Overseas National Airways Crew Friendship Site



EASTERN AIRLINES FLIGHT ENGINEER STRIKE

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My ONA and Other
Aviation Experiences
by Al Quack



EAL Flt Eng's on Strike Hand out Info '62'







Al Quack in Eastern uniform 1957



Al Quack in Eastern uniform 1957



Al Quack Flight Engineer Eastern


Al Quack Eastern Flt. Eng. 1959


The Real Story of the Eastern Flight Engineer’s Strike in 1962

EAL Picket Car 1962

In May 1962 Eastern Flight Engineer’s went on strike 
(FEIA Union) because we had been without a contract for 
almost a year. The Eastern Pilots had already negotiated 
that they needed a third Pilot onboard aircraft that had 
a F/E, since they couldn’t get the F/E’s seat at that time. 



This setup caused confusion and many pilot gripes to the company and union about their third pilot being displaced from his seat behind the Captain by the FAA Inspector, during FAA Check Rides. Actually the Pilots Union ALPA threatened a strike if Eastern didn’t implement the third Pilot. Finally Eastern told the Pilots that the third Pilot had no duties in the cockpit and not required by FAA, so was eliminated from the cockpit. We wanted a guarantee that the 600 Professional F/E’s (F/E which also has a FAA, A & P Mechanics Lic.) employed at Eastern would have the first rights to the Flight Engineer’s seat before any Pilot/Engineer’s (Pilot with a F/E’s Lic., but no FAA A & P Mechanics Lic.) Eastern hires or trains after us. What the Pilots Union ALPA really wanted now since they lost the third Pilot, was for the F/E’s to come under the Pilots Union, eliminating the F/E’s Union FEIA all together. To do this they suggested to the company that they require the F/E’s to have pilot licenses and we would have to join their union at the bottom. Guess who gets laid off first? I picketed outside of Eastern Air Lines Terminal at Boston Logan Airport, when asked to by the Flight Engineer’s Union. Later we took turns driving a older picket car painted up (Day-Glo Orange) with signs painted all over it, “Don’t Fly Eastern, It’s Unsafe” and etc. around the airport that one of our Flight Engineer’s owned and had painted up.
EAL L-188 Electra N5501 Eastern decided that the quickest way to get the Airline back in operation after the strike, would be to get as many F/E’s back without a contract, to use them to train the Pilots for their F/E seat and wouldn’t offer them any guarantees of continued employment afterwards. So after being on strike for a little over three months, Eastern sent out telegrams to all F/E’s that offered the F/E’s a job, but with No Union and No guarantees on how long the job would last. Also we would have to get our own FAA Commercial Pilots Lic. & Instruments rating on our own time and money, but we could never bid on a Pilots opening. This also doesn’t make any sense as most of us, if we had obtained our FAA Commercial & Instruments ratings, we would have more FAA licenses in our pockets than the Captain flying the aircraft and getting paid a lot less, not to mention the fact, we could never bid on a pilots position within the company. Well I had a family and no job prospects at all, but I wasn’t going to give in to Eastern and their unfair way of treating their pass loyal employees. I didn’t go back under those requirements and so didn’t 499 other Eastern F/E’s either, but 100 F/E’s did. Then after most of us turned down Eastern’s offer to come back under their ridiculous terms, they locked us out of our jobs. Our case filed by FEIA Union was never heard in any Civil or Federal court; it kept being referred back to each other as not in their jurisdiction. Finally a year and a half later President John F. Kennedy ruled that this case only affected 600 Flight Engineers and it wasn’t in the interest of the Nation (to spend Federal money on) to hear it. Thanks President Kennedy! But what most people don’t know is, he had and so did all Presidents before him and since him have five to six Professional Flight Engineers assigned to the Presidents aircraft and later called Air Force One, since they were implemented. So we never got our hearing in court to protest the illegal union tactics used by ALPA. I could go on and tell how Eastern blocked all of us ex-Eastern Flt. Engineer’s from getting other jobs in all the aviation fields after the strike, but I won’t. Like my wonderful wife Jeri always said: “If it hadn’t been for the strike, you wouldn’t have flown, all over the world”. She’s right as always and I probably would not have flown for ONA either and met and worked with a lot of very nice people, that would have been a great loss to me. Fall of 1962 I still didn’t have a job and couldn’t find any aviation jobs, most all the jobs I applied for (not Aviation related) said I was over qualified for the job and my past salary was higher than most of their own managers. They also knew if I was offered an aviation mechanic’s or Flt. Engineer job, I would quit and leave for it since it was my line of work and would pay more. So as they say, “I was caught between a rock and hard place” under these circumstances. In May of 1963 Walbar Machine Products, Inc. in Stoneham, MA finally hired me and later they opened up another shop in Peabody, MA, which I moved to. I was hired as a Quality Control Inspector of machine parts and later did some Source Inspection of Castings down in New Jersey. I worked there till Saturn called Mar. of 1966, offering me a Flt. Engineer’s position on their DC-7’s based out of JFK, NY, which I accepted.




EAL Electra 1961 - Sharp

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EAL Constellation L-1049C



EAL DC-8 in 1961




EAL DC-7B Miami 1957 with comment



EAL DC-7B N8280 1960


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Warranty - WEBSITE FIRST PUBLISHED AUGUST 30, 2003