MX757 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 625 posts, RR: 12 Posted (8 years 3 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2506 times:
I'm sure all of you have been enjoying the NW/striking AMFA mechs threads on the civil aviation forum. I was wondering how you guys feel about the mechs striking and NW using "scabs" or "replacement mechs" if you prefer. I don't want to start a flame session. I would like to know how other people in my profession feel about it. Good or Bad.
This is how I feel about it:
I would never cross a picket line. It's doesn't matter if I was laid off and needed a job. It's something I could not and would not do. To me it's wrong and I would feel like crap knowing that I'm taking some guy's job. I can always find another job. It's harder to find your self respect again after you lose it. That's just me of course.
This is how everybody I work with feels about it.
Besides if I do get laid off I was thinking about taking a job as a prison guard at a women's corrections facility. Lousy pay but great benefits
It seems to me also that NW didn't give their AMT's no other alternative but to strike.
Your opinions on this would be greatly appreciated.
Vikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9017 posts, RR: 28 Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2492 times:
Hey man....I'm not an AMT or airline employee. I'm not even remotely connected to the industry right now. But I did ask a similar question as a sidenote in a previous thread, and got nary a reply to that particular question. Here's the thread:
Fokker Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2437 times:
I don't go to the civil aviation forum, and I haven't been following the strike.
I do have a few thoughts though.
Back in the 70's the Teamsters went on strike. They told the independant drivers that they were on strike also. They told them, "If we see you driving your truck we will shoot you", and then they did. Nothing moved for a week. When it was over ALL truckers benefitted.
We as aircraft mechanics are weak. We are afraid to stand up for ourselves, let alone anybody else. Instead of fighting for all mechanics, AMFA, and the IAM are more concerned about fighting with each other. The airlines love this. It shows them that we are not united, and they can do to us whatever they please. Every time we say yes to a concessionary contract, it shows the airline that they didn't ask for enough. We haven't been pushed to our limit and they will come back for more. A few years ago USAir told the IAM to give up everything or we will layoff your members. The IAM bowed down and said ok. We took paycuts, gave up holidays, vacation, our pensions, numerous work rule changes, and lost our dignity. In return the company got rid of the utility workers and most of us mechanics. Reservations and baggage handlers were wiped out also.
Unions are a necessary evil. Companies that have unions on their property have done something in the past to deserve that union.
Unions became powerful in the early 1900's because people had been pushed to their limits and had nothing to lose. Today, unions are big businesses that we pay to protect us from other big businesses. When they quit doing what we paid them to do, it was time to get rid of them. Unfortunately we didn't even have the balls to do that. That means that we will eventually lose everything that our grandfathers fought for. We will then reach our desperate limit, and start everything over again. The question is how many generations will it take, and how much blood will be spilled again?
P.S. Piss poor business practices is what hurt the airlines, not union benefits. (QUIT SELLING SEATS FOR LESS THAN WHAT IT COSTS TO FLY, AND QUIT BUYING NEW AIRPLANES WHILE IN BANKRUPTCY.)
Look at SouthWest Airlines as the shining example. They are the most productive and profitable airline going. They are also unionized, and the highest paid in the industry. People actually enjoy working there.
Buzz From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 697 posts, RR: 23 Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2427 times:
Hi MX757, Buzz here. I hear that NWA isn't a nice company to work for, and this strike has been a long time coming. I had been getting postcards for several months to come work for a company in DTW, MEM, MSP.... guess who that might be?
Any they'll pay up to 32 bucks an hour... reading Forbes magazine a couple weeks ago the pay was more like 26 bucks an hour. (less than they were willing to pay a union, no mention of benefits) If you can't take care of your regular people, why pay temporary people even more... then dispose of them in a few years. I'm not interested in the short term job.
If a company will take good care of their people, a union isn't needed. But i've seen enough "managment by intimidation" to need a union where i work.
Sure, i'm an expensive mechanic. Watch how productive i can be!
And Fokker Lover has a valid point that i've read other places: Sell the product for a price that covers the cost. You can only wage a "fare war" only so long before you start doing stupid things. "It's the Revenue, dummy".
Jetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2505 posts, RR: 24 Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2418 times:
Quoting Fokker Lover (Reply 4): Back in the 70's the Teamsters went on strike. They told the independant drivers that they were on strike also. They told them, "If we see you driving your truck we will shoot you", and then they did. Nothing moved for a week. When it was over ALL truckers benefitted.
So much for the land of the free How long did they all benefit for I wonder? Picket lines are about intimidation and bullying. If action is justified enough the picket line would be unnecessary.
Southwest gets it right by keeping it's employees happy, so they don't feel the need to strike. Most other US airlines get it wrong because they are easily blackmailed by their staff, yet don't want to reward them properly for their work. Of course you can't ignore the corporate raider style of owner, everybody suffers with them.
Unions that use their power irresponsibly usually do more harm than good to their members long term. The same goes for employers and stockholders.
The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
Ilikeyyc From United States of America, joined exactly 10 years ago today! , 1373 posts, RR: 21 Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2407 times:
Quoting MX757 (Thread starter): I'm sure all of you have been enjoying the NW/striking AMFA mechs threads on the civil aviation forum. I was wondering how you guys feel about the mechs striking and NW using "scabs" or "replacement mechs" if you prefer.
The amount of Anti-unionism from armchair CEOs on the civil-av forum is amazing, funny, and sometimes sickening. Please tell me why I should care about your company when you want to eliminate my job and impose hard times on my family.
Quoting MX757 (Thread starter): I would never cross a picket line. It's doesn't matter if I was laid off and needed a job. It's something I could not and would not do. To me it's wrong and I would feel like crap knowing that I'm taking some guy's job. I can always find another job. It's harder to find your self respect again after you lose it.
And that's pretty much how I feel about it, too. Years ago I thought unions were bad and antiquated. But over time I have come to realize that they really are a necessary evil. They have, unfortunetly, become a business themselves. Someone once told me to never be loyal to a company. Sure, when times are good they will sing praises for you. But when times are bad, most managers won't care what you have done for the company. If they need to cut jobs, they will drop you in a heartbeat. And the situation at NW proves this point.
I could never cross a picket line because I would feel guilty about messing with someone else's source of income. Ironicly, I will be starting my job next week as an A&P with a non-union shop. For me, now, I have no problem with this. My priority is finding a place where I can learn as much as I can so I can be the best mechanic I can be. But as time goes on, I will be more concerned with pay and benefits so I can take care of a future family and I will want job protection. While a union can't guaruntee that, they can put up a better fight than I can alone.
LMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2403 times:
Where to begin. Guess I'll start with MX757's original query.
For the sake of the mechanics on strike at NWA I hope AMFA is successful in negotiating favorable terms. However it seems that NWA has no intention of doing that. It still amazes me reading some of what has been said regarding this subject on the civil aviation forum. One would get the impression that AMFA is asking for pay raises. It just proves that there are a lot of people out there who are making judgements on bad or incomplete information. Last week I read an article in Forbes that sounded like an NWA press release.
As for the "replacement mechs". Some of them will probably argue that "Hey I have a family to support". I question the logic of that argument. You take a job that you have no idea how long it will last or what part of the country it will take you. For all the "replacement mechs" know the strike may end next week. In which case they are out of a job and have to start the job search all over again. Logic would say ones family would be better served by staying close to home. IMO opinion it makes more sense to look for work closer to home base. A job that will be a bit more stable than what NWA has to offer.
Maybe they are wishing that NWA will prevail and they will be hired on fulltime. The thought of someone hoping others will lose their jobs so they can take it makes my skin crawl. When it comes right down to it they had better hope they get hired by NWA fulltime. Because if they don't they will find it difficult outside the gates of Northwest. Right now the only major carrier that seems to be hiring is Southwest and UPS. A manager at Southwest would probably be hesitant to hire a "replacement mech" considering the AMT's there are represented by AMFA. Even if they did they would find it rough going and probably would not make probation. As for UPS only one word needs be said, teamsters.
Aogdesk From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 933 posts, RR: 4 Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2355 times:
I'm genuinely concerned, VERY concerned with the practice of 100% outsourced maintenance. I try very hard to give both sides of the issue equal consideration; that being said, I don't think that outsourcing in and by itself is a bad thing. What worries me is a 100% replacement workforce, brought in under VERY questionable circumstances. Insiders KNOW for a fact that a good portion of these people are working at NW because they can't find employment elsewhere (due to incompetence or lack of integrity). Insiders KNOW the horror stories, and those horrors are entirely responsible for maintaining the NW fleet now. JMNSHO
Caboclo From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 203 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2351 times:
As several have said, if a company needs a union, that is proof that there is something wrong with the company. Therefore, I would just go find a better company, rather than go on strike. Yes, that's very optimistic; I do know that there are no perfect jobs, but I think the American major airlines are about the worst jobs today. Maybe the wages are still higher than other places, but they won't be for long. Anyone who is still counting on a pension needs to wake up and smell the roses. United was the first airline to dump the pension, but not the last, and aviation is not the first industry to suffer from pensions, and lose a few big companies.
The point about operating below cost is very true, and nothing new; for some strange reason these few airlines have always taken capitalism to it's illogical extreme. That is one of the fundamental problems, not the price of oil. As long as that practice continues, the majors will not be a good place to work, and I, for one, do not plan to waste any time either on the picket line or crossing it.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13602 posts, RR: 63 Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2343 times:
The problem with looking for a new job in the industry is that often the airlines at a certain airport have confidential (because illegal, but very hard to prove in court) agreements not to hire somebody who quit at another airline at the same airport (at least in Europe). This is being done to prevent employees from freely chosing their employer, because the airlines figure that this would drive the wages up (like going to my boss and telling him that, if he doesn't pay me more, I'll quit and apply next door). Think of it like a cartell of the employers to drive the wages down by preventing free movement of workers.
This means that any change of a job means to move to another city, often quite far away (airports being used by big airliners are often far apart).
This in turn gives trouble if you have family, e.g. your wife has a job as well and she can't find one in the other place.
IFIXCF6 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 108 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2329 times:
Add my total agreement with the comment
Quote: Piss poor business practices is what hurt the airlines, not union benefits. (QUIT SELLING SEATS FOR LESS THAN WHAT IT COSTS TO FLY, AND QUIT BUYING NEW AIRPLANES WHILE IN BANKRUPTCY.)
The MANAGEMENT is responsible for all. I say that because they agreed to the union contracts, work rules, benefits, ticket price, and, oh yea strategic planning/position. They are losing $4M a day? It is not the mechanics or any other labor that got them in this spot. The airlines might actually want to find out what is a realistic cost to fly people around and price accordingly.
O.K. I'll stop. No, I would not cross a picket line.
HAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31457 posts, RR: 57 Reply 14, posted (8 years 3 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2305 times:
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 12): The problem with looking for a new job in the industry is that often the airlines at a certain airport have confidential (because illegal, but very hard to prove in court) agreements not to hire somebody who quit at another airline at the same airport (at least in Europe). This is being done to prevent employees from freely chosing their employer, because the airlines figure that this would drive the wages up (like going to my boss and telling him that, if he doesn't pay me more, I'll quit and apply next door).
Thats Exactly whats starting to happen out here.In addition that all operators plan to Agree to need a No Objection Certificate [NOC] from the previous Employer before seeking Employement with the next Employer.
Almost modern day bonded labour.
Whiskeyflyer From Ireland, joined May 2002, 224 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2295 times:
I have just come back from the states and was visiting a very large airline maintenance facility (will remain nameless) so I mentioned the strike to one of the engine shops guys.... and he responds by saying basically they are crazy going on strike as there are a lot of unemployed A&Ps around to take up positions. This guy was an A&P and I was expecting some bit of support for the striking guys but all I got was basically fear for his own job.
Looks like US aviation run on fear and lack of job security.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13602 posts, RR: 63 Reply 16, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2287 times:
What do you expect if the head of the Fed, Allan Greenspan, openly states that a certain number of unemployed are needed in any economy to keep salaries and inflation down? My ex-boss also constantly quoted that there were "thousands of hungry young men outside, fresh from the military or after finishing their apprenticeship who could do our job for less". The thing was that they had neither the knowledge nor the experience to do anything beyond routine tasks, like changing wheels. Advanced troubleshooting or more complicated structural repairs were beyond their skills.
Still my ex company is trying to make the licenced and experienced guys leave, to replace them with cheaper new hires. In the end only the 4 supervisors will have A&P licences. They will spend most of their shift in the office, signing the log books brought in by the unlicenced mechanics and they will be called out for endless overtime if a plane goes AOG.
Fokker Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 20, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2239 times:
Quoting DALMD88 (Reply 19): So what is wrong at SW? It is the most unionized airline with the best mechanics contract to boot. At the end of contract top out will be $85K a year
There is nothing wrong with SouthWest right now. You are correct, they are the best thing going. I'd bet though, a long time ago, something happened to convince their employees that they needed to unionize.
Quoting Whiskeyflyer (Reply 15): he responds by saying basically they are crazy going on strike as there are a lot of unemployed A&Ps around to take up positions. This guy was an A&P and I was expecting some bit of support for the striking guys but all I got was basically fear for his own job.
Looks like US aviation run on fear and lack of job security.
Absolutely correct. That is our main problem here. Hooray for me, screw everybody else.
If we could go off into a dream world for a moment, This is what I'd like to see. Every newly licensed mechanic would be told, "No matter where you work, you won't work for less than this amount. You won't cross a picket line, and you won't undercut your fellow mechanics. If we all stick together, they have to contend with us. If we fight amongst ourselves they will pick us apart." This would benefit everybody from new hires all the way up to retirees. I actually know of 2 professions that do this. Doctors stick together like glue. You have to be a major screwup and kill several people before other doctors turn on you. The other is elevator repairmen. To even touch an elevator you must first be accepted into their union. The union then provides your training, and job assignments. They managed to have laws passed in their favor because they stick together. Starting pay is $25 an hour. Top out after 5 years is in the $40 an hour range.
I know it doesn't sound like it, but I'm not a hardcore unionist. I have much disdain for my own union. I have never voted for any of the politicians that my union supported. I'm even a business owning Republican. I believe it is because my union has lost it's way and became a big business that is only interested in membership dues. When my union takes a lesson from the elevator repair union, I'll start supporting them. In the mean time I'll do my job to the best of my ability, and won't screw my fellow mechanics.
Efohdee From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 214 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2228 times:
I dont know how many of you are aware of what has been going on the Pemco MRO facility in Dothan, AL. The company locked out all of their regular employees and is doing airliner maintenance with just contractors. It's a smaller version of what's going on at Northwest. The irony is Pemco does alot of NW's maintenance.
LMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 22, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2227 times:
Quoting Mrocktor (Reply 17): Good job bringing the topic to a place where dissenting opinions are a minority, and then restricting the discussion to those who are on one side of the issue.
I'm not even going to bother with a reply. But then, I'm not a mech, so you wouldn't want me to anyway.
Before you went off on your rant did you stop and think for a minute? Did it cross your mind that MX757 wanted to know what other AMT's were thinking on this subject and this was the most effective way of doing it? Or did you expect him go through the entire list of airliners.net members looking for AMT's and send each one an e-mail or instant message asking for their opinion?
By the way did MX757 state that no one else was allowed to voice their opinion.
LMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 23, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2227 times:
Quoting Efohdee (Reply 21): I dont know how many of you are aware of what has been going on the Pemco MRO facility in Dothan, AL. The company locked out all of their regular employees and is doing airliner maintenance with just contractors. It's a smaller version of what's going on at Northwest. The irony is Pemco does alot of NW's maintenance.
Mrocktor From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1661 posts, RR: 50 Reply 24, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2219 times:
Quoting LMP737 (Reply 22): Before you went off on your rant did you stop and think for a minute? Did it cross your mind that MX757 wanted to know what other AMT's were thinking on this subject and this was the most effective way of doing it? Or did you expect him go through the entire list of airliners.net members looking for AMT's and send each one an e-mail or instant message asking for their opinion?
True enough and I apologize for the emotive and personal post. I would edit the offending post, but cannot.
In any case, should anyone be interested in my opinion about the issue, it is quite different from the majority of the posts here. A search of my posts in civil aviation will bring up the relevant posts.
[Edited 2005-09-09 21:58:22]
25 B744F: You see, there's this thing called history. And in it, you would see that the picket line has not only caused so much good for all industries, but it
26 LMP737: Corruption in the executive suites at companies like Enron, Worldcom, Tyco, Fannie Mae etc have done more harm to employees and shareholders than any
27 Efohdee: Yes they are unionized. IAM. The old contract expired, and the company locked them out in order to force them to accept the new one. I dont know much
28 Venus6971: it would be nice if all AMT's could join one union instead of competing unions that only care about dues and anything that DNC wants. If all AMT's/A&P
29 HAWK21M: Out here its non Existing.Although the 9W guys are working on something. regds MEL
30 Jetlagged: I agree, and many of those executives responsible were jailed or fined. But that doesn't mean that unions are guilt free. If you want to go back to t
31 Amtrosie: I can not speak to the U.K., so I will not. As to Mrocktor, You admit you know nothing of the industry, especially the AMT's and yet you speak up? Rem
32 MD11Engineer: Here enforcement strikes (opposed to warning strikes during negotiations, which only take place for a few hours or at maximum one day) are usually the
33 Dl757md: SWA is AMFA As for my take on the subject, I'll refer you to my many posts on the subject over in Civ Av. http://www.airliners.net/discussions...ener
34 Mrocktor: I admit nothing of the sort, and the essential question is about the essence of capitalism not about a specific industry. Re-read my previous posts o
35 Amtrosie: Mrocktor, I confused your first post with the very first response to this thread, Sorry. That being said, you have no clue what goes on, on the floor
36 MX757: Thanks to everybody that posted your messages. It seems that almost everybody here has the same opinion on this matter. It's really unfortunate that w