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Crandall Responds To AA Pilot...Excellent  
User currently offlineseatback From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 774 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 28838 times:

I thought this was an excellent letter Robert Crandall sent to a pilot who had asked him a question about the current situation at AA.

http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/

196 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinetimboflier215 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1338 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 28618 times:

Crandall's letter is flipping brilliant - it needs to be mailed to every single pilot at AA immediately.

User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17669 posts, RR: 46
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 28546 times:

Quoting timboflier215 (Reply 1):
Crandall's letter is flipping brilliant - it needs to be mailed to every single pilot at AA immediately.

   Along with a CD single of "Man in the mirror".



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineseatback From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 774 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 28406 times:

Scroll down http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/ and you'll also see an entry American = Eastern Air Lines commentary by Ray Neidl. Quite interesting.


Senior aerospace analyst Ray Neidl, who’s been around long enough to remember these things, wondered out loud Tuesday whether the American Airlines standoff with pilots is following the path of the Eastern Air Lines’ flight with its unions.

Or, in Neidl’s words in a report out Tuesday from his firm, Maxim Group:

“The dispute with the pilots recalls how the pilots at Eastern Airlines killed the already weakened airline two decades ago in a labor dispute. The unions led by the pilots have strongly indicated that they do not wish to work with the AMR management, which is of concern to begin with. As a result the dispute here seems to now be going beyond economic considerations to the emotional level, which is always dangerous since rationality for all parties can become secondary as was in the case of Eastern.


User currently offlineseatback From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 774 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 28289 times:

Quoting timboflier215 (Reply 1):
Crandall's letter is flipping brilliant - it needs to be mailed to every single pilot at AA immediately.

Completely agree!


User currently offlineflyhossd From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 906 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 28174 times:

Quoting seatback (Thread starter):
I thought this was an excellent letter Robert Crandall sent to a pilot who had asked him a question about the current situation at AA.

Would you expect anything different from the former CEO?

What would expect the Chairman of the A.P.A. to say, given the same opportunity or platform?



My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 28111 times:

I would love to know what his thoughts are in the idea of merging with US. Does he support it or no?


A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlinetimboflier215 From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 1338 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 28069 times:

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 5):
What would expect the Chairman of the A.P.A. to say, given the same opportunity or platform?

No idea - why don't you write and ask them?


User currently offlineBobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1725 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 28076 times:

AA is not EA. EA never made money in deregulation and had frank borman who knew nothing about business.

User currently offlineEASTERN747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 548 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 28045 times:

Every employee at American should seek out a former EASTERN,PA,BN employee and see how their careers were cut off because of the "us verses them" atitudes. I FULLY expected to have spent my work years at Eastern. I would have had 44 years this year. Instead, I had 25. So think about AA employees, your next job could be revolved around "do you want plastic or paper" Also think about your families!!!!!

User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12158 posts, RR: 51
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 27940 times:

But the pilot's union will reject Bob's letter outright. It doesn't fit their agenda.

User currently offlineB757forever From United States of America, joined May 2010, 404 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 27723 times:

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 5):
Would you expect anything different from the former CEO?



No I would not. This is also what I would expect from a rational businessman who has a proven record of building a successful organization. Crandall's assessment is spot on, weakening the company will not advance anyone's agenda.


User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7691 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 27712 times:

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 5):
What would expect the Chairman of the A.P.A. to say, given the same opportunity or platform?

Something outlandish.

Crandalls letter was well thought out and rational.



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 27674 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 10):

But the pilot's union will reject Bob's letter outright. It doesn't fit their agenda.


Nothing ever seems to please ANY union these days......which is kinda sad.....



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineFlyCaledonian From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2095 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 27599 times:

He actually admits that union relations started to change in the late 1980s/early 1990s, which was on his watch. So he has identified that some of the issues go back to his watch. There are a few other comments that whilst not overtly critical of the management team in the 2000s do acknowledge that maybe some decisions made then are not paying off now, i.e. staying out of bankruptcy when the competition did not, management perceived to be taking rewards not available to frontline staff. As an outsider it actually reads as quite balanced.


Let's Go British Caledonian!
User currently offlineMSPNWA From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1969 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 27545 times:

Good response by Crandall, but if I were a pilot it probably wouldn't be the answers I'm looking for. The problem (and this is industry-wide) is why pilots are being asked to take such a large hit when their share of the total costs of AA is actually quite small. That's been a source of contention over and over.

User currently offlinegegarrenton From United States of America, joined Aug 2012, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 27501 times:

Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 14):
He actually admits that union relations started to change in the late 1980s/early 1990s, which was on his watch. So he has identified that some of the issues go back to his watch. There are a few other comments that whilst not overtly critical of the management team in the 2000s do acknowledge that maybe some decisions made then are not paying off now, i.e. staying out of bankruptcy when the competition did not, management perceived to be taking rewards not available to frontline staff. As an outsider it actually reads as quite balanced.

I think it's very balanced personally. I also think both sides of the fence will take it completely differently in a way that suits their predefined notions!


User currently onlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7381 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 27275 times:

If I start at the top, why exactly would an AA pilot be writing to Crandall in the first place, what exactly did he expect, a blasting of the current management?
Crandall retired from AA and presumable got a decent separation / retirement package. Management is management, and they stick together unless one is working for another company, example if a hostile takeover is on the way.

As to the specifics of the letter itself, it is basically the same as everywhere else, workers are to do what management says and the company will be fine, we have all heard and understand this party line.

One negative I take from the article which posters in other threads mentioned, is that AA wants to take their employee compensation below that of their competitors so that they can "catch up", so in a nutshell, rather than catching up by running their plan longer, or being agressive or more creative, they have determined that everybody is the same, products and service is the same, AA will not be able to do any better than their competitors so they must have their staff work for less.
Fine and dandy.

Now what happens when DL, UA and others see that AA employee compensation is lower than theirs, AA will be setting the new cmpensation standard which the others must match, and if they are healthier than AA, expect the dance to start again in 2 to 3 years.

How the hell WN was able to be profitable these last few decades is beyond comprehension, if they were an oil company nothing stopped the other's from following suit. WN rates are supposed to be among the highest in the industry, yet they are successfully, can we truly say that the issue is only pay scales / rates?


User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8969 posts, RR: 39
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 27229 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 6):
I would love to know what his thoughts are in the idea of merging with US. Does he support it or no?

". . .everyone needs to understand that it’s management’s job to identify and weigh alternatives, and to recommend a course of action."

He might offer you some opinions, but would probably balk at an actual recommendation given that he is not actively dealing with AA.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineTVNWZ From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 2398 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 27019 times:

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 5):

Would you expect anything different from the former CEO?

True. but, what particular point would you take exception with?


User currently offlinealuminumtubing From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 367 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (2 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 26937 times:

All this arm chair quarterbacking is really mute. The bottom line, is that the pilots are going to do what they are going to do, agree with it or not. It may destroy this airline, I can't argue that. But if management holds their line, it's gonna get bad. Plain and simple.

User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 21, posted (2 years 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 26929 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 18):
He might offer you some opinions, but would probably balk at an actual recommendation given that he is not actively dealing with AA.

He wouldn't balk, I dont think. He's no longer at the beck and call of AA, so he has a right to an opinion.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16885 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (2 years 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 26747 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 6):
I would love to know what his thoughts are in the idea of merging with US. Does he support it or no?

He mentioned a possible merger a couple times.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineglideslope From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1621 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 26285 times:

Brilliant Response. Can't rebut it.   


To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4073 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (2 years 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 26254 times:
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Quoting par13del (Reply 17):
As to the specifics of the letter itself, it is basically the same as everywhere else, workers are to do what management says and the company will be fine, we have all heard and understand this party line.

And what is the alternative? Rank-and-file running the company by consensus?



I've got $h*t to do
User currently onlineROSWELL41 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 790 posts, RR: 1
Reply 25, posted (2 years 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 26818 times:

Bottom line is that Horton is no Bob Crandall. I think that is the takeaway from the letter.

User currently offlineAirCalSNA From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 357 posts, RR: 0
Reply 26, posted (2 years 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 26684 times:

Wow ... so the company is at risk because someone used the words "brick" and "unit," which wasn't respectful? It makes the pilots sound oblivious to the economic realities we are all facing. Bizarre.

User currently offlineExL10Mktg From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 66 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (2 years 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 27128 times:

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 15):
The problem (and this is industry-wide) is why pilots are being asked to take such a large hit when their share of the total costs of AA is actually quite small. That's been a source of contention over and over.

Salary and benefits are only part of the picture. Many of the pilots work rules (which they negotiated for) cost the company tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars every year. Virtually every transatlantic flight carries one and sometimes two relief pilots that are unnecessary on almost all of them. In addition to paying them salaries to sit there, AA loses the revenue from the First Class seats they occupy! The company is also restricted in the size of aircraft that Eagle can operate -- a clear case of featherbedding. These are just two that come to mind -- there are others that in the aggregate do indeed have a major impact on operating costs.


User currently onlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7381 posts, RR: 8
Reply 28, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 26605 times:

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 24):
And what is the alternative? Rank-and-file running the company by consensus?

Alternative is what is taking place now, just because the inmates don't like their current rulers does not mean that they want to rule. Management is essential, unfortunately some management think workers are not.

The mindset is similar to the NFL owners and the referees and the last player lockout, no question that the game is hurting but management has a number in mind and the integrity of their negotiating position trumps the integrity of the game. Since the fans are not going to abandon the game integrity counts for nothing, unfortunately for AA, pax can and will abandon ship so the similarities will differ when that reality rears its ugly head.
Remember these guys locked out the players while trying to share 9 billion in profits, profits, imagine what AA is willing to do to trim losses.


User currently offlinexdlx From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 663 posts, RR: 1
Reply 29, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 26399 times:

Quoting Bobloblaw (Reply 8):

One thing I have observed about the "state of mind" of the AA employees. The same denial that was pervasive in PA/BN/EA...etc is alive and well; It will not happen here! This is not like BN! It is different than EA!

Really?


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19953 posts, RR: 59
Reply 30, posted (2 years 4 weeks ago) and read 25832 times:

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 20):
All this arm chair quarterbacking is really mute. The bottom line, is that the pilots are going to do what they are going to do, agree with it or not. It may destroy this airline, I can't argue that. But if management holds their line, it's gonna get bad. Plain and simple.

But who is Management supposed to negotiate with? The APA says that there is no job action and that the pilots are doing nothing wrong. YOU have said that there is no job action and that pilots are just doing their jobs.

If the APA and the pilots themselves deny that any action is occurring, then how is management supposed to negotiate to end the action that everyone denies is occurring?

Quoting par13del (Reply 17):
As to the specifics of the letter itself, it is basically the same as everywhere else, workers are to do what management says and the company will be fine, we have all heard and understand this party line.

Because, believe it or not, Management's job is to manage! Pilot's job is to fly the plane. FA's job is to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers. Etc.

I'm not saying that everyone who has a management over them should just do whatever they're told without question, but most management types sit in meetings and do business all day because they're good at it and some of them even enjoy it. Do YOU enjoy that sort of thing? I sure don't, which is why I'm not management at my company.

As Crandall pointed out, the pilots clearly felt that their business judgement was superior to that of management. That does show a profound lack of respect for management. Respect, like so many things, is a two-way street.


User currently offlineLDVAviation From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 1095 posts, RR: 5
Reply 31, posted (2 years 4 weeks ago) and read 25566 times:

Quoting xdlx (Reply 29):
One thing I have observed about the "state of mind" of the AA employees. The same denial that was pervasive in PA/BN/EA...etc is alive and well; It will not happen here! This is not like BN! It is different than EA!

Really?

What does similarity in mindset have to do with anything?

Pan Am eventually failed because they had no credible exit strategy from bankruptcy and because they financed their existence both prior and during bankruptcy by selling off almost all of their prized assets. No wonder they had no credible business plan.

EA was forced into bankruptcy by a chain of events. First, Lorenzo locked out the mechanics, after the union refused to accept deep cuts in pay/benefits; then, there was a sympathy strike by the pilots and FA's, which pretty much shut down the airline. When the crisis was not resolved, the airline declared bankruptcy with very little cash on hand, no DIP financing, and negative cash flow. To finance Eastern's existence, Lorenzo subsequently sold the the Shuttle service to Donald Trump and in a cynical move other key Eastern assets to sister carrier Continental (which Lorenzo also controlled). Depleted by those moves even more, Eastern was eventually forced to liquidate.

How are the facts in the Pan Am and EA cases at all similar to AA's case? There have been no sale of assets. There have been no lockouts and/or sympathy strikes. Cash flow remains positive. AA is self-financing its bankruptcy. There is a credible plan for existing bankruptcy. The only outstanding question is whether that plan will include a merger or not. There are even private equity firms in discussions with AMR to provide exit financing for the new AA. Just this week, those firms were recognized by the bankruptcy court, which permitted their advisors to be paid by AA during the due diligence process.


User currently offlineseatback From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 774 posts, RR: 0
Reply 32, posted (2 years 4 weeks ago) and read 25386 times:

Quoting LDVAviation (Reply 31):
How are the facts in the Pan Am and EA cases at all similar to AA's case? There have been no sale of assets. There have been no lockouts and/or sympathy strikes. Cash flow remains positive. AA is self-financing its bankruptcy. There is a credible plan for existing bankruptcy. The only outstanding question is whether that plan will include a merger or not. There are even private equity firms in discussions with AMR to provide exit financing for the new AA. Just this week, those firms were recognized by the bankruptcy court, which permitted their advisors to be paid by AA during the due diligence process.

I think you're right. I think we can only make a connection from an emotional perspective. AA is far healthier than probably any other airline that ever went through the BK process.

The current stife will too pass. AA and it's peers have all had at one time terrible labor issues. Everyone is still around.


User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6961 posts, RR: 46
Reply 33, posted (2 years 4 weeks ago) and read 25417 times:

I have long realized that any company that employs me deserves to receive my best efforts to do whatever job I was hired to do. It is in my best interest to give them this, as the company cannot give me more pay and/or benefits unless it prospers, and I have to do my part to promote that prosperity. Also, I only have the amount of input into company decisions as the leaders of the company are willing to give me, and that includes working conditions and work rules. If I do not like them I am free to leave, and if the company wants my services then they will have to modify them to the point that I can live with them. But my only leverage is the threat to leave. This is very clear in my present situation, working for a company consisting of six people (including me), but it is no less true for a giant company like AA complete with unions. In my case my boss owns the company, and he is running the company and paying my salary with his own money; and therefore he gets the final say on all decisions. In AA's case the stockholders own the company (or did before BK), and they have hired a board of directors to run it. But the principles are the same; the problem is that the unions have done a very effective job of making the employees forget it, and to convince them that they have a lot of "rights" that really do not exist. If AA is not competitive then it will go out of business, and all of the workers who are out of work can blame management, the unions, or whatever, but ultimately they will have to look in the mirror to really find out who to blame. The pilot who wrote the letter is a classic case, which is really what Robert Crandall was saying in a very gentle and indirect way; the closest he came to an outright declaration is when he stated the reasons for his departure.


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineqqflyboy From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 2294 posts, RR: 13
Reply 34, posted (2 years 4 weeks ago) and read 24992 times:

Quoting ExL10Mktg (Reply 27):
Virtually every transatlantic flight carries one and sometimes two relief pilots that are unnecessary on almost all of them.

This is factually incorrect. Any time a flight time (gate to gate) exceeds eight hours, the FAA requires a relief pilot, as no pilot can be at the controls longer than eight hours. While some eastbound flights transatlantic only require two pilots, the return leg requires three. Since pilots get paid whether they're deadheading, or flying, they're scheduled to work both ways (this is true on just about every carrier). AA has only a handful of flights with three pilots (never four, as you state, on TATL) that aren't federally required: two JFK-LHR flights and one BOS-LHR. That's because those flights operate outside of normal circadian rhythm, and from a passenger prospective, I'm going to assume they would much rather the airline err on the side of caution, and crew the additional pilot. So, almost "all of them" as you state boils down to two flights in AA's entire TATL schedule.



The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect my employer’s views.
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4660 posts, RR: 19
Reply 35, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 23813 times:

Quoting ExL10Mktg (Reply 27):

Salary and benefits are only part of the picture. Many of the pilots work rules (which they negotiated for) cost the company tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars every year. Virtually every transatlantic flight carries one and sometimes two relief pilots that are unnecessary on almost all of them. In addition to paying them salaries to sit there, AA loses the revenue from the First Class seats they occupy! The company is also restricted in the size of aircraft that Eagle can operate -- a clear case of featherbedding. These are just two that come to mind -- there are others that in the aggregate do indeed have a major impact on operating costs.

These 'unecessary' relief Pilots are their for your safety and mandated by FAA rest requirements.



Your 'Featherbedding' statement is completely inappropriate and shows a lack of knowledge systemic of those out side the industry.


Crandall's letter was a typical, long winded self serving management response.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineAAexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 636 posts, RR: 4
Reply 36, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 23641 times:

The response from Crandall is simply excellent. It's what any sane senior manager would say and how he would rationalize the situation. It is also what I and several others on this board have been saying and advocating for quite a while here. But rational thought is no longer in vogue. The pilots will single-handedly cause this airline to fail and I suspect they won't shed a tear for the company or the other 70,000 employees.

User currently offlineAA94 From United States of America, joined Aug 2011, 603 posts, RR: 2
Reply 37, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 22675 times:

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 15):
Good response by Crandall, but if I were a pilot it probably wouldn't be the answers I'm looking for. The problem (and this is industry-wide) is why pilots are being asked to take such a large hit when their share of the total costs of AA is actually quite small. That's been a source of contention over and over.

The pilots need to understand that they are going to need to meet AA management in the middle, and likewise, AA needs to realize that it needs to meet the pilots in the middle. A compromise needs to be reached. AA and the pilots have been playing tug-of-war, and each side wants to emerge the victor. That is why nothing has worked thus far.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 16):
I think it's very balanced personally. I also think both sides of the fence will take it completely differently in a way that suits their predefined notions!

  

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 33):

  

Quoting ExL10Mktg (Reply 27):
Virtually every transatlantic flight carries one and sometimes two relief pilots that are unnecessary on almost all of them. In addition to paying them salaries to sit there, AA loses the revenue from the First Class seats they occupy!

Incorrect. As others have noted, any flight longer than eight hours requires a relief pilot. Even on eastbound flights where a third pilot may not be needed, a pilot still needs to be positioned at the outstation for the westbound leg, which requires deadheading.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 35):
Crandall's letter was a typical, long winded self serving management response.

I disagree. I think that the letter was well-balanced and didn't alienate either current management nor the pilots. Crandall obviously put some thought into his letter, and didn't just spew rhetoric that no one could understand.



Choose a challenge over competence / Eleanor Roosevelt
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 883 posts, RR: 11
Reply 38, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 22613 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 17):

One negative I take from the article which posters in other threads mentioned, is that AA wants to take their employee compensation below that of their competitors so that they can "catch up", so in a nutshell, rather than catching up by running their plan longer, or being agressive or more creative, they have determined that everybody is the same, products and service is the same, AA will not be able to do any better than their competitors so they must have their staff work for less.

This is pretty silly. Be more aggressive or run your plan longer? You realize there are objective realities in this business and that on the vast majority of routes what AA offers is a commodity that can be provide by several other carriers? How are they supposed to be creative?

The creditors might not grant them time to stretch out their plan. Changing their service model as you suggest takes money. That money has to come from the current operation spinning off cash. That only happens if their cost come down.

Management can't spin cash our of thin air.


User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5273 posts, RR: 1
Reply 39, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 21389 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 17):
If I start at the top, why exactly would an AA pilot be writing to Crandall in the first place, what exactly did he expect, a blasting of the current management?

Why? Because a lot of pilots believe that Crandall, despite his run-ins with the unions, was a sharp guy who made AA a growing, profitable business, and that none of the CEOs since Crandalls have been as successful.

Here's what I don't understand.

If you read press releases, information hotlines, and other comments from the APA over the years, it often reads like the rhetoric from the likes of the UAW, the SEIU, the UCFW, AFSCME, the Teamsters, and other unions.

Yet, there is a difference between pilots who are highly skilled and college educated (and a good number were officers in the U.S. military) and people hanging fenders on SUVs, people cutting meat in a grocery store, and the people giving eye tests at the DMV.

I know a number of airlines pilots, many of who are retired, and probably a 60-40 split between AA and UA. Several of them have side businesses that they run, when they aren't flying. Many play the stock market, reading the WSJ and watching CNBC. A good number lean Republican and watch Fox News and/or listen to Rush Limbaugh and other conservative radio pundits. I've heard a few say some very unkind comments about unions, whether it's teachers, auto workers, or even professional athletes.

So, why the typical union attitude? After a pilot told me how Gerard Arpey was a horrible CEO, I aksed him why he wasn't on Jim Cramer's Wall of Shame? I got no answer.

Another made a comment that the bakery workers at Hostess needed to accept wages cuts, if they wanted to stay in business and not see Twinkies, Butternut bread, and Zingers sold off in an auction to competitors. When I commented that the pilots needed to make concessions in order for AA to get out of Chapter 11, he got a little irritated.


User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4900 posts, RR: 16
Reply 40, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 20660 times:

I was very impressed with the letter, a great example of clearly communicating ideas in easy to understand terms. Crandall was obviously held in high regard in his time, or otherwise that pilot would not have written to him in despair.

What is oft forgotten in this age of the MBA is that the Art of Management is the Art of Leadership. There is no business where you can motivate your people to give their best without their buying in into a cause and trusting in their management for a common good.

As Crandall also implies, cost structures in the industry tend to level across competitors, so just focusing on costs will not make you a great airline. When people love to come in to work, you have happy and loyal customers: two necessary ingredients of success.

It could be said that when mainline American industry was starting to feel the pinch a decade or so ago, bean counters masquerading as CEOs took over, discarding the relationship between profit and employee well-being. But equally to blame are unions, who in the name of 'collective' bargaining inject themselves and interfere with the company-employee relationship.

In their defense, it could be said that the worst culprit of all are the financial markets, which with ruthless efficiency requires specific financial goals to be squeezed out in the shortest period of time, never mind the consequences.


User currently offlinestrfyr51 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 1304 posts, RR: 1
Reply 41, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 20141 times:
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Everybody NOT at WN want's to hold WN up as a matter of Example in Pay and compensation when EVEN WN's boss RECENTLY said their costs were getting out of line. Also, What do WN's Pilots Do that the AMR,UAL, pilots Don't Do???
Well for One they don't refuse Deferrals that are Legal and IAW with the Company MEL (Minimum Equipment List) and Dispatch Deviation guide on which he MEL is Based. If the Pilot's did at Least That then they can gain respect hey deserve No more, No LESS. Second. If you Want respect than be prepared to RENDER respect. I worked for UAL as a controller During summer of 2000 as my first summer as a controller. Pilots REGULARLY sought to disrespect who we were and our function as what we did. to the point that NOW?? I could care LESS what their concerns are.
Their choice is FLY? or Don't Fly? I don't go out of my way to abuse them BUT!! I don't CARE if they're happy.
If the airplane is Legal? They can sit in "B.F. Egypt" until Hell freezes over before i'll do anything to the particular airplane. Thirdly??, Once you Start crying "Wolf" and there's no Wolf?? It's pretty Hard for anyone to Ever believe you again.
I'm speaking ONLY form the standpoint of a Maintenance controller to whom Pilots and Dispatch are my Main internal Customers. I'm NOT senior management, I have NO dog in their Fight. And my ONLY concern is ACTUAL Safety of Passengers and crew. I can't DO Jack about their contract and Have NO say in the matter.
NOR their Perceived Ideas of "Safety". I do have the authority to kill an airplane Wherever I choose. But that's when I see a REAL problem. and Neither THE PILOTS NOR Management can tell me WHEN Nor WHAT that is.
It might do well for APA At American to consider that Scenario. "Teasing Tigers with one hand might leave you SHORT that hand when you need it. to choke the Chicken"
The FAA is the ONLY arbiter of airworthiness that I Care about, Because when I'm On duty I am the Arbiter of airworthiness for the Company anf Fleet I'm working , and whether any Pilot agrees or Disagrees Is of little or NO concern to me .
And?? Their concerns used TO Matter to me. until they Abused that Privilege.
That's the Capital that APA at American is presently Wasting . And once they Use it UP?? It's going to be a cold day in HELL before they regain it. It should be a Partnership amongst us. But if you refuse to be a reputable Partner?
Bad DEAL!!


User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13649 posts, RR: 62
Reply 42, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 19689 times:
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Quoting Bobloblaw (Reply 8):
AA is not EA. EA never made money in deregulation

Check your facts; EA posted strong earnings in 1979, and the year prior to the union forcing Borman's hand in the sale to Texas Air, EA was also profitable in 1985.

Having said that, the situation at AA is very similar to the one at EA; the pilots have the ability to help the airline survive and thrive, or let their emotions get the better of them and take the whole company down as they stage unproductive work actions.

I hope the AA pilots wise up and don't allow history to repeat itself.

[Edited 2012-09-27 01:39:35]

[Edited 2012-09-27 01:43:17]


"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13649 posts, RR: 62
Reply 43, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 19574 times:
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Quoting Max Q (Reply 35):
Crandall's letter was a typical, long winded self serving management response.

  

Sorry, but Bob Crandall was spot-on in his assessment of things; he acknowledged that all employees deserve respect and courtesy and that the pilots are an integral part of the company, but didn't hesitate to point out that management, despite what any one work group thinks, is the sole group of employees empowered by the stockholders to make strategic decisions about the direction of the company.

Have all those decisions been bad? Some have, yes. But again, the BOD, elected by the stockholders, put management in charge. Not pilots. Not flight attendants. Not CSAs, res agents, mechanics or rampers. MANAGEMENT.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineusdcaguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 978 posts, RR: 2
Reply 44, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 19172 times:

What irks me about Crandall's letter is that he states the following:

"Since the decisions being made are very important, and will impact every employee, their (management's) opinions should be given careful consideration...Management should listen carefully, but employees need to understand that it’s management’s job to decide and that acting in ways intended to undercut management’s role can only be counter-productive."

Yes, Daddy.

So, basically, because management's decisions are important and affect the employees, one should defer to them? I don't agree. The entire point of a collective bargaining agreement is that two parties have come to the table to negotiate something. That means they both have power. There is no reason in the world why management should be made out to be the "good guys"; they can and will make decisions that may harm the employee if nobody is looking out for the employees. I strongly recommend that AA's rank and file tread carefully around such comments; they're very common, especially in a day and age when people love to say "Shut up. You're lucky to have a job". There is NEVER a reason to sacrifice the benefits of organized labor just because you're scared to lose your job.


User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5476 posts, RR: 30
Reply 45, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 18961 times:

That was a very lucid, logical, well thought out and presented letter. Agree or disagree....that guy can write.

What I don't get is why would anybody work for a company and management they feel doesn't respect them? Do they feel that they will ever get respect? That's never happened in my experience, to me or anyone I knew.

I decided long ago not to work for someone who doesn't respect me and I can't respect. So since respect, once lost, is rarely earned again, the only option is to take my good work habits to somewhere they will be appreciated.

Bottom line; it's not my company. The owners/managers get the final say in everything....within the bounds of the law. If there are problems, I try to fix them. If they can't be fixed, ,I don't bang my head against rocks trying to move mountains; I move to a different mountain.

Do the AA pilots really think that unofficial yet very real job action and the vitriol being aimed at management will earn them the least amount of respect from US? If so, they're dreaming. No doubt US loves the AA troubles but if workers are willing to turn on their current employers, US surely expects the same thing to happen to them if those workers are unhappy at US, should the merger take place.

As long as you're paid by someone, that's where your loyalties should lie. If you can't do that, it's time to leave because if you're willing to betray one boss, you'll never be trusted by any boss.

Word to the wise; the best time to look for a new job is while you still have your old job.



What the...?
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13649 posts, RR: 62
Reply 46, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 18946 times:
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Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 44):
What irks me about Crandall's letter is that he states the following:

"Since the decisions being made are very important, and will impact every employee, their (management's) opinions should be given careful consideration...Management should listen carefully, but employees need to understand that it’s management’s job to decide and that acting in ways intended to undercut management’s role can only be counter-productive."

Yes, Daddy.

Pretty much, yes. And there's nothing wrong with that; despute what you may believe, while the management and labor work relationship is and should be a partnership, it isn't a democracy.

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 44):
The entire point of a collective bargaining agreement is that two parties have come to the table to negotiate something.

Yes - benefits, work rules, wages and step increases, etc.

Contrary to what you may think, it doesn't give the work groups the right to dictate what strategic direction or steps the company takes (unless doing so somehow violates the CBA, at which point the union can file grievances).

Sorry, but having a CBA doesn't give the workgroup the right to a say in marketing, planning, finance, and so on; all those strategic decisions are ultimately made at management's discretion. Again, they're the ones empowered by the stockholders to make those decisions, not the workgroups covered under the CBA.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineAAexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 636 posts, RR: 4
Reply 47, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 18915 times:

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 44):
What irks me about Crandall's letter is that he states the following:

"Since the decisions being made are very important, and will impact every employee, their (management's) opinions should be given careful consideration...Management should listen carefully, but employees need to understand that it’s management’s job to decide and that acting in ways intended to undercut management’s role can only be counter-productive."

Yes, Daddy.

So, basically, because management's decisions are important and affect the employees, one should defer to them? I don't agree. The entire point of a collective bargaining agreement is that two parties have come to the table to negotiate something. That means they both have power. There is no reason in the world why management should be made out to be the "good guys"; they can and will make decisions that may harm the employee if nobody is looking out for the employees. I strongly recommend that AA's rank and file tread carefully around such comments; they're very common, especially in a day and age when people love to say "Shut up. You're lucky to have a job". There is NEVER a reason to sacrifice the benefits of organized labor just because you're scared to lose your job.

You fundamentally misunderstand what he was trying to say....he wasn't arguing against organized labor or that unions should always defer to management simply 'because'. He was saying that any union is trying to get the best deal for its own members. Even if that can hurt other employees and other unions and their members. He wants the pilots to consider that while they are focused on one thing only (namely getting a better deal for themselves) management has far MORE stakeholders to satisfy, including the UCC, the board, shareholders, creditors, other work groups, and passengers. Because management has a 360 degree view of the company and all its stakeholders, Crandall asks that their "opinions should be given careful consideration."

What the pilots are currently saying in effect is "Management are hacks, we can do what they do far better. We know exactly what it takes to run this company and how to make it profitable and how to manage it, therefore, we want management ousted at all costs."

Does that sound like a sane, humble and rational group of professionals? I don't think so.


User currently offlinesankaps From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 2255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 48, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 18699 times:

Quoting comorin (Reply 40):
I was very impressed with the letter, a great example of clearly communicating ideas in easy to understand terms. Crandall was obviously held in high regard in his time, or otherwise that pilot would not have written to him in despair.

What is oft forgotten in this age of the MBA is that the Art of Management is the Art of Leadership.

Um... Bob Crandall has an MBA too, from Wharton, no less!  


User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4900 posts, RR: 16
Reply 49, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 18503 times:

Quoting sankaps (Reply 48):
Um... Bob Crandall has an MBA too, from Wharton, no less!

Thanks but I'm an admirer of Bob Crandall as a leader  

My problem is that there are certain career paths where leadership is expected; I find with the proliferation of MBAs beyond the top five schools, the only places that emphasize leadership are Annapolis, West Point and perhaps the Air Force Academy. In the good old days you went to Harvard or Sloan to learn how to be a CEO, today's Wharton grads seem to be poring over spreadsheets with green eye shades - captains of industry or highly paid financial clerks?


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 50, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 18136 times:

Just to add a little from the other side and I don't really intend to get very involved in this discussion BUT: I had an FAA Safety Inspector ride my J/S just a few nights ago from Europe to the U.S. and some of the things he told us about AA's attitude towards the pilots is absurd and unforgivable. So bad HE sent a letter to the FAA detailing the Co.s new policies and how it affects the crews. The crews aren't always the bad guys.

User currently offlinewindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2739 posts, RR: 8
Reply 51, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 17987 times:

Have to agree that it was a brilliant letter....

Quote:
Here’s the bottom line on “Respect”. Every employee – from fleet service to chairman – deserves the respect of every other employee. Respect requires courtesy, and any employee, or any employee group that speaks ill of another renounces their own claim to either. And finally, respect implies a willingness to settle disputes within the context of the protocols of law and process that free societies from the grip of anarchy.

I love this....This is why I am always telling our work group not to worry about what the others are geting or doing. ANd to respect them all including management. Being and looking professional goes a long way.



OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21681 posts, RR: 55
Reply 52, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 17487 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 43):
Have all those decisions been bad? Some have, yes. But again, the BOD, elected by the stockholders, put management in charge. Not pilots. Not flight attendants. Not CSAs, res agents, mechanics or rampers. MANAGEMENT.

Perhaps, but I what you're seeing from the pilots is a vote of no confidence in management. They feel management is steering the ship towards the waterfall, so what are they supposed to do? Do their best in order to get it there as soon as possible? That doesn't help anyone.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinegegarrenton From United States of America, joined Aug 2012, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 53, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 16824 times:

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 44):
So, basically, because management's decisions are important and affect the employees, one should defer to them?

Yes, that is exactly what it means. Either you agree and move with the company direction, or you quit and do something else. That is how business works.

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 44):
There is NEVER a reason to sacrifice the benefits of organized labor just because you're scared to lose your job.

Tell that to the bill collector when you are broke.


User currently offlineseatback From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 774 posts, RR: 0
Reply 54, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 16764 times:

Appears that Denise Lynn (SVP of HR) sent a letter to the union threatening legal action if the union doesn't stop the slow down. This after hours before the Union agreed to sit down again with management.

Major bone-head move on Denise's part. Now it looks as though the talks are called off.


User currently offlineBobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1725 posts, RR: 1
Reply 55, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 16297 times:

Quoting seatback (Thread starter):
Crandall's letter is flipping brilliant - it needs to be mailed to every single pilot at AA immediately.

Wouldnt matter.


User currently offlineSeeTheWorld From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1325 posts, RR: 4
Reply 56, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 16139 times:

When does the UCC (unsecured creditors committee) step in and approve a merger ... with this spat going on and the UCC watching the pie of money shrink as AA ops go to hell, the UCC only needs two more members to force a merger ... they already have the three Unions ... Are the pilots just forcing the merger hand ... While risky, I'll bet it works ... and I'll bet a decision is coming sooner rather than later ... but who really knows when so much emotion and money and pride are at stake...

User currently offlinegegarrenton From United States of America, joined Aug 2012, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 57, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 16095 times:

I am pretty certain the merger wheels are already in motion. This action has about zero effect on that.

User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17669 posts, RR: 46
Reply 58, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 15943 times:

Quoting seatback (Reply 54):
Appears that Denise Lynn (SVP of HR) sent a letter to the union threatening legal action if the union doesn't stop the slow down. This after hours before the Union agreed to sit down again with management.

She should have done this a lot earlier. The APA has gotten themselves into this position and insist on digging themselves deeper. I'm sure an injunction and steep fines will help them achieve their goal.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineAAexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 636 posts, RR: 4
Reply 59, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 15924 times:

Quoting seatback (Reply 54):
Appears that Denise Lynn (SVP of HR) sent a letter to the union threatening legal action if the union doesn't stop the slow down. This after hours before the Union agreed to sit down again with management.

Major bone-head move on Denise's part. Now it looks as though the talks are called off.

First of all, the letter was dispatched BEFORE the unions had told AA about their intent to go back to the table. So does A mgmt now have to be clairvoyant to be considered competent?

Second, what does this letter have to do with negotiations? Isn't the union tasked with getting the pilots the best deal possible? AA has indicated an interest to go back to the negotiation table with likely a better offer. How the unions can turn down that offer (in response to a letter that accurately accuses their pilots of a concerted effort to harm the company) is beyond me? Are they not abdicating their fiduciary duties to their members?

I am all in favor of organized labor, but I believe 100% that IF a union can be found to be "in contempt" of their own core responsibilities to the detriment of the corporation and its other work groups, there should be an option at some point to disband the union (possibly with consent of other work groups and their unions who have proven willing to play ball).

Quoting Bobloblaw (Reply 55):
Wouldnt matter.

Ditto.

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 57):

I am pretty certain the merger wheels are already in motion. This action has about zero effect on that.

I am not so sure, but no matter the outcome (merger or not no matter with whom), the pilots will not get a deal of UA or DL's caliber UNTIL AA is out of bk and making hey. It's that simple.


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 60, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 15892 times:

I'll tell you one thing for certain, the pilots causing all of these flights to be cancelled does nothing productive and only hurts everyone at the company. I had a flight cancelled from MSP back to DFW on what became the first Sunday when they started doing this a couple of weeks ago, and all that does is put strain on the rest of the employees at work, while irritating the customer at the same time. I remember thinking to myself, who cancels a flight outright in clear weather, six hours prior to departure?

Marketing spends a lot of money trying to promote a positive image of the company, and in this competitive market you just cannot GIVE customers a reason not to choose your product, particularly in a service based industry. Nothing good comes from that, and besides, it's unprofessional - something that I know the vast majority of AA pilots are not. When Crandall talks about pilots using means that are either illegal or unethical to voice their displeasure pertaining to their contract, the Union needs to find new leadership rather than continue to go down the path of the glut of former airlines a la NW or EA.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19953 posts, RR: 59
Reply 61, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 15246 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 52):
Perhaps, but I what you're seeing from the pilots is a vote of no confidence in management. They feel management is steering the ship towards the waterfall, so what are they supposed to do? Do their best in order to get it there as soon as possible?

Does this action improve matters for them? It doesn't. When the ship is headed towards the waterfall, sinking the ship is not a very good solution to the problem.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21681 posts, RR: 55
Reply 62, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 14913 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 61):
Does this action improve matters for them? It doesn't. When the ship is headed towards the waterfall, sinking the ship is not a very good solution to the problem.

It's an attempt to get the management to change the course. It's not a fantastic strategy, and it certainly carries risk, but it's what they've got.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinecosyr From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 402 posts, RR: 0
Reply 63, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 14786 times:

I definitely think that letter was Management centric, which is logical since Crandall was never a pilot, but it did seem to focus on "trust us, we know best."

I did appreciate one point emphasized, though I wish he said it in a different way. Rather than saying that many pilot actions are unlawful, etc, my biggest takeaway is that Pilots who want a voice in the company should be running the company as well and and efficiently as possible. Show everyone how valuable you are by knowing your higher responsibility. Slowing down and cancelling flights just looks petty, and gets the public on management's side. When employees are professional and provide excellent service, customers go to bat for them and it really shows what those employees are worth!


User currently offlineNavion From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1014 posts, RR: 1
Reply 64, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 13896 times:

I was sure sorry to see the APA come out with a statement flatly denying any work slowdown. Your word is all you have and when your credibility is shot, it is a long painful road to try to recover it. The APA could have worded their statement differently but to flatly deny a slowdown is an affront to all reading the statement. What a mess.

User currently offlineckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 5273 posts, RR: 1
Reply 65, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 13666 times:

Here's an interesting read from The Street, which is the stock market website run by Jim Cramer.

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11720...ndants.html?puc=yahoo&cm_ven=YAHOO

In a nutshell, US's flight attendants are voting on a contract which is very similar to the prior contract that was rejected by the rank and file. The head of the F/A union was forced out after the rejection, much like the head of the APA stepped down after AA's pilots voted down the T/A.

Granted, US didn't start to impose a contract, and the F/As didn't stage a work slowdown of any type.

But, after the power grab with the US F/As, they wound up with a very similar contract, which more of the leadership supported.

It seems that despite APA leadership that is civil or militant, it can't seem to get AA to move past a certain point on contract negotiations. That might suggest that the union has done the best it can do for its members, and that they should take what AA offers (including 13.5% of the stock in the new AMR) and live with it.


User currently onlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7381 posts, RR: 8
Reply 66, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 13485 times:

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 36):
The pilots will single-handedly cause this airline to fail and I suspect they won't shed a tear for the company or the other 70,000 employees.

On the other side, is management shedding any tears for the pensions and thousands of jobs being cut?
Look, management and investors are doing what they think is in the best interest of their company and investment, full stop. Workers are doing what they think is in their best interest, also full stop. This idea that workers must be emotional and or have personal feelings on business decisions does no one any good and appears as one sided arguments since the same is not passed on the other side, so it is something best not said or considered.

Quoting AA94 (Reply 37):
The pilots need to understand that they are going to need to meet AA management in the middle,

Management always holds all the cards since it is their job and their money, somehow we always seem start these comments off with the smaller versus the one with the power, ever wonder why, are we sub-consiously anti-worker or pro-establishment? It's a question, not a statement.

Quoting Navion (Reply 64):
I was sure sorry to see the APA come out with a statement flatly denying any work slowdown. Your word is all you have and when your credibility is shot, it is a long painful road to try to recover it. The APA could have worded their statement differently but to flatly deny a slowdown is an affront to all reading the statement. What a mess.

AA is in court, there are laws against union action while in Chpt.11. The union cannot admit, claim knowledge or in any way utter any words which a lawyer or legal representative can construe to mean that there is any organized action taking place and the union management and thus the organization is involved, to expect anything else is to want them to flaunt the law.

AA flight crew and mechanics who have issues with what is taking place should simply withdraw their services and move on, resign en-mass and let those who want to remain do so.
To some degree their rules are what is preventing them from moving on, when seniority is the key issue, pilots who get furloughed would rather not work than go to a new company and start over again from scratch, however, that is their work conditions that they negotioate and put in place, the rest of us shoudl not be held responsible.


User currently offlineincitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4031 posts, RR: 13
Reply 67, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 13456 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 62):
It's an attempt to get the management to change the course. It's not a fantastic strategy, and it certainly carries risk, but it's what they've got.

"Never get in the way of a Federal Judge" was the comment from my neighbor who is an attorney with a lot of experience on airlines. This can have a very ugly end.



Stop pop up ads
User currently offlineflyhossd From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 906 posts, RR: 2
Reply 68, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 13168 times:

Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
-Abraham Lincoln

On the one hand, I had hoped that this thread wouldn't devolve into yet another anti-union polemic, but I'm not surprised that it has. Oh well...

AA is a service business and that service is provided by labor, but it seems that the senior management isn't aware of that. People need to be lead, they're not "bricks" to be managed. You can only kick a dog so many times before he'll bite you. It's quite a contrast from successful airlines like WN. BTW, WN 737 pay rates are much higher than AA's.

Has AA recalled any pilots since the hundreds retired just before the bankruptcy declaration? IIRC, AA was canceling flights before Chapter 11 for lack of pilots. Is that situation even worse now? I spoke with an AA F.O. yesterday, he said he's getting multiple calls EVERY DAY to fly. He said that he could use the money, but he's a single father and can't alter his schedule much.

Off topic, but Is AA still insisting on a contractual clause to prohibit criticism or comments on management bonuses?



My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21681 posts, RR: 55
Reply 69, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 12746 times:

Quoting incitatus (Reply 67):
"Never get in the way of a Federal Judge" was the comment from my neighbor who is an attorney with a lot of experience on airlines. This can have a very ugly end.

And one would hope that the AA pilots are doing that. If they are in compliance with their operating manual (i.e. only writing up things that need to be written up, not refusing aircraft for items that can be dispatched per MEL), they'll be in the clear. A judge can't force a pilot to overlook items that need to be written up, even if the pilot was doing it before.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13649 posts, RR: 62
Reply 70, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 12053 times:
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Quoting Mir (Reply 52):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 43):Have all those decisions been bad? Some have, yes. But again, the BOD, elected by the stockholders, put management in charge. Not pilots. Not flight attendants. Not CSAs, res agents, mechanics or rampers. MANAGEMENT.

Perhaps, but I what you're seeing from the pilots is a vote of no confidence in management. They feel management is steering the ship towards the waterfall, so what are they supposed to do? Do their best in order to get it there as soon as possible? That doesn't help anyone.

It's not up to the pilots to impede management if they have no confidence in them; the BOD takes that action by replacing management.

Again, there's this lack of understanding by organized labor of what they're entitled to; a say in the direction of the company isn't one of those things. If they dislike that, they can look for work elsewhere. Otherwise, they need to respect the leadership and continue to provide the best service possible, because not doing so doesn't derail management from their course - it only ensures customers will be negatively impacted and not choose AA again.

Which benefits no one.

In other words, labor is essentially holding the company's future hostage.

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 59):
Quoting seatback (Reply 54):Appears that Denise Lynn (SVP of HR) sent a letter to the union threatening legal action if the union doesn't stop the slow down. This after hours before the Union agreed to sit down again with management.

Major bone-head move on Denise's part. Now it looks as though the talks are called off.
First of all, the letter was dispatched BEFORE the unions had told AA about their intent to go back to the table. So does A mgmt now have to be clairvoyant to be considered competent?

  

Well-said. And the union's decision to use that as a pretext for calling off talks means they weren't really willing to talk in the first place.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineMSPNWA From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1969 posts, RR: 2
Reply 71, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 11754 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 62):
It's an attempt to get the management to change the course. It's not a fantastic strategy, and it certainly carries risk, but it's what they've got.

And that's the bottom line. The slowdown is the only arrow in the pilots' quiver. It isn't pretty, but it's all they've got to go against management's equally ugly arrows.


User currently onlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7381 posts, RR: 8
Reply 72, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 11345 times:

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 71):
It isn't pretty, but it's all they've got to go against management's equally ugly arrows.

Ahh no, they can always quit.


User currently offlineORDBOSEWR From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 73, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 11315 times:

Quoting ckfred (Reply 65):
But, after the power grab with the US F/As, they wound up with a very similar contract, which more of the leadership supported.

and it got rejected AGAIN!!!


User currently offlineAAexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 636 posts, RR: 4
Reply 74, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 11254 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 66):
On the other side, is management shedding any tears for the pensions and thousands of jobs being cut?

For nearly a decade they TRIED to keep the company competitive while continuing to pay employees better than the other legacies while getting less productivity from the same employees. For that same period, NOBODY touched the pensions and asked for further concessions DESPITE the fact that other legacies were paying less and were far more productive. They COULD have declared Ch11 in 2004/2005 along with UA/DL and chose not to which overwhelmingly benefited the work groups at AA. They were also the last legacy to outsource maintenance. And when the bk was finally entered last November, Arpey couldn't bring himself to guide AA though the process (even though he probably would have been paid handsomely)

I think we can safely declare your class warfare comment (that AA management isn't trying to do the right thing and doesn't care about its employees) as pure non-sense. Unlike the pilots who have shown zero appreciation for the fact that they have had funded pensions much longer than most of their peers and didn't have to take the haircuts the UA pilots had to take (read some of the commentary both here and on FT from the UA pilots), management has at least tried to right the ship without hosing the employees. Now that AA needs help to brings its costs in line (in order to avoid Ch7), the pilots object to any contract (no matter how big the pay raise) that requires them to make workrule concessions...Who is being inflexible and destructive here?

Never mind that "management" is one of the groups at AA that has so far seen the largest share of layoffs and paycuts since the beginning of the bk process.

Quoting par13del (Reply 66):
Look, management and investors are doing what they think is in the best interest of their company and investment, full stop. Workers are doing what they think is in their best interest, also full stop. This idea that workers must be emotional and or have personal feelings on business decisions does no one any good and appears as one sided arguments since the same is not passed on the other side, so it is something best not said or considered.

I have no cue what you are trying to say, but unlike pilots whose only consideration is their own contract and who are willing to put every single other employee on the chopping block to get what's theirs (all the while sabotaging the company, forcing their colleagues to deal with the fallout and taking pax hostage to get their ill-considered way), management is looking out for EVERBODY at AA. Unionized, non-unionized, part-timers, shareholders, the UCC, the secured creditors etc. Huge difference in responsibility between the pilots and management.

You really have to start paying attention.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19953 posts, RR: 59
Reply 75, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 11120 times:

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 71):
And that's the bottom line. The slowdown is the only arrow in the pilots' quiver. It isn't pretty, but it's all they've got to go against management's equally ugly arrows.

No it isn't. The action will accomplish NOTHING. It will not get their contract back. It will not get them a better deal on a new contract. It will not help the airline return to profitability and could even lead to Ch. 7 if it goes on long enough.

Quoting Mir (Reply 62):
It's an attempt to get the management to change the course. It's not a fantastic strategy, and it certainly carries risk, but it's what they've got.

They also have legal appeals and a huge legal team that can attack this problem. They also have negotiators who could actually sit down with management and...you know...negotiate.

The trouble is that technically, the action isn't even occurring according to the pilots. So if there's no action going on, there's no point in negotiations to make a non-existent action stop, now, is there?


User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13649 posts, RR: 62
Reply 76, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 11061 times:
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Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 71):
The slowdown is the only arrow in the pilots' quiver.

When will labor learn that the arrow is actually pointed at their heads too, not just management's?   

If you cost the company $100M in a labor action of any kind, that's not going to get management to sweeten any labor deal, but remove that $100M from the value of your next packaged offer. It's also going to tell customers, "Our workers can't be trusted to put customers first," and drive them to more stable competitors.

End result? Either you drive the company under entirely - as happened at Eastern - or you severely weaken it, and also weaken your work group's compensation and benefits going forward.

It truly is a lose-lose scenario.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently onlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7381 posts, RR: 8
Reply 77, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 11049 times:

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 74):
I think we can safely declare your class warfare comment (that AA management isn't trying to do the right thing and doesn't care about its employees) as pure non-sense.

If you think the comment is class warfare, then fine, everyone is entitiled to their opinion.

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 74):
I have no cue what you are trying to say, but unlike pilots whose only consideration is their own contract and who are willing to put every single other employee on the chopping block to get what's theirs (all the while sabotaging the company, forcing their colleagues to deal with the fallout and taking pax hostage to get their ill-considered way), management is looking out for EVERBODY at AA.

Managements responsibility is to the investors who have charged them with "looking after" their investment, if that means taking the company into chpt.11, letting go thousands, lowering wages and benefits that is their duty. When they declined to take AA into chpt.11 when DL, NW and CO did it was not because they were looking out for staff, they thought it was a sound financial decision. Now they are citing those filings as reasons why they must now demand even more concessions to be competitive, I guess the jury is still out on whether it was a wise business decision not to file earlier.

In any event, this is a topic because of the power of the pilots, if the janitors cared only for themselves like the pilots and went on strike, management would have them replaced in a minute, the issue is can AA effectively remove the power of the pilots and mechanics. NW was able to change their environment when their mechanics went on strike, did it hurt the airline, yes, but the environment was less toxic and the travelling public was not held hostage to the workers whims but the restructuring of the company, something for which we are more tolerant.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19953 posts, RR: 59
Reply 78, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 11044 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 76):
End result? Either you drive the company under entirely - as happened at Eastern - or you severely weaken it, and also weaken your work group's compensation and benefits going forward.

And when EA CO AS and I agree on something like this, my guess is we're right.


User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5673 posts, RR: 6
Reply 79, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10996 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 76):

End result? Either you drive the company under entirely - as happened at Eastern - or you severely weaken it, and also weaken your work group's compensation and benefits going forward.

The other scenario is just as unpleasant (for the pilots): give in to the company's demands, and run a highly productive airline, yet still get the shaft. If you honestly think that by bending over to the demands AA has made, that it will help the pilots, you've never actually bent over to a manager's demands for higher productivity and lower pay with the promise of improvements or even "snapbacks".

So the pilots are screwed over either way... why should they be the only ones? That goes for any labor group... as stated multiple times here by all parties, the only thing management cares about in a capitalistic society is generating as much money for shareholders as possible. If AA can get major concessions from a workgroup, they're not going to give anything back if they can help it, no matter if the company turns around and starts generating billion-dollar yearly profits. A federal mediator will force them to give something back, at which point they'll run the airline into the ground again to slash wages and work rules again.

tl;dr: The pilots are getting the shaft no matter what they do, so they're giving it right back. And the passengers are caught in the crossfire.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineAAexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 636 posts, RR: 4
Reply 80, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10989 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 79):
The other scenario is just as unpleasant (for the pilots): give in to the company's demands, and run a highly productive airline, yet still get the shaft.

Utter non-sense. Take a look at UA and DL pilots getting new contracts after their respective carriers have been prospering. You are just making excuses for why the pilots should be allowed to continue with their childish, selfish, and unprofessional behavior.


User currently offlinetravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3529 posts, RR: 0
Reply 81, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 10944 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 79):
tl;dr: The pilots are getting the shaft no matter what they do, so they're giving it right back. And the passengers are caught in the crossfire.

Then they should quit and go to an airline that will pay them the value they think they deserve! If they are so valuable they should not have ANY issue getting their "fair" pay and benefits, right?

But no, instead the pilots are jeapordizing the airline, its customers, and the thousands of other employees that rely on their AA paycheck.


User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1379 posts, RR: 3
Reply 82, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 10843 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 62):

It's an attempt to get the management to change the course. It's not a fantastic strategy, and it certainly carries risk, but it's what they've got.

That's pretty much where we're at. I don't like how much this looks like NWA's F/A "Chaos" days, but when we have a professionally trained an educated workforce like the AA pilots are, we are looking at a different story. Given how much other job categories have remained effectively untouched at AA (even in BK), Pilots (and even more so mechanics) have little choice in these matters.

Quoting par13del (Reply 66):
management and investors are doing what they think is in the best interest of their company and investment, full stop. Workers are doing what they think is in their best interest, also full stop.

That's the rub all right.

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 68):

Off topic, but Is AA still insisting on a contractual clause to prohibit criticism or comments on management bonuses?

I'd agree to that, actually, if I were a member of APA. While I completely understand the rational business decision they're making here, I have little if any respect for the personalizations that have occurred. Right now, both the APA & AMR mgmt have jobs to do, and it's clear that they happen to be at odds. But I've no doubt it's possible for APA to continue this "non-action" without making it personal. It is, after all, just business.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 79):

The other scenario is just as unpleasant (for the pilots): give in to the company's demands, and run a highly productive airline, yet still get the shaft.

Right. Especially after hearing about increasing the number of FAs on property (despite a decreasing number of AC), as a pilot, I would be very concerned about the direction being taken. In their shoes, I would advocate for APA to be as aggressive as possible, especially WRT maintaining headcounts.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 79):

So the pilots are screwed over either way... why should they be the only ones?

Right again. This is a group of not easily replaceable and highly trained professionals. No reason why they should be ok with taking a disproportionate hit here. At the end of the day, it's not their problem what happens to the CSAs, FAs, mgmt, etc. While I'm sure they don't want those others to lose jobs, it's not their job to see to that end. I don't why a.net has such a hard time understanding this. As far as APA is concerned, killing the airline shouldn't be a factor in this decision (or a goal).

Obviously I feel that if there is a better option than this action, then they should take that. But it appears that this is not the case. We'll see what happens.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineAirCalSNA From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 357 posts, RR: 0
Reply 83, posted (2 years 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 10856 times:

Quoting travelin man (Reply 81):
Then they should quit and go to an airline that will pay them the value they think they deserve! If they are so valuable they should not have ANY issue getting their "fair" pay and benefits, right?

But no, instead the pilots are jeapordizing the airline, its customers, and the thousands of other employees that rely on their AA paycheck.

I tend to agree with your sentiment. I read the AA pilot's letter to Fox News responding to its coverage of the strike and it made me more sympathetic to the plight of the pilots, but ultimately it sounded like they are in a state of denial about what has been happening to the industry for decades now. It seems like AA put off judgment day for as long as possible, but it is now here and the pilots are freaking out to no good end. The pilot's letter also said that there is a worldwide airline pilot shortage, to explain pilots' economic value to AA, but then he repeatedly called management liars, which made me wonder why the pilots don't just move on if AA is so awful and other jobs are so plentiful.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19953 posts, RR: 59
Reply 84, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 10628 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 79):
The other scenario is just as unpleasant (for the pilots): give in to the company's demands, and run a highly productive airline, yet still get the shaft.

"The shaft"? A pay and pension scheme that would still be considered generous to the average American citizen? Let's grow some perspective here. Once AA is making profits, you can ask for a bigger portion of that money. I'm sure you'll have to fight for it, that's the game and it's been won before.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 79):
tl;dr: The pilots are getting the shaft no matter what they do, so they're giving it right back. And the passengers are caught in the crossfire.

And that is a clear sign that you are doing it wrong.


User currently offlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1987 posts, RR: 0
Reply 85, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 10462 times:

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 53):
Either you agree and move with the company direction, or you quit and do something else. That is how business works.

Yup. The problem is that groups like this will carry on about how they'd be starting at the bottom at another company. Fact is that if unions stop pushing seniority based... everything... then they'd be free to move between airlines. Think, for example, what it would be like if having some number of hours as a 737 captain could get you an equivalent position at any airline. With a salary based on your experience in the industry. It would be based on interview, resume and perhaps a flight. Every man (and woman) for himself. You know, like the real world. Then, if you didn't like how management was running things you could simply move on.

But unions would never go for that.

Protect the weak. Embrace underperformance. Whine about how much you dislike your company.

I don't get it.

I guess that's why I've (as an engineer) never been willing to take a job what required membership in a union (rare as that is for engineers).


User currently offlineflyhossd From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 906 posts, RR: 2
Reply 86, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 10367 times:

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 85):
Yup. The problem is that groups like this will carry on about how they'd be starting at the bottom at another company. Fact is that if unions stop pushing seniority based... everything... then they'd be free to move between airlines. Think, for example, what it would be like if having some number of hours as a 737 captain could get you an equivalent position at any airline. With a salary based on your experience in the industry. It would be based on interview, resume and perhaps a flight. Every man (and woman) for himself. You know, like the real world. Then, if you didn't like how management was running things you could simply move on.

But unions would never go for that.

Protect the weak. Embrace underperformance. Whine about how much you dislike your company.

I don't get it.

You're right - you don't "get it." The seniority system started as a means to enhance safety. Try to find a copy of "Flying the Line" for the full story.



My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
User currently offlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1987 posts, RR: 0
Reply 87, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 10331 times:

Quoting flyhossd (Reply 86):
You're right - you don't "get it." The seniority system started as a means to enhance safety. Try to find a copy of "Flying the Line" for the full story.

I'll read it, but color me skeptical. Why is the same system in place in basically every unionized sector - many of which have no real safety issues to maintain. Why isn't a number of hours (or years) expericence in a similar airline sufficient THESE DAYS to qualify someone for a position? If it's a relic of the past, why not get rid of it? Or, would you argue that allowing a pilot with, say 30,000 (random number) hours as a 737 pilot for delta to take a job at AA with a similar status and salary would be a safety issue?

I look forward to being "enlightened."


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21681 posts, RR: 55
Reply 88, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 10262 times:

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 85):
Fact is that if unions stop pushing seniority based... everything... then they'd be free to move between airlines. Think, for example, what it would be like if having some number of hours as a 737 captain could get you an equivalent position at any airline. With a salary based on your experience in the industry. It would be based on interview, resume and perhaps a flight. Every man (and woman) for himself. You know, like the real world. Then, if you didn't like how management was running things you could simply move on.

But unions would never go for that.

The airlines would never go for it either. Whether they want to admit it publicly, the seniority system and the disincentive it gives pilots to leave (or, looked at differently, the incentive it gives pilots to put up with stuff) helps them out. So does the ability to hire experienced pilots at entry-level wages.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinedavs5032 From United States of America, joined Sep 2010, 394 posts, RR: 0
Reply 89, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10249 times:

Quoting gegarrenton (Reply 53):
Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 44):
So, basically, because management's decisions are important and affect the employees, one should defer to them?

Yes, that is exactly what it means. Either you agree and move with the company direction, or you quit and do something else. That is how business works.

Quoting usdcaguy (Reply 44):
There is NEVER a reason to sacrifice the benefits of organized labor just because you're scared to lose your job.

Tell that to the bill collector when you are broke.

It's scary how these unions have brainwashed the masses to the point where they disregard the most basic and fundamental principles of business....

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 70):
It's not up to the pilots to impede management if they have no confidence in them; the BOD takes that action by replacing management.

Again, there's this lack of understanding by organized labor of what they're entitled to; a say in the direction of the company isn't one of those things. If they dislike that, they can look for work elsewhere. Otherwise, they need to respect the leadership and continue to provide the best service possible, because not doing so doesn't derail management from their course - it only ensures customers will be negatively impacted and not choose AA again.

Which benefits no one.

In other words, labor is essentially holding the company's future hostage.

True as well.

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 74):
Quoting par13del (Reply 66):
On the other side, is management shedding any tears for the pensions and thousands of jobs being cut?

For nearly a decade they TRIED to keep the company competitive while continuing to pay employees better than the other legacies while getting less productivity from the same employees. For that same period, NOBODY touched the pensions and asked for further concessions DESPITE the fact that other legacies were paying less and were far more productive. They COULD have declared Ch11 in 2004/2005 along with UA/DL and chose not to which overwhelmingly benefited the work groups at AA. They were also the last legacy to outsource maintenance. And when the bk was finally entered last November, Arpey couldn't bring himself to guide AA though the process (even though he probably would have been paid handsomely)

I think we can safely declare your class warfare comment (that AA management isn't trying to do the right thing and doesn't care about its employees) as pure non-sense. Unlike the pilots who have shown zero appreciation for the fact that they have had funded pensions much longer than most of their peers and didn't have to take the haircuts the UA pilots had to take (read some of the commentary both here and on FT from the UA pilots), management has at least tried to right the ship without hosing the employees. Now that AA needs help to brings its costs in line (in order to avoid Ch7), the pilots object to any contract (no matter how big the pay raise) that requires them to make workrule concessions...Who is being inflexible and destructive here?

Never mind that "management" is one of the groups at AA that has so far seen the largest share of layoffs and paycuts since the beginning of the bk process.

Quoting par13del (Reply 66):
Look, management and investors are doing what they think is in the best interest of their company and investment, full stop. Workers are doing what they think is in their best interest, also full stop. This idea that workers must be emotional and or have personal feelings on business decisions does no one any good and appears as one sided arguments since the same is not passed on the other side, so it is something best not said or considered.

I have no cue what you are trying to say, but unlike pilots whose only consideration is their own contract and who are willing to put every single other employee on the chopping block to get what's theirs (all the while sabotaging the company, forcing their colleagues to deal with the fallout and taking pax hostage to get their ill-considered way), management is looking out for EVERBODY at AA. Unionized, non-unionized, part-timers, shareholders, the UCC, the secured creditors etc. Huge difference in responsibility between the pilots and management.

You really have to start paying attention.

As stated many times in here, while these unions are said to be for the benefit of their members, and to be fighting for their members' rights, they inevitably end up fighting with management of the corporation and trying to forcibly take over actual MANAGEMENT decision-making...the entire business model is turned on its head. What results is union members losing the most when the bankruptcy inevitably comes....cursing management just like they were taught to do, completely blind to what just happened.

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 85):
Yup. The problem is that groups like this will carry on about how they'd be starting at the bottom at another company. Fact is that if unions stop pushing seniority based... everything... then they'd be free to move between airlines. Think, for example, what it would be like if having some number of hours as a 737 captain could get you an equivalent position at any airline. With a salary based on your experience in the industry. It would be based on interview, resume and perhaps a flight. Every man (and woman) for himself. You know, like the real world. Then, if you didn't like how management was running things you could simply move on.

But unions would never go for that.

Protect the weak. Embrace underperformance. Whine about how much you dislike your company.

I don't get it.

I guess that's why I've (as an engineer) never been willing to take a job what required membership in a union (rare as that is for engineers).

Another thing I'm glad was mentioned. Unions foster an environment that throws hard work out the door. No longer is the performance of one's job duties meaningful, therefore you see employees feeling entitled to making inflated wages, but doing poor quality work, because they have no incentive or motivation to do otherwise. They don't care about profits b/c they think the Corporate side is evil. They don't care about hard work because their job is secured no matter how poorly the job is performed. They don't strive for excellence because they know it will not advance their position within the company.


User currently offlineMSPNWA From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1969 posts, RR: 2
Reply 90, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10233 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 72):
Ahh no, they can always quit.

That's not an arrow. That's laying down the bow.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 75):
No it isn't.

Then what else could they do to advance their position in the negotiations. They don't have many options. And really you can thank government regulation for that. Airline unions are nearly powerless. If a management team wants to kick their labor to the lowest rung in the industry, there's not much labor can do about it.

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 74):
management is looking out for EVERBODY at AA.

Sorry, but that's not the way it goes. The management team will be looking out for themselves first and the company profits second. They do not just give out extra to employees just to be charitable. In a successful negotiation, neither side got what they wanted. They simply got what they could accept and nothing extra.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 76):
When will labor learn that the arrow is actually pointed at their heads too, not just management's?

Management has had their arrows pointed the pilots for a long time now. Both sides can see the points aimed at them.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 76):
If you cost the company $100M in a labor action of any kind, that's not going to get management to sweeten any labor deal, but remove that $100M from the value of your next packaged offer. It's also going to tell customers, "Our workers can't be trusted to put customers first," and drive them to more stable competitors.

Oh yes it can increase your side of the bargain. Both sides have to weigh the risks and rewards of their actions. Pilot action either threatening or actually costing AA money is a negotiation tactic that will raise their bargaining power. In fact, management's hard-balling is also increasing the risk of AA going under. The pilots have less and less to lose. When that happens, they will increase their tactics to potentially cost the company money. AA will never pay out an extra 100M out of the goodness of their hearts. That cost is irrelevant.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 76):

It truly is a lose-lose scenario.

Not at all. This is a usual win-lose situation for both sides.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19953 posts, RR: 59
Reply 91, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10176 times:

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 90):

Sorry, but that's not the way it goes. The management team will be looking out for themselves first and the company profits second. They do not just give out extra to employees just to be charitable.

This is called "splitting." This All Management Is Bad/All Employees Are Good thing. There are good employees and bad ones. There are good, altruistic and honest management and there are horrible, selfish, and backstabbing management. Generally, the good people outweigh the bad people. However, the bad people make a bigger impression.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 90):
Then what else could they do to advance their position in the negotiations.

They could have accepted one of the offers that management made.

Again, they already exhausted their options. Sinking the company helps nobody.


User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13649 posts, RR: 62
Reply 92, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 10114 times:
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Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 90):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 76):
If you cost the company $100M in a labor action of any kind, that's not going to get management to sweeten any labor deal, but remove that $100M from the value of your next packaged offer. It's also going to tell customers, "Our workers can't be trusted to put customers first," and drive them to more stable competitors.

Oh yes it can increase your side of the bargain. Both sides have to weigh the risks and rewards of their actions. Pilot action either threatening or actually costing AA money is a negotiation tactic that will raise their bargaining power.

No, it's thug mentality and really no different than running a protection racket. You're telling the company, "Do what we want and no one gets hurt."

News Flash: Customers will get hurt, and they'll go elsewhere. And when they do, the company goes under.

American and other airlines are for-profit businesses, not jobs programs or entitlement fulfillment centers. Capisce?



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5476 posts, RR: 30
Reply 93, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 9948 times:

Imagine the bargains other airlines will get from the thousands of people put out of work if AA folds or even if US gets to snatch them up. US won't need everybody and the poor schmucks at the bottom of the seniority pool get truly shafted. They are also the ones least likely to have worked long enough to be making enough money to break even.

The value of anything, and that includes labour, is what someone will pay for it. It doesn't matter one bit what the value was yesterday, last year or last century...it's only what its worth today that counts. That may be more, less or the same but that's the way it goes.

If AA pilots reckon they are worth more than what AA is offering, why not put it to the test? If somebody else will give you what you want, you'd be crazy to stay with a company that, it seems, screws you over on a regular basis. There is no right to get more than you used to make or even get back what you may have conceded in a contract. Maybe you were simply paid too much before.

If nobody else is willing to pay what you want, your services are not worth what you think they are.

Regardless what happens, the pilots and management will never, ever have a civil working relationship again...if they ever did.



What the...?
User currently offlinewindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2739 posts, RR: 8
Reply 94, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9793 times:

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 90):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 76):It truly is a lose-lose scenario.Not at all. This is a usual win-lose situation for both sides.

The employees at UA and DL are looking at this as a win-win. Thanks for filling our airplanes...

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 92):
News Flash: Customers will get hurt, and they'll go elsewhere. And when they do, the company goes under.

And you are seeing it already.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 93):
Imagine the bargains other airlines will get from the thousands of people put out of work if AA folds or

It will give a glut of experienced labor who will get hired on at bottom pay. A good deal for the other airlines.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 93):
If AA pilots reckon they are worth more than what AA is offering, why not put it to the test? If somebody else will give you what you want, you'd be crazy to stay with a company that

Other companies are hiring pilots. They are free to move on instead of holding the passengers hostage.



OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently offlineincitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4031 posts, RR: 13
Reply 95, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 9660 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 69):
If they are in compliance with their operating manual (i.e. only writing up things that need to be written up, not refusing aircraft for items that can be dispatched per MEL), they'll be in the clear. A judge can't force a pilot to overlook items that need to be written up, even if the pilot was doing it before.

You are smarter than your comment. I doubt you would go in front of a federal judge and make such a point.



Stop pop up ads
User currently offlineAAexecplat From United States of America, joined Sep 2009, 636 posts, RR: 4
Reply 96, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 9640 times:

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 82):
Right again. This is a group of not easily replaceable and highly trained professionals. No reason why they should be ok with taking a disproportionate hit here. At the end of the day, it's not their problem what happens to the CSAs, FAs, mgmt, etc. While I'm sure they don't want those others to lose jobs, it's not their job to see to that end. I don't why a.net has such a hard time understanding this. As far as APA is concerned, killing the airline shouldn't be a factor in this decision (or a goal).

There is no disproportionate hit. Please state your sources...all the other workgroups took haircuts with their new contracts. For reference, take a look at the mechanics where several thousands will be laid off. The pilots are getting raises and are not subject to layoffs. What they are asked to do is to be more productive and surrender some of the most restrictive work rules to allow AA to be competitive. The pilots haircuts are in line with the haircts of the other work groups. If you have EVIDENCE to the contrary, feel free to present it here.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 84):
"The shaft"? A pay and pension scheme that would still be considered generous to the average American citizen? Let's grow some perspective here. Once AA is making profits, you can ask for a bigger portion of that money. I'm sure you'll have to fight for it, that's the game and it's been won before.

Exactly. The fact that the LFBO continues to get intentionally distorted as abusive in nature should tell you just how rational the stance of the union and its members is.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 90):
Sorry, but that's not the way it goes. The management team will be looking out for themselves first and the company profits second. They do not just give out extra to employees just to be charitable. In a successful negotiation, neither side got what they wanted. They simply got what they could accept and nothing extra.

Non-sense. Management isn't looking out primarily for themselves. They are looking out for all work groups, and that simply necessitates not allowing one work group to take advantage of all the other work groups. And in successful negotiations, both parties believe they got what is economically viable and supported by market forces.

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 93):
Imagine the bargains other airlines will get from the thousands of people put out of work if AA folds or even if US gets to snatch them up. US won't need everybody and the poor schmucks at the bottom of the seniority pool get truly shafted. They are also the ones least likely to have worked long enough to be making enough money to break even.

The value of anything, and that includes labour, is what someone will pay for it. It doesn't matter one bit what the value was yesterday, last year or last century...it's only what its worth today that counts. That may be more, less or the same but that's the way it goes.

Excellent post. I would add that the value of existing labor is the marginal value of labor. Meaning what will it cost me to hire, train, and salary someone to replace the next guy that's leaving the company. At least that's true in union settings where all workers are created equal. In the real world where performance on the job matters, things are a lot different because achievement, work history, recommendations, etc all matter and can cause FAR higher value of labor than the marginal labor rate.


User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4212 posts, RR: 37
Reply 97, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 9406 times:

It's a well written letter, but more of just "feel good" and not much substance. The fact is that AMR is utilizing bankruptcy to rape their employee groups which already make average to less than average pay among the industry.

AMR has some of the most cumbersome overall procedures and way of doing things compared to any other airline, with the vast majority of it stemming from management policies and not union contracts.



Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11752 posts, RR: 62
Reply 98, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 9364 times:

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 96):
The pilots are getting raises and are not subject to layoffs.

Well ... kind of. AA claimed - with all the work groups - that nobody would get a paycut, and everybody would get raises, but in reality some of the changes in work rules and compensation structures, to say nothing of a frozen pension and ever-higher medical premiums (which is hardly unique to AMR) mean, in practice, that many AA pilots, and other employees, will see a net cut in compensation.

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 96):
What they are asked to do is to be more productive and surrender some of the most restrictive work rules to allow AA to be competitive.

The union contract portion of this bankruptcy was always far more about productivity, flexibility and work rules than about pay. AA's labor cost problem was not pay - it was the cost of inefficiency and opportunity cost of inflexibility inherent in the union contracts - the pilot's contract in particular. I think even many APA members acknowledged and accepted this.

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 96):
The pilots haircuts are in line with the haircts of the other work groups.

Ah yes, but the unions dispute that those haircuts were actually worth what AA claimed they were, and instead were actually worth far more that the company was intentionally undervaluing. Who to believe?

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 97):
The fact is that AMR is utilizing bankruptcy to rape their employee groups which already make average to less than average pay among the industry.

Bankruptcy is awful. Horrible dislocation among employees and union contracts, sadly, comes with the territory.

However, I would perhaps take some issue with your statement that AA workgroups already make "average to less than average" pay among the industry. I would ask in response: how do you define "average?" If you mean "average" among the legacy carriers, as the unions often want to discuss, or among the legacy carriers plus Southwest, as the unions even more eagerly want to compare, it's true that in many workgroups AA's people get paid less in base pay, on average, than at some (though not all) other major U.S. airlines. But, that oversimplified comparison excludes several key factors.

First, AA's employees have had defined benefit pensions, and accrued years more of deferred compensation from such plans, than virtually any of their counterparts at other carriers. That isn't base pay, but it is compensation and it does have real, tangible economic value.

Second, given the dynamic shifts in the industry in the last decade, a simple comparison of base pay at mainline-vs-mainline has become less and less relevant, since so much of the work at network carriers these days has shifted to regionals and/or been outsourced. This is perhaps clearest with AA's mechanics who do, on average, make less than mechanics at several other major U.S. carriers. But the key difference is that AA employs substantially more mechanics, whereas at other major U.S. carriers much of the same work has now been outsourced to TIMCO, or Aeroman, or HAECO, etc. So when you compare the average compensation of an AA mechanic with the weighted-average compensation of a mechanic performing work on, say, a United plane, whether that mechanic is actually on United payroll or not, is the AA mechanic still grossly undercompensated? I don't have the statistical data - it would be interested to see - but my guess would be not.

Third, there are plenty of employees in the U.S. besides employees at just Delta, United, USAirways and Southwest. In many cases, the job is identical whether it's being performed by, for example, a mainline FSC at Delta or a Regional Elite FSC or a Spirit FSC or a JetBlue FSC. Same job, but vastly different payscales. AA competes with all of them - so which are or aren't the relevant comparisons? As AA's competitors have gotten far further out ahead in terms of outsourcing various portions of their operations than AA, the disparity between how AA mainline compensates their people, versus how the regionals AA mainline is increasingly competing with compensate their people, has grown larger.

Fourth, the LBFO the APA pilots voted down included wage snapback provisions that would have, supposedly, reset their pay to industry-standard levels three years after date of signing. I believe I remember some APA members complaining that this provision had loopholes that the company could exploit to get out of paying quite as much in three years. I don't remember the specifics - perhaps somebody could enlighten us. But either way, the proposal the pilots rejected did, in one form or another, include provisions that would have, in the span of a few years, brought them at least far closer to parity with their higher-paid counterparts at Delta and United.

And finally, it's also not-insignificant that Delta and United are both larger carriers that have already gone through the labor cost "reset" of bankruptcy and have been able to return some of the economic value created from their post-restructuring success and mergers back to employees. AA has not, yet, gotten that chance.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 97):
AMR has some of the most cumbersome overall procedures and way of doing things compared to any other airline, with the vast majority of it stemming from management policies and not union contracts.

I wouldn't be able to intelligently comment on how "cumbersome" AA's procedures are for any given work group versus the workload for that same work group at another carrier. Nonetheless, I am not so sure I agree with your statement that the "vast majority" of whatever is apparently "cumbersome" about AA stems from management rather than union contracts. It may well be true that the policies and procedures AA management puts in place are inefficient and need to be streamlined, but I doubt very strongly if those inefficient processes amount to nearly as big a drain of AA's competitiveness as some of the very real, very tangible impacts AA's union contracts have had on AA's business model.

[Edited 2012-09-28 10:42:12]

User currently offlineslider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6865 posts, RR: 34
Reply 99, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 9346 times:

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 47):
What the pilots are currently saying in effect is "Management are hacks, we can do what they do far better. We know exactly what it takes to run this company and how to make it profitable and how to manage it, therefore, we want management ousted at all costs."

Does that sound like a sane, humble and rational group of professionals? I don't think so.

I think your response here was well stated. I'd go a step further to say that the tone of pilots (or other labor unions to varying degrees) is exactly how you characterized: they think that because they have a CBA that it entitles them to make the MANAGERIAL decisions on steering the company. Wrongo.

To Crandall's point, that's not disrespectful, it's just calling it what it is. This faux-outrage of being "disrespected" like some pro athlete who feels personally insulted at a contract offer that, while still ridiculously generous, falls short of his expectations is not dissimilar to the herd mentality of some pilots.

Management runs the airline--period. So to some degree, you do what Gordon once said, get on board. Jetway's still attached. You can either buckle in and we can take the ride TOGETHER or you can get off. But pilots mistakenly and far too often across many airlines equate their position with having implied managerial authority. That's wrong. That rebellious insolence by pilots is akin to a petulant teenager who thinks that they know more than their parents, in a nutshell.

And work actions like this only hurt the very customers that AA will need to woo back and maintain if they want to be healthy long term. I've never agreed with the foolishness of cutting yornose of to spite one's face.


User currently onlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7381 posts, RR: 8
Reply 100, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 9309 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 93):
If nobody else is willing to pay what you want, your services are not worth what you think they are.
Quoting windy95 (Reply 94):
Other companies are hiring pilots. They are free to move on instead of holding the passengers hostage.

Exception to the above is that the industry - workers/unions/management - have created a job market where the value of ones labour is constrained by the seniority rules both sides have implemented.
It is somewhat unfair to claim that a fully qualified 737 captain at AA for example if they went to DL would be paid comensurate with their capabilities and qualifications, they will be paid based on where they slot in at the new company, not exactly market rate.
I mentioned it before, it is the environment they created and they must live with it, but for those of us on the outside we cannot look at it and say it is market wages, no I guess it is their market wages. Duhuh  
Quoting Mir (Reply 88):
Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 85):
Fact is that if unions stop pushing seniority based... everything... then they'd be free to move between airlines. Think, for example, what it would be like if having some number of hours as a 737 captain could get you an equivalent position at any airline. With a salary based on your experience in the industry. It would be based on interview, resume and perhaps a flight. Every man (and woman) for himself. You know, like the real world. Then, if you didn't like how management was running things you could simply move on.

But unions would never go for that.

The airlines would never go for it either. Whether they want to admit it publicly, the seniority system and the disincentive it gives pilots to leave (or, looked at differently, the incentive it gives pilots to put up with stuff) helps them out. So does the ability to hire experienced pilots at entry-level wages.
Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 96):
They are looking out for all work groups, and that simply necessitates not allowing one work group to take advantage of all the other work groups.
Quoting slider (Reply 99):
is exactly how you characterized: they think that because they have a CBA that it entitles them to make the MANAGERIAL decisions on steering the company. Wrongo.

Something not always mentioned, AA pilots and Captains in particular have the power to fly / no fly, by reason of their employment they are among the most powerfull employees in the company on an operational basis, are we expecting too much of them to have the same mindset of operational non-critical workers?
My understanding of their pay structure is that they are paid more because of their qualifications and what it takes to get to that position, not because they are regarded as mid-level management types who are to assist management.
At the end of the day they are staff, if they are now claiming that AA needs new management and they do not like the plan being implemented, where does the mindset of empowerment come from, simply the job they have or the power it has over the operation? If others had the same power would they function any differently?


User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1379 posts, RR: 3
Reply 101, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 9231 times:

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 96):
For reference, take a look at the mechanics where several thousands will be laid off.

You mean the ones I specifically mentioned in my post? For the record, I typically don't respond to strawman posts like these, so let's actually read everything before we respond, shall we? I'm very well aware that they're losing at least 1700 positions, as well as the (likely regrettable in the long term) decision to close AFW an off-shore heavy checks to a location that will likely be more expensive in the long run. But when FAs are being recalled (in case you missed that one), yes, flight crews & mx are being asked to take a disproportionate hit here. It's pretty self-evident. I mention this in the context of flight crews as that is what this thread is about, and not something else.

As for raises, a fair amount of googling doesn't support your claim. In fact, with the changes in work rules being proposed (some of which I actually agree with for the record), losses in defined pensions and scope all being up for negotiation, the average AA pilot will lose about 30% of their total income. You may also wish to research what's being talked about for scope clauses as well. Saying they're not subject to layoffs is premature and exceedingly unlikely at this point. As well, these changes will not be alterable for 6 years (I think that is the issue causing this slow-down more than anything else). If that's absolutely necessary for AA's survival, so be it. But that's for people with actual skin in the game to decide, not a.net.

Again, if you'd actually read what I wrote, you'd see pretty clearly that I don't think they should be given whatever they ask. My point was, and remains, that it isn't their problem seeing to the well-being of other work groups when it comes at their expense. Like mechanics, they are already being asked to shoulder a disproportionate burden among represented groups. It is unrealistic to expect them to not have a problem with this and react accordingly, given the opportunity. This is simply their way of negotiating for the best possible deal, as declaring BK was for AMR. Ultimately it will be for a judge to decide, but I'm bot seeing why some of us here have to personalize this. It is as I said, business.

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 97):

It's a well written letter, but more of just "feel good" and not much substance.

That's kind of what I took away from it as well. The only thing I really agree with is that Horton should be given more time, and that the reactionary judgement in his direction is pretty infantile. However, yes, that's not a free pass either. We'll see how that all works out.

If the APA really thinks this will work to their benefit WRT negotiations, and it somehow speeds things along, then great. I for one am not above taking a long view of the situation. But in the mean time, I have to admit I won't be flying with AA, as my own deadlines are important too.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineLAXdude1023 From India, joined Sep 2006, 7691 posts, RR: 25
Reply 102, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 9270 times:

For the first time I can honestly say bravo to the APA leadership:

APA-President-Says-Pilots-Must-Stop-Any-AA-Slowdown-Efforts-171638481.html" target="_blank">http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/APA...AA-Slowdown-Efforts-171638481.html



Stewed...Lewd...Crude...Irreverent...Belligerent
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19953 posts, RR: 59
Reply 103, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 9112 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 100):
Exception to the above is that the industry - workers/unions/management - have created a job market where the value of ones labour is constrained by the seniority rules both sides have implemented.

But this contract is abusive and horrible and disrespectful! So if the AA pilots choose to stay, then I suppose it's not as bad a starting at the bottom at a new carrier.


User currently onlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7381 posts, RR: 8
Reply 104, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 9085 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 103):
But this contract is abusive and horrible and disrespectful! So if the AA pilots choose to stay, then I suppose it's not as bad a starting at the bottom at a new carrier.

Unfortunately, the extra emotional baggage will rear its ugly head if they stay at AA, they will be disgruntled workers gritting their teeth, not a good situation for all, and definately not healthy for them.
At another carrier, they will at least be throwing barbs at AA while being a bit more content with their new employer.


User currently offlineMSPNWA From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1969 posts, RR: 2
Reply 105, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 8993 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 91):
They could have accepted one of the offers that management made.

Again, they already exhausted their options. Sinking the company helps nobody.

Obviously the previous offer was lower than what the pilots could accept. Guess what happens next: both sides go back to negotiation. What happens in negotiation? Tactics to increase your bargaining power. What's one tactic the pilots an use? A slow-down. The employees don't have many options since they're so limited by law, but they are far from running out completely.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 92):
No, it's thug mentality and really no different than running a protection racket.

Completely false. You exhibit no knowledge of how negotiations work. The rules are basically the same as simply buying a car. This is just a much larger scale.

Remember, management uses the same tactics. Those tactics threaten the income (profits) of employees. The employees are calculating the risk of losing their jobs entirely. Obviously that cost right now is smaller than accepting the current contract offers. If that cost switches, you'll see an agreement.

Quoting windy95 (Reply 94):

The employees at UA and DL are looking at this as a win-win. Thanks for filling our airplanes...

Only if they're naive enough. Pilots across the industry should see this as a win-lose situation. They know that when their contract expires, AA's numbers will be used in negotiations. It's looking like those numbers will used by management, and it won't be in their favor.

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 96):
Non-sense. Management isn't looking out primarily for themselves. They are looking out for all work groups, and that simply necessitates not allowing one work group to take advantage of all the other work groups.

Oh yes they are. Basically everybody looks out for themselves first. In fact, I wouldn't want to hire someone who isn't looking out for themselves first. I'd question the mentality of someone who isn't. Only you know yourself and your needs best. You can't count on someone else giving it to you. A me-first mentality is reciprocal and good. Put yourself in a manager position (or any position for that matter). If you want to better yourself, what do you do? Do a good job for the company. What happens when people do a good job for the company? It does well and succeeds. That improves your position. Everybody is better off as a result.

Quoting AAexecplat (Reply 96):
And in successful negotiations, both parties believe they got what is economically viable and supported by market forces.

I agree. But obviously AA hasn't gotten to that point yet with its pilots. Hence the growing pains towards that goal.


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 106, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 8915 times:

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 85):
Protect the weak. Embrace underperformance. Whine about how much you dislike your company.

I don't get it.
Quoting flyhossd (Reply 86):
You're right - you don't "get it."

Thank You, enough said. Unless you're there; you ain't there so don't try to analyze, criticize nor theorize on how it should be.


User currently offlinethrufru From Marshall Islands, joined Feb 2009, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 107, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 8879 times:

While I found Mr. Crandall's response well written and informative, I found it rather telling that he never once mentioned or addressed the issue of management bonuses or employee give back. I'd be terribly interested in his response to the very well written open letter by an American Airlines pilot, Captain Robert Gaylord. As an airline pilot, I would be very pleased to allow this man to represent me.

Oh, and PS... To address the dismissive comments of "Get another job", every single person that posts on these boards should be very well schooled in the way airlines work and understand that this is not a real option. I would imagine that if a 20 year pilot could get a job at another US based airline with a similar salary/schedule/reserve status, (s)he'd be out the door in a flash. I don't work like that boys and girls, and you all know it...


"American pilots are in the unique position of working without a contract. Our contract, which was abrogated by the court two weeks ago, enables pilots to work through operational issues in a professional manner through communications and hearings and fact finding when there are deviations. That is gone now, so pilots are flying very cautiously with regard to company and FAA rules because the com
pany can fire a pilot without recourse and the FAA can take the pilots license while they investigate and that pilot is immediately unemployed - pilots are not on salary they actually get paid by the minute and don’t start getting paid until the aircraft is moved from the gate. So when you see pilots at the airport, in uniform doing paperwork and preparing to fly - they are not being paid. The pilots of American Airlines are professional aviators who have been lied to by management at every turn since 2003 when they gave back over a billion dollars in a concessionary contract to prevent AMR’s dive into bankruptcy while management prepared bonuses for themselves.

As a conservative and an international airline captain at AA I am a Union Member because of the unique circumstances of commercial aviation. But Airline pilots are not traditional unionized labor as many conservatives like myself may be tempted to assume. We are professionals that are federally licensed and regulated. By any measure we have greater risk and responsibility than any manager including AMR CEO Tom Horton. Yet we have no contact with our managers, so we traditionally have a contract we follow and our own ethics and leadership as professionals to guide our actions. We are compensated well because our work requires years of preparation, experience and hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal investment. We have the lives of hundreds of people in our hands every day and sole responsibility for a $20 plus million dollar asset, flown at all hours in all weather conditions into some of the most demanding airports in the world. We have more life and death responsibility that any surgeon at any one moment. We are more highly regulated, inspected and scrutinized than any doctor or CEO and yet we serve at the complete mercy of companies and managers who have little understanding or respect for our profession. We accept these factors but will not devalue our profession for the sake of inexperienced managers and boards who don’t know what it really means to run a world class airline. This is why the pilots voted down the company’s last offer. It was an insulting attack on our profession and we will not cut our own throats to cover for managements failures - we have done our job exactly as we contracted to do with integrity and within the rules of our highly regulated environment.We were professional aviators before we worked for AA, and we will be professional aviators after we no longer work for AA. I was an Air Force U-2 pilot and AA came to my base and specifically asked me to work for them. When I arrived for my interview I sat next to the Colonel who was the Captain of Air Force One, he got the same invitation. American came to us because they needed our skills to make their business work, without professional aviators there is no airline. We cannot be outsourced or easily replaced. There is a worldwide pilot shortage that is only getting worse.

With regard to the company’s economic arguments, AA pilots are paid less than almost all their counterparts, less than Delta, United and Southwest by significant numbers. So their argument that the pilots are making above market rates is a lie. For 25 years AA made promises in writing that they have now been allowed to walk away from through bankruptcy. American Airlines entered bankruptcy with more cash ($5 billion) than any company in American history. AA’s bankruptcy was merely a stunt to break the unions and stiff our creditors so they can compete. Funny thing is that despite no labor concessions having been put in place yet, AA is now reporting a profit except for the costs of paying bankruptcy lawyers. This is a travesty and deserves a fair and balanced investigation, not a mere regurgitation of comments that pose as facts from sources controlled by AA or intellectually dishonest analysts who have it out for unions.

Of course everyone loves Southwest Airlines, but did you know that Southwest is the most highly unionized airline in the US? The difference is management philosophy at Southwest, Their CEO recently stated that the most important people for Southwest are not customers, but employees. Southwest believes that if they take care and respect employees then the employees will take care and respect their customers and business will be good. Well for Southwest business is in fact, very good. But Southwest practices care and respect for employees, they don’t just talk about it. AA has talked for years but not followed up with the actions and commitments. Employees are not the enemy, they are an airlines greatest asset or, if treated poorly, its most powerful drain on brand excellence.

I am a retired AF Colonel, I have an MBA and have run four international companies. I have worked as an aviation analyst for NBC and an international risk expert for CBS. I understand business and leadership and airlines are a unique business that requires extremely competent leadership, agile decision making and trust. It would be refreshing for the media to be fair and balanced with regard to some industries where unions are not the enemy but in fact the leaders in protecting the traveling public. Airline pilot unions in the US have been responsible for creating and/or demanding most of the programs that are now credited with creating the great safety record we now enjoy in the US.

For those companies and organizations on the unsecured creditors committee (the UCC) involved in the AA bankruptcy this is about dollars that belong to companies - for AA pilots (also on the UCC) this is about the future of our families, our lives, our financial security and our honor.

Thanks for your time, the pilots at American Airlines are proud professionals saddened by where management has taken our once great airline. I continue to transport and protect my precious passengers despite the attacks on my profession, my livelihood, my reputation and my colleagues. Professional pilots call in sick when they are not physically fit to fly, this is the responsibility placed on us alone by our Federal Airline Transport License and our FAA Medical Certificate, it is not a company decision. We don’t call in sick to punish the company or leverage our circumstances. But these are trying times of great stress for the employees of American Airlines, and I am sure that this stress does affect peoples health. Over the past several years the stress has gotten so bad that suicides among pilots in our business are at record levels. That is a sure sign of trouble in any business that cannot and should not be ignored.

The truth is that prior to AA’s bankruptcy and continuing through it, AA is responsible for lying not only to employees, but to investors, stockholders, banks, regulators, creditors, analysts and the media. They have been fined well over $150 million over the last 4 years for gross maintenance violations, these fines are records - the previous highest fine was $25 million (also fined against AA). So where is the outrage from the media against a company that has used spin to avoid accountability and abused the bankruptcy laws to cheat investors (every AA stockholder), stakeholders (employees), suppliers and customers so they can break contracts they agreed to and signed. Please tenaciously investigate deeper than the press releases and the analyst babble from those who look at the industry but don’t know the business.

Finally, please realize that I obviously do not speak for American Airlines or for the pilots union, the Allied Pilots Association. I speak as a private citizen, professional aviator, conservative and concerned american worker.

Very Respectfully,

Captain Robert Gaylord"


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 108, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 8818 times:

well said, everyone needs to hear "the rest of the story"

User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13649 posts, RR: 62
Reply 109, posted (2 years 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 8711 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 105):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 92):
No, it's thug mentality and really no different than running a protection racket.

Completely false. You exhibit no knowledge of how negotiations work.

Actually, I've worked directly with negotiating teams at my airline. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Regardless, it doesn't take knowledge of airline negotiations to come to the conclusion that my analogy was and is spot-on; the union membership is choosing to knowingly and intentionally impact the company and its customers in a negative way in hopes of changing the management/employee relationship.

Quoting thrufru (Reply 107):
As a conservative and an international airline captain at AA I am a Union Member because of the unique circumstances of commercial aviation.

So he sets the stage by saying he is, in fact, an APA member and a Captain at AA...

Quoting thrufru (Reply 107):
AA’s bankruptcy was merely a stunt to break the unions and stiff our creditors so they can compete.

...and then acknowledges in this sentence that AA was previously unable to compete under the previous union CBAs.

Quoting thrufru (Reply 107):
I have an MBA and have run four international companies. I have worked as an aviation analyst for NBC and an international risk expert for CBS.

And Captain Gaylord is now acknowledging his job as an AA Captain allows him an incredible amount of free time with which to pursue other business interests. In fact, according to his LinkedIn profile, he currently holds the following positions:


Robert Gaylord's Experience
Principal, Managing Partner MacroStrategies, LLC

Privately Held; Myself Only; Oil & Energy industry

January 2009 – Present (3 years 9 months)

Global Business, Energy, Transportation and Security Strategies - MacroStrategies helps add an outside view on the strategies, risks and security issues that directly affect global markets so that your decision process is agile and informed. We specialize in three portfolios: Business Development, Global e
Energy Markets, Transportation and International Security Strategies for businesses, brokers, market makers, aviation and maritime interests.

CSO, Chief Privacy Officer, Business Development Jetera Precision Media

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I admire the hell out of airline pilots (I myself wanted to be one as a kid and young adult), but Captain Gaylord's letter simply plays right back into the self-defeating problems airline pilots suffer from:

- the belief that they're more important than others in the company
- the belief that their chosen profession entitles them to a say in how the company is managed
- the belief that inconveniencing and alienating the very customers who pay their salaries is a great way to get what they want
- the fact that senior airline captains have an inordinate amount of free time on their hands when compared to employees in other lines of full-time work.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineairportugal310 From Tokelau, joined Apr 2004, 3661 posts, RR: 2
Reply 110, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8676 times:

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 90):
Sorry, but that's not the way it goes. The management team will be looking out for themselves first and the company profits second. They do not just give out extra to employees just to be charitable.

Beats me...doesn't work that way at the airline I work at, but we're not a crappy carrier either...

Go figure!



I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
User currently offlineStuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1987 posts, RR: 0
Reply 111, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8571 times:

Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 106):
Thank You, enough said. Unless you're there; you ain't there so don't try to analyze, criticize nor theorize on how it should be.

This is a public forum. I don't have to be an AA employee to state my opinion. I've been an employee of a company as it shrunk from over 13,000 employees to just over 3,000. I know tough times and acrimonious employee/management relations.

You may not agree with my opinion but you have no right to dismiss it.


User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8969 posts, RR: 39
Reply 112, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 8494 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 88):
The airlines would never go for it either. Whether they want to admit it publicly, the seniority system and the disincentive it gives pilots to leave (or, looked at differently, the incentive it gives pilots to put up with stuff) helps them out. So does the ability to hire experienced pilots at entry-level wages.

If all airlines dump the seniority system, then there are no competitive pressures. Airlines will adjust to the slightly higher labor cost by parking a couple of planes, since that means they will need to raise ticket prices a bit too (to cover the higher labor costs). Pay and working conditions would be mostly shrugged off by the companies as the going rate for that kind of labor.

On the other hand, while the above cancels out or at least mitigates the higher labor costs, all carriers will benefit from increased labor price stability. That is, no new entrant with unnaturally low labor costs will be able to form and just cause havoc in the market.

[Edited 2012-09-28 19:49:12]


"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5476 posts, RR: 30
Reply 113, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 8375 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 100):
It is somewhat unfair to claim that a fully qualified 737 captain at AA for example if they went to DL would be paid comensurate with their capabilities and qualifications, they will be paid based on where they slot in at the new company, not exactly market rate.

That's pretty much the definition of market rate.

Quoting thrufru (Reply 107):
Oh, and PS... To address the dismissive comments of "Get another job", every single person that posts on these boards should be very well schooled in the way airlines work and understand that this is not a real option. I would imagine that if a 20 year pilot could get a job at another US based airline with a similar salary/schedule/reserve status, (s)he'd be out the door in a flash. I don't work like that boys and girls, and you all know it...

Oh, and ps...there is absolutely nothing special about the airline industry...nothing. People are hired for jobs, train for jobs, qualify for jobs and do the jobs they're paid to do. What a 20 year pilot thinks they should get is completely irrelevant if they can't get it...be it salary, schedule or other work conditions.

If they can't get similar salary, etc, at another airline, then they should not try to screw the goose that is laying their golden egg.

Laying all the blame at the door of management is part of the problem. Of course management shares some of the blame for the woes at the airline but to suggest that they are the only problem is, at best, disingenuous.

It is so annoying that pilots somehow think they and their jobs are special. They aren't. They are more trained than some and less than others. They have more responsibilities than some and less than others.

Pilots really should get over themselves. The glory days of airline pilots being special are long gone. Today, they don't earn any more respect than anyone else who shows up to work and does what they are paid to do.

People have it tough all over. Try to get some sympathy from the millions out of work in America...good luck with that.



What the...?
User currently offlineairportugal310 From Tokelau, joined Apr 2004, 3661 posts, RR: 2
Reply 114, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 8280 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 113):

Well said. No one in this industry is as safe as the next guy.

To think otherwise is only serving to fool you.



I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
User currently offline737tdi From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 899 posts, RR: 1
Reply 115, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 8263 times:
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Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 13):
Nothing ever seems to please ANY union these days......which is kinda sad.....

Did you read the quoted article. This guy threw aircraft maintenance under the bus. Read the article. He is way off topic and way out of line. He is not putting it totally on Supervision, he is saying that poor maintenence is the fault. WOW, I was flabbergasted. An AA pilot slamming his own maintenance, Please read the articles. This dude is way off and is going to change my mind about pilots. If our guys did this??????????????????????????????? I don't know what would happen?????????????????????????????????????


User currently onlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7381 posts, RR: 8
Reply 116, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 8089 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 109):
- the belief that they're more important than others in the company

Ahh actually they are, whether we like it or not, government rules (FAA, NTSB) and company rules do not allow a janitor, F/A, accountant, sales manager and a host of other employee types to legally stop an a/c from flying. Such authority by law is given to pilots, engineers and mechanics, F/A's can initiate a no go but the others have to sign on the dotted line. Accountants do have to sign off on company financials, but that does not stop the plane from flying, in time it may shut down the entire company, and guess what, they are also paid handsomely for that responsibility.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 109):
- the belief that their chosen profession entitles them to a say in how the company is managed

I would re-phrase this one and state that the power of the job within the airline is creating in them a sense of entitlement.
That is the nature of the profession, their choice to join or leave has no effect, how they use the power is the issue.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 109):
- the belief that inconveniencing and alienating the very customers who pay their salaries is a great way to get what they want

Everyone in control of a service does this, whether management or workers, after all, its the only leverage available which affects the bottom line. Until we as customers decide to do the same with our hard earned money, companies and their employees will continue to roll over us. As football season is here, the owners shut down the industry to determine how to share 9 billion in profit, profit, the need to implement their financial plan took precedent over the entertainment of the public who are their customers.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 109):
- the fact that senior airline captains have an inordinate amount of free time on their hands when compared to employees in other lines of full-time work.

I still think the shades of the capitalist system is the best way to go, parents bust their buttt so their off spring don't have to struggle as much, workers do hard work to move up in the company to use their brain more than their brawn to make more money, no one wants to be on the bottom of the rung for ever. If one is still doing the same thing after 10 years making the same amount of money it is either a labour of love or all that person can do, usually in 99.999999% the human spirit can adjust and do more / better, we just need to either be given a chance or earn the right to that chance.


User currently offlinesphealey From United States of America, joined May 2005, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 117, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 8082 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 113):
Oh, and ps...there is absolutely nothing special about the airline industry...nothing. People are hired for jobs, train for jobs, qualify for jobs and do the jobs they're paid to do. What a 20 year pilot thinks they should get is completely irrelevant if they can't get it...be it salary, schedule or other work conditions.

Even an introductory textbook in labor economics will refute this. Jobs which require extreme levels of specialized skill developed over time and for which that skill is non-marketable outside a specific employer will in a free labor market (in this instance, one in which employees are not prevented from forming unions or otherwise coerced into providing their labor at discount rates) develop exactly the characteristics we see in airline pilot employment structures in the developed world. The problem for the airline industry is that it requires more jobs of this type than any other industry, and it is extremely hard to figure out how to satisfy the needs of those employees and still turn a profit. Kelleher did it, but not many others.

sPh


User currently offlinenorcal From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2459 posts, RR: 5
Reply 118, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8018 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 109):
- the fact that senior airline captains have an inordinate amount of free time on their hands when compared to employees in other lines of full-time work.

Those senior airline captains doing things like flying international long haul can't legally work more then they already do so I really don't understand this point.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 109):
And Captain Gaylord is now acknowledging his job as an AA Captain allows him an incredible amount of free time with which to pursue other business interests. In fact, according to his LinkedIn profile, he currently holds the following positions:

How many CEOs are on various boards of directors?

I have a side business but I don't do much of the day to day stuff. I hire other people to do that for me while I monitor then numbers and collect the checks.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 109):
Regardless, it doesn't take knowledge of airline negotiations to come to the conclusion that my analogy was and is spot-on; the union membership is choosing to knowingly and intentionally impact the company and its customers in a negative way in hopes of changing the management/employee relationship.

There literally is no other legal avenue for airline labor to exert leverage. Do you honestly think airline management will give raises out of the goodness of their hearts? Absolutely not!

After some point the pilots get tired of going above and beyond what they are supposed to do so they "fly the contract." The system can't support itself when they and everyone else do just their job descriptions. It's actually hilarious to watch how poorly airlines are run by "stellar management," when the pilots aren't calling people multiple times to get things done. Things like fuel, catering, performance numbers, etc. often times won't arrive with out multiple calls, even cell phone calls. Nothing in their contract says they have to use their personal cell phones to help the company. Many guys do to help smooth the operation out, but when the company constantly tries to beat you down the incentive to help them out is removed.

The RLA is stacked so that airline management can drag out negotiations for YEARS after a contract has become amendable. There simply is no deadline attached to negotiations. If you keep posting great performance numbers day in day out, what incentive does management have to give a new contract?

In AA's case I'd be terrified of operating with out a contract because this is uncharted waters. What Captain Gaylord says is correct, the company can fire them at any point for any violation or minor mx overlook if the FAA catches them. AMR is not the kind of company to stand up for its employees. AMR loathes its employees and sees them as a nuisance. I'd be practicing an abundance of caution too if it was my livelihood. This isn't simply a matter of them possibly losing their job at AA but possibly losing the ability of working in the industry all together if they have an FAA violation on their record.

At this point the pilots at American must be able to justify anything and everything they do to an FAA inspector. Better to be safe then sorry.


User currently offline2175301 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1074 posts, RR: 0
Reply 119, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 7935 times:

Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 113):

Oh, and ps...there is absolutely nothing special about the airline industry...nothing. People are hired for jobs, train for jobs, qualify for jobs and do the jobs they're paid to do. What a 20 year pilot thinks they should get is completely irrelevant if they can't get it...be it salary, schedule or other work conditions.

If they can't get similar salary, etc, at another airline, then they should not try to screw the goose that is laying their golden egg.

Laying all the blame at the door of management is part of the problem. Of course management shares some of the blame for the woes at the airline but to suggest that they are the only problem is, at best, disingenuous.

It is so annoying that pilots somehow think they and their jobs are special. They aren't. They are more trained than some and less than others. They have more responsibilities than some and less than others.

Pilots really should get over themselves. The glory days of airline pilots being special are long gone. Today, they don't earn any more respect than anyone else who shows up to work and does what they are paid to do.

Absolutely correct.

Quoting sphealey (Reply 117):
Even an introductory textbook in labor economics will refute this. Jobs which require extreme levels of specialized skill developed over time and for which that skill is non-marketable outside a specific employer will in a free labor market (in this instance, one in which employees are not prevented from forming unions or otherwise coerced into providing their labor at discount rates) develop exactly the characteristics we see in airline pilot employment structures in the developed world. The problem for the airline industry is that it requires more jobs of this type than any other industry, and it is extremely hard to figure out how to satisfy the needs of those employees and still turn a profit. Kelleher did it, but not many others.

You are correct in that where specialized skills and training are required that it is often common for non-normal labor conditions to develop. However, what you are suggesting is going to far. There are other industries in the US and other countries that do indeed have similar levels of training and responsibility - and licensing requirements. The two that I am personally familiar with is Nuclear Power, and Medical.

So lets discuss Nuclear Power in which I am employed as an Engineer. For starters all the Plant Operators are Licensed by the NRC. There are 3 levels of Licenses: Auxiliary Operator - who typically operates general equipment in the plant and preforms various menial duties. Reactor Operators who man the control board from where the reactor is controlled. Senior Reactor Operators who oversee overall operations and who approve all work and operational activities in the plant. I suggest that it is likely more difficult to get a Senior Reactor License (SRO) than it is to get a Pilots License. For starters - just the training course is 2 years long (and they are darn sure about a lot of things before they will accept you into that course). I believe about 1/3 of people who start a SRO Class does not even finish it. Most people start with an Auxiliary Operator (AO) license; and I believe that class is about 9 months long (with a significant drop out rate). From there most people progress to Reactor Operator (RO); which is another 6-9 month class (with a noticeable drop out rate and some people just stay at AO).

Then you have to take the exams and pass the test. You will be required to spend a week retraining in every 6 week period for the rest of your licensed life. You will be subject to check exams periodically - and your license suspended if you do not pass those.

These licenses are Plant Specific. So if someone wishes to work at another plant - they have to redo the full length training classes - and take the exams again at the new plant to work at the same levels.

In general the plant operators are Unionized (Usually the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers - IBEW)

Yet, people do in fact move from plant to plant. The wages are about the same across the US (with some regional and cost of living differences); and while seniority counts for some degree - and might get you a somewhat different pay scale from being a new hire to 30+ years at the plant - its probably only about 5% of the total wage/benefit package.

By the way - The Key First Major Responsibility on the job description of someone with a NRC License is: Your Job is to protect the health and safety of the public.

Even though I am not an Operator and do not have a NRC License (I work in Plant Engineering - and my specialty is taking care of the heat exchangers in the plant) - I have the exact same Key First Major Responsibility in my job description: To protect the health and safety of the public. Even though I do not have a License the NRC also has put requirements on me as to job expectations that I must follow.

The NRC is not sympathetic to employee problems. They can and do suspend people from working in the nuclear industry (nationwide). 1 Yr, 5 YR, and Lifetime - regardless if you have a Operators License or not (but any such suspension is in reality a lifetime suspension because no one in the industry will every hire you again). Historically, more people without licenses have been suspended by the NRC than with licenses. Truth be told is that the Companies working in the nuclear fields typically take care of any problem employees well before the NRC has a chance to intervene. The termination is reported in a national database as "for cause" which ends a person's career in the nuclear industry (the NRC has taken action against companies who "sugar coated" a termination and did not essentially tell the rest of the industry that there were problems).

In general nuclear plant workers (Operators, Maintenance, Engineering, etc) work long hours each week - and often in a high stress environment. Probably 75% of these workers are Unionized. Yet - we can and do move between companies at similar pay and benefits for our position (regardless of if the plant is Unionized or not).

The Medical field also has similar levels of education, training, and specialization expertise - with licenses. Those people also tend to be able to move around at similar pay scales (accounting for regional and cost of living differences).

---

I understand (and can explain to others) that Pilots are only paid for flight time - and that you have unpaid prep time. So that if you were to have 60 hours of flight time that there probably is another 30 -45 hours (50 -75%) of unpaid prep time. Thus, 80 hours a month of flight time probably equals about 120 - 140 hours of work time. The problem is that most people who are making similar wages to the pilots who are flying about 70 hours a month are working in excess of 200 hours a month (60 hours a week is not uncommon at all). Some of those people are on rotating shifts - and of course we all have commute time to and from work.

I assure you that people who work in Nuclear Plants and Medical Professionals typically work at least 50 hours a week, 60 is common, and 72 hours a week (or more) usually occurs several months a year.

---

So, again - please tell me why pilots are so special; and that the Airlines are not really like other industries that employ highly educated, highly trained, skilled, licensed people (where the licenses and hard to get because of the safety implications to other people)?


I don't see it. I do not believe the general public sees it. Why is it that only the Pilots see it? Who doesn't "get it"?

Have a great day,


User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1379 posts, RR: 3
Reply 120, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 7861 times:

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 119):

That's actually a pretty interesting post, & I'm always happy to learn something new, so thanks for that.

But...

Do you see the somewhat glaring difference in responsibility levels between the two professions?


I don't know what reactor operators and engineers are paid (hopefully a lot, in all fairness), but it is pretty hard to get away from the fact that pilots in america are generally very underpaid, given the level of training and investment involved. There's a good reason why I went into a more lucrative end of commercial aviation instead of going past a simple IFR endorsement.

I'll say this much; given the fact that passengers will not pay a nickle more than they already do (and frankly, rightly so), this will be a trick to solve in the long run. Not just at AA, but across the board.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12735 posts, RR: 25
Reply 121, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 7783 times:

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 119):
There are other industries in the US and other countries that do indeed have similar levels of training and responsibility - and licensing requirements. The two that I am personally familiar with is Nuclear Power, and Medical.

Fascinating, but how does lumping airline pilots in with doctors and nuclear power plant operators support the notion that there's nothing special about being an airline pilot?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinePolot From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 2259 posts, RR: 1
Reply 122, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 7776 times:

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 120):
I don't know what reactor operators and engineers are paid (hopefully a lot, in all fairness), but it is pretty hard to get away from the fact that pilots in america are generally very underpaid, given the level of training and investment involved. There's a good reason why I went into a more lucrative end of commercial aviation instead of going past a simple IFR endorsement.

But in the end, who decides if a group is being underpaid, overpaid or being paid just right? If you have enough people willing to do the job to allow the airline to function (and lets be honest AA, could probably easily find pilots willing to work for less than their current pilots) then you can argue that pilots are not underpaid. You might think that the amount of money you receive is not worth the training and investment involved, but there are plenty of others who disagree.


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17669 posts, RR: 46
Reply 123, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 7754 times:

Quoting thrufru (Reply 107):
We have more life and death responsibility that any surgeon at any one moment.

Oh for chrissakes. Pilots are not doctors. Period. That is flat out offensive to doctors. If they want to be like doctors they can work hours like doctors--who wants to sign up for 24 hours on call?

Quoting thrufru (Reply 107):
Of course everyone loves Southwest Airlines, but did you know that Southwest is the most highly unionized airline in the US?

They also started with a clean slate and never had to deal with the effects of deregulation. Would the APA sign up for the WN pilot productivity? I doubt it.

Quoting norcal (Reply 118):
Do you honestly think airline management will give raises out of the goodness of their hearts?

That's true for every employee.

Quoting thrufru (Reply 107):
, I found it rather telling that he never once mentioned or addressed the issue of management bonuses or employee give back
Quoting thrufru (Reply 107):
The pilots of American Airlines are professional aviators who have been lied to by management at every turn since 2003 when they gave back over a billion dollars in a concessionary contract to prevent AMR’s dive into bankruptcy while management prepared bonuses for themselves.

Oh this meme. Why don't we bring the other meme of pilots as glorified bus drivers again since it's equally ridiculous and untrue. The unions wanted pay for performance for management (never for themselves, of course, though they were offered it), and when management actually got the payout for the aforementioned and agreed to pay for peformance program the unions turned it against management. But the facts will never matter nor change anyone's mind, so we'll continue to believe management paid themselves on the backs of concessions and pilots are glorified bus drivers.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4212 posts, RR: 37
Reply 124, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7664 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 123):
who wants to sign up for 24 hours on call?

I'm on call for 24 hours a day as a rsv pilot. Might want to change your analogy.



Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17669 posts, RR: 46
Reply 125, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7630 times:

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 124):

I mean 24 hours of working, not 24 hours of maybe getting a call to work a normal duty day. Big difference.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6961 posts, RR: 46
Reply 126, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7634 times:

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 119):
I assure you that people who work in Nuclear Plants and Medical Professionals typically work at least 50 hours a week,

My wife was recently very sick, and in the hospital for almost two months. I was able to sleep in the room with her, and was with her all of the time that I could. The doctor in charge of the ward was there early in the morning, and I frequently saw him there after 11:00 at night. I certainly hope that he was making piles and piles of money; he was one of the most dedicated, caring, and compassionate people I have met in any field. You do not work hours like that for the money.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21681 posts, RR: 55
Reply 127, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7544 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 123):
If they want to be like doctors they can work hours like doctors--who wants to sign up for 24 hours on call?


If we had a work environment like doctors, maybe we could work hours like doctors. But we don't.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1379 posts, RR: 3
Reply 128, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 7492 times:

Quoting Polot (Reply 122):

But in the end, who decides if a group is being underpaid, overpaid or being paid just right?

IMO, that's between the pilots & mgmt, in this case (and now a judge), hence this issue in the first place.

Quoting Polot (Reply 122):
(and lets be honest AA , could probably easily find pilots willing to work for less than their current pilots)

They could, yes. But it's very unlikely that there's an amount of current ATPs out there with the time on type AA pilots have as well as being versed in company policy the way they are. I agree that they could be replaced, but it would be quite a stretch to say "easily" and the time it would take to bring this new pool up to speed would likely be lethal for AA.

Quoting Polot (Reply 122):
You might think that the amount of money you receive is not worth the training and investment involved, but there are plenty of others who disagree.

Given what I make now, vs would I would be making as a Mainline pilot, had I stayed that course (& had I, I would only just in the last five years have had the hours to right seat at a mainline...), and assuming everything else went flawlessly? No, there's no question at all that I'm doing better along my chosen path. By every objective metric, I'd need about ten more years flying at a company like AA to get where I already am. I realize there's more to life than benefits & compensatory packages, but thems the breaks.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 123):

They also started with a clean slate and never had to deal with the effects of deregulation. Would the APA sign up for the WN pilot productivity? I doubt it.

I wouldn't say that's true, given that WN has been around before, during, and after de-reg. But if you were to say they've benefitted greatly, I wouldn't disagree with that.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 125):

I mean 24 hours of working, not 24 hours of maybe getting a call to work a normal duty day. Big difference

But it's not the same as being off either. On call comes with a lot of restrictions. Plus...

Quoting Mir (Reply 127):


If we had a work environment like doctors, maybe we could work hours like doctors. But we don't.

This is very true as well. There are pluses and minuses to both those professions enough to make it difficult for a real comparison, but I have noticed there is a tendency here to think it's an "easy job", which of course, is not true.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17669 posts, RR: 46
Reply 129, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7387 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 127):


If we had a work environment like doctors, maybe we could work hours like doctors. But we don't.

Not sure what that means? Arguably if you didn't have the seniority-over-all mentality you might get paid like doctors 
Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 128):
I wouldn't say that's true, given that WN has been around before, during, and after de-reg. But if you were to say they've benefitted greatly, I wouldn't disagree with that.

WN did not fly outside of Texas until after Deregulation, and therefore was never affected by it, other than being able to have the upper hand against any pre-deregulation, interstate carrier.

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 128):
But it's not the same as being off either. On call comes with a lot of restrictions. Plus...

An 8 hour shift as an ER doctor has a lot more going on than an 8 hour flight across the Atlantic. Pilots may think they're gods, but they are not doctors.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinealuminumtubing From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 367 posts, RR: 12
Reply 130, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7371 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 129):
Not sure what that means? Arguably if you didn't have the seniority-over-all mentality you might get paid like doctors 

I personally make more than 2 of 3 doctors I know.  Embarrassment
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 129):
An 8 hour shift as an ER doctor has a lot more going on than an 8 hour flight across the Atlantic. Pilots may think they're gods, but they are not doctors.

Pilots don't think they are Gods. And God should be capitalized by the way. My guess, is that you have spent very little time in simulators or in the cockpit. You seem to be making statements you are not qualified to make.

[Edited 2012-09-29 15:26:41]

User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17669 posts, RR: 46
Reply 131, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7306 times:

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 130):
And God should be capitalized by the way

Only if it is the one and only. And even then I don't, but that's a personal choice and neither here nor there.

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 130):
. My guess, is that you have spent very little time in simulators or in the cockpit.

No time in a simulator but loads of time jumpseating in the cockpit, and no one is exactly fighting to save lives minute by minute up front 99.9...% of the time; in fact I'd safely say that almost everyone is aware that about 10,000' it can be slow, to say the least. I'm not saying the job is easy, or doesn't require endless amounts of training, but it doesn't take 8-11+ years of school either.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8310 posts, RR: 23
Reply 132, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 7296 times:

I've seen this letter posted on a few other industry message boards, and 0 of the responses are favorable.

The best part, though, is that nobody has offered up their ideas for an alternative. It's basically "F management at all costs." Sure, employees have been screwed, but they've been screwed in this industry since it was founded. If you're getting into a career with the airlines you'd better know what to expect.

Whatever your opinion is, for or against management, for or against pilots, unions, machinists, whatever, all that matters is that you decide your own fate in this industry. If you want to say "F management at all costs," you'd better be willing to pony up when the time comes, and that includes giving up your job. Believe me, I'm not saying let management break and mold you and don't push back, but realize that while the fight may be worth fighting, you need to do it strategically and not attack your customers and yourselves in the process.

Everything APA and the pilots has done that I, as a non-employee, have seen has been selfish and disrespectful, especially to me, the paying customer. If you want to make me late to make a point, you're a dick. Period. Whatever your issues or grievances are absolutely become null and void when you start to blatantly disrespect others who are completely innocent of your inner-turmoil.

Get real, or don't complain when we stop flying your airline and you, as a result, are out on the street.



This Website Censors Me
User currently onlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7381 posts, RR: 8
Reply 133, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 7222 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 129):
An 8 hour shift as an ER doctor has a lot more going on than an 8 hour flight across the Atlantic. Pilots may think they're gods, but they are not doctors.

True, but does the doctor have to sleep in a hotel or drive home, rack up long distance calls to speak to his family?
Look the environments are different, if we accept that how do we compare and can a valid comparison be made?
Pro football players can make more money than a doctor for playing one game a week, are they overpaid and if so based on what?
Not sure we aid the discussions with these comparisons, but the discussion is good.


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17669 posts, RR: 46
Reply 134, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 7189 times:

Quoting par13del (Reply 133):

True, but does the doctor have to sleep in a hotel or drive home, rack up long distance calls to speak to his family?

Both have drawbacks to be sure.

Quoting par13del (Reply 133):
if we accept that how do we compare and can a valid comparison be made?

It's pretty easy. Psychologists, chiropractors, pilots: not doctors.

Quoting par13del (Reply 133):
Pro football players can make more money than a doctor for playing one game a week, are they overpaid and if so based on what?

I don't think I have ever said that pilots are overpaid, at least I hope I haven't. But pilots and NFL players are paid what the market will bare, and the market hasn't been able to bare legacy pilot wages for decades. Sadly people are 1000x more willing to pay a premium to see their favorite illiterate, roided up, ex felon ball tosser in a tax payer subsidized Taj Mahal selling beer and food at price gouging rates run by a monopoly industry than they are to fly safely from A to B. That's life, regardless of which of the two I think is overpaid.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21681 posts, RR: 55
Reply 135, posted (2 years 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 7141 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 129):
Not sure what that means?

That trying to draw a comparison between pilots and doctors and say who works harder than who is well nigh impossible due to the vast differences in work environment. You hit on a very important point when you say:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 129):
An 8 hour shift as an ER doctor has a lot more going on than an 8 hour flight across the Atlantic.

That's entirely true, but it's not correct to draw the conclusion that the doctor has the more tiring job. A job with nothing to do can be as tiring, if not more tiring, than a job where one is constantly on the move, because of the lack of stimulation. Couple that lack of stimulation with the need to maintain a high level of alertness in case something should come up, and it can get very tiring indeed.

Try sitting in a chair and watching paint dry for several hours on end. You can have someone bring you a drink or a snack, but that's it - don't get out of the chair, and keep an eye on the drying paint at all times just in case it dries the wrong way. And then think about how drained you'd be at the end of those several hours. I bet it would be more drained than your normal work day, even if that work day was several hours longer.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13649 posts, RR: 62
Reply 136, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 6924 times:
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Quoting norcal (Reply 118):
There literally is no other legal avenue for airline labor to exert leverage.

Which validates my point that these type of work actions against an employer are no different than shakedowns by thugs. When you come to work for someone, you agree to do so based on the terms of the employment. If the employer wishes to change those terms, you have two choices; accept them, or leave employment and find your happiness elsewhere. With organized labor, you have the added benefit of negotiating on a CBA, but once all is said and done it ultimately returns to those first two choices for each employee.

"Negatively impact that businesses customer base until you get your way" not only isn't a viable option, it's basically a protection racket; "Give us what we want and no one gets hurt."

Thugs.

Again, I hold airline pilots in high regard, but not when they resort to the behavior one would normally associate with a piece-of-shit criminal.

Quoting norcal (Reply 118):
Do you honestly think airline management will give raises out of the goodness of their hearts?

Goodness of their hearts? What are you, in second grade? Come up with a better argument than that.

Fact of the matter is that in non-union positions, raises are given based on merit, and those employees work their asses off to ensure they shine in their annual or semi-annual review to have the best opportunity to receive a decent merit-based raise. Management also knows that not giving raises to high-level performers will ultimately result in their departure for greener pastures, leaving the organization with a less-talented workgroup than before.

So in actuality, management knows full well it's in their best interest to ensure those who perform well are rewarded with raises, and they do so every year (or in some cases, every six months).

Case in point; at one time, I was not only part of an organized labor group in my company, but I was at the top of what is a very generous payscale. I eventually interviewed for and was hired for a management position, and my starting salary was just about equal to my top-of-scale pay from the labor group I was leaving (and now, managing). Since then, the top-of-scale people I had been working side-by-side with have received annual raises under their former CBA (and a newly-negotiated one) averaging about 2%. Because I'm no longer shackled to an "everyone gets paid the same amount" union contract, my performance dictates what my raises are, and my earnings have VASTLY outpaced what I would have earned if I remained a union worker.

And unlike being part of the union, where those who do just enough to get by are paid the same increases that the stellar performers do, those who just do enough to get by in management start by not getting raises, and then eventually are shown the door.

Union CBAs reward mediocrity and demotivate achievers.

And in the case of the pilots, give the employees swelled heads to where they erroneously think they have a say in how the company is managed.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently onlinepar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7381 posts, RR: 8
Reply 137, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6843 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 136):
If the employer wishes to change those terms, you have two choices; accept them, or leave employment and find your happiness elsewhere.

Technically true for all workers, if all AA pilots who disagree with the forced 1113 ruling would just up and leave, AA would be in chpt.7 in no time, you and I both know that is not what the creditors or management want, but saying it is oh so nice.
At times one wishes the bluff would be called more often, it would improve labour management relationships.


User currently offlinealuminumtubing From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 367 posts, RR: 12
Reply 138, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6817 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 136):
with a piece-of-shit criminal.

OUCH! I am sure your Mama would be proud of your description. Certainly adds credibility to your post...

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 136):
Fact of the matter is that in non-union positions, raises are given based on merit,

Are you in second grade? You sound like a college professor well versed on theory, but a little slow on the reality uptake. AA management are non-union, I think we could agree. They keep getting raises and bonuses based on underperformance. No?

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 136):
Management also knows that not giving raises to high-level performers will ultimately result in their departure for greener pastures, leaving the organization with a less-talented workgroup than before.

Again, true in theory, but in reality, they are keeping talent that should have been let go many moons ago to graze on greener pastures in lands far, far away. And wouldn't you want to keep your good employees around as well using the same reasoning?

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 136):
Union CBAs reward mediocrity and demotivate achievers.

A pretty simplistic ignorant generalization, don't you think.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 136):
And in the case of the pilots, give the employees swelled heads to where they erroneously think they have a say in how the company is managed.

For someone who apparently feels they don't have a fat head, that was a pretty arrogant statement.

It absolutely boggles the mind how one sided some on this site can be. To blindly take one side in any situation reflects the highest level of ignorance. In any situation, argument, disagreement, etc. there are at least two parties. Without at least two parties, there can be no situation, argument, disagreement, etc. While the truth never falls perfectly in the middle, is falls somewhere in between. Neither side is perfect in this situation, as I think we can all agree. But all the theoretical espousing of business school rhetoric (and I have a degree in business) is all well and good. We ALL have to remember that we live in the real world with real people and if we don't stop, look and listen to all sides, we will not see the whole story through the proverbial trees.


User currently offlinenorcal From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2459 posts, RR: 5
Reply 139, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 6651 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 136):
Which validates my point that these type of work actions against an employer are no different than shakedowns by thugs.

So how should airline employees falling under the RLA get raises? You can't keep them at the same wages forever, there is this little thing called inflation that makes everything more expensive and wages should keep up with inflation.

If everyone goes above and beyond the call every day then what incentive does management have to negotiate with labor under the RLA? How do airline employees get to share in the success of their company when management has zero incentive to even show up to the negotiating table.

The only thing that might work is a national seniority list but management would never go for it because they wouldn't want to pay people based on their years of experience like other professions do. When a doctor transfers hospitals they don't go back to being an intern. Airline management would rather pay everyone entry level wages then pay for experience. If they offered equivalent pay and quality of life for jumping ship you'd see unions disappear incredibly quickly. I hate giving up part of my pay check for union dues. Absolutely hate it, however I see it as a necessary evil because the way the laws are written give airline management all the power over labor. There simply isn't any point in comparing airline unions to regular unions because they are nothing alike.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 136):
Fact of the matter is that in non-union positions, raises are given based on merit, and those employees work their asses off to ensure they shine in their annual or semi-annual review to have the best opportunity to receive a decent merit-based raise. Management also knows that not giving raises to high-level performers will ultimately result in their departure for greener pastures, leaving the organization with a less-talented workgroup than before.

I'm sorry but airline pilots can't operate under that system, it simply doesn't work. We have a high standard that everyone must meet. Mediocrity can't be allowed in the cockpit because it can lead to accidents. So how do you reward pilots based on merit. All I've heard from you is how you don't like unions and how it should be merit based well go ahead and propose a merit based system for the advancement of pilots.

What are you going to propose, the pilots that pick up the most open time should be advanced to Captain first? Ok that encourages pilots to push themselves to the absolute legal limit which can cause fatigue. Fatigue is often listed as a factor in NTSB accident reports so that idea degrades safety.

How about best attendance? We'll that encourages pilots to fly sick and fatigued which is detrimental to other employees and a safety hazard for the passengers.

How about most on time arrivals? Well that isn't exactly fair to the pilots based out of EWR or other delay prone cities. That also encourages pilots to rush through checklists, fly closer to bad weather, and fly as fast as possible (wastes gas) all in the name of ensuring the flight gets in on time so they can advance up the ranks.

Best fuel savers? Not a terrible idea except the fact that in the summer and winter when pilots decide to stop running the APU to keep the cabin comfortable for passengers. What if the ground air and electric is broken? Why should you be penalized because management is too stupid or too cheap to replace it? How is that fair to east coast pilots who have more weather and delays to deal with compared to west coast pilots?


Seriously, how do you create a merit based system of advancement for pilots that preserves current safety?

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 136):
Again, I hold airline pilots in high regard, but not when they resort to the behavior one would normally associate with a piece-of-shit criminal.

For someone who "holds airline pilots in high regard," you have absolutely zero idea what the job entails. We fly according to standard operating procedures this is what the company wants us to do. There is no space to "get creative" in order to save the company money and earn merit based promotion. There are FARs we must follow for safety.

And how is doing exactly what your job description says and what the company tells you to do in their procedures criminal? I'm not paid to do other people's jobs, including management, but often times I find myself doing them in order to get flights out on time. Calling dispatch on my personal phone, calling on the radio multiple times for fuel, rampers, lavatory service, etc. Those are all things that other people are supposed to be managing and taking care of but I constantly find myself doing their jobs to get things running smoothly. If I go 10 years with out a raise, why should I feel incentivized to be doing the work of others and supporting incompetent or mediocre managers. I'll just do my job, exactly as it's described, and let other people do their jobs. If you think doing what I'm supposed to do makes me a criminal then oh well.

What is criminal is executives, like Horton, taking millions in bonuses regardless of how the company is doing financially. This guy is going to destroy the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people and get nice fat pay day for it. He was part of a management team that failed and yet he and the lawyers will make out like bandits. Meanwhile everyone for creditors, to shareholders, to employees will take it on the chin. That's criminal.


User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13649 posts, RR: 62
Reply 140, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 6544 times:
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Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 138):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 136):with a piece-of-shit criminal.

OUCH! I am sure your Mama would be proud of your description.

Hey, if the shoe fits...

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 138):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 136):Fact of the matter is that in non-union positions, raises are given based on merit,
Are you in second grade? You sound like a college professor well versed on theory, but a little slow on the reality uptake. AA management are non-union, I think we could agree. They keep getting raises and bonuses based on underperformance. No?

I guess you conveniently overlooked the rest of my post, where I pointed out that I was once a topped-out union employee and my experience as an at-will management employee now overseeing the work group I came from. Doesn't get any more real than personal experience, friend. You're the one discussing theoretical issues, and I'm sorry my real-life experience undercuts your beliefs.

Regarding AA management and their raises and bonuses, not all management has a direct influence on the company's overall profitability and they execute their jobs well. I can't speak for how things work at AA, but at my airline, management doesn't receive any merit increase if the company hasn't made a profit, so think about that.

Quoting norcal (Reply 139):
So how should airline employees falling under the RLA get raises?

A merit-based system. And yes, one can be implemented for pilots; it would just need to be based on a matrix derived from a number of factors that you've outlined such as attendance reliability, input from non-flight deck co-workers, customer feedback (yes, pilots DO get orchid letters), fuel burn, and overall attitude.

Just because one hasn't been implemented doesn't mean one can't be, despite your naysaying.

Quoting norcal (Reply 139):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 136):Fact of the matter is that in non-union positions, raises are given based on merit, and those employees work their asses off to ensure they shine in their annual or semi-annual review to have the best opportunity to receive a decent merit-based raise. Management also knows that not giving raises to high-level performers will ultimately result in their departure for greener pastures, leaving the organization with a less-talented workgroup than before.
I'm sorry but airline pilots can't operate under that system, it simply doesn't work.

Again you don't know it doesn't work because it hasn't been tried yet at major carriers.

Quoting norcal (Reply 139):
What is criminal is executives, like Horton, taking millions in bonuses regardless of how the company is doing financially.

I guess you forgot that management was given the option to have performance-based-pay and so were the unions. Guess who turned it down? Not management...so you can't complain about pay for performance in other workgroups when your own has shot it down in favor of a one-size-fits-all pay structure.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlinealuminumtubing From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 367 posts, RR: 12
Reply 141, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 6523 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 140):
Hey, if the shoe fits..

I tried the shoe on. It doesn't fit. Sorry. I guess I am not Cinderella after all.


User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17669 posts, RR: 46
Reply 142, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6481 times:

Quoting norcal (Reply 139):
What is criminal is executives, like Horton, taking millions in bonuses regardless of how the company is doing financially. This guy is going to destroy the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people and get nice fat pay day for it. He was part of a management team that failed and yet he and the lawyers will make out like bandits. Meanwhile everyone for creditors, to shareholders, to employees will take it on the chin. That's criminal.

Let's pretend that's true, and let's also pretend that it doesn't happen, then what? Problem solved, right? AA is once again competitive thanks to executives not getting stock options and everyone can get raises and profit sharing. Is that what the APA thinks? Of course none of that solves any of AMRs problems whatsoever, and the carrier would be back at square one. It's interesting how many management teams, over how many decades, have said the same thing--AMR has an uncompetitive cost structure. Yet through all those teams and years, APA has never strayed from the same sheet of music, never offered any piratical solution, and is still in the same or worse spot it was the last time it thrashed and whinged. Crandall in his own letter made several references to previous APA tantrums. And I guarantee if there is a US-AA merger like the labor groups want and Parker is running the show, you can copy-paste the same APA tantrum and CTRL-H the names of the previous leadership team with the new one. Maybe, just maybe, it's not management anymore.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineFI642 From Monaco, joined Mar 2005, 1079 posts, RR: 2
Reply 143, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6418 times:

Too bad Braniff isn't around to see this.

Shades of Eastern Airlines. For those of us who remember that horrible mess,
lets hope American's Pilots don't go this far.



737MAX, Cool Planes for the Worlds Coolest Airline.
User currently offlinealuminumtubing From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 367 posts, RR: 12
Reply 144, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 6402 times:

Quoting FI642 (Reply 143):
lets hope American's Pilots don't go this far.

There we go again, it's all the pilots fault. If only things were that simple. Let's get real. You might take a gander at the AA cancellation thread. It's not against the law to have an open mind and look at the big picture.

[Edited 2012-09-30 11:14:15]

User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12735 posts, RR: 25
Reply 145, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 6354 times:

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 142):
Yet through all those teams and years, APA has never strayed from the same sheet of music, never offered any piratical solution

How do you know what's being offered during negotiations?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinealuminumtubing From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 367 posts, RR: 12
Reply 146, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 6348 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 145):
How do you know what's being offered during negotiations?

He doesn't have a clue. If I had the opportunity to sit down with him and explain all that was done by the APA in order to come to an agreement, he probably wouldn't believe anything I had to say anyway. As I have said before, I have had lots of problems and issues with the way the APA leadership has handled things over the years, but the A{A is not the entire problem.


User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1379 posts, RR: 3
Reply 147, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 6332 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 140):

I guess you conveniently overlooked the rest of my post, where I pointed out that I was once a topped-out union employee and my experience as an at-will management employee now overseeing the work group I came from.

I've followed a pretty similar path myself. And I'm not seeing how that's germain to this discussion. What Pilots are paid is already complex matrix of what they are worth vs local market forces as it is. And as they are paid to be Pilots, and not say, Operational Managers or Station Supervisors, this is a ridiculous comparison.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 140):

Just because one hasn't been implemented doesn't mean one can't be,

Yes, it in fact does. This has been discussed and proposed quite a few times in the industry (and discussed to death here as well). Suffice it say that you will see pre-landing wheel spinups and catapulting runways long before this particular a.net fantasy comes to fruition.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 140):
it would just need to be based on a matrix derived from a number of factors that you've outlined such as attendance reliability, input from non-flight deck co-workers, customer feedback (yes, pilots DO get orchid letters), fuel burn, and overall attitude.

It's been outlined in previous responses why none of those are remotely acceptable. But in particular, "input from non-flight crew members?" Are you kidding? You've posted here already that Pilots should "butt-out" (to paraphrase) of mgmt decisions and allow mgmt to run the company (and this is something I actually have no disagreement with as long as we are talking about matters not related directly to flying airplanes). How on earth is a Pilot being subject to review from an fa any different?

I've actuallly had a run-in or two with a Pilot during my time as Mechanic. It happens. But I've never for a moment thought I was in a position to review how good they are at their job. That suggestion just makes no sense at all.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 142):

Let's pretend that's true, and let's also pretend that it doesn't happen, then what? Problem solved, right?

This I agree with. In fact, I've said here before, and still beleive, that upper level mgmt at companies like AA generally pay a lot less than what one typically sees at similarly sized companies.

I don't see this a zero-sum game either. I'll not get huffed up about mgmt bonuses, but I fully understand that Pilots shouldn't just accept a screw-job either. If AA can turn things far enough around, there's no reason why both ends can't be met.

WN doesn't have to pay Gary Kelly $50k/yr to have industry leading Pilot wages.

Quoting FI642 (Reply 143):

Shades of Eastern Airlines. For those of us who remember

We do. In fact, it's been talked about extensively up-thread today. This is not the same.

Quoting aluminumtubing (Reply 144):

There we go again, it's all the pilots fault. If only things were that simple. Let's get real. You might take a gander at the AA cancellation thread. It's not against the law to have an open mind and look at the big picture.

Right. These guys really are backed into a corner on this one and are now working without a lot of the protections they should have in place. It isn't pretty, but it's hard to see what else they can do.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlinenorcal From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2459 posts, RR: 5
Reply 148, posted (2 years 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 6338 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 140):
I guess you forgot that management was given the option to have performance-based-pay and so were the unions. Guess who turned it down? Not management...so you can't complain about pay for performance in other workgroups when your own has shot it down in favor of a one-size-fits-all pay structure.

So losing billions of dollars is now considered good performance and worthy of bonuses?

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 140):
A merit-based system. And yes, one can be implemented for pilots; it would just need to be based on a matrix derived from a number of factors that you've outlined such as attendance reliability, input from non-flight deck co-workers, customer feedback (yes, pilots DO get orchid letters), fuel burn, and overall attitude.

Maybe merit for non-flight deck coworkers, but that's the opinion of someone else and not my direct supervisor.

Customer service feedback usually only happens when we have an opportunity to go above and beyond the call. Usually as a result of us fixing other employees incompetence. I got a positive review from a customer once when I went down and got her stroller off the ramp because the rampers forgot it. She had a tight connection so I took care of the problem myself. The issue with this idea is that the customers actually have to take the time to write in. Some people don't.

Overall atitude? Who is going to judge that? The chief pilot? I consider it a good thing my chief pilot doesn't know me on a first name basis. I come to work do what I'm supposed to do, stay out of trouble and go home. Should I miss a promotion because someone else is in there brown nosing the chief?

All the other ones are no go items because they would degrade safety.