SJS Press Summer Scabbin' Edition 2010

In the early morning heat of Ft. Lauderdale, June 12, in the front of a back lot, arose an unsuspecting suspect pilot. A man of mysterious stature. A pilot that may have displayed all the tell tale signs of SJS; Shiny Jet Syndrome. He only went by the name "Onno" which means "Oh No" in Dutch. Little was known about this man whom would soon take the bulk of American pilot ire. A strong bulkhead would settle between Onno and the pilot community. By the end of his adventure, Onno would only take his pilot hate mail in bulk. The Press recalls.

Due to an absolute breakdown in the managerial skillset at Spirit Airlines in June, pilots of this ultra low cost carrier went on strike. Management had planned to keep Spirit airborne through the use of scab pilots. However, the pilots held strong and the Spirit airplanes were grounded. Management's promise of continued service fell through to the disdain of travellers stranded in airports with their 9 dollar tickets. One passenger cried "I want my money back! And I'm never flying Spirit again!" Another one stated "I never thought United would be rivaled in customer dissatisfaction. I was wrong!" Spirit CEO and management frontman Ben Baldanza could only rationalize the situation. "They should fly someone else," Baldanza said. "That's the way the free market works. I don't eat at some restaurants when I'm treated badly." Baldanza had made an excellent point; at least to himself. And not all was lost for Spirit, the self proclaimed Wal Mart of the skies. One plane did stay in business.

WhyOnno?Operated by Falcon Air, Spirit Flight 2098, took off to San Salvador. On board in the right seat was no other than Onno. This lone first officer scab wasn't even halfway done with his roundtrip when the pilot strikers initiated his meteoritic rise to fame. His picture went up at spiritairlinesscabs.com. His Facebook page started to blow up. Pictures of his house were broadcast, both aerial and street views. Shortly thereafter, his house was picketed and unmarked vans with dark tinted windows circled. He would undoubtedly become the next YouTube sensation as cameras awaited his return to Ft. Lauderdale. Indeed Onno was to become the leading example of what happens to scab workers in the new information age.

BenHeartsOnnoOnno, a pilot that only Ben Baldanza could be proud of, made a lesson of himself to all future scab wannabes and sympathizers. Remaining pro-scab sentiment on aviation message boards was quickly snuffed. Pilots who tried to rationalize the actions of this first officer fell silent. There would be no support whatsoever. Afterall, Onno was nothing more than a scab. Or was he?

After a hard day of flying struck work, Onno's arrival back at home base was greeted by dejection, not celebration. Onno'sRouteA surprise to many, he quickly went on the defensive coming clean-ish about his flying as a scab. He called ALPA and went on every aviation message web board to explain that his scabness was all a misunderstanding. He didn't know Spirit was on strike. He didn't realize his flight was a Spirit flight. He would never do such a thing. However, the pilot community was not too sympathetic to Onno's plight. He put himself through an epic inquisition, but in the end he was no better off. His explanations just fell on deaf ears.

By the end of this summer, few knew what became of Onno. Rumor has it that he was shunned by his Falcon Air pilot group and he banished himself to flying in Africa. All one can know for sure is the lesson learned from this episode in airline labor history. It seemingly does not pay to scab for management's sake. So when the next pilot thinks about crossing a picket line for that measley airline pay check, he should remember to tell himself "Oh no!"


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