View Full Version : LIFO? Options please

seymore butts
27th Sep 2001, 22:27
Last in first out (LIFO) appears to be at first sight a fair way of downsizing a company. However there are a few problems that come with this option...

First and foremost, the reason for downsizing is usually to cut costs so it is logical then that the highest paid would be the most effective to lose. That said experience is a valuable asset to any company and the real cost is currency.

Another item to consider is one that the seniority guys have been banging on about since this began is the cost of redundancy. This is a one off payment and relatively unimportant to the company. But quite significant to the receptor, LIFO candidates will probably receive nothing and will also receive virtually no notice, they will also have very few hours on type, this being the only type they are current on so short term contracts are out, even if given unpaid leave for 6 - 12 months.

Everyone is crying for the FEs but this has been coming for years, if I was doing a job that was slowing becoming extinct I think I may have looked at options some time back.

We all know that if we fly an outdated aircraft the day will come when we either get laid off or hopefully re-trained.

In my view the only fair way to do this is by LIFO on the fleets involved. I was interested to read the Guvs points though it seems Mr G you’re non too popular a chap, I don’t know why nor care but your views I whole heartedly agree with.

Only in this industry would we have to go through this kind of depressing fight, if we worked in any other industry this would not be considered. I.e. if it were the building trade and brickies were to be laid off but electricians had less seniority, then I doubt if brickies would be re-trained as electricians.

Re-training guys from outdated aircraft is costly both financially and in time, it also consumes the training department so line checks etc become an irritation especially if someone requires a little extra.

The guys with seniority have by default had a good spell in employment so therefore should have saved a little for the leaner times (now), whereas the LIFO candidates have quite probably had a rough deal before or are just setting out, invariably with young families and large mortgages, they have received few concessions and even fewer pension payments.

It does get harder to feel relatively sorry for the seniority rich guys when you think about it. After all if we don’t cut costs in the most effective manor we will all be unemployed when the airline for which we work goes under.

Carnage Matey!
27th Sep 2001, 22:52
You can't say that! You can't even think that! That undermines the whole basis of the seniority system (look after number one and stuff every one else). Besides everyone knows that the guys who are last in are the ones who can most afford to lose their jobs as they don't have three ex-wives to pay for, and when you're their age you'll understand that too. Plus you musn't forget that assuming the juniors ever get a job back they'll have all these early commmand opportunities that weren't available to the senior people, so over the course of a career the junior people will actually earn more than the senior guys ever did.For that reason we must increase the compulsory retirement age in order to give them longer in the left hand seat and equalise earnings for all pilots regardless of seniority.

The Guvnor
28th Sep 2001, 02:09
I think that the seniority system is a union-driven anachronism that does no one any good.

It increases costs for the airlines; and it ties in pilots who would be forced to start at the bottom of any seniority ladder at any new employer; rather than where they should be based on experience.

I can't think of any profession - and pilots clame to be professionals - that work on the seniority, LIFO system. Accountants? Nope. Dentists? Nope. Lawyers? You must be joking! Every one of those is promoted based solely on merit - not time served.

Nor should there be any 'seniority' pay. You do your job and you get paid for it. It shouldn't matter whether you have 20,000 hours and thirty years with a company as a captain on the latest Boeingbus A787 and the next guy has 6 months and 500 hours in command - you're both Captains on the same aircraft and you should be paid the same; and furthermore should have exactly the same bidding rights, which should be randomised.

Another serious problem is the conversion from right to left hand seat. Let's face it, in life there are leaders and there are followers. Some people are happy to remain an FO for life and I do not believe that they should be penalised - as they are at a number of airlines - for not being 'able' to advance to Captains. Let them be!

Experience does make a huge difference, though, and I would far rather have a highly experienced crew flying me than a relatively inexperienced Captain who has just been transitioned on from another type coupled with a CAP509 type who has just come in from the pool. Both might well be competent - indeed if they aren't they shouldn't be there in the first place - but would they be able to deal safely with an Azores-type situation? I frankly doubt it.

In situations like VS where an entire fleet is being grounded then sorry, but logically only those on that fleet should be laid off - regardless of how long they have been with the company. They can have a preferential position to come back into the company when hiring starts up again, but as seymore butts correctly says the practice of taking people off one type to replace them with people who need to be trained on that type from another fleet is ludicrous.

28th Sep 2001, 04:48
Mr Guvnor, I don't suppose you're on a step ladder to nowhere are you.? Seniority's great when you have some and crap when you haven't,, I guess by your attitude you haven't got any or can't get a job with someone where it counts. This can be the only reason why you make such sweeping statements.,Fancy trying to do merit based promotions for fleet transfers and commands for 3500 pilots? Me thinks you'll not be coming out to play for a while. good luck. :(