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January 26, 1948


Dear Member:

[[tab]]Another year, 1947, has slipped into the past. It was a good year for ALPA in many ways and, in others, it was a very rough go. The year 1946 was worse, much worse. This was the year in which the air carriers, through their ATA and the Airlines Negotiating Committee, made their big effort to destroy all the individual employment agreements of the air line pilots and leave in the wake of this destruction one meaningless industry-wide agreement. The effects of this would have been [[underlined]]ALL BAD[[underlined]] for the air line pilots. Along with this, ALPA would have taken a terrific beating from which it may never have recovered. ALPA pulled itself out of all this by its boot straps and met successfully every move of its adversaries and, in the recently spoken words of the TWA pilots Master Chairman, in Bob Strait, "It looks as if we are finally seeing a little light around the edges and may have sufficient time to sit back long enough to look around and take stock of things, and maybe we'll be able to tie up a few loose ends." This describes the situation perfectly. In fact, so well that I shall spend no more time with prefacing and will proceed with the business of "tying up the loose ends".

[[tab]]One of the greatest weaknesses of ALPA, or more accurately, its greatest weakness, is the difficulties of funneling sufficient information to the field, to the rank and file of ALPA membership, on what is happening, what is being accomplished, what ALPA's say-to-day problems are, and what is being done about solving them. In plain words, what is going on. ALPA is a highly pressurized, fast-moving picture; in fact, so much so there is little time to stop and acquaint our members with what is happening, what is being accomplished, the gains that have been made, what is being done to consolidate such gains and future planning. This, experience has proved, is the real crux of our trouble. If every ALPA member knew each day what his dues were accomplishing for him, how they were protecting him, and advancing the profession he has made his life's work, there would be no back dues problem, and in fact, most dues and assessments would be paid in advance.

[[tab]]Beginning now, the first of 1948, we are going to caulk up this dangerous crevice in ALPA's operating structure. If headquarters doesn't have the time, it will follow the simple expedient of taking the time to let the members in the field know what's [[underlined]]going on[[underlined]]. A great number of letters, briefs, and bulletins of various kinds and character on ALPA activities are continuously flowing to all ALPA Chairmen and Officers; but much of this material doesn't get through to the John Q ALPA member who is the real backbone of ALPA. This is not altogether the fault of the chairmen nor the regional officers in the field for the reason they haven't the time not the facilities to reproduce and disseminate everything they receive relating to ALPA's Headquarters, Washington, and other activities vital to the air line pilots. 


[[underlined]]In this first 1948 membership letter[[underlined]], Headquarters will endeavor to place into effect a new method of disseminating ALPA