October 30, 2019

Building TEAMS for Unity & Success

SPSC Workshop: T.E.A.M.S. Build Unity and Strength

This week, ALPA hosted 55 pilot leaders from 15 pilot groups at its Strategic Preparedness and Strike Committee (SPSC) Workshop, held at ALPA’s offices in McLean, Va. Led by national SPSC chair Capt. Wes Reed (FDX) on October 28–30, the pilots discussed how to train, execute, adapt, motivate, and succeed (TEAMS) within the SPSC and ALPA structure by using strategic planning and the union’s team approach to accomplish pilot groups’ goals.

“No MEC strategy is implemented or SPSC campaign executed without a team,” Reed said. He encouraged participants to focus on the three cornerstones of any SPSC: proper communications, strong leadership, and mentoring. “The goal is to have cohesive messages achieve the desired impact on your membership and help generate support for your Negotiating Committee at the bargaining table—and the desired end result is getting a strong contract in a timely manner,” he concluded.

Guest speaker Capt. Evan Cullen, president of Irish ALPA, shared the Ryanair pilots’ struggle to fight for a fair contract across several countries, 90 pilot domiciles, and 28 different European Union labor laws. He stressed that the Ryanair antilabor model isn’t going away. In fact, it’s next destination will be a low-cost, long-haul airline: “Every pilot leader should be concerned.”

After a lengthy Q&A session, Reed summarized it best: “The actions of Ryanair management today echo the ALPA landscape of the 1930s when pilots who refused to fly airplanes due to safety reasons were fired. This is an egregious situation with tentacles that could very well impact each ALPA pilot. We need to keep educating pilots about the Ryanair pilots’ plight, maintain a vigilant eye on the industry throughout the world, and continue to fight situations like these with all of our collective might.”

Cullen ended by thanking ALPA for its support, saying, “Your union is the single biggest support in combatting Ryanair and Norwegian, and you should be very proud of your union leadership for what they have done.”

Throughout the three-day workshop, pilots discussed how ALPA supports the SPSC structure through various departments and collaboration between SPSC’s groups such as Pilot-to-Pilot, Family Awareness, and Communications. Pilots also participated in hands-on interactive breakout sessions to explore the various tactics ALPA pilot groups use to achieve their goals, including lessons learned from the most recent campaigns.