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Unionization At WN?  
User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Posted (11 years 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1447 times:

The post about Southwest becoming the #1 US carrier in terms of passengers got me thinking about there pay structure. What employees at WN are unionized? I have always thought their costs were lower due to lower rates of unionization, but I know they do have a good number of unionized workers. Any ideas?


"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4344 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (11 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1421 times:

Southwest is the most highly unionized airline in the US. Something like 90% if I remember right. The difference is that since day one, their was a true dedication by management to work with and support the employees, and the employees understood that the best way for them to be successful was for the company to be successful. The culture at WN is unique, not only in the airline industry (or especially in the airline industry!), but pretty much in American corporate culture. Very few companies have had the consenual labor relations that have been common at WN since birth.

That being said, I have noticed some cracks in the last couple years. Nothing serious, and still at a level that the other majors could only dream about, but in the last two years, I've seen more news about various labor groups unhappy with the pace of negotiations, or the content their contracts, than I can ever remember before. I think WN can come through it, but the danger signals are there - I just hope they respond to them.



"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (11 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1400 times:

I must say that is an impressive and surprising statistic. As far as pay scale is concerned, how much less do WN employees make as opposed to, say, AA, UA or DL?


"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineArtsyman From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4745 posts, RR: 34
Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1399 times:

The calm within the WN employee groups has a mjor difference to other airlines in that in has NEVER experienced a situation where cuts or heavy handed measures were required. While I am sure that management treats the employees with more respect at WN, if they were all of a sudden taking heavy losses, and people needed to be cut and changes made, then you would see a lot of the same nonsense that goes on with the other carriers. The main benefit for the WN employees is that they are in profit each quarter, thus avoiding the needs for conflict.

User currently offlineSsides From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 4059 posts, RR: 21
Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1382 times:

Which unions represent the WN employees? Are they the same unions at other airlines? We all know that WN's management goes out of its way to please its workers; do the unions just respond differently to WN or are they entirely different organizations?


"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4344 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (11 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1368 times:

They are the same organizations for the most part. Pilots are ALPA, F/As are TWU. I don't know who the mechanics, C/S or ramp are, but I'm pretty sure there are no unique unions to WN.

The relations are different becuase the two sides chose, from day one, to make them different. While Artsyman has a point that WN has never had to go after the significant cuts that the other carriers have, the point can be made that the reason they haven't is its because of the relationships built that have allowed WN to keep their costs low. As I said earlier, in these current times, when even WN has had to closely watch their costs, I have seen more friction develop. The key question is whether WN can continue to control costs and maintain the same type of relationships they traditionally have. The answer to that rests as much on the employee groups as it does on management.



"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineM717 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 608 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1351 times:

The pilots are NOT ALPA...

The pilots union at Southwest is an independent, in-house union, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association. It is similar to the ones at AirTran (National Pilots Association), AA (Allied Pilots Association), and UPS (Independent Pilots Association). Even though these are independent unions exclusive to their particular company, they each belong to the Coalition of Airline Pilots (CAPA). CAPA's purpose is to provide a cooperative forum for the individual member unions. These individual pilot unions may cooperate and bring together voluntarily their collective strength in numbers as a voice to the public and governmental agencies. The Coalition's purpose is to address safety, legislative, and regulatory issues affecting the professional airline pilot on matters of common interest to the individual member unions on behalf of their respective pilot groups. CAPA is not involved in any sort of contract negotiations on behalf of these individual pilot groups.






[Edited 2003-08-13 18:31:10]

User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4344 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1344 times:

Thaks for the correction - just goes to show what happens when you work from memory (especially old memory!)


"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (11 years 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1295 times:

The calm within the WN employee groups has a mjor difference to other airlines in that in has NEVER experienced a situation where cuts or heavy handed measures were required. While I am sure that management treats the employees with more respect at WN, if they were all of a sudden taking heavy losses, and people needed to be cut and changes made, then you would see a lot of the same nonsense that goes on with the other carriers. The main benefit for the WN employees is that they are in profit each quarter, thus avoiding the needs for conflict.
-----

It is true that good labor relations and profits tend to go together. But I would argue that it is mostly good labor relations that cause good corporate results and not the other way arround. In most of the cases in other airlines, labor relations have been pretty bad even in the best of times. The bad times simply cause issues to surface that have been simmering under the hood for a long time. Durring good times, management can afford to simply buy labor peace and avoid the true issues. This doesn't work when there is no money to do this with. Also, Because management and unions don't communicate in good times - they don't earn enough money in the good times to be able to effectively save and have enough to deal with the bad.

WN does rely on stock options to help attract and retain employees. A prolonged dip in their fortunes or that of the industry may make times more difficult for them because the value of these stock options then goes down and more cash pay is demanded. This could be a cause of some trouble if present conditions continue.



User currently offline737doctor From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1332 posts, RR: 39
Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1258 times:

M717 is correct, our pilots are SWAPA. We mechanics joined AMFA not too long ago by voting out IBT. As compared to mechanics at other airlines, we actually make as much or more then they do, not less.


Patrick Bateman is my hero.
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