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Topic: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: flyboy80
Posted 2010-06-22 09:44:39 and read 42365 times.

Hello,

I'm currently an FA for a regional airline and Im curious about being a ramp agent for WN.

What is the compensation like? What are schedules like? What are full time benefits? Pass benefits?

What if one decideds they want to transfer to another dempartment in the company? I ask because ultimately I once again would like to fly, however being at home every night right now fits my life a little a better.

Thanks for any information!!

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: swa4life
Posted 2010-06-22 10:16:53 and read 42308 times.

It's a great job. Your first 6 months will be making $10.28 an hour then $11.12 an hour. The scale goes up fast and you'll ultimately make $26 an hour. You begin getting 2 weeks vacation a year, and ultimately you'll get 5. You also get 1 "free day" a month, which is just another paid day off. Schedules vary and are bid based on seniority. Free unlimited flight benefits for employees, spouse, parents, and children. Interline agreements exist as well enabling Southwest employees to fly on other airlines as well. Moving around within the company is very simple but not always the best way to go. Each department is under a separate union and transferring to another department means you forfeit seniority and pay. Southwest is definitely the place to be if you plan on having a career in the airline industry.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: flyboy80
Posted 2010-06-22 10:30:58 and read 42255 times.

I've been a flight attendant for about four years, and while I don't make much I believe its safe to assume I would need to take a decrease in pay. I'm currently making about 29K a year. I started on the ramp before this though, and miss the physical nature of that position, as well as being outside.

Do full time WN ramp agents typically work 5 days each week?

If you are hired as a "full time" ramp agent is there a minimum gaurantee each week for hours? Can you pick up hours?

Thanks for the information once again!

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: swa4life
Posted 2010-06-22 10:40:49 and read 42218 times.

It's a 5 day work week, and the pay periods go from the first of the month to the 15th, and the 16th to the end of the month. That typically works out to be an 11 day pay period. As a ramp agent at Southwest you'll be making more money than as a regional FA. I'm an 11 year agent and I make over $70,000 a year. You can work as much or as little as you'd like. There's plentiful overtime as well as agents looking to unload hours.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: flyboy80
Posted 2010-06-22 11:13:02 and read 42100 times.

Thanks swa4life, I really appreciate your input.

So the company will build you up to 40 hrs a week, or is there mandatory overtime? And you can pick up as much as you want from other rampers, or open shifts?? Is there any pay incentive to that?

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: swa4life
Posted 2010-06-22 11:40:41 and read 42035 times.

You'll be getting 40 hours base from day one.. There is the occasional mandatory overtime, and that's always doubletime. Overtime works like this. Working voluntary overtime on first off day is time and a half. Working overtime on scheduled work day is time and a half for first 4 hours and double time for all hours after that. That's really the secret to why Southwest ramp agents make so much money. $26 x 1.5 = $39 an hour. $39 x 4 = $156. $26 x 2 = $52 an hour. $52 x 4 = $208. $208 + $156 = $364. That's $364 extra dollars for working that one extra shift per week. That's $728 extra per pay period. That's $1,456 extra per month. That's $17,472 extra per year. I make $54,163 base per year. With that 1 extra shift I now make $71,635 a year. I work with guys who do 2-3 double shifts per week and their pay is well into 6 figures.

$11.12 an hour works out to be $23,165 base. With the 1 overtime shift using the same math you'll make $30,605.

The good part about this job is that despite the low pay at the beginning, if you can stick it out for a few years high pay is a sure thing. The job security is bullet proof. If you make it out of probation and become a card carrying union member you KNOW for sure based on the scale how much you'll be making in "x" amount of years. The union contract is renegotiated every 3-5 years and the pay is always adjusted for cost of living. The last negotiation took the top pay from $24 an hour to $26 an hour. And historically it's always been similar. It's a safe bet that the pay will be over $30 an hour by the time a new hire today reaches top out.

Here is the complete union contract for Southwest Airline ramp agents.
http://twu555.org/uploads/2008-2011%20CBA.pdf

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: flyingbronco05
Posted 2010-06-22 12:34:01 and read 41907 times.

Quoting swa4life (Reply 5):
You'll be getting 40 hours base from day one.. There is the occasional mandatory overtime, and that's always doubletime. Overtime works like this. Working voluntary overtime on first off day is time and a half. Working overtime on scheduled work day is time and a half for first 4 hours and double time for all hours after that. That's really the secret to why Southwest ramp agents make so much money. $26 x 1.5 = $39 an hour. $39 x 4 = $156. $26 x 2 = $52 an hour. $52 x 4 = $208. $208 + $156 = $364. That's $364 extra dollars for working that one extra shift per week. That's $728 extra per pay period. That's $1,456 extra per month. That's $17,472 extra per year. I make $54,163 base per year. With that 1 extra shift I now make $71,635 a year. I work with guys who do 2-3 double shifts per week and their pay is well into 6 figures.

Sure feels good knowing rampers at Southwest make more than 3rd year regional pilots at my airline flying a 50 seat jet. Just despicable in my opinion. No way should rampers ever be paid more than pilots.  

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: TVNWZ
Posted 2010-06-22 12:40:14 and read 41888 times.

Quoting flyingbronco05 (Reply 6):
Just despicable in my opinion

You could do what flyboy80 is doing and get a job at SWA.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: thegreatRDU
Posted 2010-06-22 13:11:48 and read 41772 times.

Quoting flyingbronco05 (Reply 6):
Sure feels good knowing rampers at Southwest make more than 3rd year regional pilots at my airline flying a 50 seat jet. Just despicable in my opinion. No way should rampers ever be paid more than pilots.

Damn...maybe you should be a WN ramper...

Quoting swa4life (Reply 1):

Good god you guys make alot of money..WN still amazes me...

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: mtnwest1979
Posted 2010-06-22 13:18:02 and read 41752 times.

Quoting flyingbronco05 (Reply 6):
No way should rampers ever be paid more than pilots.

Well, let's see. How many housr/month do you work? Compare the two and get back to me.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: Tugger
Posted 2010-06-22 13:30:45 and read 41715 times.

Quoting flyingbronco05 (Reply 6):
No way should rampers ever be paid more than pilots.

Well that's an unfair statement. It all depends on how much work is done, and a pilots work is limited due to the safety issues involved. No matter what a pilot can't work more than 1,000 hours a year (flight time of course) while a ramper can work 4,000+ hours if they REALLY want too. While the "pilots responsibility" aspect is a worthy argument, it always comes down to the amount of work done for the company by the individual themselves.

Tugg

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: yvphx
Posted 2010-06-22 16:33:51 and read 41492 times.

Take this argument to the employees of YV. Base is $7.25 per hour for first 3 months then 7.50. At one year its 8.00 an hour and $0.25 an hour extra for each additional year until you max out at $12.00/hour.

you are not guarenteed any hours, nor are you covered by a union contract. You are not allowed any overtime, and any shift you pickup is at your current hourly rate. There is no such thing as double time. So most of the rampers work 60-80 hours a week just to try to make ends meet. There is an incentive bonus though. If you have perfect attendance for the quarter, you get $0.25 an hour extra for each hour worked. comes out to about $40 or so extra which is usually paid 3 months after the end of the quarter.

So basically you have people busting ass to make a plane go out on time, with no thanks or recognition from management except for the occasional "you should have pushed that plane earlier."

So if you want to talk about safety, look at YV's on the ground accident history. It really should make you ask your self "do I want to fly on this airline knowing the person on the ramp is making minimum wage and probably has no idea what he is doing?"

This is post is not bashing YV, it is telling the truth.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: shamrock604
Posted 2010-06-22 18:03:56 and read 41346 times.

Quoting flyingbronco05 (Reply 6):
Sure feels good knowing rampers at Southwest make more than 3rd year regional pilots at my airline flying a 50 seat jet. Just despicable in my opinion. No way should rampers ever be paid more than pilots.

Talk to your damned airline then! Hardly the fault of the SWA ramper... good luck to them!

By the way, we are all just cogs in the big wheel that is an airline. All our work is vital, believe it or not. Its a concept that pilots sometimes have trouble accepting.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: SCCutler
Posted 2010-06-22 20:59:52 and read 41162 times.

Nice stuff... SWA folks make good money, earn every cent of it, do the best job in the industry. SWA pilots I know do not look down their noses at the non-cockpit personnel, either. Respectful environment, top-down & bottom-up.

It shows in the way they treat pax (which is good).

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: ericaasen
Posted 2010-06-22 21:07:30 and read 41144 times.

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 12):
By the way, we are all just cogs in the big wheel that is an airline. All our work is vital, believe it or not. Its a concept that pilots sometimes have trouble accepting.

Yeah, that's the truest thing on this whole site. Every single flight in the world begins and ends with rampers! I think it would be good for pilots to spend a day on the ramp and let them see what we have to go through. I know they sometimes have long hours sitting around doing nothing, but they're sitting in nicely heated/air conditioned room. They're not outside in below zero or 100+ degree days on their hands and knees throwing bags on their fifth back-to-back turnaround in the last 5 hours. Never stood out there waiting for their plane to come around the corner in the middle of a downpour or snowstorm. They've never got up in the bucket and had de-icing fluid blown back in their face. I've actually had a pilot bitch at me because I had to get out of the pushback tractor during a lightning storm when they closed the ramp. I don't give a crap that you're almost out of time and on the way home I'm not standing next to a gigantic piece of metal that's the tallest thing around in the middle of lightning storm!

Okay, rant over. Everyone is needed. Pilots, FA's, gate agents, rampers and mechanics. What we don't really need are CEOs.  

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: sasd209
Posted 2010-06-22 22:20:39 and read 41062 times.

Quoting ericaasen (Reply 14):
I think it would be good for pilots to spend a day on the ramp and let them see what we have to go through.

Why? Rampers have their jobs and pilots have theirs; each have voluntarily chosen their career path.....I'm sure we all are aware of the training, education, work hours, pay, and problems with each. To take your thought to the extreme, it should be nice for a ramper to walk in a pilots shoes and pay back the college/flight school loans for 15 years, and then break even (if you're lucky). YMMV, of course.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: PilotRecruit
Posted 2010-06-23 04:13:11 and read 40583 times.

Quoting ericaasen (Reply 14):
I think it would be good for pilots to spend a day on the ramp and let them see what we have to go through.
Quoting sasd209 (Reply 15):
it should be nice for a ramper to walk in a pilots shoes

I think you're both right. I've been fortunate enough to do both jobs and the perspective I've gained is priceless. However, there's no need to say that it's more important for a ramper to see what a pilot does or vice versa. The point is, as illustrated above, that we're all an integral part of a giant machine that forms each airline we work for.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: COSPN
Posted 2010-06-23 05:30:02 and read 40295 times.

Quoting flyingbronco05 (Reply 6):

What!!! Welcome to the free enterprize system, there must be several MD's and PHd's that think they should make more than some "ballplayer" but that is how the good Ole USA is set up no one is making pilots to work for a 50 seat airline..

Sounds just like there is a better Union and Company (Biz Model) Involved

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: DTWSXM
Posted 2010-06-23 05:37:32 and read 40251 times.

Quoting flyingbronco05 (Reply 6):
Sure feels good knowing rampers at Southwest make more than 3rd year regional pilots at my airline flying a 50 seat jet. Just despicable in my opinion. No way should rampers ever be paid more than pilots.

IMHO it is the other way around. With all things being equal (seniority, hours worked) it is shameful that regional pilots are paid less than Southwest rampers. Just my   

Fly safe!

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: SCCutler
Posted 2010-06-23 06:11:38 and read 40085 times.

Quoting DTWSXM (Reply 18):

IMHO it is the other way around. With all things being equal (seniority, hours worked) it is shameful that regional pilots are paid less than Southwest rampers. Just my

You know, given that some carriers (like Southwest) manage to do well while paying well, I think you're right. The commitment has to come from the top, and it has to be nurtured in an environment of mutual respect.

Quoting DTWSXM (Reply 18):
Fly safe!

And you, as well!

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: atcsundevil
Posted 2010-06-23 23:33:38 and read 38796 times.

Quoting yvphx (Reply 11):

And all of that explains why the YV ramp in PHX has such a high turnover! It's a good thing they can't see the happy WN rampers making six figures on the other side of T4. It's almost criminal to pay that little considering the extreme temps out there in the summer.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: bjorn14
Posted 2010-06-24 00:20:16 and read 38766 times.

[

Quoting PilotRecruit (Reply 16):
Quoting ericaasen (Reply 14):
I think it would be good for pilots to spend a day on the ramp and let them see what we have to go through.

It should be required during pilot training (and F/As,) IMHO. It would also be great ifas many ramp, CSA, provision agents were cross trained too.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: CB97
Posted 2010-06-24 01:49:46 and read 38732 times.

Quoting ericaasen (Reply 14):
I think it would be good for pilots to spend a day on the ramp and let them see what we have to go through
Quoting sasd209 (Reply 15):
it should be nice for a ramper to walk in a pilots shoes
Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 21):
It should be required during pilot training (and F/As,) IMHO. It would also be great ifas many ramp, CSA, provision agents were cross trained too.
Quoting PilotRecruit (Reply 16):
we're all an integral part of a giant machine that forms each airline we work for.

Exactly. It would keep a lot of the feathers from getting ruffled on a daily basis and hopefully make things run a little smoother. Make it less us vs them and more one big team.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: bjorn14
Posted 2010-06-24 04:38:55 and read 38685 times.

Just curious how many rampers does it take for one of WN's legendary 20-minute turnaround?

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: swa4life
Posted 2010-06-24 08:17:36 and read 38566 times.

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 23):

It can vary and it depends on what you mean by rampers. Are we counting bag runners? Typically the magic number is 5. That would include the 2 agents assigned to that gate, 2 assist gate agents and a zone rover. For the download add 2-3 more bodies as the bag runners assist with the download while collecting their bags. This is the ideal scenario but depending on how crazy things are you may not get assistence from your assist gate if they're down at the same time. Typically the zone supervisor will forecast for situations like that and depending on flight loads he'll make arrangements to have additional people.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: TVNWZ
Posted 2010-06-24 09:06:07 and read 38712 times.

Quoting yvphx (Reply 11):
You are not allowed any overtime, and any shift you pickup is at your current hourly rate. There is no such thing as double time. So most of the rampers work 60-80 hours a week just to try to make ends meet.

Which is it? No overtime or 80 hours a week? If you do not get time-and-a-half after 40 hours a week, you should call Wage and Hour.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: DL1011
Posted 2010-06-24 09:57:57 and read 38634 times.

Quoting flyingbronco05 (Reply 6):
Sure feels good knowing rampers at Southwest make more than 3rd year regional pilots at my airline flying a 50 seat jet. Just despicable in my opinion. No way should rampers ever be paid more than pilots.



And who is forcing anyone to be a pilot? Who is holding them hostage? They AGREE to work for low wages. I was on a charter flight and the F/O was flying for FREE to build hours. His choice. Nothing curdles the beer faster than having to listen to pilots whine about how overworked/underpaid they are....

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: F9Animal
Posted 2010-06-24 15:07:17 and read 38509 times.

Quoting flyingbronco05 (Reply 6):
Sure feels good knowing rampers at Southwest make more than 3rd year regional pilots at my airline flying a 50 seat jet. Just despicable in my opinion. No way should rampers ever be paid more than pilots.

How can you argue the pay of a ramper? It sucks that your regional airline pays less than a WN ramper! It is not the fault of the rampers. It sounds like a good thing to bring to your union, and see your union go to battle on the next union contract. Pilots do go through hell to get where they are, and it is painful to read things like this. Your hard work to get in the cockpit seems to not be paying off fast enough. Hang in there, because I am sure you will surpass a WN rampers wage in due time. I would not view this as a slap in the face, because one day, your gonna have your payoff.

BTW- If you have not taken the plunge, and helped out your fellow ramp agents,,,,, maybe you should give it a try. Climb up in the belly, and toss the bags. You might find a new respect for the job these guys and gals have. I used to slam the ramp rats, until I became one. I worked in LAS on the ramp for years, and I can't even begin to tell you the pain! LOL! And I would love to have been making 70K per year!

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2010-06-24 15:41:46 and read 38466 times.

Quoting flyingbronco05 (Reply 6):
No way should rampers ever be paid more than pilots.

I sincerely hope you meant to say that pilot's shouldn't make less than rampers. Otherwise, you can go load the damn plane yourself.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: 777STL
Posted 2010-06-24 16:20:21 and read 38412 times.

Quoting DL1011 (Reply 26):
And who is forcing anyone to be a pilot? Who is holding them hostage? They AGREE to work for low wages. I was on a charter flight and the F/O was flying for FREE to build hours. His choice.

Indeed. That's the nature of working in a profession where supply greatly outstrips demand.

But let's compare apples to apples....

What does a topped out captain at WN make? $200k/yr? And what does a topped out ramper at a regional make? WN also probably isn't the best basis for comparison as it pays some of the highest wages in the country, no matter the position.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: grain
Posted 2010-06-24 17:48:37 and read 38365 times.

ramp at WN is definitely a good place to be. i just passed 5 years, and ill make over 40k this year. not bad for someone who works at a station with 10 flights a day

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: yvphx
Posted 2010-06-24 17:56:06 and read 38339 times.

Quoting TVNWZ (Reply 25):

Which is it? No overtime or 80 hours a week? If you do not get time-and-a-half after 40 hours a week, you should call Wage and Hour.

Good point, but 2 things. If you take a shift trade with someone, you are volunteering for a shift. This, according to the company, means you will make your hourly wage because no one made you sign up for the extra shift.

And second, Arizona is a right to work state. Which may not seem like a lot, but it simply means you don't have to work for this company if you don't want. In short, abide by company rules or leave.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: flyboy80
Posted 2010-06-24 19:54:56 and read 38256 times.

So does WN usually schedule overtime in most stations on one's schedule? Read the CBA in an earliar post, it was pretty helpful.

I live by myself so I don't need a lot of money, but as long as the oppritunity to work more is a consistent thing that would be great because Im a working fool.

So the pay period is 11 days, and not 14?

Does southwest look for any specific physical qualities in rampers? I'm fit, and 22 years old I run a few miles daily but im not very bulky and looking at me Im not sure they could imagine my 6' 150lb self loading a pit- I certainly used to do it at a regional airline before becomming a FA, but a 737 is a different story...I imgaine it takes practice, but I've seen some smaller woman working out there along with what seems to be a lot of big men.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: atcsundevil
Posted 2010-06-24 23:32:38 and read 38135 times.

Quoting yvphx (Reply 31):
And second, Arizona is a right to work state. Which may not seem like a lot, but it simply means you don't have to work for this company if you don't want. In short, abide by company rules or leave.

Yes, Arizona is a right-to-work state, but that's not exactly what it means. What you're thinking of is at-will employment. In right-to-work, the biggest consequence (or advantage, for some) is that workers are unable to unionize as a means of negotiating agreements with companies. It is typical to see this in more conservative/pro-business states.

But you're completely right when you say companies use this to their advantage to keep down salary and wage costs. If you are hired as a 12-month full-time (40 hour) salaried employee, your rights to overtime pay are guaranteed. But working on the ramp hired as an hourly worker, you lack those rights. To companies like Mesa they could care less if you work one hour or one hundred hours provided they are neither understaffed nor overstaffed, but because you're hourly, they are under no obligation to provide overtime benefits. My understanding is that WN rampers are in fact unionized, which certainly helped to create the policies put in place allowing rampers to earn overtime pay, among other benefits. But, Mesa is no Southwest.....biggest understatement ever.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: rwy04lga
Posted 2010-06-25 06:46:37 and read 38051 times.

Quoting flyingbronco05 (Reply 6):
Just despicable in my opinion

I wish I could do what you do but can't due to color blindness, I have to settle for flying Archers (yesterday was the 24th anniversary of getting my PPL). I love working the ramp and firmly believe that if you don't like your situation...QUIT!
You're the master of your own destiny, please don't hate on others who are happy with theirs.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: swa4life
Posted 2010-06-25 14:45:26 and read 37878 times.

Quoting flyboy80 (Reply 32):

Overtime is really going to depend on what station you're going to be working as well as the time of year. The larger the station (more southwest flights) the more oportunities there are for overtime. Overtime is issued based on seniority so there may be times when you do not get it. On the flip side there are times when there is so much overtime that mandatory overtime hours are assigned based on reverse seniority. Again, all mandatory ot is doubletime so the new guys luck out sometimes. In my station (mdw) we're currently going crazy with overtime to the point where up to 4 year agents have been getting mandatory ot. So anyone who signs up regardless of seniority is pretty much guaranteed as much ot as they'd like.

As far as fitness, it helps. More so than that though it's more important to be sort of tough because there are times when you have to brave some extremely severe conditions. Our rule though is that you need to be able to lift, push, and pull 70lbs repeadedly. Definitely apply. It's more difficult to get in than you might think though. I applied over a period of 3 years before I every even got a call and I had prior experience. The volume of applications is extremely high and it's just sort of an odds thing. I was told by the staff at my first interview that it' s statistically easier to be accepted into harvard.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: SCCutler
Posted 2010-06-25 15:10:56 and read 37859 times.

Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 33):

Yes, Arizona is a right-to-work state, but that's not exactly what it means. What you're thinking of is at-will employment. In right-to-work, the biggest consequence (or advantage, for some) is that workers are unable to unionize as a means of negotiating agreements with companies. It is typical to see this in more conservative/pro-business states.

Closer, but still not quite correct. "Right to work" does *not* mean you "cannot unionize" - the right to form and join unions is legally protected by law. What "Right to Work" means is that you cannot be forced to join a union in order to hold a job - hence, the terminology, because you have a right o work, regardless of your membership in a labor organization. As a practical matter, it is not very common for someone to work in a job with a union representing the class, and not be a member, because the union is usually perceived to be beneficial to the employees.

Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 33):

But you're completely right when you say companies use this to their advantage to keep down salary and wage costs. If you are hired as a 12-month full-time (40 hour) salaried employee, your rights to overtime pay are guaranteed. But working on the ramp hired as an hourly worker, you lack those rights. To companies like Mesa they could care less if you work one hour or one hundred hours provided they are neither understaffed nor overstaffed, but because you're hourly, they are under no obligation to provide overtime benefits.

The presence or absence of a union has nothing at all to do with whether a worker is entitled to be paid overtime; that is regulated by federal law (as referenced above, when someone mentioned contacting "wage & hour"); the US Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division receives complaints of underpayment, investigates such complaints, and if the employer is not paying overtime appropriately, the feds compel payment of back wages. This extends even to former employees who no longer work for the employer - the DOL collects the back pay, and makes a pretty diligent effort to find the underpaid former employees, and get the money to them.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: ericaasen
Posted 2010-06-25 18:12:12 and read 37774 times.

If a company is unionized that union representation superceeds any state's right to work laws.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2010-06-25 20:11:18 and read 37712 times.

Quoting ericaasen (Reply 37):
If a company is unionized that union representation superceeds any state's right to work laws.

Not necessarily. For example, in right-to-work states, an employee may object to being a part of the union. He/she will still have to pay the portion of dues that goes to collective bargaining, but will not be considered a card-carrying member.

Also, a company in a RTW state can legally attempt to terminate an employee at will. Granted, the union contract will obviously allow the chance for grievances to be filed.

Quoting SCCutler (Reply 36):
The presence or absence of a union has nothing at all to do with whether a worker is entitled to be paid overtime; that is regulated by federal law (as referenced above, when someone mentioned contacting "wage & hour")

And the law stands thus:

Quote:
(b)The provisions of section 207 of this title shall not apply with respect to:

(3) any employee of a carrier by air subject to the provisions of title II of the Railway Labor Act [45 U.S.C. 181 et seq.];

I'd also like to note that no airline gives out overtime for people working on shift trades (with the exception of people working in CA, they require it).

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: atcsundevil
Posted 2010-06-26 04:35:25 and read 37604 times.

Quoting SCCutler (Reply 36):
Closer, but still not quite correct. "Right to work" does *not* mean you "cannot unionize" - the right to form and join unions is legally protected by law.

What I said was "workers are unable to unionize as a means of negotiating agreements". Of course workers can unionize, but based on state law, that unionization may lack the benefit of other states allowing union contract negotiation.

Quoting SCCutler (Reply 36):
The presence or absence of a union has nothing at all to do with whether a worker is entitled to be paid overtime

No, but my point was that union representation with regards to contract negotiation can provide better worker benefits, including overtime pay. Federal law does nothing for hourly workers picking up shifts putting them over 40 hour work weeks.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 38):
Not necessarily. For example, in right-to-work states, an employee may object to being a part of the union. He/she will still have to pay the portion of dues that goes to collective bargaining, but will not be considered a card-carrying member.

Also, a company in a RTW state can legally attempt to terminate an employee at will. Granted, the union contract will obviously allow the chance for grievances to be filed.

Well put. Unions can certainly exist in Right-to-Work states, but certainly have significantly less importance and benefit. I'm not sure about having to pay a portion of dues for collective bargaining as I've never worked in a unionized industry, but I have heard stories from friends (particularly from CA) being pressured...well forced...to either join the union, pay a portion, or be run out of the job. I'm neither pro- nor anti-union because I've never experienced any benefit or disadvantage; for now, I'm cool with not having to give out my money!

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: grain
Posted 2010-06-26 05:38:52 and read 37582 times.

they tell you when your hired that you have the right to not join the union, but dues will still be collected.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: ericaasen
Posted 2010-06-26 11:09:18 and read 37499 times.

If you reap the benefits gained from a collective bargaining agreement between a union represented work group and management you have to pay union dues. You can say you are not a card carrying member but you are still in the union. This is one of the facts DL is using to keep their employees from voting in the IAM and AFA.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2010-06-26 14:11:33 and read 37451 times.

Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 39):
What I said was "workers are unable to unionize as a means of negotiating agreements". Of course workers can unionize, but based on state law, that unionization may lack the benefit of other states allowing union contract negotiation.

It all depends on what industry you're in. While that statement could be correct for, say, a fast food restaurant, as far as the transportation industry (ie, airlines, railroads, and bus companies) go, they fall under the Railway Labor Act, which protects the right of workers to unionize and to hold contract negotiations with the company.

Quoting atcsundevil (Reply 39):
I'm not sure about having to pay a portion of dues for collective bargaining as I've never worked in a unionized industry, but I have heard stories from friends (particularly from CA) being pressured...well forced...to either join the union, pay a portion, or be run out of the job.

It's not that they're "run out of the job"; by law, if their craft for class is covered by a CBA, at a minimum they have to pay the portion of dues associated with negotiating and upholding that agreement.

Quoting ericaasen (Reply 41):
You can say you are not a card carrying member but you are still in the union.

Not really. If you claim "objector status" (the legal term for it), then you have no rights, privileges, or membership in any type of internal union affairs. You can't vote for officers, shop stewards, motions.... technically they could bar you from union meetings. The only rights you would have would be those under the CBA and to vote for either the CBA or union certification/decertification.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2010-06-27 03:05:45 and read 37355 times.

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 23):
Just curious how many rampers does it take for one of WN's legendary 20-minute turnaround?

It depends on the station and how they have things set up. At SAN, each gate has two agents assigned to directly handle the flights at that gate. Then we have two more agents, usually from neighboring gates, to assist when available to do so. Another agent is assigned to run the local bags from the plane to baggage claim. That agent is assigned to flights, not specific gates. If a lot of connecting bags are coming off a flight, a transfer driver who is assigned to take the connecting bags to their proper gate. If you want to include the rest of the agents that play a less direct role, agents in T-Point (known as the "bag room" to the rest of the industry) sort the bags and deliver them to the gates... Then you have freight runners who pick up and drop off freight. And lets not forget about the lav drivers. Here at SAN we have two agents who service the lavatories.

Smaller stations often have each agent responsible for more than one of the jobs I just described during the turn. The larger the station, the more "specialized" the duties.

Quoting flyboy80 (Reply 32):
So does WN usually schedule overtime in most stations on one's schedule? Read the CBA in an earliar post, it was pretty helpful.

Overtime exists for the purpose of covering positions that are open due to things like vacation, sick calls, OJI etc. so it varies day-to-day. Voluntary overtime is assigned by status (ones day off, regular work day etc) and then by seniority. Mandatory overtime is assigned by reverse seniority. For that reason, depending on the situation at that station, new hires are subjected to a lot of mandatory overtime.

The amount of overtime comes and goes in cycles. It's common for stations to be short-staffed with tons of overtime available and a lot of mandatory overtime given out, and then a couple months later when staffing is back up the overtime dries up so none is available for voluntary overtime. Both scenarios are not really ideal. A good balance so that there is OT available for those who want it, but not enough for mandatory OT is ideal.

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 12):
Quoting flyingbronco05 (Reply 6):
Sure feels good knowing rampers at Southwest make more than 3rd year regional pilots at my airline flying a 50 seat jet. Just despicable in my opinion. No way should rampers ever be paid more than pilots.

Talk to your damned airline then! Hardly the fault of the SWA ramper...

  

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: 2H4
Posted 2010-06-27 16:41:44 and read 37212 times.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 43):
Here at SAN we have two agents who service the lavatories.

That's ALL they do?

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 43):
The larger the station, the more "specialized" the duties.

So, in a larger station, where you're concentrating on one duty, how long does it take before you feel 'burned out' from it? Do you rotate from one job to another every week or so to keep things interesting?

Overall, does the job remain fairly interesting over the years, or do you start to feel like an assembly line worker?

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: SSTsomeday
Posted 2010-06-27 16:52:02 and read 37208 times.

Something to keep in mind is that ramp work is very, very physical.

I knew a fellow; young strapping guy (I met him at my GYM), who thought it might be fun to be a ramp agent and work with ..."those big a... jets," as he put it.

But he only did it a few months because he found himself constantly exhausted.

This was at LAX. I don't know who he was working for, though.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2010-06-27 17:15:51 and read 37189 times.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 44):
That's ALL they do?

Every lav needs to be serviced, so with 10 gates and almost 100 flights a day they are kept pretty busy. But yes, that's all they do during their shift. It's usually someone very senior. They like it because it is the easiest job physically.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 44):
So, in a larger station, where you're concentrating on one duty, how long does it take before you feel 'burned out' from it? Do you rotate from one job to another every week or so to keep things interesting?

Some guys only do one job on the ramp. They bid for the same thing evey time. Others like to mix it up. We bid for shifts every 2 months so you will keep your same schedule, including job assignments, for the 2 months. Some lines are the same job every day, others have agents assigned somewhere different on certain days of their work week. If you get burnt out on a certain job duty, you can either switch with someone, trade for it off, or just bid for a different type of job on the next 2 month schedule.

For example, I used to only like to work at the gates. But over time I got very tired of it. So I started bidding for T-Point (aka the bag room) for a while. I did that for about 6 months before returning back to the gates. I also went AMs after working PMs for about 3 years. Just my way of changing it up.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 44):
Overall, does the job remain fairly interesting over the years, or do you start to feel like an assembly line worker?

The job is very reduntand. Is it as interesting to me as when I first started? No. But I still love what I do. I love being part of the action at the airport. You get tired of a lot of things...find yourself dealing with BS here and there and it does wear on you. I sometimes find myselft on autopilot when actually carrying out my job duties. It's life in the break room and interactions with co-workers/friends that keep things interesting and fun at work. It's a really easy gig. Physically demanding, yes. But very easy. And best of all, I don't take any of it home with me. No stress to deal with or anything...as long as I work safe and don't get hurt.

[Edited 2010-06-27 17:16:35]

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: swa4life
Posted 2010-06-27 17:55:16 and read 37151 times.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 44):
So, in a larger station, where you're concentrating on one duty, how long does it take before you feel 'burned out' from it? Do you rotate from one job to another every week or so to keep things interesting?

Overall, does the job remain fairly interesting over the years, or do you start to feel like an assembly line worker?

Again, it varies by station size but job positions sort of correlate with your line. Your "line" is essentially your job. Your line dictates what time you start and get off, your days off, and your position. You bid your lines every 1-2 months (min 6 times a year) and they are awarded in order of seniority. You're free to change up your schedule/position every time there is a new bid. It's another really great part of the job IMO. You can bid your work schedule around the rest of your life, rather than like most people who's lives have to conform to their work schedule. I like to have early morning start times in the summer months so that I can be out in the early afternoons and enjoy the day and do stuff, and I go to nights in the winter so that I can have the day light before I have to work. Some people even take it a step further and do something called a "buddy bid". You get with someone ahead of time and agree to bid opposing schedules and then instead of working them as they are, you pick up two of their shifts and they pick up two of yours. You end up working 2 double shifts and 1 single shift for a 3 day work week. You'll both be 3 on and 4 days off. There is no limitation to shift trading.

As for burning out,.. I have not ever felt burnt out in the years I've been doing it. In fact, even to this day I actually have moments where I think to myself how cool a gig I have. There's nothing cooler than coming in at dusk in the morning and seeing the sun rise, then working an 8 hour shift outside on a beautiful June sunny day all the while being with your friends doing a job that is fun. There's also something to be said about driving around on the airfield at night with an open top vehicle, and the way the blue lights on the airfield look when it's dark. All during the week you might be looking forward to your weekend trip to Vegas or where ever. I am not even kidding around when I say I wouldn't trade this job in for anything. Are there bad days? Absolutely.. As a new guy you take them especially hard but over the years you really just learn to take stuff in stride. There are times when it might seem like the operation is falling apart all around you but at the end of the day it all ends, and the new day starts all over again. Those are the days that make for good stories and stuff you can laugh about in the future.. There are times when you literally have to just shrug your shoulders and laugh. It's never anything life threatening.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: SSTsomeday
Posted 2010-06-27 17:58:56 and read 37134 times.

Quoting swa4life (Reply 47):
I am not even kidding around when I say I wouldn't trade this job in for anything.

You're entire post is very informative and enlightening. It DOES sound like a great gig. Oh to be 30 again.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: flyboy80
Posted 2010-06-27 18:09:44 and read 37125 times.

What does one usually start out doing at a WN non-hub station, I would assume gates?

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: mtnwest1979
Posted 2010-06-27 18:18:08 and read 37115 times.

Quoting flyboy80 (Reply 49):
What does one usually start out doing at a WN non-hub station, I would assume gates?

Either a) whatever's left over and b) Everything.

I liked T point, interesting to see where folks were going. But after awhile, more fun to be at the flight line. But one thing was constant: I liked AMs due to flight schedule was usually less disrupted then. But an hour or two of OT at the end of a night shift can add up nicely if it happens enoough.

Speaking of lav service, I was temping at MCI latter half 9/2000 and had luxury of lavs in AM and PM OT shift of same. Amazing how quickly one can fill up a tank on a lav truck  

Anyway, one fantastic experience!!!

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: flyboy80
Posted 2010-06-27 19:40:13 and read 37061 times.

So,

If they offer me this position you guys think I should take it? I think it would be a great change of pace, and I think I would have a lot of fun outside, I know we certainly did when I used to work ramp, however I think WN is totally different game.

Whats training like, its in Dallas I hear...

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2010-06-27 22:10:59 and read 36989 times.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 44):
That's ALL they do?

Every airline has dedicated "lines" in their large stations/hubs.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 44):
So, in a larger station, where you're concentrating on one duty, how long does it take before you feel 'burned out' from it?

Personally, I get somewhat bored with the routine after about a year. I bid into a different area (5 gate zones, transfer bags, bag room, just about anything but lavs) to keep things sorta fresh.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 44):
Do you rotate from one job to another every week or so to keep things interesting?

Well, for example, this morning I was a gate lead; for my PM shift, I ran connecting bags. It's all about what lines are available to either pick up or get called for OT.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: swa4life
Posted 2010-06-28 07:11:40 and read 36890 times.

Quoting flyboy80 (Reply 51):
Whats training like, its in Dallas I hear...

I don't know how much it's changed since I started but it used to be a few days in a class room off site of the airport, then about a week of following around an actual ramp employee and a bit of hands on, then a couple of weeks training in Dallas where you have to take tests and never score below 80% on any one of them, then a couple more weeks of on the job training at another station (I was sent to BNA), then finally you're subjected to a 6 month probationary period.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2010-06-28 09:53:35 and read 36823 times.

Quoting flyboy80 (Reply 51):
Whats training like, its in Dallas I hear...

Typically, new hires spend the first three days in a classroom environment at their local station. Then they spend about a week or two paired with a trainer for hands on training. Then it's off to DAL for a week. When I got hired in 2004 DAL training was 9 days. I think they have now condensed it down to 6 days. Training in Dallas is entirely classroom training where they go over the text and are tested daily. In 2004 they had an old 737-200 that we used for a day to simulate turns, but I have no idea if it's still their. After DAL, new hires return to their station for a few more days with their trainer and once signed off on all the duties, they are put on the schedule and basically on their own. The first six months are a probationary period.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: swa4life
Posted 2010-07-07 14:41:45 and read 36488 times.

Quoting flyboy80 (Reply 51):
So,

If they offer me this position you guys think I should take it? I think it would be a great change of pace, and I think I would have a lot of fun outside, I know we certainly did when I used to work ramp, however I think WN is totally different game.

Absolutely. The best advice I can give you though is to go in completely humble, try your best to stand out in the group interview by asking lots of questions and being enthusiastic, and leave what ever airline experience you think you might have at the door. Don't leave it off of your resume, but don't act like a know it all. I've seen so many OAL's come and go because they thought they already knew everything. It may sound a bit arrogant, but Southwest is the big leagues.. We're a better company with better pay, better benefits, and better corporate culture. As a result we attract all of the top talent and the rest settle down to the other airlines. We have better standards. Nobody takes a job in a WN city with another airline until they were rejected by WN. I know that'll probably piss a lot of people off but it's just reality. I only say that because knowing that going in will prepare you to perform at a level that they just might keep you around after 6 months.. It's been my experience that new hires that have other airline experience would have probably been better off if they had no airline experience at all. It's almost like they've been corrupted. In short, keep your ears open and try to learn things as if they were new. WN operates like a well oiled machine, add a United guy to the mix and it's like a wrench falling into the gearbox.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: gwar69
Posted 2010-07-07 17:00:52 and read 36402 times.

I am not sure whether or not this warrants a new thread, but it's related so I'm posting it here.

WN just posted a job opening for part time ramp where I live. Obviously I applied right away. The posting is already gone. I assume many people applied because of WN's reputation.

Anyways, I noticed that a couple of the WN employees mentioned a probation period. I have some ramp experience so I am familiar with this period but different airlines do it differently so I have a question about shift trades during this period. Are shift trades allowed during probation? Also how long is probation? The shift trade question is important to me because my brother is getting married in September and I am the best man. I would rather not have to work that day, and since it's on a Sunday I know I would get a line that would conflict. Also, since it is only part time, I would need to pick up shifts to get enough hours to pay the bills.

I have been checking WN's website almost every day since I moved home, and this is the first ramp posting I've seen. I don't really know how long I will have to wait until they post another. I quit the ramp last year (US) and got an office job because I have a degree and that's what I thought I was "supposed" to do, but I hate being in an office and long to be back outdoors around planes.

I know I rambled a bit, thanks for any info about the probation period.

Topic: RE: Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Benefits.
Username: swa4life
Posted 2010-07-07 17:11:19 and read 36401 times.

Shift trades are allowed during probation. It's generally not recommended to be too active in shift trading as a single slip up will cost you your job (forgetting you picked up or something). You should keep in mind that there are a few weeks of training upon being hired, much of which you will be in Dallas for, and during this period there is no shift trading.. You'll have to time your hiring just right and that's not necessarily something that can be controlled.


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