View Full Version : Comair Pilots and Company have another TA?

14th Jun 2001, 23:41
June 14, 2001

Delta's Comair, Pilots Association
Reach Tentative Deal to End Strike


WASHINGTON -- Delta Air Lines' regional carrier Comair and the Air Line Pilots Association reached a tentative agreement aimed at ending a long-running strike, according to people familiar with the situation.

The tentative agreement will be submitted to the union's 1,350 pilots for ratification.

The Cincinnati-based carrier has been grounded since March 26 when the pilots walked out in a bid to achieve substantial increases in pay, benefits and work rules to bring them closer to mainline pilots.

The two sides resumed talks Tuesday in Washington under the auspices of the National Mediation Board and after meeting last Friday with Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, who urged them to resolve their differences. The union and the carrier set an ambitious 72-hour goal to reach a settlement on a new contract. They have been in negotiations since 1998.

Details of the accord weren't immediately available. Officials at Comair couldn't immediately be reached for comment. One ALPA spokesman in Cincinnati said he hadn't yet been advised of a settlement.

15th Jun 2001, 03:37
Enquirer News Update - Updated 4:50 pm
Comair, pilots reach agreement

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Comair and its pilots reached a tentative agreement late this afternoon to end an 81-day-old strike, the National Mediation Board said.

The strike began on March 26, with Comair's 1,350 pilots walking off the job citing poor working conditions, unsatisfactory retirement benefits and job protection, and low pay. Details of the agreement weren't known this afternoon.

How long it might take the Erlanger-based airline to resume service wasn't clear, although one government source said the airline was hoping it could do so by mid July.

The airline, however, will be smaller than it was before the strike. More than 30 aircraft have been returned to their manufacturers, so some of the striking pilots - not to mention laid off non-striking employees, including 1,600 in the Tristate - won't have jobs at the new Comair.

A post-strike Comair likely will serve fewer cities, analysts have said, with other airlines - most of them still affiliated with Comair's parent, Delta Air Lines - filling in some of the service gaps.

The pact with the Erlanger-based airline must still be approved by the membership. But it will go to them with the blessing of the union's four-member master executive council. The council did not recommend two previous settlements that the membership rejected overwhelmingly.

Today's session was scheduled after a meeting in Washington last Friday between top company and union officials and Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta.

The two sides started talking Tuesday with a deadline - which will expire today - to resolve the situation within 72 hours.

Since the strike began, Comair and Delta have lost more than $230 million (in a combination of continued operating costs of salaries, etc. and lost revenue from not flying passengers), while Comair has laid off 2,400 non-pilot employees.

The airline has removed 37 planes from its fleet and eliminated 400 pilot positions.

And the pilots have lost $144,000 total a day in salaries, or more than $11.4 million. The ALPA national union also has paid out more than $4 million to bolster the Comair branch, not to mention an assessment being made against every ALPA member to offer strike pay for the grounded Comair pilots.

The company faced even more pressure with the approach of June 23, the 90th day of the strike. Analysts point out that's when all the pilots lose their ability to fly commercially because they haven't kept current on training, according to the company's Federal Aviation Administration-approved training guidelines.

15th Jun 2001, 05:03
Looks like a deal has been struck, I would guess the Comair pilots have got near enough to what they were asking for so that is great news for them. The pay is shockingly poor at the regionals, especially for F/O's, so hopefully this might kick start the long over due improvement in pay across the board for regional fliers.

But airline analysts are already saying that Delta will rethink it's relationship with Comair, so in the long term it might not be so rosy after all.
Also what happens to the 2,400 non pilot employees who got laid off? I hope they're taken bach ASAP.

[This message has been edited by OneWorld22 (edited 15 June 2001).]

15th Jun 2001, 05:18
People in the airline world have been decrying the pay and working conditions of the regionals for decades.

Say what you will about these Comair pilots, they actually did something about it, and were willing to go down trying....

15th Jun 2001, 05:22
CRJ200 has posted a thread on this topic which, among other things, gives a link to the Comair website. I have since closed that thread for consolidation, but you can still click HERE (http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/Forum1/HTML/014318.html) to read CRJ200's post.

[This message has been edited by McD (edited 15 June 2001).]

Prop Cop
15th Jun 2001, 23:59
Anybody got the numbers (pay) that the comair pilot group achieved?



16th Jun 2001, 03:44
Prop Cop: Sorry, no details out yet. Stay tuned....should be soon.

It will be interesting to see how much of an improvement it is over the last slap in the face offer they got.

19th Jun 2001, 16:46
Here's what I found so far. From what I hear Looks like they are unhappy and will tell management where to shove it.


Summary of Major Improvements Contained in the Tentative Agreement reached on June 14th, 2001

Section 1 - Recognition and ScopeAssumption of Agreement and seniority integration in the event of a sale of Comair to another airline if operations are merged.Seniority integration if Comair acquires another airline.Improved protections on Scope of Comair's flying.No furlough of pilots on seniority list as of date of signing of Agreement with normal limited exceptions.

Section 3 - CompensationIncreases in pay rates from 13.5% to 19.6% in first year of the Agreement over equal longevity steps from current Agreement.Increases in rates of pay of 15.4% initially to 45.2% over the life of the Agreement for 8 yr. CL-65 Capt. ($67.33 @ DOS - $88.10)Increases in rates of pay of 15.8% initially to 46.8% over the life of the
Agreement for 12 yr. CL-65 Capt. ($76.05 - $101.75)CL-700 rates are 10% - 12% higher than CL-65 rates.EMB-120 rates increase 13.5 - 19.3% From $51.47 - $59.60 @ DOS for 12 yr.
Capt.Increase in new-hire pay, from 21.00 - 24.45 over life of the Agreement.Top pay in industry for all equipment.Rigs for all pilots (Lineholders and Reserves,including reserves calculated on a monthly look-back for all flight assignments.)4.20 (four hours twenty minutes) Min Day1:2 Duty Hour Ratio1:3.75 Trip Hour RatioMin Day towards guarantee for Ready ReserveNew rules governing operation of common equipment types.Initial new hire rate increased.100% deadhead pay effective one year after date of signing of Agreement.Training pay guarantee for delays in training.Protects lineholders from excessive non-pilot induced delays.

Section 4 - Minimum GuaranteeMinimum guarantee for CD Lines @ 76 hours.Improved language to protect pilot on Government leave, and any unavailability.

Section 5 - Traveling ExpensesHotels provided when 5 or more hour break while on duty in and out of domicile.Hotels provided when 4 or more hour break, if break touches the hours of 2000 - 0600.Per-diem paid on all trips.$1.50 per hour per-diem ($1.60, $1.65, and $1.75 by June 2004).Additional $3.00 per overnight at international destinations other than Canada.

Section 6 - Moving ExpensesIncrease in number of pounds allowed for paid move.3 paid days off for the move.Positive space passes for house hunting.Positive space commuter passes when move is delayed.$500.00 advance for lodging and meal allowances while moving.Increased daily meal and mileage allowances while moving.Reimbursement of real estate commissions and costs when bid canceled within 90 days of move.

Section 7 - VacationValue of vacation day increased to 3.0 hrs/day or 21.0 hrs/wk.Increase in pro-rated days off for in vacation month For 11 and 12 day off
months.Improved bidding procedure for vacations in conjunction with the line
build processHelps maintain Lineholder status.Improved vacation payout on resignation.

Section 8 - DeadheadingImproved rules regarding deadheading both before and after assignment.Guaranteed positive space.Restrictions on required use of rental cars and other ground transportation.Improved procedures on use of jumpseat.Rights to forgo first or last deadhead under certain circumstances.

Section 9 - Transfer to Management or Administrative Non-flying DutyTighter restrictions and specific definitions on management flying.Release from all duty when displaced by management pilot.No management flying as captain unless seniority permits.Limitations on placing new-hire managers on seniority list."Double bid" system to prevent seniority violations.
Section 10 - Instructor PilotsFull time Instructors covered by ALPA Agreement - No longer management.Detailed scheduling, hours of service, rest and assignment rules for
Instructors.Min days off equal to all other pilots.Required "fly days" to retain line qualification.Additional days off for part time Instructors who are regular lineholders.Formalized Instructor Pilot review board.Procedure for hiring retired pilots as Instructors.

Section 11 - TrainingEmphasis on "training to proficiency".More restrictive rules on scheduling of training.Days off, Duty Limits, Rest requirementsLimitation on times of day for the scheduling of check rides.Prohibition on backside checking events.NFP duties limited to qualified pilots.Improved rules governing travel to and from training out of domicile.Improved rules governing training failures.Including timeframes and number of events.Expansion of powers for Training Review Board

Section 12 - Hours of ServiceMinimum of 11 days off for all pilots effective July 2002.12 in a 31 day month effective July 2003Additional days off for Reserve pilots are hard days off.Three tiered system for Scheduled and Actual Duty limits.Scheduled @ 13:30 reducing to 11:00 based on time of day.Actual @ 14:30 reducing to 12:30 based on time of day.No greater than 11:00 scheduled after any reduced rest overnight.Actual @ 13:30 reducing to 11:30 based on time of day.Reduction in ready reserve period from 8 hours to 6 hours.Max of 2 in a row or 6 in any bid period.More restrictive limitations on continuous duty trips.Leg limits and min ground time requirements.Double Duty periods in one day allowedNot in domicile.Restriction required Protecting circadian rhythms.

Section 13 - Leaves of AbsenceProvision for company offered leave of absence program. Improved procedure for re-qualification following return from leave.Improved language on covered "members" of family for bereavement leaves.Higher credit for jury duty leave from 3.67 to 3.75 hours credit.Improvements in continuation of insurance while on leave -see table.

Section 14 - Sick LeaveHigher accrual rates based on years of active service.From 2.75 - 3.5 hrs per monthImproved rules regarding payment of sick leave while in training.Higher credit for reserve pilots on sick leave.

Section 15 - Physical Standards, Examination and TestingEstablishment of substance abuse rehabilitation program.

Section 17 - PassesDeletion of point system for retiree passes.FAA retirement age and 10 YOS.Improved pass procurement availability at domicile.Improved jumpseat procedures.

Section 22 - Furlough and RecallExpanded time in which to report to duty after furlough. Recall rights increased from 3 years to 5 years after furlough.Higher rate of pay during training after recall from furlough.Paid moving expenses if recalled to different domicile.Requirement to explore alternatives to furlough with ALPA prior to actual furlough.

Section 23 - Filling of VacanciesImproved system for bidding and awarding of equipment and positions.Allowed by-pass for pilots nearing retirement.Detailed staffing requirements.ALPA involvement in staffing review.This review covers all staffing and scheduling information.Greater limitations on return to previous equipment including pay
protection.More restrictive rules regarding training and pay for an awarded or
assigned position.Earlier commencement of pay for vacancies and displacements.Less restrictive equipment freezes.

Section 24 - SchedulingLine values reduced to 93 hours max.Greater limitations on time withheld from the bid package.No more out of seniority lines due to IOE.CD Line provisions.Minimum pay.Min days off including no less than 2 when combined with 2 or 3 CD's.Hotel provided in domicile for Commuter pilots.Requirement for more information to be included in bid packages.Requirement for Company to publish bid packages earlier. Requirement for Company to award and publish bid awards earlier.Greater role of ALPA MEC scheduling committee in review of bid awards.ALPA MEC scheduling committee to review bid awards at Company expense.Expanded monthly bid eligibility rights.Increased values for virtual credits.New procedures for award and assignment of open time to include provision for pilot trip/trade window Schedule Adjustment Window (SAW).Improved requirements for all open time assignments
(adds/drops/trades and Company required assigned flying)Displacement/Reassignment rules clarifiedAdd-on limited to 6 hours."Airport available" limited to 2 hours.Defined procedures for non-flying pilot duties.More restrictive rules regarding contact of a pilot while on a layover.No requirement to be phone available.Improved Reserve rules. All Reserves subject to both FAR duty limits and Contractual limits."Bid to Fly" option.Window bidding.Moveable day procedures clarified.Monthly and daily rundown procedures contractual.More options available to pilot upon return to flying after illness or injury.Defined commuter policy.Follow the rules, no disciplinary action.

Section 25 - GeneralProtection from liability for damage to equipment.Increase in uniform allowance to $100.00 per year ($110.00 @ in June 2002).Prohibition against operation of or transportation in ground service
equipment.Exemption from anti-nepotism rule.Company paid costs of renewal of passports, visas, and required
immunizations.Indemnification for legal claims for damages incurred in performance of

Section 26 - InsuranceLife insurance, AD&D and Disability benefit based on 960 hours rather than 900 hours.Enhancements in medical benefits.Orthodontia and vision insurance. Company paid flight physicals.Company paid medical expenses to retain or regain medical certificate.Coverage for eligible dependents (upon death of pilot) increased from 30
days to 2 years."Me too" towards any benefits given to other employee groups.Premium levels, permissible premium increases co-pays, co-insurance, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums no greater than other employee groups.COBRA available for 24 months after retirement at pilot expense.

Section 27 - RetirementCompany funded MPP retirement planContributions @ 2%- 10% based on years of service.Does not include the Companies 2 % 401(k) contribution.Company retirement plan and improvements to 401k plan implemented effective January 1, 2001.Company match in 401k plan of 50% of 5% of employee contribution.

Section 30 - Duration150 day early re-opener and early bargaining for next contract.59 month duration. Letters of Agreement - Various"Back-to-Work" Letter of Agreement addressing process for return to work
and reinstatement of benefits for pilots.ALL pilots back to work at DOS + 1 day.@ 60 hour prorate for June increasing to 75 hours by August.With all benefits.MCO domicile reinstated.Rates increased by 13.5% - 22.8% with Jet rate by-pass protection.86 Trainee pilots will be "furloughed" and brought back. Furlough protection will apply once back on property.All legal actions dismissed.All terminated pilots returned."Retroactive Wages" Letter of Agreement providing of gross W-2 wages, 5% from June 98 - 99, 5% from June 99-00 and 7.5% from June 00- DOS. Also provides for pilot retiring during the term of this Agreement to receive a supplement
equal to 100% of his retroactive salary adjustment reduced by 1% for each month
until his retirement, but not less than 50% of his retroactive salary adjustment.In addition any pilot retiring during first year with 12-14 YOS will receive an additional 2% of salary and those with 15+ YOS will receive an additional 4% of salary.Implementation Letter of AgreementMost items implemented no later than September.Instructor rules are the exception.

20th Jun 2001, 02:40
>>From what I hear Looks like they are unhappy and will tell management where to shove it.<<

Yeah, right...

Guess these guys are on a mission from God? And this tweak of the original CSO is endorsed by the Comair MEC.

It's their call but I don't think things will get better with more time on the picket line. Time for both sides to eat a little crow while claiming victory, get back to work and try to save some jobs for the other good folks at Comair. And lastly, serve the loyal flying public.

21st Jun 2001, 02:01
I recently had to vote on whether to extend a dues assessment to continue strike benefits for the Comair boys. I voted NO and understand that I'm not alone. If this TA goes down in flames then they'll be on their own this time! This was an ill-advised action in the first place, now get off the stick, and hope the climate is right for a showdown next contract.

21st Jun 2001, 05:24
And these ALPO guys are the ones who are supposed to be standing by you.

Sounds like a case of "not in my backyard."

Larry in TN
21st Jun 2001, 05:53
Hope the climate is better next time? They started negotiating in 1998! The "climate" has only been bad for the past two quarters.

[This message has been edited by Larry in TN (edited 21 June 2001).]

21st Jun 2001, 07:24
Dear Brad 737
Thanks for trying to give us real ALPA boys & girls a bad name in the industry. Both my wife and I voted to continue all strike benefits and we sent $500 to the comair family fund to boot. I don't know which airline you are with but you really should be ashamed of yourself. Is it possible to teach you about how unions work? Will you ever be able to see past you're short term interest? I used to make $85 an hour as a B-747/400 Captain, now I make more than that as a B-737 F/O, and it's because of the union.

21st Jun 2001, 07:35

You suck, Someday I hope to piss on your grave


21st Jun 2001, 07:41
Well, I guess there's blind union loyalty and then there's using my judgement and opinions on what I know has been happening. If I don't agree with something then that's how I'll vote. I'm an ALPA member, not an ALPA cog in some mindless machine.

[This message has been edited by Brad737 (edited 22 June 2001).]

21st Jun 2001, 07:49
No Brad,
You are an army of one and since virtue is often mistaken for a lack of opportunity you sound like you have all the risk factors for being a scab someday..because you think "of yourself", excuse me you said "for yourself" you don't want to support pilots trying to better their lives. Go get your next pay raise by yourself and see how well you do.

I have dealt with pilots like you for 25 years, thank god you are not in the majority.

Ignition Override
21st Jun 2001, 08:28
Maybe you guys can learn to debate without making personal attacks, not that I'm very good at debating. This battle over regional pay (almost no regional managements ever agreed to the basic ALPA formulas which calculate pay: these have been part of major airlines' contract for many years) and rest/duty periods was overdue for decades: even many of ALPA's main critics seem to have been unhappy with US regional pilot working conditions. Despite possible tactical/strategic errors on the part of COMAIR's MEC, some of the main Pprune ALPA critics fail to realize that each union council makes its own decisions, and national ALPA can't override a major MEC decision, as far as I know. Correct me if this is not true.

Only when the latest proposed rest/duty periods are also clearly decribed on Pprune etc will we get to read about possible improvements to what was the COMAIR pilots' main disappointment in the previous company offer-at least that was my impression.

Anyone who believes that regional FOs should indefinitely be paid salaries which qualify them for government food stamps, no matter what the "industry standard pay", should be ashamed of his/her callous indifference.

[This message has been edited by Ignition Override (edited 21 June 2001).]

Ignition Override
21st Jun 2001, 08:40
Another Pprune thread reminded me of something.

Several years ago in 'Aviation Week & ST', an article claimed that a certain Atlanta-based airline had a "union open shop", in which about 20% of the pilots did not even belong to ALPA.

With such weak support of the national union, because of so many "Kool-Aid drinkers" it is no surprise that their previous contract had the weakest "scope" and "fragmention" language, and lost so many more mainline jobs to the CRJs, than would have happened at the other "Big Four" companies. These are well-known facts at the other companies. My comments are not in opposition to the existence of regional jets. It just amazes me how a certain MEC could have allowed such a much larger amount of narrow-body flying to go to affiliates, when compared to the other "Big Four" airlines.

This precedent made it all the more difficult for the other MECs to fight their battles, attempting to limit the growth of CRJs.

[This message has been edited by Ignition Override (edited 22 June 2001).]

Alpine Flyer
21st Jun 2001, 18:08
You should be proud to have the strongest and biggest airline union on planet earth.

If you have never looked outside the US you don't even know what you have with ALPA.

So don't bash it.

Regionals are here to stay, and the earlier total integration is found the stronger pilots as a whole will be.

I once heard an ALPA VP say that the whole idea of leaving "those propeller airplanes" to the regionals instead of offering lower pay rates has turned out to be a bad idea. If unions and MECs had not looked at prop flying as being below them in the late 70s there would be no separate regionals and no conflict..........I found that thought impressive....

21st Jun 2001, 23:57
To ex, I commend you for backing your convictions with your hard earned cash. I happily gave for 3 months but I feel if they pass up this "OK" deal then I can no longer support their decisions. Too bad you can't seem to fathom my point at all. And by "an army of one" do you mean to imply that I am the soul dissenting opinion in ALPA on this matter. Do you think so little of ALPA that you insist on "an army" of lockstep zombies, or just morons that only know how to do what they're told to do? I prefer not to subscribe to your brand of democracy. It appears that I hold the organization in higher esteem than do you. Is "potential scab" a label you pin on many people who disagree with you or can I consider myself special?
To wino, Why would you want to "piss on my grave".Is that the total sum of your input. Do you kiss your momma with that mouth? I have a message to all the other hitler youth out there who seem to have a problem with opinions that differ from their own. Live with it, you have damned little choice.There's a world full of us.
I've been civil and polite on this board, sometimes in the face of some ocasional silly opinions. It's called adulthood, and most of you subscribe to the same idea. Others will be as outraged at this post as at others, oh well. Let's see who bites.

[This message has been edited by Brad737 (edited 21 June 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Brad737 (edited 21 June 2001).]

22nd Jun 2001, 04:42
You have the right to hold an opinion, you have the right to vote how you wish. As long as you pay your assesment when we all vote to support a pilot group, I can't really complain. I apologise for the "potential scab" comment, it was uncalled for and I am very sorry I wote it.

An army of one is exactly what a union isn't. We don't need devils advocates, we need unity, because I promise you that the managment is unified. And it's unified against us. By 50,000 pilots supporting 1500 we make it very expensive for managment to take us lightly. Paying gladly for three months isn't good enough to get the attention of the Delta board of directors, paying for as long as it takes is the only course of action for a union that means business.

My wife makes about $20,000 a month and pays an assesment less then $100 a month! You have to understand how complaining about that level of support makes you look. You have to understand what management sees when pilots aren't willing to kick in 0.5% of their salary to help defeat a company in an effort to lower all pilot salaries. I don't know where you work, but it's a real deal that your job can be sourced to an RJ for about 50% of what a major airline would pay to move the people. And it cost my wife less then $100 a month to fight it, it cost me less then $50 a month!

Do you understand how ungracious you sound when you complain about giving up pocket change to help a fellow pilot & union member fight a fight that concerns us all? A few hundred of your type make the job of getting this industry back on the pay track for all of us so much more difficult. In fact, if you'll change your vote my wife and I will pay your share of the assesment. You have my email address.

[This message has been edited by ex-expat (edited 22 June 2001).]

22nd Jun 2001, 06:30

As for where "brad" works, check out the Delta TA thread, then all will become clear...

If I were you, there doesn't seem to be a need to apologise for anything you've said about this subject or about "brad".

22nd Jun 2001, 06:46
Brad and Airbubba work for DAL. They don't understand the fact that Comair pilots are incredibly profitable (due to subpar pay, etc.) which pays for mainline's new contract. They deserve at least minimum wage for that effort. Cut these Comair folk some slack and give them the support they deserve.. they're on your team. Duh.

22nd Jun 2001, 07:17
>>They deserve at least minimum wage for that effort.<<

Amen! I think they got that and more in the TA. Time to go back to work and pay dues like the rest of us.

22nd Jun 2001, 14:47
2400 layed off .. wow impressive job, Pilotunions can be proud of them selfes again


22nd Jun 2001, 20:30
Ex, I accept your appology. I excercised my vote but will, of course, continue the assessment if that's the will of the majority. I come from a commuter background myself and support the Comair pilots demands(most of them anyway). I think their leadership is leading them down a destructive path, though, if they vote this TA down. I then fear for the future of Comair itself in that event. That I can not condone. As to my "ungracious" tag, for that it is my turn to appologize. I used the assessment as a metaphor for my support. I did not intend to complain about the actual assessment figure. I look forward to conversing with you in the future.
3green, you continue to amuse me. Thank you.

[This message has been edited by Brad737 (edited 22 June 2001).]

[This message has been edited by Brad737 (edited 22 June 2001).]

Cleared as requested
23rd Jun 2001, 03:12
Comair Pilots Ratify New Contract (http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/06-22-2001/0001519904&EDATE=)

Larry in TN
23rd Jun 2001, 07:41

What are you talking about with "I think their leadership is leading them down a destructive path, though, if they vote this TA down"? The Comair MEC recommended APPROVAL of this agreement! If they had voted it down it wouldn't have been due to their leadership, it would have been due to their rank and file.

23rd Jun 2001, 20:02
Anyone got a copy of Dubinsky's letter to the United pilots regarding the Comair strike.