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WN & AirTran Pilots Union Have A Transition Plan  
User currently offlineKarlB737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3047 posts, RR: 10
Posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 6877 times:

In an effort to acquire a smooth transition between the two airlines Southwest has completed an agreement with the Pilot's union. I suppose this is a good idea to smooth things out as soon as possible. I say that because someone might state that this is putting the cart before the horse however the motive is right and lets hope the overall outcome is just as right.

Courtesy: PRNewswire

Southwest Airlines Announces New AirTran Transition Agreement With Its Pilots' Union

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Southw...es-prnews-3335627494.html?x=0&.v=1

[Edited 2011-02-24 08:52:50]

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinerl757pvd From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4630 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6818 times:

Delta and Northwest had their pilot issues squared away before the merger as well. and it was arguably one of the smoothest mergers completed to date.

I believe another thread on here mentions that WN can not place their code on FL flights, so they cant get the benefits until they are under an SOC



Experience is what you get when what you thought would work out didn't!
User currently offlineluv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12090 posts, RR: 50
Reply 2, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6784 times:

And yet US still has not worked out it issues and how long has it been.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineFL787 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1531 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6745 times:

Just to clarify, ALPA, the pilot union for AirTran, has not agreed to anything. This is just an agreement between WN and SWAPA.

Things seem to be progressing nicely so far. I don't know if there's any truth to what someone told me but they said that the DOT has already cleared the merger and the ball is now in the DOJ's court.



717,72S,732/3/4/5/G/8/9,744,752/3,763/4,772/3,D9S/5,M8/90,D10,319/20/21,332/3,388,CR2/7/9,EM2,ER4,E70/75/90,SF3,AR8
User currently offlineAtlwest1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 1046 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6525 times:

Quoting FL787 (Reply 3):
Things seem to be progressing nicely so far. I don't know if there's any truth to what someone told me but they said that the DOT has already cleared the merger and the ball is now in the DOJ's court.

COuld be very true FL787 because lately things have been picking up a bit, not to mention things seem to be happening behind both scenes.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co. or Airt
User currently offlineenilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 6838 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6380 times:

Quoting rl757pvd (Reply 1):
I believe another thread on here mentions that WN can not place their code on FL flights, so they cant get the benefits until they are under an SOC

It's possible this agreement allows for that code share. One would imagine that would be an obvious ask for this type of agreement.


User currently offlineAtlwest1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 1046 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6074 times:

Quoting atrude777 (Reply 6):
Relevant to its submitted plan, Southwest clarified that after the transaction close, which is currently anticipated to occur during the second quarter of 2011, all certificated and flight-related AirTran Employees (Pilots, Dispatchers, Flight Attendants, Mechanics, Schedulers, etc.) will maintain their AirTran employment status at least until the SOC is issued by the FAA for the combined carriers. The logistics of how and when this group of certificated employees will then be transitioned to Southwest employment status has yet to be determined.

http://www.southwest.com/html/cs/inv...stor_relations/if_news_events.html

Southwest Airlines Confirms FAA Acceptance of Transition Plan for AirTran Airways Acquisition

Looks like the talk of all the FL people being cast out is null. The portion saying when these employees will become full southwest employees "has yet to be determined", simply implies that because of contractual and union issues that a firm date cant be quantified. Once integration of seniority issues have been worked out it will be short order.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co. or Airt
User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2195 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5773 times:

Quoting FL787 (Reply 3):
Just to clarify, ALPA, the pilot union for AirTran, has not agreed to anything. This is just an agreement between WN and SWAPA.


This^^^^^^^^

SWAPA and ALPA have a ways to go, probably into arbitration.



I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently offlineFL787 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1531 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5733 times:

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 8):
SWAPA and ALPA have a ways to go, probably into arbitration.

There's no doubt it's going to arbitration. If they could skip negotiations I'm sure both sides would. It will end up being some sort of ratio integration with a possible fence on the 717.



717,72S,732/3/4/5/G/8/9,744,752/3,763/4,772/3,D9S/5,M8/90,D10,319/20/21,332/3,388,CR2/7/9,EM2,ER4,E70/75/90,SF3,AR8
User currently offlinebjorn14 From Norway, joined Feb 2010, 3277 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5677 times:

It could be WN just decides to staple everybody at FL...cuz that's what they told the pilots...just sayin'


"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
User currently offlineFL787 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 1531 posts, RR: 12
Reply 10, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5577 times:

Quoting bjorn14 (Reply 9):
It could be WN just decides to staple everybody at FL...cuz that's what they told the pilots...just sayin'

That's no longer possible because of the McCaskill-Bond amendment.



717,72S,732/3/4/5/G/8/9,744,752/3,763/4,772/3,D9S/5,M8/90,D10,319/20/21,332/3,388,CR2/7/9,EM2,ER4,E70/75/90,SF3,AR8
User currently offline737tanker From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 258 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5386 times:

Quoting enilria (Reply 5):
It's possible this agreement allows for that code share. One would imagine that would be an obvious ask for this type of agreement.

The agreement between SWAPA and SWA does not waive any part of Section 1, which covers codeshare. So as of now WN can not codeshare with FL, even after WN buys FL. If WN wants to codeshare with FL they will have to come back and ask SWAPA for a waiver to Section 1. If WN has asked SWAPA for the waiver it hasn't been agreed to, and once agreed to it will require a vote of the entire membership for that waiver to be approved!


User currently offlineflybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1798 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 5130 times:

So during mergers there always seems to be some kind of 'seniority' issue with pilots. How are most of these resolved... pilots from the dominant airline in the merger end up on top of the merged seniority list or is there compromise? What did seniority lists look like after the US/AW and DL/NW mergers? I'd figure F.O.'s from the non-dominant carriers tend to always get screwed in merger deals.


"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5429 posts, RR: 6
Reply 13, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5018 times:

Quoting luv2fly (Reply 2):
And yet US still has not worked out it issues and how long has it been.

This is exactly why carriers are now taking care of the union issues BEFORE a merger takes place.

Quoting flybyguy (Reply 12):
How are most of these resolved

Very differently. Fences, ratios, etc...

Quoting flybyguy (Reply 12):
What did seniority lists look like after the US/AW

The same as before the US/HP merger, since they're still not integrated at the pilot (or f/a) level.

If USAPA didn't break the law, the top 500 spots would have gone to the US pilots, the furloughed US pilots would be at the bottom (below the HP pilots), and everyone inbetween would be merged based on relative seniority (ie, US pilot #501 would be above HP pilot 1, who would be above US pilot 502, etc...)



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently onlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12420 posts, RR: 100
Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3869 times:
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Quoting luv2fly (Reply 2):

And yet US still has not worked out it issues and how long has it been.

Which is why WN must take care of this early.

Quoting FL787 (Reply 3):
This is just an agreement between WN and SWAPA.

That is half the battle.

Quoting FL787 (Reply 3):
Just to clarify, ALPA, the pilot union for AirTran, has not agreed to anything.

WN has a trump card. They could let the 717 leases expire (2014-2017). I do not think WN will do this... I'm just saying that if ALPA and its members chooses to not play nice, why should WN?

I hope this is resolved well... I find it disgusting how often the unions make the merged airline a weak dying beast (US).
There should be a provision in the railroad labor act to smooth the transition. e.g., true binding arbitration where the government appointed representative truly can enforce a contract (based upon prior contracts). Say after a six month negotiation period.

Lightsaber



I've posted how many times?!?
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8204 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3711 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 14):
I find it disgusting how often the unions make the merged airline a weak dying beast (US).

That is vastly over stated. A.net people lose more sleep over it than either US pilots or executives. It's not that important. US (or UA) have any number of disparate pilot groups among regional, mainline. There are economies of scale such that any impact can be minimized. Equipment types ALREADY have disparate pilot groups who can't cross flow. It's less than ideal but in the scheme of things, you go on with life. US had a profit margin in line with the industry IIRC.


User currently offlineHarleyDriver From United States of America, joined May 2010, 80 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3647 times:

The reason senority is the sticking issue in all airliner mergers is that senority is everything. When you get hired as an FO you have an expectation that after a certain amount of time based on the historical advancement times of that airline that you should be able come off reserve and bid lines at a certain point, then after so many years at you should be able to upgrade to captain. When a company folds and you are technically unemployed then its different and while not welcomed its expected to start at the bottom of a new company. In a merger its treated more like an integration and you should still have the same career expectations be it if you work for the airline that is taking over the other company or the company that is being taken over. It seems that the issue with HP/US is that the HP pilots had an expected rate to captain that was faster then a pilot at US would have had at their company and if the HP pilots were given a senority date that would have kept them where they would have been with the US senority date, then the US pilots would be put further back in the expected time to upgrade. This observation is just based on what I read here so I could have errors based on actual facts.


Department of Redundancy Department
User currently offlineSPREE34 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 2195 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3356 times:

Quoting flybyguy (Reply 12):
What did seniority lists look like after the US/AW

Google Nicolau SLI arbitration. You may find what should be.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 14):
true binding arbitration where the government appointed representative truly can enforce a contract

When men of honor and integrity agree to arbitration, it's not an issue.

The Nicolau arbitration is, in a manner, in the courts. That is where it will be enforced.



I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3156 times:

Quoting HarleyDriver (Reply 16):
When a company folds and you are technically unemployed then its different and while not welcomed its expected to start at the bottom of a new company. In a merger its treated more like an integration and you should still have the same career expectations be it if you work for the airline that is taking over the other company or the company that is being taken over.

It seems that the issue with HP/US is that the HP pilots had an expected rate to captain that was faster then a pilot at US would have had at their company and if the HP pilots were given a senority date that would have kept them where they would have been with the US senority date, then the US pilots would be put further back in the expected time to upgrade. This observation is just based on what I read here so I could have errors based on actual facts.

It seems to be a fair rendering of things as I understand them.

The issue is that in most cases where a strong airline takes over a weak airline, the weak company hasn't actually folded, so it's employees don't feel they've lost their bargaining rights. And one can understand that, one hangs on to whatever leverage one can.

You would say then why doesn't the strong airline wait for the fold and buy up the assets in bankruptcy, and the answer is that then they'd have to bid for the assets which involves a degree of risk so they'd rather just buy the thing in one big piece for a known price and get rid of the parts they don't want.

But then, what are the career expectations for someone working for a dying airline such as when AA took over TW or HP took over US?

The union of the strong company will say nil, whereas the union of the weak company will point to expectations when members joined and the company was far healthier.

It's even more complicated with HP/US where a smaller, younger, healthier company took over a larger, older, weaker company.

Luckily, in WN/FL, FL is in good shape. WN paid a solid premium over market to acquire FL, and it seems to me there is not going to be excessive drama as the unions and company negotiate.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineAtlwest1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 1046 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3138 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 18):
Luckily, in WN/FL, FL is in good shape. WN paid a solid premium over market to acquire FL, and it seems to me there is not going to be excessive drama as the unions and company negotiate.

I add that part of the reason for no excessive drama is the fact that the employee groups want very badly to be a part of WN and are willing to cooperate and work towards that. One of the few cases in a Aquimerger scenario where the employees of the aquired actually want to be with the new company.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co. or Airt
User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3127 times:

Quoting Atlwest1 (Reply 19):
I add that part of the reason for no excessive drama is the fact that the employee groups want very badly to be a part of WN and are willing to cooperate and work towards that. One of the few cases in a Aquimerger scenario where the employees of the aquired actually want to be with the new company.

So the next question would be how happy the WN pilot group is about the merger, and this first agreement with the company seems to indicate that they are willing to play ball.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinefxra From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 700 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2892 times:

Quoting Atlwest1 (Reply 19):
I add that part of the reason for no excessive drama is the fact that the employee groups want very badly to be a part of WN and are willing to cooperate and work towards that. One of the few cases in a Aquimerger scenario where the employees of the aquired actually want to be with the new company.

I wouldn't go that far. Sure the WN ethos is in full swing and the FL employees want to be treated well. But at what cost? The people own in MCO will have to sell, most likely at a loss, to move out to DAL. That comes with uprooting families and leaving friends behind. And losing money in the deal. Or i the spouses have great jobs they don't want to leave.

Pilot wise, will they fence the FL bases and seats so WN can't bump half the ATL based crews to an OAK base?? Suddenly you go from being a line holder living in base to commuting to sit reserve across the country. The seniority issue, again, will be a big one for the union groups.

To view WN as a savior coming to show the FL employees the way to the land of milk and honey is a bit arrogant. FL was making money in a tough economic climate, and WN can really use their knowledge for flying outside the US, as well as the human and physical capitol to expand the WN brand and market share.

At any rate, no matter what happens, a significant number of people are gonna feel disenfranchised... on both sides. But you can't pleas everyone.



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