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DELTA furloughs

Old 9th Nov 2001, 01:06
  #61 (permalink)  
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Quit making an a$$ out of yourself! I happen to think Donkey Duke makes SOME relevant points (not all, but some).

Are you naive to think that everything management says is truthful? Does Delta's management have an incentive to make things seem more gloomy than normal? Has Delta's management been as forthcoming as YOU have portrayed? No!

You are partially right - employees should pull together in tough times for the betterment of the company... Note the Sabena and Canada 3000 disaster examples. The difference is that Delta is much more successful and resourceful than those other airlines, DESPITE high pilot salaries. Are you catching my drift? Delta can afford high-paid pilots, even in this downturn - which will improve dramatically in the coming months. Delta's management has set negative precedents in the past - they will do whatever they can to circumvent contracts.

Donkey Duke may be a bit verbose at times, but I find his remarks logical and correct considering Delta's strong position (although management would like you to think otherwise).

Ontheairwaves, your analysis of Donkey Duke's name is laughable - it is a play on words. Your mental-midget mind has to point out the obvious... Donkey Duke is insightful - and you are NOT!

Delta will be around and STRONG years from now, and the pilots will need to stand their ground or get screwed like they did in the mid-90s... Stay strong!
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Old 9th Nov 2001, 07:00
  #62 (permalink)  
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Thumbs down

I realise that as loyal Deltoids you will fight for your jobs....fine i would too...but if your company can't afford to pay you then take what you get while the company is up the creek without a paddle and then once profit is being made get more out of it..but it seems crazy not to look at the whole picture and see what's going on.

As for the 71yrs of operation they only made a profit twice and once in the last 41yrs.....that's because of European government funding....something that the US airlines are only familiar with after 9/11......but that's another topic on this same forum.....

I don't agree with DAL pilots and their opinions....frankly they are very militant.
I know quite a few people who "worked" for DAL in EIDW but no longer do due to outsourcing to pay the wave for more pilot bonuses.....DAL makes money by outsourcing and then the DAL money grabbing pilots come along and get the rest.....not realising that they are screwing their fellow employees...but do they care....not a bit..

Then the DAL pilots push for more money than other airlines under the threat of a walk out....what does this do for the company moral....through the boots of the rest of the employees and then the DAL pilots wonder "why are we not getting the service we used to have in Europe?"....Duh.....well if y'all had taken a pay freeze a while back maybe the good people in EIDW and elsewhere would still be there.....

Yeah i know DAL pilots call themselves professional pilots.....well i call y'all professional conmen.....
DAL has this attitude that they will be around for years to come....really....well then only time will tell

[ 09 November 2001: Message edited by: PPRuNe Towers ]
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Old 9th Nov 2001, 10:29
  #63 (permalink)  
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Come on guys, can you keep the debates somewhat impersonal and cool off with some fresh (it's stale after they import it here), opaque, brown beer?

By the way, my US airline has outsourced foreign employees in the past and we were, and are still, nowhere near the top of the US majors' pilot pay.

I met one such former employee a year ago at the small Lufthansa service counter at Munich Airport, directly opposite the larger KLM check-in counter. He was a really nice guy who made some phone calls and helped us get seats on a LH 737 to AMS, during a difficult time (for non-revs), due to a large beer festival. Anyway, was it the fault of other employee groups that he got "outsourced", as he said he was? If I knew his e-mail address, I would thank him again and try to do him a favor. Zum zweiten Mal, vielen Dank fur Ihren grossen Gefallen.
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Old 9th Nov 2001, 11:04
  #64 (permalink)  
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ontheairwaves; you still haven't twigged even after all the debate. Of course Delta have got the money to pay their pilots their contracted rate. They have after all made a lot of money over the last few years.
However, Delta's management - like many in Europe - are using Sep. 11th as an excuse to ride roughshod over the unions, and worse, as an excuse for their CRAP management...
Good luck to ya'll in the US, I'm certain that the industry will recover and go from strength to strength.

P.S; considering this is the professional pilots forum, there are a lot of desk jockeys out there. Get a life you lot.
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Old 10th Nov 2001, 00:11
  #65 (permalink)  
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Hello again gents.

To MikeM727, Donkey Duke and others over there in the States who are clearly unhappy at my earlier comments -I have read with some interest your replies to myself and others on the subject. I am only too aware of the deeply entrenched positions that exist in the management/unions debate, and to an extent I do not really wish to inflame that. As can be seen from the course of these threads, this is an emotive position that invariably ends in mudslinging and attempts at demeaning the professional crediblity of those who disagree with a particular position.

The arguments presented here are quite good, but to an extent over-complicated. As I have said previously, I am a BALPA member and believe in responsible unions. I also heartily agree with you about the outrageous salary increases given to CEOs which are indeed the unacceptable face of capitalism. There is no doubt that any serious discussion about reforming working practices and running a fighting-fit company must include the issue of remuneration of management - ie not giving obscene pay rises whilst simultaneously lowering the salaries of other employees.

The problem for me is more basic than that. The money that a company makes must be greater than the money it spends. If that is not the case then the company will ultimately go bust - dead simple. The danger of the current rhetoric is that this is not addressed. I contend that in the States right now there is about to be massive unemployment among pilots, cabin crew and mechanics because prior to Sep 11 airlines were being bled dry by both greedy managers and pilots alike. If your business can support your salaries - best of luck to you. I do not believe they can. You say you have your own analysts who seem to know more than the pro-business publications. I hope you are right because right now the tide of evidence is against you. The exact figures escape me, so forgive me if they are not totally correct but off the top of my head the current job losses in the airline industry are: United 10,000, AA 10,000, Continental 6,000, Delta 10,000, Beoing 30,000 etc etc. This is a tragedy for all concerned but to bury your head and the sand and pretend that there is not some correlation between this and the huge salaries being paid is exceedingly unwise. The danger is that you will all wake up to find that your jobs are no longer there and it will all be too late. I do not wish to be provocative here, but reading the tired rhetoric being pushed out on this thread (almost identical to the union talk here in the UK in the 70s and 80s) is the like watching Lemmings jump over a cliff.

I realise that no amount of persuasive argument will make you change your minds, but I stand by my statement that your businesses are simply unable to afford the deals you currently have. If you do not act there will be no business, no careers, no long-term security and no future.

[ 09 November 2001: Message edited by: Norman Stanley Fletcher ]
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Old 11th Nov 2001, 03:00
  #66 (permalink)  
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NSF and the same Ilk,
Interesting thread, NSF you have some valid points as do all here, however, to attempt to simplify the issues as relate to payscale/contracts etc is a waste of time.
Remember 5 years ago? almost everyone was " Pay for training ", why do you think that was?
That was due primarily to individuals like yourself fueling an Industry incentive brought about by a booming and pilot-rich economy.
The result? Most commuters in general no longer had to cover the cost of training, I don't recall that this small economic windfall was shared with any Airline employee group.
The good news, at least prior to 911, was that a potential pilot shortage coupled with a growing disrespect for those who had helped contribute to the pay for training concept resulted in re-adoption of company sponsored training programs.
Unfortunately Union negotiated payscale increases and job security incentives happen to indirectly benefit all of us in the Industry Including folks like yourself.
Your proposals serve to undermine everything that has thus far been accomplished by the above mentioned efforts and viewed from another perspective could be called treasonous. It is exactly your kind of mindset that cross the picket-line while your fellow pilots risk everything for the good of all. I am overjoyed that you are not a member of my Union.
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Old 11th Nov 2001, 16:39
  #67 (permalink)  
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Norman Stanley Fletcher and All,

I think underlying part of this debate are cultural differences between US and European pilots. I've been on Pprune for a few years now, I also fly for a US major airline. I do percieve a big difference betwwen US and European attitudes towards a flying carreer. In the US we have alot of Major airlines (ie high paying) and I, for one expected to be flying for one as soon as my military committments were up. Not only that, but I even had to choose between which major I felt offered me the best conditions etc. I am not like all US pilots, but a large percentage have similiar experiences. Bottom line is, we are not as beholden to the Airline that hired us. I have many friends who left US Air, or United and took a job at American or Northwest because those particular Airlines were offered them a better lifestyle. Correct me if I'm wrong, but reading Pprune over the years, it seems to me the average European pilot has a much more tougher route to get to the majors, your testing seems more difficult, and more importantly the amount of airlines, and I mean Major Airlines, that pay top-salaries, seem relativley limited compared to here. Therefore, once you've made it to a major European airline it seems you are more apt to "not rock the boat" or demand much. If I were in your shoes I would probably do the same. The US airlines are an entirely different story, Imagine if the UK had 5 or 6 airlines the size and status of BA, would you fly for one that paid 20% less? So US pilots tend to expect more, and demand more, and our airlines have made HUGE profits over the years, they spent these profits lavishly and now when the tough times occur, they immediatly expect pay concessions. We're more than willing to help, but we don't just roll over.....Many of these arguments on Pprune can be better understood if one looks at them from the proper perspective, unfortunatley thats not possible. I do not intend this to say our system is better/worse than yours, just different.
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Old 11th Nov 2001, 19:01
  #68 (permalink)  
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Roc - a very interesting argument. I think there may be a strong element of truth in what you say.
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Old 11th Nov 2001, 20:59
  #69 (permalink)  
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Norman doesn't understand that the real reason the industry is in trouble is because of NOT ENOUGH PASSENGERS. Airline capacity grew steadily over the last few years in response to customer demand. With the economic downturn and the hard left hook of 11 Sep, the whole industry has too much capacity. Salaries are not the prime driver. Even if UAL, DAL, AAL, et al had lower compensation, the industry would still be losing. It's fashionable to make labor take the lion's share of the blame when the problem is a combination of factors including poor management decisions, terrorism, general economic downturn, etc. In such a capital intensive business, it's virtually impossible to react to fast turns in economic, political, or wartime realities. And guess what? It ain't gonna change anytime soon, unless you want to re-regulate and make the cost of flying only for the well-off.
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Old 12th Nov 2001, 09:26
  #70 (permalink)  
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Norman Stanly Fletcher,

When times were good at Delta---Leo Mullin said, "A Contract is a Contract." Now times are bad, and Leo expects help. Delta pilots
do not want their airline to go under, but
they want respect from MNGMT and what is fair. Delta has the cash and will survive
this---that is for sure. The pilots will
probably help----but they want recognition
that "A contract is a Contract." Live it and learn it Norman. Thanks for being civil.

Donkey Duke
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Old 14th Nov 2001, 05:13
  #71 (permalink)  
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Here's what I don't understand. The majors operate in monolopy superhubs which allows them to cut the travel agent out of the equation, they provide few in-flight ammenities, and in the case of Delta, no meals on flights less than 4 hours(probably 95% of DL routes). So why can't they make money?? I don't suppose it could the lack of service. why would I pay DL prices and get SW service????
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Old 19th Nov 2001, 18:09
  #72 (permalink)  
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looking at the big picture, there are some things that are quite obvious:

1. Airlines aren't making money with the current load factors

2. (Most) airlines need such high load factors because their costs are so high (example, KLM needs a load factor of 83% to "break even" whereas RyanAir or EasyJet only need load factors of 55% - or thereabouts- to "break even"). Anything above those numbers is revenue. When airlines keep their costs down (fuel, salaries, etc.) they can last during cyclical downturns, as well as prepare for these cycles.

3. In general, people not flying because they're scared to, is not the number 1 reason why the planes aren't full. It's because the world economies are in the tank, and businesses are cutting back money spent on travel (regardless of the mode of transport). Hence the reason to stretch the travel budget and focus on the low-cost carriers such as WN and it's types. If the airlines could control their costs, and thus, offer better rates for business travel (not business CLASS but business in general) they'd have full planes again.

4. Sure, airlines are cutting obvious costs, such as meals, etc....but they miss the true point and bulk of the possible saved money. Airlines have to learn to function better and achieve better productivity out of their employees, to make sound changes for the long-term future. Think of all the points of failure in a process, and the number of people and processes it takes to have around to correct that failure. You remove (or heavily reduce) the points of failure, and you have great cost savings.

5. The airline biz is very cyclical- every 4-6 years is a downturn of 1-2 years. We were due, irregardless of 11Sep. It is up to the airline/company to prepare for these during the up years, so they aren't in pain during the down years. Obviously, nobody was playing devil's advocate during these up years, and paying attention to all this new capacity that was being put on the lines. No industry can grow at the patterns this one has over the past 20 years, and continue to think it's going to be that way forever. There are only so many people on this earth, and only so many that a. want to fly, b. need to fly, c. can afford to fly.

Having survived the horrors of near bankruptcy at NW in the early 90's, I speak from experience when I say that people need to support the company as a whole and do what it takes to make it survive. Sure, you can say it was the lame management that got you into this sh@t and they should be the ones to get you out. But as I watched all the Sabena pilots striking just 2 weeks before the airline went belly up, I could only shake my head. Do they want a job or not? Striking was not going to make Sabena any healthier.

I took the pay cut NW requested to help bail them out during that period. It not only included a pay cut, but took away part of my vacation pay/time, as well. In turn, I got stock in the company. We all become "owners & operators" with a say in what the company did (to the point that a pilot rep was on the NW Board). In roughly 3 years time, I was back to my regular pay and benefits, & knew how much my stock had to be worth (before I could sell it) to make back the earnings I had lost. But I kept my job, the airline kept flying, and I looked at my job from a new angle-- I owned (and still do) a part of that company, and I would do whatever I could, as one person, to make the company work. Whether it was customer service, helping a colleague, or proposing a cost-saving idea.

I'm certainly not advocating pilots be paid any less than they can negotiate-- but after a certain point, get a handle on the big picture and think of the future- yours and your company's.
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