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Copa Airlines Mechanics Will Strike  
User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3226 times:

Starting on Monday February 20th Copa Airlines Mechanics will go on strike. The move comes after negotiations failed to renew the collective bargaining agreement. The move will affect some 80 daily departures, each flight is usually overseen by 2 to 3 mechanics, they have announced that they will only attend flights in case of an emergency.

Mechanics want salaries equal to does paid to American Airlines and DHL employees, Copa pays about 1/3 less than these 2 airlines.

The walkout could affect up to 3000 passengers.

Link
http://www.prensa.com/hoy/negocios/504365.html

In other news Copa's Stock has tumbled in the last months from a high of 27 dollars to 21 dollars. Pilots contracts also expire this year and pilots are threatening a walkout unless they receive a substantial salary increase (18% figure has been thrown around)

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline2travel2know From Panama, joined Apr 2005, 3580 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3185 times:

On the local news it was said that there wouldn't be an strike since the Aviation Mechanics Union and COPA had reached an agreement late last night.
What I understand is that the Union wanted CM to match the salaries DHL and AA mechanics currently earn in Panamà.
An Strike next week would have been disastrous for CM since Carnival traveling days start next Thursday.

Regarding CM Pilots, I wonder would they accept part of their raise in CM stock?



I don't work for COPA Airlines!
User currently offlineRojo From Spain, joined Sep 2000, 2482 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3170 times:

Quoting Luisca (Thread starter):
Mechanics want salaries equal to does paid to American Airlines and DHL employees, Copa pays about 1/3 less than these 2 airlines.

This is why airlines are not profitable. Employees always compare themselves to the best paid workers in their industry. My question for them is: why don't they all go work for AA or DHL? (they work on a free market). In the industry I work, if another company pays better than the one you work for, people quit and go work for the other company. If you can't get a job, then you can't complain...

Same thing happened to Delta with their pilots. They compared themselves to the other airlines and asked for a salary increase until they were the best paid pilots in the industry. Today, with DL in Chapter 11 and unprofitable, the airline is trying to adjust salaries to something that makes sense.

Overall, it is the market who sets the salaries not the Unions and its comparisons!!!

It is good to know that COPA and the Mechanics union reached an agreement...


User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3155 times:

Quoting Rojo (Reply 2):
This is why airlines are not profitable. Employees always compare themselves to the best paid workers in their industry. My question for them is: why don't they all go work for AA or DHL? (they work on a free market). In the industry I work, if another company pays better than the one you work for, people quit and go work for the other company. If you can't get a job, then you can't complain...

You should get your facts straight, their is no other option besides CM, AA and DHL are both boutique operations. CM pays its mechanics 650 dollars per month, while they (the mechanics) have to spend over 20000 dollars in education. AA and DHL pay their mechanics 900 dollars per month. My father has a business in Panama and he hires unskilled mechanics and pays them 550 dollars, so a trained, skilled aviation mechanic deserves a lot more.

CM salaries in general are way out of touch with reality. Panama is the most expensive country in Central America. It has the highest cost of living and the highest salaries in the region. Yet CM's first officers earn a little over 1200 dollars a month starting salary and the top pay for a captain is at around 6-7K dollars a month. No wonder pilots are threatening to strike. They deserve a better salary.

CM will have to raise salaries throughout the company if they wish to maintain good employees, as they are constantly loosing pilots to Asian or Indian carriers.

Finally CM is one of the most profitable airlines in the continent. They are also #1 in the region in service and in on time performance, This is all thanks to their employees. They deserve better treatment and not mediocre salaries.


User currently offlineRojo From Spain, joined Sep 2000, 2482 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 3116 times:

Quoting Luisca (Reply 3):
You should get your facts straight, their is no other option besides CM, AA and DHL are both boutique operations. CM pays its mechanics 650 dollars per month, while they (the mechanics) have to spend over 20000 dollars in education. AA and DHL pay their mechanics 900 dollars per month. My father has a business in Panama and he hires unskilled mechanics and pays them 550 dollars, so a trained, skilled aviation mechanic deserves a lot more.

My friend, you answered your own question. Salaries in Panama are low because of the supply and demand laws (Economics 101). Too many mechanic's for few open positions means lower salaries... The market does everything. Remember the NW mechanic's case... well, hope it does not happen in Panama, because there are mechanic's willing to work for less!! It is not a matter of what you deserve, but what the market can pay for your skills...

I have my facts straight, there are other options: TACA's Aeroman in El Salvador, Mexicana in Mexico, even Air New Zealand in Auckland, etc. This is why pilots in Panama are migrating and in the future they could face a shortage... that will be the expected moment where salaries will go up!!


User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3086 times:

There has been no agreement on the situation, the strike is set to start at 12 midnight. Expect sever delays and cancellations beginning tomorrow. I talked to a friend and he stated that the strike is imminent and that Flight attendants and pilots are thinking of lending support to the mechanics.

Also my mom went into PTY today (sun/19) and had to cross picket lines on the way out.

Newspapers are reporting that flights were almost completely booked for this week due to carnival, a celebration which is widely celebrated in Panama. Hotels were reporting 95-100% occupancy for these 2 weeks. This could be desastrous for the airline.

I hope CM sees some sense soon and agrees to the mechanics demand. It is time to tell CM that they cant just do what they want and pay whatever they feel they want to pay.

A last ditch mediation attempt by the ministry of labor is the only hope right now to avoid a strike. Unlike the US, in Panama the executive has no power to force workers back to their jobs once 2/3 of the workers vote for the strike.

[Edited 2006-02-20 01:15:56]

User currently offlineA300AA From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 394 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3068 times:

Quoting Rojo (Reply 2):
This is why airlines are not profitable. Employees always compare themselves to the best paid workers in their industry. My question for them is: why don't they all go work for AA or DHL? (they work on a free market). In the industry I work, if another company pays better than the one you work for, people quit and go work for the other company. If you can't get a job, then you can't complain

This is how Latin American people thinks.
Thats why Latam never progress.


User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3062 times:

Quoting A300AA (Reply 6):
This is how Latin American people thinks.
Thats why Latam never progress.

Firs of all, I would like to correct the above posts, The intial salary of an entry level CM mechanic is 400 dollars, not 600 like La Prensa reported. Minimum wage in Panama is 240 dollars. A construction worker, uneducated, unskilled, makes 500 dollars.

If we analize this, the salary is simply not proportional to the responsability this possition has.

How would you like to be paid only 400 dollars a month in the most expensive city to live in central america? And remember to take away a 220 dollar payment to your student loans!


User currently offlineRojo From Spain, joined Sep 2000, 2482 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3048 times:

Quoting A300AA (Reply 6):
This is how Latin American people thinks.
Thats why Latam never progress.

No, this is how markets have developed thanks to capitalism.

Capitalism: An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.

Quoting Luisca (Reply 7):
How would you like to be paid only 400 dollars a month in the most expensive city to live in central america? And remember to take away a 220 dollar payment to your student loans!

It depends, US$400 is too much for some people and nothing for other people. I am not saying that $400 is good or bad, but if COPA can get mechanics to work for $400 in the Panama labor market, then they will keep paying US$400.

I have been to Panama and know how expensive the city is, specially with your currency (Balboa) pegged to the dollar (1 to 1) and the use of USD coins and bills.

Hope there is a peaceful and good solution to the strike soon with benefits for both (CM and mechanics).


User currently offlineLuisca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3022 times:

It is official now, the union representing the non airside employees (counter agents, customer service reps, etc) will join the strike starting at 100 pm tomorrow. Expect a full temporary shutdown of CM's operations if a deal is not reached soon.

User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2958 times:

Quoting Luisca (Reply 3):
Yet CM's first officers earn a little over 1200 dollars a month starting salary and the top pay for a captain is at around 6-7K dollars a month.

Best Latam Airline Pilot Salary? (by Derekone Feb 20 2006 in Civil Aviation)


User currently offlineTOLtommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3308 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2952 times:

Quoting Luisca (Reply 3):
CM pays its mechanics 650 dollars per month, while they (the mechanics) have to spend over 20000 dollars in education

So they didn't do any research before deciding to spend the money on the education? Just more proof that many airline employees really don't have a good grasp on economics. I've heard this same excuse from pilots who don't understand supply and demand as well. If they did some research, they'd find the return on investment was poor. That means they need to be prepared to do 1 of 2 things. Either find another career option, or accept that the return on investment may never pay off. Nothing wrong at all with doing what you love, but frequently it doesn't pay off, especially in the airline biz.


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