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Bush Moves To Halt AA STRIKE...  
User currently offlineNralife From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1059 times:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/aponline/20010625/aponline194647_000.htm


Bush Could Intervene in Labor Talks
By Christopher Newton
Associated press Writer
Monday, June 25, 2001; 7:46 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON –– President Bush will order an emergency panel to review the labor dispute between American Airlines and its flight attendants, delaying the potential for a strike well beyond the upcoming July 4th holiday period, his spokesman said late Monday.

The 30-day cooling off period expires June 30, leaving the possibility of a strike by the American flight attendants if additional White House action is not taken.

"The President is concerned that a major airline strike could threaten the economy," said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer in a statement.

"He also wants to assure the flying public that they can enjoy the upcoming Fourth of July holiday without fear that their travel plans will be disrupted by a strike at American Airlines," he continued.

The creation of an emergency board automatically begins a further 60-day "cooling-off" period, during which a strike would be illegal. Under labor law, the board is directed to begin an investigation into the dispute and offer a nonbinding settlement plan within the 60 days.

The American flight attendants have been working without a new contract for more than two years. In February, they voted to authorize a strike. But under federal law, airline employees can strike only if a mediator declares that contract talks are hopelessly deadlocked.

The flight attendants rejected a tentative agreement in 1999. The union resumed talks in early 2000 with a new negotiating team and a tougher stance.

American Airlines and the union representing its mechanics and ramp workers reached agreement on a new contract on Sunday that provides for immediate base pay raises of 8 percent to 22 percent for different job classifications. Workers would get a 3 percent raise in the second year, and another 3 percent raise during the third year.

Earlier Monday, The National Mediation Board recommended that President Bush create an emergency board for the dispute involving the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents 23,000 flight attendants. It was a necessary first step that allows the president to get involved.

The action by Bush marks the second time he has stepped in to a conflict between an airline and a union. Bush blocked a strike this spring between Northwest Airlines and its union of mechanics.

Intervention by presidents in airline disputes has been unusual since the Nixon administration, which concluded that labor negotiations were hampered by an expectation that the White House would step in and prevent a strike..

President Clinton appointed an airline emergency board in the 1997 to end a strike by American Airlines pilots just minutes after it began.

–––

On the Net: National Mediation Board: http://www.nmb.gov



23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineL1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1665 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 964 times:
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Does this mean there will definitely be no strike at AA in July, or does this mean there might not be a strike? I am supposed to fly AA to Alaska on July 10 on a very expensive ticket, and I haven't been too excited about my trip like I usually am because I keep thinking my flights will not operate. Do I have reason to now be optimistic?

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA



Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 17
Reply 2, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 958 times:

You shouldn't have a problem, Bob. The PEB will be a "back to work" order and extend the deadline for a stike for 60 days.

User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39659 posts, RR: 75
Reply 3, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 955 times:

And who is Bush to order someone back to work?  Pissed


Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineRoastedNutz From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 952 times:


Superfly:

Bush is only the most powerful man on the face of the Earth. (By title anyway)


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4487 posts, RR: 33
Reply 5, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 956 times:

Who is Bush to order a labor group back to work? The person the Railway Labor Act says he is: the President of the US. Besides, if AA and their flight attendants really would rather screw tens of thousands of travelers rather than come to agreement, they can still do so. Under the RLA, the president only orders the union to stay on the job for a 60-day period while a presidential emergency board tries to work out an agreement.

After that, the two parties can still screw travelers nationwide if they want. Congress is then free to impose a settlement on the union, but with a divided Congress that's unlikely (unless enough Democrats have enough angry constituents to actually stand up to organized labor).

Fortunately, a PEB almost certainly guarantees there won't be a strike. That step has always worked in the past, as far as I know, as long as the president has been willing to appoint one. Anyone please correct me if wrong.

Jim


User currently offlineB757300 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 4114 posts, RR: 23
Reply 6, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 945 times:

Don't forget that Clinton used the NRLA to stop the AA pilot's strike.


"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 17
Reply 7, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 936 times:

Before the labor guys jump all over Bush - what would any other sitting president do? Give the 23,000 flight attendants the right to strike, or deprive the economy (comprised of over 200 million Americans) of millions of dollars per day in the flow of commerce? It's a no-brainer. If Congress is called upon to force a settlement, I think they'll do it.

User currently offlineOflove13 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 114 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 936 times:

I think its a good thing he will be stopping the strike, If i read it correctly they wanted to go on strike July 3rd which would really screw 1000 of holiday flyers, but Hey they dont call AA sky Nazi for nothing  Smile

User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39659 posts, RR: 75
Reply 9, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 930 times:

RoastedNutz:
>Bush is only the most powerful man on the face of the Earth. (By title anyway)
Scarry thought huh?

I think the flight attendants request should be honored. They do deserve it after all.




Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineUAL Bagsmasher From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2146 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 928 times:

Gee...what a surprise.....Gonna be a long 4 years....

User currently offlineLsjef From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 918 times:

Yup...

Bush...TX...AAL... ...no-brainer


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4487 posts, RR: 33
Reply 12, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 916 times:

Great informed commentary here.

Superfly, *why* do flight attendants deserve massive raises? Massive enough to raise the threat of a strike? Please give detailed information.

A long *four* years, Bagsmasher? Clinton appointed a PEB to end an AA pilot strike in 1994.

Same in reply to LSJef....Clinton intervened at AA and he's not from North Texas.

Airline strikes are extremely unpopular, and presidents of both parties know it. Besides, PEB's tend to work. The sides actually reach an agreement.

Jim


User currently offlineNralife From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 913 times:

Come on you Bush bashers... While I don't think he should intervene in the strike, Clinton DID the exact same thing at least once! Bush is a good man even if he is wrong on this issue...


Joe


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39659 posts, RR: 75
Reply 14, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 910 times:

DCA-ROCguy:
I don't need to give you detailed information.
I think there current pay is an insult. Flight attendants have to look out for our safety, serve meals, put up with a lot of arrogant business travelers and have to smile on top pf all of that.
Could you live on the salary a F/A lives on?



Bring back the Concorde
User currently offlineLON-CHI From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 219 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 905 times:

The most powerful man in the world has been in office for over 12 years - Alan Greenspan! Big grin

User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4487 posts, RR: 33
Reply 16, posted (13 years 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 900 times:

Yes, F/A's don't get high pay. Were I to apply to become one, I would do so at my own risk. I would be responsible for assessing the field and deciding whether or not I wanted to the work in question for the pay offered.

Still need information though. AA is no doubt offering increased pay in the new contract, like every other airline contract offered in the last couple of years. The question is how much, and whether the amount offered justifies the threat of a strike.

Jim


User currently offlineTan flyr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1903 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (13 years 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 891 times:

Not only does this help ensure that tens of thousands of holiday & business travelers can not worry about strike affected flights, so can dozens upon dozens of shippers that use the cargo capacity of AA. Many of the destinations in the Caribbean rely on AA for fresh foods, medical supplies, etc. that arrive daily on those flights.

This is going to come across the wrong way, however,... no one is forcing anyone to work for AA or any other airline. If an employee is so frustrated with pay, benefits, or whatever they should move on and find a different vocation.


User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8892 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (13 years 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 875 times:

LON-CHI, I have to agree with you about the most powerful man in the world - Alan Greenspan. Bush would not let a strike happen that would affect millions of consumers (AA carries over 1 million pax every week). Personally, I commend the President for taking this iniative.

Jeff (R-MA)


User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7758 posts, RR: 16
Reply 19, posted (13 years 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 861 times:

While unionism does not seem to be too popular on this board I do feel President Bush's actions are pre-mature and applied unevenly. From the posted article it did not say that strike was imminent... maybe one or two weeks off. Perhaps it would be more prudent to go ahead at the point where negiations fail and appoint the board and halt the strike.

However if a President is going to use this power, then lets use it in all cases. Why was there not a board appointed for the Comair strike? Were there not thousands of passengers, especially in small midwestern towns, that were adversely effected by the strike? Shouldn't the needs of those who faced personal and economic hardship have been dealt with better? I think it should have. Now I do understand that American is on a scale many times bigger than Comair and the resulting personal and economic problems would be many times greater. But I see this as a way of big business to continue to call the shots and effectively reduce the demands of their employees. Many of you may not agree with these ideas, but fundamentally I think it is an issue of equity for employees and consumers.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4487 posts, RR: 33
Reply 20, posted (13 years 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 847 times:

Desert Jets: But I see this as a way of big business to continue to call the shots and effectively reduce the demands of their employees. Many of you may not agree with these ideas, but fundamentally I think it is an issue of equity for employees and consumers.

Jim: With all respect, DJ, and I respect you a lot, this matter is not one of labor v. management. It's one of whether the market--consumers, business and leisure, being allowed to set the value of a product according to free choice, rather than propping up a pre-deregulation gravy train for management and employees.

Big business hasn't really called the shots on airline labor costs for over a generation. The cost structure and work-rule structure at most major airlines was set in the last fifteen years before deregulation, when a cozy Federal sugar daddy not the market was determining costs. Just accept another big contract and the CAB would approve fare hikes to pass the cost along to the mostly-business fliers, as Thomas Petzinger has noted in Hard Landing.

Despite the turbulent '80s and Frank Lorenzo, cost structures at the Six surviving Families are still well above what the market can reliably support. This is why high-yield business traffic plunges whenever the economy softens....$800-1500 domestic coach full fares are fine when there's money to burn (1999) but not when there isn't (2001). The Oligopoly/ Six Families airlines have still not rationalized their costs to the point where they aren't so vulnerable to booms and busts. This is where they need to learn from Southwest.

When I worked at a bank for a few years after college, I was not paid well. But I accepted that the market, not my desires, set my pay. So I left banking for something that interested me more and will pay better (academia). Airline unions need to learn the same lesson. Yes, they've done lots for safety, our union friends at this board never fail to remind us of this fact. But on the matter of costs they're woefully behind the times.

From what I've read, perpetual dependence upon PEB's was not the intent of the Railway Labor Act. Bush is trying not to use them all the time, and he saw an opportunity at Comair to try to let the collective bargaining process work. Unions are usually the most opposed to PEB's, by the way.

Bush may not have needed to rattle his saber so soon with the AA F/A's. But it probably would have needed to happen. Free market competition means work for all involved, not least for management. The airline industry's transition to a truly free market, especially for consumers and medium-and-small size communities who enjoy very uneven access to reasonable and low fares, is far from finished.

Jim


User currently offlineBHopsde From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (13 years 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 846 times:

I could pay for something else monthly with the money that my union dues are paid with! And would prefer to!

User currently offlineILOVEA340 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2100 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (13 years 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 846 times:

(this is coming from a true anti Shrub guy) Who the hell does he think he is? They have the right to strike. (F/A's aren't payed enough to start with) Why does he have to get his nose into all this stuff. Sure it would screw a few people over but they have a constitutionaly granted right to strike and while he has the right to postpone it hye should not abuse the power.

liberal pride...  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


User currently offlineILOVEA340 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 2100 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (13 years 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 844 times:

You're right, that is a very scary thought... Very Very scary... Very Very Very scary... I have a few swiss friends that refuse to come to the USA while our friend Shrub (as they call him) is in Power. (I think the fact that they are left, left, left Socialists may have something to do with it)(but hey all the power to them)

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