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SWA And Unions  
User currently offlineweb500sjc From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 752 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3828 times:
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Just a bit of an odd question, but I am wonderig how in he world WN has managed to keep unions out of thier work force?

What "tactics" and policies do they use


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29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineatrude777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5702 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3812 times:

Out of their work force?

I don't understand? WN is probably the highest unionized airline at 86% unionized!

Alex



Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
User currently offlinebigsky09 From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3789 times:

Yeah, and at southwest just like everywhere else the unions do nothing for you. TWU 555 is horrible!

User currently offlineweb500sjc From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 752 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3752 times:
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Sorry I heard that the word union was frowned upon in WN, and that they didn't have unions, my mistake.

As I highly doubt MoLs airline would have unions, how does FR keep unions out?



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User currently offlineJetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2851 posts, RR: 33
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3715 times:

Although I am person that thinks most industries now don't need unions since the point of the union is not what it was originally created for: horrible working conditions (smoke filled factories, no safety etc.), and slave pay. If the pay is not what you want, find a different job.

Now, with that said. WN is probably the airline that would never need unions. They have the happiest employees, and very good compensation to most, if not all employees. WN doesn't have problems with their unions and employees because they do it right from the start. WN's employees/unions also don't try to rape and destroy the company to save face. They have a good relationship.



No info
User currently offlineswa4life From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 388 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3444 times:

Yeah, Southwest has always been a heavily unionized airline and I believe that's just testiment to the arguement for unionization in the airline industry. It's very possible for a company to flourish with a unionized work force. Southwest might be THE most unionized airline as well as THE most succesful, so that says something. I think the REAL issue is when a company takes an adversarial stance against unions and instantly creates an us versus them climate within the company. This is when you get low productivity and increased labor costs.

You'll read lots of pro/anti union debates on here and in almost all of them the anti union people seem to conveniently forget about Southwest airlines and their sucesses with a heavily unionized workforce.


User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5127 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3433 times:

Quoting Jetmatt777 (Reply 4):
Although I am person that thinks most industries now don't need unions

You nailed the nail on the head. Depends on the industry. Some airlines need it, some don't. Some industries need it, some don't. If the company is ethical, treats its employees right, and is fair,,, then I guess you would not need it.



I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlinenwaesc From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 3408 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3395 times:

Quoting bigsky09 (Reply 2):
Yeah, and at southwest just like everywhere else the unions do nothing for you. TWU 555 is horrible!

Why do you say that? Reading your CBA, it looks like they've done plenty for you...



"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
User currently offlineswa4life From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 388 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3328 times:

Quoting nwaesc (Reply 8):
Why do you say that? Reading your CBA, it looks like they've done plenty for you...

You're correct. We have an increasingly large amount of first time employed kids joining the ranks on the ramp at Southwest who do not really understand that a major part of what a union does for it's membership is to collective bargain, and we have an industry leading contract. For that reason alone, you'd have to be an uneducated individual to say that the 555 is a poor union. Anyone who disagrees is welcome to try their luck at any of the other airlines and make a comparable income to a WN agent. It won't happen. But these guys don't know any better I suppose. I've seen it from both sides and I know that WN agents enjoy a lot of perks and financial rewards as a result of their representation.


User currently offlineUSAir330 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 830 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3266 times:

Quoting bigsky09 (Reply 2):
Yeah, and at southwest just like everywhere else the unions do nothing for you. TWU 555 is horrible!

I was a ramp agent for SWA at PHL and I don't agree with you saying horrible. Not the best but not the worst. When I was injured at SWA on the ramp and ended up in intensive care TWU took care of everything for me. All I had to do was recuperate. Also I've seen our union rep at PHL get ramp agents back into work for accidents that were beyond there control. So not the best but not horrible.


User currently offlinebigsky09 From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3213 times:

Quoting swa4life (Reply 9):
Anyone who disagrees is welcome to try their luck at any of the other airlines and make a comparable income to a WN agent. It won't happen. But these guys don't know any better I suppose. I've seen it from both sides and I know that WN agents enjoy a lot of perks and financial rewards as a result of their representation.

Ok, fair enough, true WN ramp employees are among if not the top paid but at this point down here at FLL I would gladly trade money for good working conditions. I know every station is different so I can't sit here and say MDW is easier or better but you don't work at FLL so for you to run your mouth is stupid. The term slavery used with FLL is putting it mildly. Im not saying TWU is the worst out there but lets see what they have done for me???? The local reps at FLL suck. All the local reps are buddy buddy with mgmt, in fact one of the reps is married to mgmt. So you know anything brought up concerning any issues won't be resolved. So then we call our Regional Rep.....No answer...EVER, and you can never get a return phone call. So while TWU works for you at MDW or wherever you are, its not working for me, or anyone else at FLL.

Quoting swa4life (Reply 9):
a major part of what a union does for it's membership is to collective bargain, and we have an industry leading contract

Again doesn't mean jack to me when our work conditions get worse everyday. And before I get flamed for this, I am not your typical 20 year WN ramp veteran bitching because I have to work more than 4 flights a day or I dont get $35 an hour to throw bags or I am upset becase I cant get my usual weekends off line. I have only been with the company 2 years, and dont care about the money as much as better working conditions. Thats all. One wear I am not scheduled on more than 10 flights a day, where I actually get a break, and one where I actually get my scheduled days off and not forced to work them.

Quoting swa4life (Reply 9):
You're correct. We have an increasingly large amount of first time employed kids joining the ranks on the ramp at Southwest

LOL...Far from it. You dont know me or the experience I have working on and around airplanes or loading, so for you to sit there and run your mouth behind a keyboard is easy, but again stupid of you! I dont know how long you have been in the industry or with Southwest, and frankly dont care but to me it just sounds like your the typical WN Senior ramp agent who thinks he is entitled to everything. And thats ok for you, but not me, for me its simple just better working conditions.


User currently offlineswa4life From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 388 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3144 times:

Quoting bigsky09 (Reply 12):
Ok, fair enough, true WN ramp employees are among if not the top paid but at this point down here at FLL I would gladly trade money for good working conditions.

Alright,..... So why don't you do just that and find new employment? If it's lower wages you seek, you won't mind working for another airline with lower productivity requirements.. What exactly is your issue?

You're talking to a guy who works in far more adverse conditions than you do. We get the hot humid stuff just like you do, but we get arctic conditions in the winter too. I put in my time as a probie and worked every first off day and double shift after double shift. I undeed am more senior now and enjoy the benefits of it. It's called work, welcome to the real world.

You just wasted your breath on your last post.


User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3602 posts, RR: 10
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3090 times:

Quoting swa4life (Reply 6):
Yeah, Southwest has always been a heavily unionized airline and I believe that's just testiment to the arguement for unionization in the airline industry. It's very possible for a company to flourish with a unionized work force. Southwest might be THE most unionized airline as well as THE most succesful, so that says something. I think the REAL issue is when a company takes an adversarial stance against unions and instantly creates an us versus them climate within the company. This is when you get low productivity and increased labor costs.

You'll read lots of pro/anti union debates on here and in almost all of them the anti union people seem to conveniently forget about Southwest airlines and their sucesses with a heavily unionized workforce.

The advantage of WN has been that they negotiated 401(k) plans and looser work rules with their workforce (union and non-union) instead of the defined benefit plans and tight work rules of their legacy counterparts, combined with a young workforce (due to growth) gave WN a big advantage for a long time.

Now that most of the legacies have shed these albatrosses from around their necks and WN's growth has slowed with the saturation of major markets, WN will feel alot more competitive pressure over the next decade.

In business, the failure to continue to evolve will result in extinction.


User currently offlinenwaesc From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 3408 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3008 times:

Quoting bigsky09 (Reply 12):
Im not saying TWU is the worst out there but lets see what they have done for me???? The local reps at FLL suck. All the local reps are buddy buddy with mgmt, in fact one of the reps is married to mgmt.

So vote 'em out.

Quoting bigsky09 (Reply 12):
So then we call our Regional Rep.....No answer...EVER, and you can never get a return phone call.

So vote him/her out.

Get involved, and work to make a difference. Venting on here may make you feel better, but won't affect change for you and your peers.

Quoting swa4life (Reply 13):
I put in my time as a probie and worked every first off day and double shift after double shift. I undeed am more senior now and enjoy the benefits of it. It's called work, welcome to the real world.

Yep.



"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
User currently offlineluvfa From United States of America, joined May 2005, 447 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2782 times:

As a SWA FA and shop steward with our local 556, I saw the success of our relationship with management the last year. In a record bad economic year in the US, we were able to ratify a new contract in 11 months that gave us significant pay and benefits. The union, in turn, worked with the company in 2011 and tied them directly to our profitability.

To all the union bashers out there, I have always believed the union/mgt relationship works, if it is done through a cooperative and not competitive environment.


TWU right now is involved in a Union drive for both Jetblue and Virgin American FA's. These carriers are interested in our union style as opposed to the more militant unions at other carriers. However, at the end of the day, it all boils down to Management, union leader ship and most important, membership, working together for a healthy work environment.


User currently offlineJetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2851 posts, RR: 33
Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2688 times:

Quoting luvfa (Reply 17):
To all the union bashers out there, I have always believed the union/mgt relationship works, if it is done through a cooperative and not competitive environment.

Which I don't have a problem with; what I have a problem with however is the unions trying to rape the company, and the company trying to rape the employees. If both believe they have the same goal, then both can work together to achieve it. Some unions' goals are to bring down a company just to save face.

Who puts food on the table, the company or the union?



No info
User currently offlineDualQual From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 794 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2665 times:

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 7):
You nailed the nail on the head. Depends on the industry. Some airlines need it, some don't. Some industries need it, some don't. If the company is ethical, treats its employees right, and is fair,,, then I guess you would not need it.

Typically a company will get as much union as it deserves.


User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5127 posts, RR: 28
Reply 17, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2618 times:

Quoting Jetmatt777 (Reply 18):
Which I don't have a problem with; what I have a problem with however is the unions trying to rape the company, and the company trying to rape the employees. If both believe they have the same goal, then both can work together to achieve it. Some unions' goals are to bring down a company just to save face.

Who puts food on the table, the company or the union?

Oh man, I about laughed my butt off with your comment. The CEO's and upper management are raping the companies of everything. Hence the reason we have witnessed so many go to prison, and why their salaries are beyond comprehension.



I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21880 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2579 times:

Quoting web500sjc (Thread starter):
Just a bit of an odd question, but I am wonderig how in he world WN has managed to keep unions out of thier work force?

What "tactics" and policies do they use

Where did you hear that WN was very non-union? As has been pointed out, it's not at all true, but this isn't the first time I've heard someone say something like that, and it reflects very negatively on the concept of unions in the airline industry, which is, IMHO, something to avoid.

So it seems there is some misinformation floating around out there - it would be helpful to know the source.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5618 posts, RR: 28
Reply 19, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2565 times:

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 20):
The CEO's and upper management are raping the companies of everything. Hence the reason we have witnessed so many go to prison, and why their salaries are beyond comprehension.

So, this applies to what proportion of businesses?



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1001 posts, RR: 51
Reply 20, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2539 times:

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 20):
Oh man, I about laughed my butt off with your comment. The CEO's and upper management are raping the companies of everything. Hence the reason we have witnessed so many go to prison, and why their salaries are beyond comprehension.

Why don't you tell us how many companies have gone into bankruptcy because of outstanding liabilities in their executive pension funds. Talk about the shortest book ever written   . OTOH, pension liabilities to union employees have drown some of the U.S. biggest manufacturing and service firms.

In the airline industry, CEO compensation is really nothing to write home about. The CEO pay at the biggest airlines are less than many college basketball coaches despite managing multi-billion dollar corporations with tens of thousands of employees.

[Edited 2010-04-11 19:36:04]

User currently offlineJetmatt777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2851 posts, RR: 33
Reply 21, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2471 times:

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 20):
Oh man, I about laughed my butt off with your comment.

Glad you enjoyed it. I'll be in town until Wednesday. Autographs tomorrow.   

I just find it ironic that unions will go to great lengths to hurt their own company. I think strikes should be illegal. You signed the papers to work -- they pay you to work and should have every right to fire you for not showing up to work just to "show them who's boss". The company is owned by the stockholders and not the employees. As an employee it is your obligation to do your best to help the company turn a profit or accomplish it's goal(s). If you have a problem with your pay, hours, etc., talk to your manager, and if they are unwilling or unable to help you, don't strike -- give your job to someone who will appreciate the job, even if the pay is low. There are millions out there who'd love to have it, me being one of them.



No info
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21880 posts, RR: 55
Reply 22, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2445 times:

Quoting Jetmatt777 (Reply 24):
I think strikes should be illegal. You signed the papers to work -- they pay you to work and should have every right to fire you for not showing up to work just to "show them who's boss".

Previously, you said:

Quoting Jetmatt777 (Reply 18):
what I have a problem with however is the unions trying to rape the company, and the company trying to rape the employees.

Yet it seems that if the company is trying to rape the employees, you think that the employees should bend over and take it, since you advocate the banning of strikes. The logic doesn't really work out on that one.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 23, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2408 times:

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 23):
OTOH, pension liabilities to union employees have drown some of the U.S. biggest manufacturing and service firms.

Projecting future pension obligations is basic math for any accountant...so how is it the unions' fault that they asked for a particular pension system and the company said "OK." ? If the company signs a contract that will bankrupt them, it's the company's fault.

Quoting Jetmatt777 (Reply 24):
I think strikes should be illegal. You signed the papers to work -- they pay you to work and should have every right to fire you for not showing up to work just to "show them who's boss".

In the US, at least, strikes essentially never happen during contracts. They happen after contracts expire. Which means the papers you signed have no force (in either direction...you're not obligated to work, the company isn't obligated to pay you). When you strike, you aren't "showing them who's boss", you're refusing to enter into a business relationship until you've got a contract that both sides can agree on...which is the very foundation of a free market.

Quoting Jetmatt777 (Reply 24):
The company is owned by the stockholders and not the employees.

In a great many unions (and non-unions), most of the employees *are* stockholders.

Quoting Jetmatt777 (Reply 24):
As an employee it is your obligation to do your best to help the company turn a profit or accomplish it's goal(s).

No, it's not. It's your obligation to fullfill the terms of your contract, whatever those terms may be. *If* your contract includes doing your best to help the company turn a profit or accomplish its goals (an a well setup contract may very well include that language) then, and only then, is that your obligation.

Tom.


User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5618 posts, RR: 28
Reply 24, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2404 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 26):

No, it's not. It's your obligation to fullfill the terms of your contract, whatever those terms may be. *If* your contract includes doing your best to help the company turn a profit or accomplish its goals (an a well setup contract may very well include that language) then, and only then, is that your obligation.

A more succinct illustration of the failure of organized labor (sorry, labour) I have never seen,.

A successful union / management relationship starts with the premise that a company which loses money cannot live to make its union-affiliated team members successful. Some forward-thinking unions have members and management which understand this key principle.

Then there's "Full pay to the last day" - how'd that work out?



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
25 tdscanuck : I think you misunderstood...I'm not suggesting not working for the benefit of the company is good idea, just that it's not an obligation. Just becaus
26 sccutler : Thank you very much for that clarification; I did indeed misunderstand the essence of your comment. It would be good if unions could be better about
27 bjorn14 : Contract negotiaters want the same thing "more for less"
28 MSYPI7185 : Spoken like someone who does not work in this industry. If you manage to get one of these jobs, you would certainly feel differently about it. Maybe
29 swa4life : No, what it reflects is that the preconceived notion of unions = bad for business is false. As you say, it's a common misnomer that Southwest in non
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