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United Agrees To Mechanics Pay Raise!  
User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3556 posts, RR: 0
Posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 2115 times:

Mechanics Get A Raise

I'm glad that the mechanics will get a raise, as I believe a strike would have been fatal to this airline. In addition, now United will be able to negotiate wage concessions from ALL employee groups in their effort to save money.

Let's hope the mechanics accept the offer (which is basically what the IAM was requesting in the first place).

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4528 posts, RR: 33
Reply 1, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1967 times:

The report also says that UA's stock dropped 10 percent upon news of the agreement. This is an awfully big raise, and UA will *not* be able to pass it along to their customers.

The one upside though is the one you mention, that the other employee groups might now agree to concessions. Creighton must get the employee groups on the same page, so to speak, in order to settle the labor strife. UA is probably gambling that the other groups will agree to concessions, and overall their labor costs won't sustain a huge boost.

One UA IAM member on another thread suggested that UA sell airplanes and lease them to pay for a settlement. Yeah, that's just what UA needs, to lose more liquidity and shoulder big monthly lease payments (with UA's credit ratings, the rates would probably be very high). Creighton may have sidestepped the need to take such a financially ludicrous course.

Let's hope Creighton pulls it off--gets the employee groups on the same page without taking a big long-term cost hit.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineDc10guy From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 2685 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1941 times:

Once again the mechanics will take it in the shorts... I feel bad for the United mechs... last time they where up for more pay ... the airline could'nt afford it so they got stock instead... guess what ? they can't afford a rasie this time too. What will they give them instead of cash this time ? working on airplanes is a thankless job most of the time ... but at United the pay is bad too.


Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
User currently offlineCdfmxtech From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1341 posts, RR: 26
Reply 3, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1931 times:

working on airplanes is a thankless job most of the time ...


UNDERSTATEMENT


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4528 posts, RR: 33
Reply 4, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1920 times:

I love it...."United mechs again take it in the shorts." Yeah, a 37 percent pay raise that will give them industry-leading top-out wages, is taking it in the shorts. Especially when the airline lost almost $3 billion in the first 3 quarters of 2001 and lost who knows how much (we'll hear soon, no doubt) in the 4th quarter.

Airline unions seem to live in an alternate reality where collective-bargaining jargon is divine revelation, and outside economic realities don't matter. Of course UA needs to get its employee groups on the same page, and some kind of raise--in money not stock--was needed for the IAM. But a massive raise during the worst imaginable economic conditions is "taking it in the shorts." That made my morning.

Hey, the IAM could always threaten to strike for a 100 percent pay raise. Or they could cause a "Winter of Hell" like the pilots' "Summer of Hell" in 2000. They could make a prophet out of old "perishing" Goodwin yet. Haven't heard anything about any "union solidarity" concessions yet from the straospherically-paid pilots, to help their IAM brethren. The next few weeks should be interesting.

"Oh the planes, aren't they glistening,
Parked for dead, in Marana blist'ring,
United's whole fleet, oh what a sight,
Resting in a desert wonderland."

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1897 times:

If being a plane mechanic is such a thankless job, why do people do it? It's always amazed me how people complain about what they do, what they're paid, etc. etc. This is America: You have a choice of where to work. If you don't like your job, do something else.

I actually sympathize with the union in this case, because the mechanics were shafted (at the expense of certain other labor groups) when United was making $ billions in profit.

They are going to HAVE to give some of this raise back (as will all labor groups) if United is to survive. The unfortunate thing is I don't think all of the labor groups are going to cooperate.

For the sake of United, I hope they do.


User currently offlineDouglasDC8 From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1894 times:

DCA-ROCguy,
You stated that an IAM member stated that UA should sell and lease back airplanes to pay for the raise. If you are refering to my prior post, you misunderstood it. UA should sell and lease back equipment only to avoid bankruptcy. I love the union bashing, but I hate to inform you that the IAM membership will be participating in any concessions with all United employees. Rather than reading the media reports (which are generally written by people who do not understand aviation or labor laws) I suggest that you go to www.iam141m.org and click on the link that will bring you to the entire Presidential Emergency Board report. It is interesting to read.


User currently offline777d From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 300 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1896 times:

The mechanics have been ignored by management for how long? They have not had a raise since 1994? Now that is taking it in the shorts.

If the labor groups make some consessions will this mean that the mechanics will have to give back part of the raise they just received?

I bet the other unions are thinking, if UAL management can do this for the mechanics then they can do it for us (i.e. pilots and flight attendants.)

I believe the other unions are most likely going give something back but not what management proposes.

Also to blame is management, they negotiated gave themselves nice salaries which inturn developes distrust within the employee ranks seeing that upper management receives high salaries.

I am not sure, but UAL pilots and Flight Attendants are the highest paid or close to the top?

How can UAL survive with all these groups receiving the highest pay and not pass it on to the consumer?






User currently offlineWoodsboy From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 1031 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1892 times:

I am sure that Alaska Airlines mechanics who are the lowest paid in the industry feel really good!

User currently offlineFDXmech From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 34
Reply 9, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1874 times:

This *awfully big* recommended payraise would bring United's mechanics in line with the rest of the industry.






You're only as good as your last departure.
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13767 posts, RR: 61
Reply 10, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1862 times:
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United had already awarded huge pay increases to their pilots. Now, the mechanics are getting up to 37% in wage increases, making them the highest paid in the industry.

So what's next?

Well, the company has REALLY painted itself into a corner. They'll undoubtedly try to ask for wage concessions from other work groups, causing friction among employees. So, when the company comes hat-in-hand looking for givebacks (or the next time a workgroup wants to negotiate a pay increase!), the argument will go like this:


UAL : Guys, we're really hurting. Loads are down. Yields are down. We simply can't survive like this. We need you to allow for a XX% pay cut to help cut costs.

Union: Not so fast. Not only will we NOT take a pay cut, but we're going to ask for a XX% increase on our next contract.

UAL : Obviously we'd love to be able to do that, but we simply can't justify it based on the losses we're incurring because of our cost structure.

Union: Sure you can! After all, you gave the mechanics a 37% pay increase, and that was when we were supposedly in REALLY deep you-know-what after 9/11. If you could do it for them, you can do it for us, too.

UAL : We simply can't do it, sorry. If we don't get wage concessions, we may have to look at reducing our staff to get costs in line. That means layoffs. Do you really want to be responsible for seeing some of your co-workers furloughed because you weren't willing to give up some of your pay?

Union: Well, we'll just tell everyone it's your fault, so it doesn't matter.


For those of you reading this and having a severe case of deja-vu, that's because it went EXACTLY like this at Eastern Air Lines in the late 70s/early 80s.

- the company was hurting financially

- the company discussed wage concessions with all workgroups

- the IAM demanded huge increases and threatened to strike

- the company got concessions from all workgroups except the IAM, which still demanded increases or they would strike

- the company caved in and gave a huge pay hike to the IAM, slapping all other employees in the face after they had accepted wage cuts


The rest is history. All employee groups lost faith in management. The IAM's demands worsened over the years, eventually resulting in the sale of Eastern to Texas Air, and ultimately a strike that cut the airline's size by two-thirds. After that, a recession and a huge spike in the price of jet fuel (from the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990) pushed Eastern over the edge, forcing them to shut down and liquidate in January 1991.

United is not Eastern, but if their management continues to make critical missteps, they may suffer the same fate.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1850 times:

The problem is that the alternative to a pay raise is a strike. United could not withstand the effects of a mechanic's strike given it's current financial condition.

United wiill hopefully be able to negotiate concessions from ALL workgroups this time around, and avoid Eastern's fate.


User currently offlineDc10guy From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 2685 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1850 times:

Airlines that think airplane mechanics are too expensive should try flying airplanes without them. Good mechanic pay is part of the cost of flying a large jet aircraft today. The good news for all us A&P's is ... We're getting harder to find every day. Soon management will have no choice but to pay more. And the 37% (before the give back) ain't enough...God bless the unions ... where would the working people be today without them ???


Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4528 posts, RR: 33
Reply 13, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1843 times:

Douglas DC8,

Here's your original post on the "Will United Survive" thread:

Lowfairair-You are correct. In the United States, a chapter 11 bankruptcy declaration does not eliminate union contracts. In order to do so, the air carrier would have to prove to the bankruptcy court that the elimination of the union contracts is necessary for the carrier's survival. United is far from bankruptcy, they have billions of dollars of outright owned aircraft that they can sell and lease back.

This post is at least ambiguous. It is not clear to me that you are saying that selling and leasing-back aircraft is only a measure for UA to "stave off bankruptcy." Also, to even suggest that UA should risk putting itself in that position, and thus need to sell and lease-back a/c, shows callous disregard for the rest of UA employees; shareholders; consumers; and communities.

Douglas DC8: Rather than reading the media reports (which are generally written by people who do not understand aviation or labor laws) I suggest that you go to www.iam141m.org and click on the link that will bring you to the entire Presidential Emergency Board report. It is interesting to read.

Jim: It was interesting to read. But nothing in its litany of collective-bargaining minutiae is really germane to this discussion. The bottom line is, can UA afford to give such a massive pay increase to one employee group, at this time? UA cannot.

While negotiations with all groups drag on about concessions, UA will hemhorrage money even worse. Oh well, if that's what UA unions want that's what they get. The other unions ought to come forward first and propose concessions to help pay for a decent if not industry-leading IAM raise.

The whole idea of every labor group being entitled to "industry-leading contracts" is, in any event, very entertaining. Markets, not union bosses, decide what air transportation can cost to provide.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4528 posts, RR: 33
Reply 14, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1838 times:

DC10guy: Airlines that think airplane mechanics are too expensive should try flying airplanes without them. Good mechanic pay is part of the cost of flying a large jet aircraft today. The good news for all us A&P's is ... We're getting harder to find every day. Soon management will have no choice but to pay more. And the 37% (before the give back) ain't enough...God bless the unions ... where would the working people be today without them ???

Jim: Passengers, not management, pay more for vastly increased airline union pay. This post is typical of union thinking--two entities exist in aviation, unions and management. The third entity, who pays for it all, consumers, don't seem to enter into the picture. It's all about how much management (read shareholders) and employee groups can wrest from each other. Passengers are to shut up and pay higher and higher fares. Moo, Moo.

But guess what? The passengers have choices these days, and we're not going to pay exhorbitant airfares any more. Whatever willingness to pay exhorbitant fares was left after the early 2001 slowdown, was finished for good by Sept. 11.

No passengers, no money for management to pay.

God bless consumers. The free market system ensures that they eventually pay a fair price for goods, by correcting abuses by management fat-cats and belligerent employee unions.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineDc10guy From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 2685 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1813 times:

Jim, Unlike most things in our free market system, safety cannot be controlled by supply and demand, Airplane Safety involves regulation and highly trained workers, this costs money. Although a "customer" may choose to not fly on an airline because of safety problems... it should never get that far. Professional pilots, mechanics and f/a's should be paid for their skill/training and NOT on what the market will bear. Value Jet comes to mind here. Also Southwest is an excellent example of how an airline CAN pay their people good and still make money....


Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
User currently offlineDc10guy From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 2685 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1813 times:

Jim, Unlike most things in our free market system, safety cannot be controlled by supply and demand, Saftey involves regulation and highly trained workers, this costs money. Although a "customer" may choose to not fly on an airline because of saftey problems... it should never get that far. Professional pilots, mechanics and f/a's should be paid for their skill/training and NOT on what the market will bear. Value Jet comes to mind here. Also Southwest is an excellent example of how an airline CAN pay their people good and still make money....


Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4528 posts, RR: 33
Reply 17, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1794 times:

DC10guy: Jim, Unlike most things in our free market system, safety cannot be controlled by supply and demand, Saftey involves regulation and highly trained workers, this costs money. Although a "customer" may choose to not fly on an airline because of saftey problems... it should never get that far. Professional pilots, mechanics and f/a's should be paid for their skill/training and NOT on what the market will bear. Value Jet comes to mind here. Also Southwest is an excellent example of how an airline CAN pay their people good and still make money....

Jim: All things in life cost money, but air transportation cannot cost 11-14 cents per seat-mile to operate, and still be economically viable. Indeed, Southwest and the other low-fare carriers seem to pay their people well, and they have much better labor-management relations than the Cartel carriers. Part of it is their management style, I think. The low-fare carriers have this strange idea that the employees are vital to excellence and customer satisfaction, and treat them like it. And passengers can see it.

For the first time in my five years in Washington, a serious, viable low-fare carrier is offering flights to my hometown starting in March. I'll gladly be flying AirTran from BWI to Rochester for under $100 roundtrip on a new 717, instead of paying $230 to fly on a US Airways Express turboprop. And I'm perfectly confident in the safety and professionalism of AirTran, a judgment backed by their outstanding safety record since remaking ValuJet.

Low CSM's and low fares, and safety excellence, go hand in hand. Southwest's fatality-free record makes that clear. United has to reduce its CSM's drastically to be viable, and at this time employee initiative, especially from other groups to fund an increase for the IAM, is going to be a key part.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineFDXmech From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 34
Reply 18, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1777 times:

Jim
Interesting letter in AWAST this week from a UAL pilot. The mechanic situation at UAL runs parallel.

"As a member of labor and captain for United Airlines, I am tired for being blamed for the financial health of my airline.

My May 2000 hourly pay was the same as that of May 1993, so my "outrageous" raise equates to less than 3% a year. Meanwhile my ex-CEO, who ruined a fairly healthy airline and wasted $250 million on a doomed merger, received an extra six years in his retirement formula, producing an incomeof more than $500,000 a year, plus country club membership and car for life. He also received 40,000 shares of stock and more than 610,000 options.

Labor does not need a reality check, Wall Street and its pals in upper management and on boards do. Management refuses to share when times are good and delays negotiations until times are bad. By giving no credit to concessions, labor must fight just to get back where it was."

END OF LETTER



You're only as good as your last departure.
User currently offlineUAL Bagsmasher From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 2148 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1768 times:

Rampers and CS agents are still waiting on our contract as well. We already took a strike vote last year.

User currently offlineUAL1837 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1764 times:

For those of you who are worried about United, don't worry. Jack Creighton, the new CEO, has a history of turning around corporations and making them awesome.

United will be back soon.


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4528 posts, RR: 33
Reply 21, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1762 times:

FDXmech: My May 2000 (UA pilot) hourly pay was the same as that of May 1993, so my "outrageous" raise equates to less than 3% a year. Meanwhile my ex-CEO, who ruined a fairly healthy airline and wasted $250 million on a doomed merger, received an extra six years in his retirement formula, producing an incomeof more than $500,000 a year, plus country club membership and car for life. He also received 40,000 shares of stock and more than 610,000 options.

Jim: Unfortunately, comparisons to past years are more or less irrelevant in the airline industry. The pay scales and work rules at the majors were artificially inflated by the pre-Deregulation clubhouse situation. What has happened in the 1990's is part of the correction that occurs with the transfer from government-protected fares to a real market situation.

So collective-bargaining jargon about percentages and old pay scales is ireelavant. Airline unions are *not* entitled to an exemption from the economic reality the rest of the American population faces. They must do their part to help their airline survive, that all might prosper in the future.

The pilot is correct, though, that Goodwin's massive compensation for almost destroying the airline, is vile and immoral. Only the employees and consumers really suffer from bad management. The interlocking boards of directors and country club upper management look out for themselves. Jim Goodwin will never have to worry about paying next month's mortgage, or getting braces for his kids. This situation is disgusting and employees are right to be outraged about it.

Personally, I think Goodwin ought to be put in stocks on Navy Pier in the cold winter wind, with large baskets of tomatoes, heads of cabbage, etc. for employees to throw at him. And then take back his golden parachute and use it to help get the IAM closer to other employee groups.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineLoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 3868 posts, RR: 33
Reply 22, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1741 times:

Well, don't look now, but members are being urged to vote "NO" on the new contract.

http://www.iam2294.org/

LoneStarMike

User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3556 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1739 times:

Greed. Shortsightedness. I'm so angry at the damn IAM "leader" that is urging a "no" vote.

Hopefully the mechanics will ignore his stupidity and do what's best for them and the airline. (which is, of course, to vote yes).


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