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US F/A's Vote No  
User currently offlineXcltflyboy From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 32 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6411 times:

US Airways flight attendants voted "no" on the recent collective bargaining agreement: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/us-air...ight-attendants-not-210100788.html

Anyone have some insight on the main sticking points that prevented ratification? Was it seniority integration, or perhaps merger protection in the wake of the AA-US merger chatter?

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4234 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6356 times:

I was reading the article, interesting that it was voted down by 75 percent of the membership. According to the article it gave East F/A's 11 percent raises and also gave West F/A's raises as well.

The one thing I wonder though is what the workrules were, and how SLI was handled. Given the 75 percent, I am guessing that SLI was a small factor. I don't know the other details though.

Still, when your union tells you you are not going to get a better deal and you vote it down anyways, I wonder what the thinking is.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6268 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 1):
Still, when your union tells you you are not going to get a better deal and you vote it down anyways, I wonder what the thinking is.

This reminds me of the AS SEA ramp. If this is as good as it gets, you better vote for it...otherwise it will come and bite you in the butt later. (Look where that got the AS SEA ramp....) I am not saying that US will outsource the FA's in any way, but the benefits and work rules will just get less and less, the company will not budge. I think what the US FA's did was probably not very smart in their interests at this time.

But then again, why the no vote happened is something I am interested to know. Anything is possible.

This crap has been going on for too long with the US/HP thing.... It is time to move on.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17322 posts, RR: 46
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6239 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 2):
I think what the US FA's did was probably not very smart in their interests at this time.

Maybe they're waiting to see how AA's FAs make out 



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4234 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6140 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 3):
Maybe they're waiting to see how AA's FAs make out

That would be very foolish on the FA's part. The AA flight attendants are going to end up with a bankruptcy imposed contract, and if past contracts are any indication, then management at US can use that as a starting point, which will probably end up being worse for the US FA's in the long run.

On the other hand, if this was a good contract and the US FA's had accepted it, then it would actually help the AA FA's as the judge would have to consider the new contract in a fair way before ruling on the AA contract


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 6129 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 4):
That would be very foolish on the FA's part.

Agreed but I wouldn't be surprised if that was actually happening......



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineblueheronNC From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 106 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5874 times:

Didn't the AFA negotiating committee unanimously approve this deal? What's the point of having a negotiating committee for your own union if you end up not respecting their conclusions?

[Edited 2012-03-30 16:46:52]

User currently offlinejayhup From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 452 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5402 times:

The US Airways management was so confident that this was a done deal that they were already meeting with vendors to change the work rules.

They were also communicating to vendors how this would push the pilots into an agreement and they could finally move on.

Since US East is the larger of the two groups I suspect that they were the ones who killed this but would be curious to know the actual voting numbers.

Foolish...


User currently offlineetops1 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 1068 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5140 times:

Here are the numbers...there were 1457 for and 4375 against . 90% of the membership voted . 25% for and 75 % against .

User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4985 posts, RR: 28
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5075 times:

It has to do with seniority integration. The labor situation at US is not healthy. Parker needs to get his ducks in a row, and get the labor problems fixed. This merger has proven to be a labor mess, and it has been far too long to not have it hammered out. Why does Parker continue to eye merging again? Should he and his team not fix the labor issues first, before looking at merging again? I could not even imagine the labor issues with AA US would inherit! It is overdue to fix this. Parker and team need to poop, or get off the pot.


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4234 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5053 times:

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 9):
It has to do with seniority integration. The labor situation at US is not healthy. Parker needs to get his ducks in a row, and get the labor problems fixed.

Everyone wants to blame Parker here, but the fact of the matter is seniority is a union issue, and while the company honors the seniority list and its governed by the union contract, it is still something that is agreed to by the union. Parker has tried to address this issue over and over again. The fact of the matter is Parker negotiated in good faith with the union, and came to a Tentative Agreement with the union. How is then Parker's fault that the membership didn't ratify the agreement that the company made in good faith with the union?

As far as the union goes, I can see seniority being a dispute on the pilot side, but on the Flight Attendants? I can't imagine many East flight attendants wanting to based in PHX and vice versa, and even so, it isn't like pilots where there is a captain and all that mumbo jumbo. The other thing is this. I believe the ratio of east to west F/A's is about 2 to 1. 75 percent voting no would be more than just East or West, but would incorporate people from both sides of the equation. I don't know much about the Flight Attendants union, but are the current union officals at US more from the East side or the West side?


User currently offlineetops1 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 1068 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5043 times:

Once again someone who knows nothing of what they are talking about . There is no seniority issue amongst the FA group . We already know we are getting date of hire . The issue mostly was pay , work rules , and a shady scope clause . Please know what you are talking about before you post .

[Edited 2012-03-30 23:52:01]

User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4234 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5029 times:

Quoting etops1 (Reply 11):
Once again someone who knows nothing of what they are talking about . There is no seniority issue amongst the FA group . We already know we are getting date of hire . The issue mostly was pay , work rules , and a shady scope clause . Please know what you are talking about before you post .

Couple of questions on that...The F/A's under this TA would have gotten an 11 percent raise, so how can they say pay is an issue? Secondly, what sort of work rules were problematic? Thirdly, since when does scope matter at the F/A level since by necessity the F/As would naturally be covered by the pilots scope clause?


User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4985 posts, RR: 28
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 5011 times:

Just to followup... I am not throwing Parker under the bus. I like Parker. I just think he needs to finish the building first, before turning it into a mansion.

Quoting etops1 (Reply 11):
Once again someone who knows nothing of what they are talking about . There is no seniority issue amongst the FA group . We already know we are getting date of hire . The issue mostly was pay , work rules , and a shady scope clause . Please know what you are talking about before you post .

That is pretty arrogant. I was told by a US West FA that it was a major reason for her to vote the way she did. I assumed hearing it from her, it was pretty credible. I have also been told that the east and west relationship is still dark. I think the fact the two sides are segregated is pretty unhealthy. Hence my concern of a potential AA combo. Would it not then create a darker internal working relationship? Sorry for contributing, but no need to be so harsh!



I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlinenws2002 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 883 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4805 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 12):
Thirdly, since when does scope matter at the F/A level since by necessity the F/As would naturally be covered by the pilots scope clause?

I don't trust the pilot union to be looking after anything other than their own best interest, just like they should be. Scope at the FA level will protect our jobs the same as it protects pilot jobs.


User currently offlinetoltommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3288 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4737 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 10):
Everyone wants to blame Parker here, but the fact of the matter is seniority is a union issue, and while the company honors the seniority list and its governed by the union contract, it is still something that is agreed to by the union.

Agreed. In fact, IIRC, both carriers (HP and US) were AFA premerger. AFA bylaws call for a merger between two AFA carriers to be done by straight seniority. Should be a non-issue. My feeling is that the work groups may feel that if the company can afford to buy yet another carrier, they can afford a better contract. May not be realistic, but union contracts rarely are.


User currently offline777ord From United States of America, joined May 2010, 489 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4013 times:

On a recent SAN-PHX flight on US Air, I had the "pleasure" of hearing one of the flight attendants rant about how United, Delta and even AA have this and that in their contracts. She continued to say that no one will vote it in if they do not get something like a 40% raise, hotels in the city in certain cities and new hires. Whether or not that's just her complaining, is something we'll never know. But, for some reason, they cry and complain for new and better working conditions, get the offer. Then turn it down. Unless there is some other reason for feeling sorry, please let me know. ( I have not seen these contracts)

User currently offlinenwaesc From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 3380 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3404 times:

On another forum frequented by US F/A's, the recurrent themes are:

Length of agreement

Small amount of raise

Issues with PBS

Lack of a "real" (my term) early out package.


SLI hasn't even been mentioned, since (as noted already) DOH is pretty much a forgone conclusion.



"Nothing ever happens here, " I said. "I just wait."
User currently offlineJFKPurser From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 486 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3173 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 4):
That would be very foolish on the FA's part. The AA flight attendants are going to end up with a bankruptcy imposed contract, and if past contracts are any indication, then management at US can use that as a starting point, which will probably end up being worse for the US FA's in the long run.

I agree. The likelihood that the judge will impose the AA term sheet is about 50/50 in my eyes. One reason why he might not, however, is the US TA itself -- it is far more generous that AA's term sheet and I am sure APFA has used it as evidence in making their case against AA -- presenting it as something US is willing to agree to that it believes will allow it to run at a profit.

I read through the US T/A. It's posted on their AFA website. Compared AA's 1113 term sheet, the US contract is a dream come true. I doubt many of them looked at what AA is proposing, though, They have their own internal issues they are dealing with, and their own expectations, so I doubt is has to do with AA.

I have heard that the increased medical costs are a deal breaker for many. If they are anything like the changes AA is proposing, I can totally understand why they would vote it down, despite the many caveats it contains. The US TA did not contain actual numbers on the medical costs and referred the reader to the US company website for that, so I am not privy to those figures.

Quoting 777ord (Reply 16):
On a recent SAN-PHX flight on US Air, I had the "pleasure" of hearing one of the flight attendants rant about how United, Delta and even AA have this and that in their contracts. She continued to say that no one will vote it in if they do not get something like a 40% raise, hotels in the city in certain cities and new hires.

The US TA did contain healthy hourly rates, good sick time accrual, the best vacation I have seen -- 35 days per year if you are over 26 years -- and what appeared to be decent protections from lost time. A lot of it I just did not understand or read because it was too lengthy and detailed.

Quoting nwaesc (Reply 17):
Length of agreement

Small amount of raise

Issues with PBS

Lack of a "real" (my term) early out package.

As far as PBS (preferential bidding), AA is forcing that into their contract proposal as well. AA FAs have resisted this for two contracts now successfully, but it appears the tide has finally risen against that fight. US will really have no choice -- it has become more or less industry standard. The biggest disadvantage to AA FAs is the inability to stretch a vacation out and be paid for it by bidding trips that touch either end of a vacation. Not sure if US has this now and doesn't want to give it up. If so, I don't blame them. It allows one to increase vacation and pay by about 50% in a best case scenario.

Early out -- well, my feeling is that it's foolish for any airline CEO not to invest in an early out at this point. Anyone between 60 and 65 would be foolish not to take one if offered. At AA, that is 10% of the FA corp. APFA made the case that offering about a year's salary as early out incentive along with retiree medical made financial sense in the long run by eliminating FAs at the top of the pay scale immediately and allowing them to hire new people at half the rate under the new, pensionless contract. That, to me, is smart business not only from a financial point of view, but also in terms of the goodwill you show your employees who have spent their lives there. UA did it very generously during their restructuring, and it may very well be what kept the FA workforce there from burning down headquarters. AA simply did not want to part with the cash. In the long run it's foolish because it keeps the whole seniority situation stagnant. Morale is lowered when seniority does not move for decades. Plus if you're 55-60, why would you want to retire under a contract that suddenly totally eliminated your retiree medical insurance before 65, or at the very least required you to pay something like $500 per month for it? You wouldn't retire -- you'd stay to 65. And continue to be paid double what a new hire would be paid. So I get that US is frustrated about this issue.

Nobody ever gets everything they want. These are negotiations. There is always give and take. In the end, when voting, you have to look at the whole package and ask if it's something you can live with after taking a look at the entire landscape on the industry and thinking hard about what is realistic in the context of that. In fat times you ask for more and hopefully get it -- I suppose the argument can be made that US is making money now, so technically their FA's see the goose as a fat one.

[Edited 2012-03-31 11:10:01]

User currently offlineB727FA From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 749 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2769 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 12):


Couple of questions on that...The F/A's under this TA would have gotten an 11 percent raise, so how can they say pay is an issue? Secondly, what sort of work rules were problematic? Thirdly, since when does scope matter at the F/A level since by necessity the F/As would naturally be covered by the pilots scope clause?

For the people calling the FA's "foolish" to do this (without knowing the terms of the TA) I would argue the same could be said of them. Often, too, the MEC might vote unanimously for something just to get something to the membership. I'm not saying that's a good tactic, but it's one that also helps hone the message of the group to the negotiating team. Think of it as a large scale caucus and "supposal" meeting. What the membership might be wanting now may not be what the MEC is negotiating for--wants/needs/dreams change in the years these CBA's take. There COULD be something to the "If you're going to buy AMR then sweeten our deal first thought."

To Apodino: we don't know the "cost" of that 11% raise. Is it productivity? Higher minimum line value/guarantee that comes out to be 11%+ in monthly minimum (for more work) or is it an ACTUAL 11% raise on hourly?

Your second point, work rules. Maybe to get the same days off they had to change some of the daily quality of life rules for trip construction: maybe sked to 13.5 hr/day and not 11 hrs/day of duty. Or perhaps they lose a duty rig in order to fly more block in a higher duty day sked but without the "hour of pay for X amount of duty/away from base/min day credit, etc" We don't know on here.

Third: scope is EVERY bit as important to FA's as pilots, and every other work group. To use your argument then scope wouldn't matter for ANY group, ramp, MX, gate agents. Just get the pilot scope. There's no "by necessity" about it. Different work groups have different needs in scope. And now, more than ever--US MUST protect scope. Who knows, the language in the TA might really only reflect scope as it deals with the US/HP mess (an example) and that may have been settled a long time ago. Now, with the NW/DL AFA vote over, the UA/CO vote in contest again and the WN/FL vote for representation on the radar, you can bet the US (east/west) FA's are going to be VERY careful about protecting scope. I believe the US FA seniority list is less than 35% of the AMR list. If that's the case than there is NO representation vote between AFA and APFA; it's automatically APFA (ala WN/FL)...so the scope US has now will dictate how/where they negotiate the SLI.

Bottom line: the vast majority of us on here are NOT US FA's and we don't know WHY they voted "no" other than they don't like what the see in the details. But with 90% voting and 75% saying NO--it's a problem for the MEC and Mgt. It's not a fluke or "foolish" of them. They have clear and firmly held reservations--both "sides" of the group.

When I worked in the church we would always tell a pastoral candidate to never accept a call (job offer) to a church with less than 85% voting FOR you. To accept a deal wherein only 25% were "for you" (as in the contract) would be professionally catastrophic.



My comments/opinions are my own and are not to be construed as the opinion(s) of my employer.
User currently offlineusxguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1010 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2543 times:

I'd like to point out it must have been fairly crappy for the West FA's to also vote it down.. they've been working under a fairly sh*tty contract for years now. While pay is important, I'm told that some of the work rules is what irritated both East & West FAs.

I've also heard that one of the workrules was that East FAs would no longer fly with the same crew all day (which has its benefits).



xx
User currently onlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7048 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2105 times:

Quoting blueheronNC (Reply 6):
Didn't the AFA negotiating committee unanimously approve this deal? What's the point of having a negotiating committee for your own union if you end up not respecting their conclusions?

Well it's the same way the nation and its government functions, not sure why we find it so strange. The negotiating group is smaller and much easier to influence by management or a single individual within the union leadership, as with government, when the masses are shown the details it is a different story.

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 9):
The labor situation at US is not healthy. Parker needs to get his ducks in a row, and get the labor problems fixed. This merger has proven to be a labor mess, and it has been far too long to not have it hammered out.

I asked in another US thread, why? US Airways turned a profit recently, pax are saying service has improved, so if the purpose of management is to make a profit for the shareholders and they are doing that what is the pressing labour problem that they need to fix?
Management can continue to say what they are saying now, continue same ole same ole and continue to make a profit. UA found a way to use chpt.11 so maybe this is the new way to deal with labour, you never know.


User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 22, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 1763 times:

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 9):
Parker needs to get his ducks in a row, and get the labor problems fixed.

There is not much Parker can do about it. It is a union issue, not a company issue.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 4985 posts, RR: 28
Reply 23, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 1634 times:

I got more info from my friend. She said the raise was not acceptable enough. She said in 15 years, the contract offered would not be in her interest. She said the 15 year fa would be making a little over 40K. While to some it sounds like a liveable wage, she factored 15 years from now, and inflation. I would be interested in seeing what a 15 year flight attendant makes at a similar sized airline.


I Am A Different Animal!!
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