The union of flight attendants at Magic Carpet decided to look at the “Monthly Labor Review,” first of all, to get some solid statistics to bring to the table which could be quantitatively presented (Case, 2010). At this point, they moved on to check comparable feeder…
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However, this may have been counterproductive, because the airline could have then argued that there is no connection because of the different industries. The main additional source that it seems the union missed, was to look at national airlines as a comparison, instead of just looking at other feeder airlines.
The union had several primary objectives which they wanted the company to face and on which they thought they could bargain productively. First of all, there was the issue of raising wages. The flight attendants wanted a higher hourly rate. Also, there was the objective of increasing job security, particularly to protect flight attendants with a lot of seniority from being fired or laid off by the airline. In addition to job security, the union also wanted expanded vacation and leave time, as well as better working conditions. Another objective of the union was to change the duty rig system. In the duty rig system, a flight attendant may spend a 15 hour day, commuting to an airport, waiting for the flight, and running checks, but only get paid 6 hours, because in the duty rig system, they are only paid for time that the airplane is in the air. This seemed unfair to union representatives.
The union’s strategies can be separated into three categories—inform, involve, and convince. In the inform stage, the strategy was to keep union members as well informed as possible as to what was going on with the collective bargaining negotiations. In the involve strategy, the union aimed to optimize union membership participation by encouraging activities such as picketing and mini-strikes. Finally, the third strategy concentrated on convincing the airline of their grievances, and not backing down from their objectives. These strategies were more than reasonable—the only real power a union has is to withhold work.
Magic Carpet’s goals were to preserve the status quo, and to save money. They did not want to give in to union
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