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Airline Professionals Association - Teamsters Local Union No. 1224

Happy Thanksgiving!


Fellow Local 1224 Crewmembers, On behalf of the Executive Board, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Please be advised that the Local 1224 office will be closed November 25-26. With Thanksgiving tomorrow, it is important to remember the reason for the holiday – GRATITUDE. By definition, a union is an organization of workers formed to protect the rights and interests of its members. Each and every day your union is in the throes of defending rights, fighting injustices, and seeking better pay and working conditions for our members. Sometimes it seems that we are focused only on what we DON’T HAVE. I am reminded of an old quote from ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, which I have paraphrased below: Do not spoil what you now have, by yearning for what you do not have; remember that what you now have was once only hoped for.1 Just the fact that we are commercial pilots, earning a living doing what we love should be cause for celebration. However, many of us too often take our good fortune for granted. On rare occasion I am shocked into the realization of how lucky I am. Years ago, I was flying the second leg, back side of the clock to Albuquerque. Having lost all interest, making mental notes for an upcoming contract negotiation session, focusing on what we need, what others have, how we are mistreated, and feeling the full dread of staring at THAT management for a week; I was not in a happy place! Then, I looked out at the horizon and was in total awe. The sun was rising behind us; the winter desert in front of me was peppered with ground fog, low clouds, and dust that glowed the brightest pink I had ever seen for as far as I could see. It was incredible and unforgettable; it snapped me out of focusing on what I didn’t have and brought me to my unbelievable present, my incredible career. On Thanksgiving, it is appropriate that we reflect on the good and redirect our focus toward being grateful for what we DO HAVE: • Enviable Skills: It was not easy becoming Airline Transport Pilots. It took years of hard work, repetitive training, threatening check rides, and demanding instructors. Let’s be grateful for the path we took, for now there is nothing more exciting than a blustery, cross windy, low weather day to demonstrate what we’ve mastered. • A Pretty Good Paycheck: Our skills make our paychecks possible. We are each in different stages of our careers at our various carriers and our contracts, though not perfect, have seen improvements of late. We are grateful that we can earn a living doing what we love to do, and that we are either where we want to be or are on a path to our dream job. • Great Career Opportunities: There has never been a better time in history to be a professional pilot. Every major and national airline is hiring. There is an unprecedented pilot shortage. Even the Covid crisis has exacerbated the need for qualified pilots. This gives us reason for exceptional hope for some to upgrade, or further our career goals, as well as to make tremendous gains in future contract negotiations at each of our carriers. • Coworkers: Our families and jobs represent a primary source of our day-to-day socialization. Sure, we all have difficulties with coworkers from time to time (to include our union brothers and sisters), but it is also these same people who fill us with captivating conversation, provoke a chuckle, or bring us an occasional cup of coffee. Give thanks for the coworkers who have your back or go the extra mile to brighten your day. Better yet, be that coworker! As a young child, I remember hoping to become a pilot, then hoping I could fly in the Air Force, then hoping to become a commercial pilot, and hoping to make a dream living. I have witnessed most of us somewhat spoiling our gains by coveting the next step. Let’s apply this ancient wisdom and remember to spend tomorrow just appreciating what we have in this moment, what we once only hoped for. In closing, I’d like to extend a special “Thank You” to each of our union officers and volunteers. The job you do on behalf of your fellow coworkers is often thankless, but deserves our gratitude. Know that the time and dedication you freely give to protect and advance working conditions for your fellow pilots is deeply appreciated. Again, I wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving! Fraternally, Joe Muckle, President Airline Professionals Association, Teamsters Local 1224
1 - Full quote – “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” -Epicurus