. We do sub-assembly for GM. Thankfully I am in IT, and not an overpaid floor grunt or management.

  85. wgrune says:

    @Eric1285:

    Apparently they didn’t teach you how to multiply in Engineering School. $30 per hour times 2080 hours per year (52 weeks per year time 40 hours per week equals 2080 hours per year) works out to just over $62k per year, not $72k. How’s that for making you look bad.

    Sincerely,

    An Engineer

  86. Lambasted says:

    @Morticia: Yeah, as much as I support the pilot in refusing to participate, it was unprofessional of him to walk off and leave a plane full of people stranded; there are better ways to protest. There are also better ways to protest than staging a childish cap removal. (Though I must confess that I misread the post initially. I thought the cap removal was a management policy not a union protest. Hence, my indignation in my previous comment. Ooops.)

    Unions have gotten full of themselves in the past few decades but I still think they are necessary to protect workers rights. Left to their own moral and legal compasses, companies would rather make huge profits even if it is at the expense of satisfying needs of their workers. A single worker has no hope in hell of getting corporate to do anything. But a company forced to deal with all of its unionized workers helps to even bargaining power.

  87. RayDelMundo says:

    @Mr_Human:
    I owe whatever leisure life I have to ME, working like a dog, bud.
    I don’t need some fat cat, cigar smoking thug in Boca Raton to help me get ahead.

  88. Trai_Dep says:

    While one can cherry-pick cases of bad unions or members, one can do the same for managers and companies. And no one (reasonable) is suggesting Capitalism be repealed.
    Business runs better in the long run, when both sides are represented equally and fairly. Since management and capital is organized, so should labor. It’s the only way a happy medium is reached.
    Management is too short-sighted to run the ship on their own.

  89. bloatboy says:

    …you really don’t want your pilot cutting off other planes or tailgating.

    Or working out his issues by seeing if a jetliner can do barrel rolls or Immelman turns. Or seeing if he can put the aircraft into a spin and recover.

  90. captadam says:

    @Eric1285: Please tell us what you do for a living.

  91. Pylon83 says:

    @bloatboy:
    Actually, an airliner could do a barrel roll without any issues. It’s a 1g maneuver, which keeps the fuel going into the engines and imposes no more stress than normal on the airplane. Snap rolls are another story, as is the immelman.

  92. consumersaur says:

    Can I still get in on the union bashing?

  93. This is understandable. I have been in the position of having a co-worker piss me off too much to focus on my job. I’m glad I wasn’t flying a plane.

  94. Meathamper says:

    So what if union members make more money? Those guys are the reason why the American auto industry sucks! The Buick LeSabre was built by idiots, in an idiot country. I said it. So fucking what? Airline unions just keep striking until they get more than the CEOs get. This ain’t fair, fellas.

  95. @Pylon83: Although the airplane could take it (as verified by youtube), I don’t think the passengers would enjoy the barrel roll.

    I mean, I’d find it awesome. But you know some uppity snot would complain about spilling his drink or falling out of her seat.

  96. TechnoDestructo says:

    How much you want to bet this guy is the first pilot laid off?