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Northwest plans to furlough about 67 pilots in February.

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Northwest plans to furlough about 67 pilots in February.

Old 19th Oct 2002, 23:04
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A-V-8R

Hmmm, rather than major airline companies winning the RJ issue and trying to destroy ALPA, I would say that ALPA has, through their unreasonable salary demands over the years, done itself in, so to speak.
Airline companies will only pay so much for labor, and if the labor costs become unrealistic, as they have, then outsourcing is the only alternative.
Take for example, the Delco division of General Motors. When Delco employees demanded more, GM sold the company to its employees, which accepted lower pay, and have become an independant supplier of GM parts.
Regionals have become that independant supplier of seats on the shorter routes...soon (now) to become longer sectors.
The seeds of discontent were sown a long time ago.
ALPA has ONLY itself to blame.
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Old 20th Oct 2002, 08:14
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Blame Game

Tex: I am sincerely sorry you feel that "mainline" pilots look down on you or make snide comments, naturally a pilot is going to be curious about your career, but not obsessive. I have never heard any pilots say anything derisive about regional pilots, why? Because we all respect where we came from or respect the efforts of those who still fly regionals, we clearly know that given fate we could be out there knocking on a regional door, and some "mainline" pilots are having to do just that, so believe me nobody in his right mind thinks that way about regionals, the challenge is the same: getting to point B safely.


411 blame ALPA? Excuse me but if you place these historically challenging times in aviation into some perspective and context, ALPA's "blame" is a pimple on the ass of this equation. To be more specific, pilot pay, its an even smaller pimple. Why? Well first, if you want to play that game, lets talk CEO compensation in the industry, obscene by any standard, don't take my word for it, compare CEO's of foreign based companies with the CEOs in the USA, and it becomes grotesque. Finally, I flew with an old head who was getting ready to retire after 36 years on the line, and guess, what? If you took a captain's pay on the 727 from say back in the 70's and then indexed it for inflation, today's salaries would still be lower. But the biggest point is simply this: people are flying less at least in the good o'l USA, so what do airlines do? They lay off people and pilots take pay cuts, this is not rocket science it happens everytime there are financial problems in the industry, so blame all you want, most people recognize that this turmoil is part of the aviating industry, where labor and management come together to solve the problems, they have in the past, so welcome!
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Old 20th Oct 2002, 09:55
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there is a glimmer of truth to 411-A-s perspective...the unions have made themselves a fat juicy target to shoot at in times of need, but airline managers and greedy bad, inept decision making have put the carriers in the position they are in today..period...and the smart ones (southwest, jetblue etc) survive...when times are good, money gets blown, when times are bad, employees get thrown.....applies anywhere..
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Old 21st Oct 2002, 01:32
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Unhappy

Interesting info from you folks. I don't agree with partial solutions for this industry, but the information which is based on facts is always worth considering.

What a shame that overall, the US majors will still be committed, for quite a long time, to the hub and spoke system, no matter how unproductive and inefficient-never mind that crews on my fleet change planes between the various series (and often to gates about 10 minutes away), almost each time we arrive at a hub.

That really hurts efficiency, after the compound effects of de-icing/waiting for runways to be plowed, maintenance delays, or even for the catering truck to bring another 30 passenger meals, or fleet service to finally take care of the "sweet" perfume aroma (typical of life in the Dark Ages...)...Never mind the revenue customer who must race with young children, risking a serious injury on the smooth (dry?) floors.

Good luck to everybody kicked out of a job. And may all the kids of airline types somehow find the means to continue their educations etc, despite the many thousands of financial hardship cases.

Last edited by Ignition Override; 21st Oct 2002 at 06:31.
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Old 21st Oct 2002, 16:08
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Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal recently regarding companies...and jobs.
It would appear that many employees (more than 60%) would accept lower pay and benefits today in return for an assured job tomorrow.
As the airline industry in general is not immune from the economic climate, would suggest that employees (including pilots) are in the same boat...and this does NOT exclude senior management either.
If your airline disappears, the bills don't stop at the mailbox.
Now, would ALPA senior pilots accept lower pay in order to keep their younger, less senior guys/gals employed?
Suspect not.
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Old 23rd Oct 2002, 06:35
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Wow, the WSJ now there is an unbiased rag, I would be more interested in seeing the results of the survey where CEOs would be willing to give up free housing, sweetheart loans, and self-dealing options in exchange for simply knowing it is the right thing to do.

"Now, would ALPA senior pilots accept lower pay in order to keep their younger, less senior guys/gals employed? 411"

The history of pilot pay, at least in the majors, is replete with examples where pilots across the board took pay cuts AND no pay raises sometimes for as long as 3-4 years. So as to the issue of whether senior pilots would be willing to take pay cuts to avoid pilot furloughs it has been answered affirmitavely time and time again. Keep in mind that a key element for determining any pilot population is driven by the ratio of actual aircraft flying, therefore it follows that while simply taking pay cuts in of itself will mitigate pilot furloughs, demand remains a determinative factor of fleet size. This explains the shiny new airplanes parked in the desert and pilots on the streets. Again, this is why when you see a senior capt., realize he may have a couple of airlines under his belt and perhaps 10 years of unemployment from his overpaid perch.

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Old 23rd Oct 2002, 13:18
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Peeps,

I'm not calling you a liar, but if you haven't heard it, you've been alone in a closet. I've heard it many, many times from guys working for US majors. I've over-heard it at parties, in bathroom conversations, on airport employee buses, in Air Guard briefing rooms, walking down a concourse, and even to my face.

When I was working for the Delta Connection several years ago when we fielded the CRJ, I got to see the fingers flipped from the Delta cockpits. I heard the desparaging remarks on the radio about the Barbie Jet, the Scab Jet, the Smurf Jet, and so on.

My friends who stayed at Comair, and endured the strike, got to hear plenty from the Delta brothers. A friend of mine, who works for Comair, was in the barber shop and got to hear a Delta captain talk, holding court while he was in the chair. This Delta guy was telling the whole barber shop about these Comair pilots shouldn't be allowed to fly jets and they don't deserve the money they are striking for because the are all a bunch of uneducated bumpkins who can't get real jobs anywhere. Boy, that was great support from the Delta pilots.

Peeps, you say on this forum, annonymously, that you have admiration and respect for the RJ pilots. I believe you, but will you walk a picket line with your RJ brothers? Will you tell your ALPA brothers at your company how you have respect and admiration for those RJ guys and they desreve more for what they do? Do you support a merged senioity list?

Last edited by Tex; 23rd Oct 2002 at 16:48.
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Old 23rd Oct 2002, 16:45
  #28 (permalink)  
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411a

Pilots could fly the aircraft for free and nothing would change. When the airline isn't making the gas to get from point A to point B, the pilot salaries get lost in the static.

The problem is that managment repeatedly comes for concessions, gets em, makes a pile of money then blows it on something that has nothing to do with the group that made the concessions. Furthermore, it is getting to the point where I am wondering if the CEOs are colluding to lose this much money so they can go after labor for concessions. Something for which they wouldn't have to do if they had been better managers (read CEO Goodwin at UAL who started this problem).

Had Goodwin not used the procedes of the ESOP to attempt to buy USAIR and set up that VERY STUPID CORPORATE JET OPERATION (raiding their own yeilds) and instead honored their side of the bargain in ESOP (seamless contracts) they would have been looking at an incremental raise instead of the monster it took to placate the anger that GOODWIN's stupid moves cost.

You really have to admire the scale of Goodwin's stupidity. He was going to spend a lot more than 10 billion dollars to buy USAIR. For that kind of money he could have bought a few hundred more jets and run em empty for a couple of years untill USAIR was a distant memory and had labor CHEERING for him! Instead he was trying to merge to labor groups and taking on 30000 employees that are all topped out in their wages. Far better to take on 30000 new employees at newhire rate to help subsidize the expansion.

And then you have Avolar. Another billion or so to buy corporate jets. They were going to market it to their own first class pax. Well those are the people THAT ARE PAYING THE BILLS FOR THE AIRLINE! So you would wind up with a mildly profitable business jet operation that would decimate the mainline that paid for it!

Its no wonder that the unions view management as the enemy!

I can chart a similar list for AA

Cheers
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Old 23rd Oct 2002, 17:01
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Wino,

Have to agree with much of your opinion, especially spendthrift CEO's and senior managers who can't see the forest for the trees.

Where is shareholder accountability?

In many cases (most in the airline industry it seems)...there ain't any...
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Old 24th Oct 2002, 00:19
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Tex, I don't believe that I have been in a closet, now there may be some things IN the closet but that is off topic, ha! Seriously I too have been in squadron rooms, etc and I have not heard those slurs, of course the last time I was in a Delta hub was a long time ago, so I haven't even heard the radio trash. Certainly I do not doubt your experiences, and perhaps I may be a minority, with regards to respect for RJs. First I would support the striking brethern, my dues go to fund their efforts, and yeah there is a tension between Regionals and the Big five, I have said this before, perhaps there needs to be two unions, one for each respective group. As to a national list I cannot support that. On one hand I understand it, but to single-point all hiring for one airline through its basically subsidary regional ignores the valuable flying experiences of those who say came through other routes, cargo, military etc, certainly those experiences have merit as well.
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Old 24th Oct 2002, 04:18
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Tex: I wish I could have overheard the conversation which you mentioned. What a pompous, ignorant SOB he is. He probably wears his airline uniform including coat, to his grocery store in the Atlanta suburbs (as some of the "silver wing" group do to groceries and health clubs here: many of their ground employees simply wear their glamorous company ID badges everywhere...).

Also: 1) If Delta's previous contract(s) had included clear and comprehensive "scope" language, in contrast to having had, reportedly, some of the worst among the major contracts, Comair might have received many regional jets without Delta's pilots feeling so exploited, or whatever (one can try to read between these lines, but there is nothing there).

2) Many military pilots never had more than two years of college until after they were operational pilots-so much for the exposure to French Literature in the 19th Century, and a Statistics class, or Non-Linear Particle Physics (Bohr vs Einstein, anyone?), in order to coordinate cockpit duties, or earn the chance to train on a faster turbine aircraft which now has no prop connected to a reduction gearbox, and the wing is swept a little bit. The engines, fuel and electrical systems and passengers or freight, don't care if you have a title by your name, a 'large ring' on your finger, or whether your personal car was built in Munich, Stuttgart or Flint, MI.

"Aviation Week & ST" revealed several years ago that about 20% of Delta's pilot group, at one time, were not even members of ALPA (allegedly, many were based in ATL)-so much for their concern, years ago, about narrowbody flying jobs. Never mind just which airlines' pilots careers profited overnight, and later, from the Eastern strike and failure, whose pilots were not even hired by the competition down the street. Many seem to have waked up after a very long slumber.

The kind of guys anywhere, who have a need to look down their noses on those who fly smaller aircraft are merely ignorant and arrogant-please quote me on that and give such types my e-mail address. As for hidden dangers, the very top guy in a certain AF UPT class [Vance, 80-02], who became an F-16 pilot, was later killed in a single-engine Cessna in Montana. One of our experienced pilots (former Navy F-4, Fh-227, ...) was killed with his entire family onboard when the single engine Piper lost power over a forest in the Florida panhandle on a very rainy day:what a horrible accident-but I'm not generalizing, or implying anything about the abilities of any certain group, just the ironic dangers presented by smaller, (often) lower performance machines, and not just related to propellers. Many of these airplanes require a much higher skill level than is often assumed by pilots with little GA background, or who are very non-current , to be the case.

As for classic arrogance, one of our own 757 Captains who I worked with, had been hired from Am. Eagle, referred to a twin-engine, 60's vintage 100-seat jet as... "that's an entry-level jet". As for such a view combined with "career expectations" (regarding a very drawn-out merger), arrogance coupled with ignorance can be found almost anywhere. He admitted to me and an FA in our cockpit that as a youngster, you could design your own moped by just stealing the bike from a kid down the street and converting it with a small motor.

For me, English is tough, even as a first language, and fashionably short "sound-bytes" clarify nothing. The mass public has been conditioned by the media and Hollywood, to receive a constant stream of tiny press clips and electronic stimuli, over-processed to the same extent that so-called "country music" has been.

Last edited by Ignition Override; 25th Oct 2002 at 08:26.
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