12.8.11

Jordanian Pilots' Union



It made my day, the governmental approval for the creation of "Jordanian Pilots Union." My dear colleagues worked tirelessly in the past weeks and months to create the union and their efforts came into fruition yesterday.


I have always maintained that a professional union for pilots is similar to that of the Jordanian Bar or the Jordan Medical Association or the Jordan Engineers Association. However, pilots have tried before to set up a union and failed. So what changed?

To me it seemed that everything lined up at this moment to allow this event to transpire and to allow this collective to achieve what was previously unattainable. The protests that started on the 24th of March and its consequences allowed the government the privilege of hearing what the collectives are saying. The government could not afford to continue in the undemocratic pursuit of simply ignoring the just demands of the people. Jordanians post-march 24th were wiling to fight and the government wasn't.


It was a common belief that a Pilot Union will be a disservice to the only employer of pilots, Alia, later Royal Jordanian, and therefore a disservice to the country. In the past decade Royal Jordanian was privatized and the monopoly on pilots expired, and the special protection that the successive governments used to afford to RJ became a matter of the past and RJ was left to fend for itself. There are more than 10 different entities that employ more than 10 pilots.

The issue of numbers is an important one, Jordanian pilots are estimated to number more than a thousand in the most conservative estimates, which gives a sense of entitlement that having a total of 200 doesn't.

Lastly, previous attempts at a union were met with a simple question, "what do you want? Did you go to the Head Of Department (Flight Ops) with your demands?" Previous HODs had direct access to His Late Majesty, intelligence services, the CEO and could easily meet the demands while the most recent administration of Flight Ops was not only disconnected from higher centers of power but also from the pilots themselves as more and more pilots are non-RJ and more demands of RJ pilots are unmet.

Congratulations to my fellow pilots, I hope we use this right and privilege better than other unions and associations do and stay away from dealing with issues that are irrelevant to our careers. We do have the obligation to maintain an air of professionalism with our choices and our actions an
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