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UA F/A's In Dreamland  
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4661 posts, RR: 31
Posted (14 years 1 month 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 2099 times:

United Airlines Flight Attendants Refuse to Discuss 'Shared Sacrifices'

CHICAGO, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The flight attendants at United Airlines, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants, AFL-CIO, told United CEO Jack Creighton in a meeting Thursday at United's headquarters in Chicago, that they will not participate in talks about possible concessions, and reiterated
flight attendant concerns and suggestions on how to best restore the airline to fiscal health.

"We take exception to the company's characterization that our costs are the reason for United's financial woes," said AFA United Master Executive Council President Linda Farrow. "In fact, our contract ensures that United's flight attendant costs are similar to the average flight attendant costs of United's major competitors. Nothing could be more competitive than that."

The current flight attendant contract provides for a yearly review of flight attendant costs. The objective of the yearly "Interest Arbitration" is to ensure that United's flight attendant costs stay competitive with the
AVERAGE of the other leading carriers. In 2001, the first year of the comparison, United's flight attendant cost, as determined by an independent arbitrator, was above the average of United's key competition. Thus, Unitedflight attendants did not get a wage increase in 2001. The wage arbitration process for 2002 will conclude in the coming weeks. This process will be
conducted each year until 2006, when the contract becomes amendable.

The flight attendants are the only work group at United with this type of wage arbitration built into its contract. The arbitration was part of a now
abandoned corporate strategy called "Vision 2000." United management has since negotiated a number of new contracts with other work groups that provide
industry-leading compensation.

"This new standard United is applying in its contract negotiations hascreated inequality in flight attendant pay when compared to other work groups at the airline," said AFA United MEC President-Elect Greg Davidowitch. "Negotiating concessions would mean we accept that inequality as fair, and we
do not."

While United's financial difficulties are clear, focusing on labor costs as the problem fails to address the overriding issue of lack of revenue. In other recent meetings about the financial position of the carrier, the flight attendants have urged management to focus on its core business and produce a solid business plan that incorporates a number of cost-cutting measures on the
management side that could save the airline millions, instead of reaching into the flight attendants' pockets.

"Flight attendants will continue to participate in the recovery of United Airlines by doing what we do best -- ensuring the safety and well-being of the
passengers entrusted to our care, and ensuring that United's passengers are
the best treated in the airline industry," said Davidowitch.

During the term of the current contract, the flight attendants are under no obligation to open the contract for negotiations of any kind.

More than 50,000 flight attendants, including the 26,000 flight attendants at United, join together to form AFA, the world's largest flight attendant
union. Visit us at http://www.afanet.org .

Jack Creighton is probably reaching for the Maalox about now. The F/A's thinking could be summed up by a Darryl Hall song popular in the late 1980's: "You're living on Dream time, it's time to wake up..."

"The problem is a lack of revenue..." Those damn consumers! Having the gall to fly low-fare carriers and refuse to pay rapine fares to support United's 11-and-a-half cent CSM! Damn that free market anyway! How dare anyone else offer a better product at a lower price, treat their employees and consumers better, and offer their shareholders better returns? Sheesh.

Cutting "management costs" is indeed a great idea. Make *them* live paycheck to paycheck like many of their employees. Unfortunately, that wouldn't reduce costs nearly enough on its own.

Unfortunately, airline labor costs at the Cartel carriers can't be determined anymore simply by the standard of comparison to each other. That assumes a closed sterile world where only Cartel carriers with their high cost structures, exist. The real world has icky things like Southwest Airlines in it.

This spring should be very interesting at United.


Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineTonyBurr From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (14 years 1 month 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1802 times:

If UA is not reciving the pax and revenue from pax's taht other carriers are, maybe they should ask why people are going to other carriers?

User currently offlineAirworthy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (14 years 1 month 19 hours ago) and read 1726 times:

I don't blame the UA flight attendants. They are simply having a knee-jerk reaction given that they are the only group at the company not having "industry-leading industry-killing" contracts now.

So they feel like do not have to give anything up.

I feel like they should't participate in this anyway. Why?

  • Lately, they have been giving superior onboard service. They've been worker harder since 09/11, and are the truest face of the "We Are United" image, in that respect.

  • They were aloof when it was time for everyone to pull together last time in1994--ESOP time. Where were they then? Where are they now?

    In any case, they do their jobs perfectly fine, and it is not their wages that are killing the company.

    What I've noticed is a serious waste issue at United where too many employees and too much equipment sits idle for the day. Those things should be making the company money more of the time.

    Unfortunately, due to antiiquated work rules the reduced flying, United isn't as efficient as it seems it has become. The only reason why OT is now, at least acceptable, is that there's more downtime for groundworkers, and thus easier prep time.

    In reality, not much has changed from UA. Employees so far have shown very little in supporting Creighton, and the Pilot "Bluff" of participating in this program is only to set themselves up to benefit like how they fared in the ESOP. The pilots will come out on top again, just you watch.

    But at least the pilots are starting to think strategically, instead of in terms of money bags. There is a growing curiousity for the support of an ultimate flexible 777 fleet and large RJ growth. We'll wait and see...

  • User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 3, posted (14 years 1 month 13 hours ago) and read 1690 times:

    I've talked w/ Randy Canale, He is from PHL. The first week of April when we still didn't know what was going to happen he told us that the pilots are fully behind some wage releif. He also stated that he has an understanding w/ the pilots union that the first to "give back" would be the gruops that have enjoyed their raises the longest i.e. management (Vision 2000) and the pilots, IAM 141M would have a chance to enjoy the extra money then IAM 141. These were just guidlines on how a final package would deal w/ the problem.

    Most inportantly, however was Jack Crieghton's addmission to the unions that Goodwin had destryed managements credibility with the employees. He added that any solution would have to come from the unions, management would then impliment it. The plan would also come up for a vote. This will be a long drawn out process, UA and the rest of the industry could be back in the black by the time this all get worked out and voted upon.

    The F/A's not wanting to participate is so typical of the AFA. They stupidly signed a 10 YEAR contract (Who the hell signs that) and refused to participate in ESOP. Oddly enough alot of F/A's complained that they didn't have stock when the stock was high. Now those same F/A's say they knew they wanted no part of the ESOP program. Hass if the F/A's aren't part of the solution they are part of the problem. I really think the AFA is very short sighted, and just based on the signing of a 10 year contract I would vote in a new union.

    User currently offlineILUV767 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3142 posts, RR: 7
    Reply 4, posted (14 years 1 month 8 hours ago) and read 1628 times:

    AFA has done little god for the flight attendants at United Airlines. Sure they have done many safety improvements for the working conditions of UA flight attendants, as well as understand some needs of the UA crew members, but they take little intrest in helping United out as well as helping their own flight attendants.

    Here is an example. If Im not mistaking, the union dues every month is $39. For the last few months what has AFA done for United's crews? Nothing! At the time when the crew members needed their union the most (post 9/11) AFA left United's crews hanging high and dry. Where was AFA? Over at Delta spreading its propaganda to the fine workforce at Detla. They were doing this with United's crew member money. What did UA get...zilch, nadda, nothing. AFA didnt care about UA's flight attendants, they wanted to get more $39 checks from the work force at Delta. Its a business, not a union. Sheesh.

    Another example is their crying a fit about everything. They signed a contract which is not amendable for 10 years. They refused to participate in ESOP but then complain when they dont get the money they want. "UA flight attendants need more money! Pay us or Chaos!" Well...they signed a contract which says that they cant get a pay increase until 2004. Hmmm...who's idea was that? AFA.

    AFA does a great job of contridicting them selves as mentioned above. They seem to have little to no intrest in the actuall happenings at United Airlines. When they do take an interest it is usually over something that they have little power to control.

    I know that their was the idea of a FAIR union floating around at United. Im not sure what has happened to that, but I do support FAIR. If passed, this would be a union that would directly represent UA employees, and allow them to bring up their concerns with managment. American Airlines has a similar independent union. Their union allows them to fly more hours a month (if the f/a wants too), but insures that they will be guarenteed basic rights of working for their company. Its not all about gimme gimmie gimmie. AA's f/a union works for the better good of managment and f/a relations as well as the better good for the company. There isnt as much corperate b.s. that AFA tries to pass on to their union members.

    I L U V 7 6 7

    User currently offlineBigo747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 5, posted (14 years 1 month 6 hours ago) and read 1583 times:

    I agree with Hass. Things can't always be solved by slashing the FA's already modest pay.

    It's more about work rules. Until United stops flying half full 757's with 6 F/A's, they'll continue to loose. That's what's so attractive with RJ's- 1 F/A, no worries about over or under staffing.


    User currently offlineILUV767 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3142 posts, RR: 7
    Reply 6, posted (14 years 1 month 3 hours ago) and read 1544 times:


    I agree with you although AFA says that those flights need to have 6 flight attendants if the booking passes a certain amount of pax other wise flight attendants make understaffing pay. Thankfully, it is only on the transcons. 5 flight attendants can be utilized on most 757 flights, and 3 flight attendants can be used on all other single aisle flights.

    I L U V 7 6 7

    User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 7, posted (14 years 1 month 1 hour ago) and read 1517 times:

    ILUV767: I agree with the in-house union idea. AirTran's pilots are represented by the NPA, National Pilots Assoc.(Should really be APA-Atlanta Pilots Assoc. Big grin), and they have very good union-management relations.

    User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 8, posted (14 years 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1484 times:

    Where is UA flying half empty 757's. PHL has been begging for them on the transcons. We could fill them in PHL.

    FYI the FAA tell the airlines what the minimum amount of F/A's are per aircraft. If the FAA says its 5 on a 757 then that's what it has to be.

    User currently offlineILUV767 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 3142 posts, RR: 7
    Reply 9, posted (14 years 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1471 times:


    4 flight attendants are required on 757s.

    I L U V 7 6 7

    User currently offlineRogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 10, posted (14 years 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1448 times:

    I hate to sound wishy/washy here, but I think both sides are right in this controversy.

    United is in business to make a profit, its not a welfare service that employs people regardless of cost to the company. Management has a valid idea in asking F/As or anyone else to give pay concessions - at least as long as the company is posting big losses. At least, I think the F/As could take a more conciliatory tone and perhaps make a small but symbolic reduction in pay scales. Even if its just temporary.

    On the other hand, the F/As I know don't make much, its not like anyone's getting rich here. I think there are other inefficiencies at United that are costing it more than the unglamarous pay it gives the F/As.

    So, yes I think UA is looking at the wrong things here in searching for cost cutting measures, but on the other hand management is management: its not management by democracy. The F/As should feel lucky they still have an airline to work for and be willing to give up a little bit in this time of uncertainty.

    kind regards,


    User currently offlineBigo747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 11, posted (14 years 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1427 times:

    Just look at the loads on those poor 9/11 flights. I think the one with 44 people had 5 F/A's...

    Why should the F/A's give up any pay? United has about 26000 F/As.. so if each one gives up $2 /hr on a typical 80 hr month, it will save a wopping 4.16 million / month. Only saves about a day of burn.


    User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4661 posts, RR: 31
    Reply 12, posted (14 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1377 times:

    Thanks all for your comments and information. It's hard to believe a union would sign a 10-year contract in an industry where it's hard to know what things will be like two or three years in advance, much less 10. And why is the airline even offering such a contract? They don't know what things will be like either.

    Even a "small, symbolic" offering as mentioned above would be a good idea. If all the labor groups are pitching in to help the airline together, it seems to me that concessions would be easier for all to bear. And let's hope Creighton can undo the damage to management-employee relations inflicted by Goodwin. That will probably take a long time, but successful cooperation in this matter might be a good place to start.


    Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
    User currently offlineBraniff727 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 686 posts, RR: 1
    Reply 13, posted (14 years 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1345 times:

    I side with the FA's. Why should they have to suffer for the mismanagement of the airline for so many years. It was the pilots, if any union, that hurt the airline, but more than that it was management.

    UA has been spending way more money than it should have for a long time, and now they are in a bind. What's the solution? Take money away from the front line employees? That's smart. In a company who is not known for the best, friendliest service, let's upset the workers, who make the company go, even more disgruntled!

    Way to go UA FA's for standing up for yourselves.

    User currently offlineAerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0
    Reply 14, posted (14 years 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1324 times:

    United FAs have the right to stand fast for a living wage.
    In an a world where US domestic service is heinously bad, now is not the time to force salary cuts on flight attendants.

    If a city is in a fiscal budget crisis, they don't start slashing police and fire salaries in half.

    It would also seem that in a situation like this, a sliding scale system for a flight attendant to passenger ratio would be the order of the day. I still don't think that would make sense since there could be weather or equipment problems with dozens or perhaps hundreds of passengers scrambling for alternate flights. In that event under a sliding scale system, the aircraft would experience more gate delays while more flight attendants are obtained for the flight. I say keep the FAA standard for flight attendants where it is. It's sensible and easier to enforce.

    I support the FAs. They should not have to suffer for the fact that UA overextended itself a long time ago with it's "worldwide service." It's management's fault for poorly running the airline.

    Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
    User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 15, posted (14 years 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1301 times:

    As I've said in other posts, Jack Crieghton accknowleged to the unions (Randy Canale said this was a quote) "Management's creditbility has been destroyed, any solution to the crisis has to come from the unions." I respect Jack Crieghton for realizing that his predicessor has hamstrung his ability to offer a solution, and turning to the Unions for help.

    Again if the AFA isn't part of the solution they are part of the problem. A ten year contract garunteed UA Labor stability from the F/A front. Any raises are meditated by an independent, and as happened in 2000 denied to the F/A's. It was a boon to UA. The F/A's got shafted, not buy management, they where given a golden opportunity and took it. The Membership was shafted by the AFA, who now wants to "look tough" tring to make up for past mistakes. VOTE THEM OUT.

    If the F/A's are not willing to go along and UA (however unlikely) tanks, the AFA will then have to explain to its membership why they don't have a job. I'll paraphrase what Randy Canale said to us: Our first priority is to protect or members JOBS. If we ask for too much, or strike to get it, we will have brought the company down and failed our membership. The AFA will now have failed its membership 3 times. Thre strikes and your out.

    User currently offlineUal777contrail From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 16, posted (14 years 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1279 times:

    you really have no clue what you are talking about.
    the ONLY job group to have ever bennifited from the esop was the pilots.
    they have ruined the company, and more downtime for ground workers? where do you work? for ual
    i dont know what down time you are referring to but we dont have any in COS.

    the only reason UAL walks all over the f/a's is because they have chosen repeatedly to exclude themselves from any kind of team effort.

    the pilots think they are trying to be the nice guys here, they are in some ways. since they are the ones who are raping the company with wages. they want to help because if we go bankrupt then they will restructure all the contracts and they will be making southwest wages vs. UNITED wages.

    they have made themselves snakes in the grass, you always have to watch out for the pilots. they are willing to help because they want to own the majority of UAL. they already control 25%

    they want stock in return for their wage conssesions. and when UNITED PILOTS control 51% the conpany will fold.

    as for the flight attendants they have become door mats.if they want to be a power house they need to give something back,they voted in a 10 year contract. how smart is that? anybody with a brain would tell you that times change and cost of living will always increase. you never sign a 10 year contract.

    ual 777 contrail

    User currently offlineUal777contrail From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 17, posted (14 years 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1269 times:

    just to add somemore of my opinions,
    united has the most vp's than any other airline. we need to get rid of the vs's and start cutting management salaries.

    a cost cutting tool, or thought that was brought up was that the ceo, all the way down to station management didnt receive paychecks until the company does better. not as much station managers but the vp's who could care less if the company thrives or dies.

    pay em when we turn this company around.

    ual 777 contrail

    User currently offlineAirworthy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 18, posted (14 years 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1255 times:

    United groundworks have just received a 23% raise, which they feel they deserve every penny of.

    In SFO, at least (and I'm sure in the major hubs), they display low productivity. As for SFO, the CSRs here show up at the gates one hour before the flights. What do they do before that? Chill in the break room. The company doesn't require them to be out there until one hour before, and they take that to the extreme. I have met CSR gate agents who have bragged to me about their leisure time. Now I'm definitely not criticizing the ground crew at cross-utilized or non-hub stations; you guys are definitely productive. However, hub work rules have to change.

    I also know several United rampers, one who keeps a full time United job, and a part time United Express position. With the 23% raises, after 5 years a UA ramper will earn $25 an hour, when a ramper at United express will top out at $15 after 10 years. Now don't you think this is just a bit extravagant for the KSA (knowledge, skills, abilities) required for ramp? The rampers at UA also brag about how much leisure time they have at SFO; heck, they bring DVDs to work to watch in the break room.

    Of course, nothing is as extravagant as the pilots and mechanics salaries. The mechanics at SFO have their own cozy rooms below most jetways at SFO, and yet a significant amount of times they are not ready to accept aircraft. Unacceptable when you see them in there just hanging out, or riding their bikes around chatting, when there's no plane at the gate.

    Well, the pilots and management will have to give the most away right away since they have been benefitting from incredulous raises since 2000... The pilots alone cost UAL an extra billion or so last year. And less good and focused manager are better than many dead wood.

    User currently offlineUal777contrail From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 19, posted (14 years 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 1231 times:

    you may know ual ramp workers and i or we in line-stations feel that the ramp workers in hub cities are extremely lazy and over paid. in a line station when you are done working a flight it is off to the tkt counters to relieve public contact agents.

    i apologize for my brash comments, we are over paid in some aspects. it will be a 29% raise and will top out at $26.02. why let the pilots continue to drive the other job groups down. if the pilots could ever learn to HUMBLE themselves they might not be as disliked as they are now. but they dont care, not all united employees are lazy and have downtime. in my station i start at 0400 checking people in on some days and on others loading mail in the belly of a 737.

    it just get irritating when someone thinks they know how the company runs when they know a few lazy bones that work for the company. we wont go into it but that is how some of your friends have remained employees, unions have protected their jobs.

    ual 777 contrail

    User currently offlineAirworthy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 20, posted (14 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1212 times:

    ual 777 contrail

    that is what I was talking about. I said that line station workers are a much different breed than hub station workers. You guys work a lot harder, and deserve enhanced pay more.

    User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 21, posted (14 years 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1176 times:

    Airworthy what a CSR does 1 hour before a flight is WORK ANOTHER FLIGHT. I've worked as a gate agent for a fee days as a trainee going from flight to flight. Editing and PRE-planning flights.

    Mechanics are not grease monkeys these guys have to be trained technicians. Airliners.net users beloved Airbuses are a load of computers. These guys are fixing everything from the coffee maker to the tires, the onboard computers to the reading lights. They deserve to be paid like the professionals they are. As do we all.

    If you want to keep quailty profeesional people you have to pay them accordingly. Did you all know that a new TSA screener makes more right now than I do. I've been at UA 3 years. Some flunkie off the street can come in and wand someone down and make more than a C scale CSR, we put up w/ more crap too.

    The pilots are willing to give back, they should it protects thier job and mine. Management got a "Vision 2000" raise(along w/ the F/A's) in 2000 these people have had 2 years to enjoy a decent wage. They will have to give back first. "A scale" CSRs and Rampers haven't had a raise, not even a cost of living increase, since 1994. You can't ask them to pony anything up.

    Airworthy if you guys want to start talking about what people do at the hubs I want to see some stats. Stories and persecptions are NOT evidence and not enough to base an opinion on.

    User currently offlineDelta737 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 517 posts, RR: 10
    Reply 22, posted (14 years 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1181 times:


    Don't bother with fighting during negotiations. I tried to defend the profession last summer during Delta ALPA negotiations on this board and I spent more time getting yelled at by young users that thought that I was WAY overpaid and underworked, but in the same login session, came to my website and asked me questions about how much they should expect to make when they get hired by a major.


    Management will always spend more time hiring VPs and trying to squeeze your pay scales down to minimum wage until the day you retire. I've just become accustomed to that idea!

    People are incredibly quick to second guess what the employees earn, but always seem to forget that major airlines have hoards of VP's and directors, making a lot more than we do that really do very little besides an occasional memo or publish a 'forward looking statement'.

    Aww, now I'm off on a rant! Excuse me!  Smile

    Be proud what you earn, don't apologize because you didn't bust your butt to get to where you are to have someone question your ability to feed your family and keep a roof over their heads.

    Doug Taylor

    User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 23, posted (14 years 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1166 times:


    Thanks for the pep talk. Don't think, however I'm so naive to belive that UA management is overbloated. I know it is.

    I was lucky enough to participate in the "East Region Employee Development Program." This was a special program that showed us all the ascepts the buisness. Hub and Line Operations, and a tour of WHQ. I've seen more and participated in just about all you can do at an airline. It was designed to make more well rounded employees as well as prepare some for management.

    As I said in previous posts Randy Canale assured us that any recovery plan will START w/ Management givebacks and pilot givebacks. Randy went so far as to call the plan a "restructering plan" there are managers UPPER level guys that are on there way out. Banks however do not lend to companies when there executive suite is in upheaveal. Rand said these removals will be a slow process so as not to upset the banks, and keep UA's ability to get loans.

    User currently offlineJC5280 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 530 posts, RR: 4
    Reply 24, posted (14 years 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1141 times:


    United does not have more VPs than any other airline. Where are you getting your facts? I remember reading a news article recently that gave the numbers of each airline's VPs. United was well behind AA but still above DL, NW, and CO. However, if you do the math, relative to the size of each carrier, UAL has less VPs per employee.

    As for the ramp workers being lazy, come sit on the 230p (morning shift change) employee bus heading out to the parking lot at DIA and say that and see what happens.

    I agree, a hub agent does a lot less than a line station agent. There may be more flights, but they (gate agents and ramp) get mad when they have to work in between flights. Here is a quick story you all will appreciate:

    September 12th, 2001 around 1p
    The regional VP and the Manager of Denver were discussing the situation at hand with all of the employees that had reported to work that day, after the day of hell. There were hundreds of people there from every department. Lives had been lost. It was there that I first learned how many of our fellow employees had been murdered (working crew and pass riders on those flights). It took about 10 minutes for someone to ask one of these guys about when their IAM contract was going to be settled. It took another 2 minutes to demand that time-clocks be put in the airside parking lots so they could be paid while they rode the bus into work.

    I wanted to throw up. If I had lost a family member in that tragic day, I probably would have taken off my badge and slugged one of those people asking that stuff. Thats pure selfishness.

    User currently offlineUALPHLCS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
    Reply 25, posted (14 years 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 1086 times:

    I was not there in DEN to defend what you perseved. However we where told on Sept 12th that on Sept 10th contract talkes were almost finished. It later came our that the talks where one session, about a half day, away from an agreement. I don't think that employee's wanting to get the Contract BS out of the way in that time is out of line. I said the same thing myself, on Sept 12th. We wanted a contract so we could get down to the buisness of flying airplanes. It was a touchstone to normalcy in an abnormal time.

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