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Comair Pilot Talks Resume; Any Hope?  
User currently offlineFrostbite From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 396 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1807 times:

Comair and its striking pilots have resumed negotiations. Does anybody see anything coming of this? Comair's heels seem firmly planted. The pilots have something firmly planted too...I won't mention what and where, you can probably figure that out for yourself. My take on the whole issue is that the pilots are simply asking too much...this is a deregulated free market economy folks, and the downturn we're seeing is if anything continuing to accelerate. Comair pilots deserve generous raises...but they have to allow Comair to remain viable in a tenaciously competitive industry.

Realistically, Comair is doomed. Comair has no long-term future if they meet the pilots' demands. Seems to me, Comair pilots figure (correctly) that they can probably secure jobs elsewhere...besides, regional flying jobs have always for the most part been stepping stones to the "big bacon" of the majors. Do the Comair pilots really have much to lose? There's a lot of other airlines out there hiring pilots.

Your views?

45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLearpilot From United States of America, joined May 2001, 814 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1681 times:

If you were on the hiring board at an airline would you hire someone who had a hand in bringing down another airline? The boards do not consist of all pilots ya know.


Heed our warnings or your future will be underpant free!
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1676 times:

Well, if they have to get new jobs, they'll loose all their senority. They'll be dreaming about the days when they were making what they were bringing in at Comair, as opposed to the less than $20k they'll be making as first year F/Os.

User currently offlineTwotterwrench From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1662 times:

Personnally, I would never hire anyone who had ever been affiliated with ALPA unless they agreed to sign away their rights to ever join a union again and an apology for all the price gouging their terrorist jack booted thug union leaders have brought upon the american public. I hope the jackasses at Comair end up working at McDonalds. Serves em right for what they did to their airline and their fellow employees.

User currently offlineSoku39 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1797 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1654 times:

Yep those pilots are sending there own airline barreling into the ground.


The Ohio Player
User currently offlineCV640 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 952 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1650 times:

It is intersting to see how many will be left. Airtran has been hiring them like its going out of style. JetBlue too has been interviewing them like mad and I hear Exec Jet has also sent its hiring team up to CVG. I know Northwest Airlink and Air Wisconsin have also been hiring quite a few of their crews. It'll be intersting to see if they'll just slowly fade away, replaced, closed down, or settle since they'll just be a significantally smaller airline. Although Delta will soon have to deal with ASA which is asking for a smiliar contract to what Comair has been asking for.

User currently offlineDE727UPS From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 814 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1654 times:

I think DL management has realized that a Comair with properly compensated pilots is better than no Comair at all. They have realized that ASA is next, and ALPA's not going to roll over, so they might as well fix the problem now. At the same time, ALPA's not going to get all they asked for....which is as it should be. I doubt the two sides would have bothered talking again if it hadn't been for the pressure exerted by CVG area businesses and travelers to get Mineta involved as a mediator. Good luck to the Comair pilots to get a fair agreement they can live with....

User currently offlineAlpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1648 times:

Good Lord, Twotterwrench, don't hide your feelings like that! Let us know what you REALLY think?  Smile

And DE727UPS, you are consistent. Taking that ALPA line to the end. There's one problem with what you said-the only deal the Comair pilots will find "fair" is the one that gives them everything. If the pilots don't budge, DL will NOT give into their ridiculous demands, and would rather fold Comair than to have a company that would be unprofitable.


User currently offlineWillfly4food From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 74 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1632 times:

twotterwrench you wouldn't be able to hire any pilots then. I don't know one pilot who doesn't agree with and support what those guys at CMR are doing. If Delta is stupid enough to let them go then they will have the same problem with ASA. "Greedy"? you don't think beyond your own sad little world. Now that the regionals have gone to jet fleets that will kill the F100 at places like USAirways many RJ pilots want to make a career of flying for the regionals. They need retirement and fair (at least livable) wages. The Idea that the only option is to go to a major and be number 10,000 at age 35 is bulls%&*. You wouldn't know about that you live and work in the same place, go home everynight after work, didn't pay $28,000 on top of college tuition, and spend the first 5 years of your career making less than $18,000 per year.

I hope that all regional pilots do the same thing. Put these companies out of business until they relize they need to make an environment for their pilots that is fair livable and maybe even permanent.


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4499 posts, RR: 33
Reply 9, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1618 times:

Willfly4food: "If Delta is stupid enough to let them go, then they will have the same problem with ASA."

Who's not thinking beyond their own little world here? The regionals are simply not a big enough part of the majors' total traffic, to blackmail the majors into doubling regional cockpit costs. ASA ALPA wants to make a suicide run too? Let them. Delta will let them go down too. It's a free market now, and reasonable wages not blackmail settlements are the order of the day.

Besides, the airlines won't be able to make up vast regional cost increases with higher fares. Consumers won't stand for it. Ninety nine percent of America does not get an exemption from economic reality, and we're not subsidizing one for airline pilots.

It's unlikely that Comair is unlikely to increase its generous offer much if at all, and it's unlikely that ALPA will settle for anything less than total victory. To Secretary Mineta all I can say is, good luck.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineYoungDon From United States of America, joined May 2001, 407 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1618 times:

Willfly4food, what you just said is full of s#!t. The pilots at Comair are definetely asking for a contract that will cause the airline to be realistically unprofitable. The point of unions is not to ask for outrageous wages, but to create an environment that allows for fair working conditions and wages. ALPA is using its usual tactics to give Comair an ultimatum: 1) agree to our unreasonable demands 2)fold. What the company is offering is more than fair, and is quite reasonable in my opinion. I see where you're coming from with the idea that some pilots might want to have a permanent career with a regional airline, but the vast majority still want some sort of job advancement. And that means moving on in most cases. I don't mean to sound dogmatic, but its just how I feel.

User currently offlinePolAir From United States of America, joined May 2001, 893 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1616 times:

Willy4food is right. Come on guys. Those pilots from Comair are fighting for right thing. They want to paid for a number of passengers that thay are carying. I hope all regionals will do the same thing. The fly as much sopfhisticated wquipment as any majors so they should be paid close to majors. delta is going to losse this battle. same thing will happened to ASA. delta will be left without any regionals. I mean come on, 18K/year for a guy who spent at leat 50K for eduaction is a JOKE!!!!!! Other airlines will just recruit all those 1300 well qualified pilots, and leave Delta with nothing.

User currently offlineKohflot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 1615 times:

I've been staying out of the Comair debate for a while now, but..

It's my understanding that the major sticking point between the union and the airline is not pay.. I believe the new contract does offer the highest pay in the regional industry (beating out the new ACA contract by something like 1%). The problem seems to be the work rules, back-pay, and retirement issues. This is why I don't understand the ALPA line on the whole deal. These pilots are turning down a good contract just on the notion that they can get something better. But why not sign the contract, get on with life, and "raise the bar" a little more when the next contract is due? And every argument I've heard is about how Comair pilots are the lowest paid, etc. etc. But once again, pay is not the issue. I have yet to have someone explain to me that the reason why 2000+ people are looking for other jobs right now is because the pilots MUST have a retirement system in place between now and 2005 or whenever the next contract is due.

Willfly4food - Yes, pay is low in the first 5 years of a flying career.. and yes, Comair pay was lower than a lot of other companies. But let's look 10-15-20 years down the road. While most people are lucky to be making double what they started with, most of those pilots will easily be making over $100,000 a year. Not to mention the fact that the low pay was and is no secret, but they chose to fly airplanes for a living anyway. You hope that regionals go out of business until they pay more... What happens when those regionals go out of business precisely because they suffer from skyrocketing costs and stagnant income? Where does that leave new pilots then?


User currently offlineDE727UPS From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 814 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1605 times:

I keep hearing the argument that Comair won't make it if they agree to something close to what the pilots are asking for. Comair had significantly higher margins than mainline DL under the old contract. I don't believe that a richer pilot contract is gonna kill them....might cost the DL stockholders a bit...but not put them under. If Comair wants to stay in the game they will have to pay the price....a price they can afford. If not....they can close it up and walk away....these days many of the pilots will be able to find other jobs....that's the free market for you.

User currently offlineMiller22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 717 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1600 times:

As much as I enjoy these threads, I truly hope it ends in the next 72 hours.

One thing I can't stand is to hear everyone complain about pilots only getting $18,000 a year. That is only the first year folks, then it jumps to 28K. During that first year the pilot is in training and on probation. The company spends another $11K - $15K on them in training expenses, of which they spend three months in, effectively giving the airline only nine months of flying during the first year.

I don't agree with ALPA, but I would if they would did one thing. Take the money they are paying the pilots, and give it to the 2000 other employees who were laid off because of the pilots. The pilots never had to suffer for this strike, at least not like the other people they made suffer. The sacrifices made to improve pilot's quality of life, haven't been made by pilots.

Don't call yourselves hero's to the industry if all you did was take the money you got in your raise from the now unemployed workers. While the pilots choose to sit at home making $1,400 a month, the rampies and mechanics have no choice but to sit at home and make $0.


User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1597 times:
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Willy4food, you wrote:

I hope that all regional pilots do the same thing. Put these companies out of business until they relize they need to make an environment for their pilots that is fair livable and maybe even permanent.

Now, unless I missed something, there's no law that guarantees pilots out of a job. The way it usually works is that to have a job you must have an employer.

If your goal is the complete destruction of companies who won't write you a blank check, then you are, plain and simple, foolish. You're destroying the company that will provide for your family.

Especially in cases where people wish to build careers there, everyone at Comair -- and any corporation for that matter -- has a responsibility to contribute to the corporation as a member of a team. The thousands of non-Union jobs that are at risk here show what happens to a team when it's turned on its head by a greedy and misguided few.


User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8897 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1591 times:

Why can't the president come in and force Comair to operate? That's what he should do.

Jeff


User currently offlineAlpha 1 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1579 times:

PolAir, the number of passengers per plane, for the most part, isn't increasing dramatically enough to warrent an 85% pay raise, if that's what you're basing it on. Most regionals had turboprobs that sat between 18 and 60 people, on average. Most regional jets now seat between 37 and 50 people, so the actual count overall isn't growing by that much. Even if it was a huge increase per aircraft, it doesn't justify an 85% increase.

User currently offlineMikeymike From United States of America, joined May 2000, 406 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1573 times:

THe only thing I have to add is that any Pilot who paid $50K for there education and thinks they should make twice that in the first year is full of crap. No offense, I believe pilots need to make good money too, and that $18k/ first year is ridiculous...but hell I paid $110K for my education and made barely a little more than that my first year but I'm not whining up and down the river. Pay your dues then you'll have a platform to speak from that isn't full of soap!

yes..yes..I know all you other pilots have platforms to speak on, but don't regurgitate poor arguments to me and please, don't give me verbatim the ALPA propaganda that I can clearly read off there website. Constructive arguments only, and I must say that this thread seems to be more constructive and less volatile than others...hopefully I haven't jinxed this.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


User currently offlineCV640 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 952 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1570 times:

The president can only force operations for 60 days and then the pilots would eb free to go back on strike. If he did that all Comair could do is retrain its flight crews and aybe get 25% of its flights operating for a week before the 60 days would expire. Its up to Comair and the pilots now. Its going to be a while, most in the industry figured it would take months and it is looking like it will. If strikes aren't settled within 2 weeks they have a history or dragging on.

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 20, posted (13 years 2 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1572 times:

the problem is of course that for Delta/Comair to give in to ALPA will be setting a precedent, it will spark strikes all over the industry.
It is better to have Comair go down in flames than to risk the fire from spreading.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineYoungDon From United States of America, joined May 2001, 407 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (13 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1538 times:

Comair should not give into the pilots demands. The airline has given the pilots, according to a previous post, the highest pay in the commuter field. I don't know what their doing in the benefits field, but they need to work it out. The airline should give a little and ALPA should give a little. But many people are suffering due to this prolonged strike, especially those that were laid off.

User currently offlineBigo747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (13 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1533 times:

"Now that the regionals have gone to jet fleets that will kill the F100 at places like USAirways many RJ pilots want to make a career of flying for the regionals. They need retirement and fair (at least livable) wages. "


Just because I feel like making a career cooking burritos at taco bell doesn't mean they have to pay me $100 g's and retirment benifits. Come on, these guys knew what they were signing up for.


User currently offlineCAETravlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 908 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (13 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1525 times:

If you think about it, Comair must really feel that it would be way too expensive to give the pilots what they are asking for. If you consider the cost of having an airline grounded, they are spending lots of money not to pay the pilots. At the same time, the pilots are losing nothing, but holding out, because the union is sending them money. This whole pilot solidarity thing has gone too far. Think about it, if Comair is willing to stay grounded for this long, don't the pilots realize that there is a reason they cannot get everything that they are asking for? I hate to see Comair go away, and all of those people lose their jobs, but the elitist mentality of the ALPA may just bring it to that point.


A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
User currently offlineTT737FO From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 472 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (13 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1526 times:

Some interesting comments from some interesting people:

Learpilot said: "The boards do not consist of all pilots ya know."

He is absolutely correct! Usually interview boards will have an intern or lowly HR flunky to ask such questions as: "What are your faults", "What's your greatest strength". Thanks Learpilot for bringing that factoid to light.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Flyf15 said: "They'll be dreaming about the days
when they were making what they were bringing in at Comair, as opposed to the less than $20k they'll be making as first year F/Os."


Two things I have to say about this: (1). Airlines such as AirTran, JetBlue, AirWhiskey are snapping up Comair pilots. Their pay is much better for their probationaries than most other regionals. Thus, you won't see too many Comair pilots griping. Their efforts will pay off. (2). The ALPA group at COMAIR should push for any and everything they can get. COMAIR is profitable, the company is large, the RJs are going toe to toe on mainline routes...thus the pilots should not settle for the short end of the stick.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Twotterwrench, one of my favorite posters had this gem of wisdom that we should all live by: "Personnally, I would never hire anyone who had ever been affiliated with ALPA unless they agreed to sign away their rights to ever join a union again and an apology for all the price gouging their terrorist
jack booted thug union leaders have brought upon the american public. I hope the jackasses at Comair end up working at McDonalds. Serves em right for what they did to their airline and their fellow employees."


I think the heart of his problem is that he shared a cell with a pilot who was much bigger than him.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DE727UPS: "Comair had significantly higher margins than mainline DL under the old contract. I don't believe that a richer pilot contract is gonna kill them....might cost the DL stockholders a
bit...but not put them under. If Comair wants to stay in the game they will have to pay the price. a price they can afford. If not....they can close it up and walk away....these days many of the pilots will be able to find other jobs....that's the free market for you."


He's absolutely right.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My final thoughts are as follows:

(1). The COMAIR pilot group will probably get very close to what they are asking for in the end, and it will do nothing but help the regional pilot industry wide. When you add it all up, the expense and time of paying a pilot is comparable to the costs associated with medical school. No one is arguing the fact that probationaries have to suck it up, but when you work for a LARGE, PROFITABLE CARRIER, and make less than your peers...you have every right to assert your rights. That's why ALPA exists.

(2). Air Wisconsin pilots will strike if necessary. This Comair situation will have some interesting implications for it too. Will be interesting to watch.

(3). Stay strong my Comair bros!




25 Miller22 : BLAH! The posts in this thread are so transparent. The posters who are pilots, back ALPA and the posters who are not pilots back Comair for the most p
26 Alpha 1 : TT737FO...another ALPA butt-kisser. And I think you're dead wrong, TT. I don't think ALPA will get NEAR what they wanted. If they get anything, it wil
27 Alpha 1 : And Miller, have you noticed that JETPILOT, DE727UPS, and TT737FO all resort to name-calling when someone challenges the union propoganda? It's like t
28 CAETravlr : Your last post was completely uncalled for. I know that Miller22 seems to have been coming from the mgmt side, but he has his right to an opinion just
29 Skychuck : I'm a union member myself, but I wouldn't jeopardize the livelyhood of 1,000's of people. Ask for more than the company offers, meet in the middle. Th
30 CAETravlr : I did not mention that there are several airlines for whose management I have complete disdain. The two major ones I feel this way about are United an
31 Lowfareair : >>spend the first 5 years of your career making less than $18,000 per year.
32 DCA-ROCguy : TT737F0, you can rant about your "bros" all you want, but the hard cold fact is that unions and management aren't the only parties involved in the Com
33 Delta737 : Required reading for anyone who doesn't believe unions belong at the airlines. This is a look at pre-union work rules and pay issues. "Flying the Line
34 CAETravlr : TT737FO, You mention in another thread that the airline that you work for is UAL. I have one question for you. In your Us vs. Management mentality, wh
35 CAETravlr : Mr. Taylor, I never said that unions did not have their place. I am just saying that I disagree with some of their tactics, and the propoganda they ha
36 DE727UPS : Milller22..."This is now...2001 workers have no choice but to join a union, and have to pay the fees. Unions (ALPA) will screw over other work groups
37 CV640 : I have heard secodn hand the reason the pilots are supporting the FAs at United is that they have a number of year sleft on their contract. Plus they
38 DE727UPS : CAETravlr.... You ask why don't airline pilot unions support the other unions on the property. Sometimes they do... I can only speak from personal exp
39 Goingboeing : TT737FO said: "Airlines such as AirTran, JetBlue, AirWhiskey are snapping up Comair pilots. Their pay is much better for their probationaries than mos
40 CAETravlr : CV640 - I guess I can understand some of that. I think that what the F/As that I know with UAL are most upset about is that they supported the pilots
41 Lowfareair : >>If you are on the senority list then you are on the senority list....they can't take that away.
42 Twotterwrench : ALPA pilot's speak and all I hear is BAA... BAA....BAA... sheep led to the slaughter by the hubris of their "leadership." The big picture doesn't supp
43 Frostbite : Wow, I didn't expect to hear from so many on this. We'll have something more substantive to wrangle over tomorrow, when there will be some official in
44 Alpha 1 : Mr. Taylor, I don't need to read that piece. Like others, we realize the value of unions over the years in helping employees in all fields in this cou
45 Dash8tech : First off, the regional pilots deserve a bit more than they get. No doubt about it. But some of them are asking for a helluva lot more than reasonable
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