United Airline
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Bush To Block Any Strike By United Mechanics

Thu Nov 22, 2001 11:39 am

Bush to block any strike by United mechanics

From Tribune news services
Published November 21, 2001

WASHINGTON -- The White House said Tuesday that President Bush was prepared to use his authority to avert any strike by mechanics at UAL Corp.'s United Airlines, warning that a work stoppage during the holiday season could further harm the U.S. economy.

"The president is deeply concerned, especially at this time of year, about any disruption in airline service to the traveling public," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. "He's also concerned about any negative impact a strike could have on the economy."

Fleischer said Bush is prepared to "do whatever it takes" to protect air travelers during the holidays. The earliest a strike by mechanics could begin would be just before Christmas.

"The message has been sent to both sides to get to the table and settle," said aviation industry consultant Michael Boyd of the Boyd Group. "It won't be easy. United gave a lot away to its pilots."

It is the first industry standoff between labor and management since the Sept. 11 attacks. Industry losses have mounted as major carriers, buffeted by turbulent economic times and shaky public confidence in air travel, struggle to regain their financial footing.

Shares of United's parent, UAL Corp., fell 74 cents Tuesday, or 4.4 percent, to $15.98 on the New York Stock Exchange.

United is losing $15 million a day. It accounted for roughly half of the $2.46 billion in net losses reported by the top eight U.S. carriers in the latest quarter.

Copyright © 2001, Chicago Tribune

That is the only way to deal with greedy, selfish workers. They don't even understand that UAL is in Financial Difficulties. They should 'UNITE' together.


UAL Bagsmasher
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 1999 12:52 pm

RE: Bush To Block Any Strike By United Mechanics

Thu Nov 22, 2001 11:49 am

Excuse me Mr. Know it all...YOU have NOT been working without a contract going on 2 years now HAVE YOU?? YOU have not been screwed by manangement HAVE YOU? YOU do not work for United Airlines DO YOU? YOU did not stand by and watch management cave in and let the pilots take your company to the cleaners, DID YOU?. I think YOU made a poor choice of words calling our mechanics "greedy" and "selfish." I think those two adjectives describe the UAL pilots to the letter...NOT the IAM represented employees. We just want what is ours. We took a huge paycut in exchange for worthless stock in order to save UAL. We were supposed to have a "Seamless" agreement at the end of the ESOP, and were supposed to bounce back to industry wages. We did NOT receive a seamless agreement. It's going on two years now and we have had NO agreement AT ALL, let alone a seamless one. We are working at 1994 wages. So don't go and tell me that we are "greedy" and "selfish." Angry
Posts: 238
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RE: Bush To Block Any Strike By United Mechanics

Thu Nov 22, 2001 11:50 am

If I were the CEO of UA, I'd threaten to shut the airline down. HA did back in 1997, unless the workers agreed to a 10% wage cut, or it would shut down. The workers gave in.
Posts: 484
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 8:58 pm

RE: Bush To Block Any Strike By United Mechanics

Thu Nov 22, 2001 11:54 am

So you are saying the pilots should take a pay cut? I would have thought that under the circumstances they certainly should... but I doubt we will see that happening. Personally I will not forgive United's pilots for the infamous summer of chaos, during which I got stranded more times that I care to remember. I should think that if the mechanics pull the same stunt, United will be history very soon. And "Secure Location Cheney" and the rest of the White House occupants can't block a strike indefinitely can they?
UAL Bagsmasher
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 1999 12:52 pm

RE: Lahaina

Thu Nov 22, 2001 12:01 pm

From everyone I talked to at work, I think you have a better chance of seeing pigs fly than to have us take another paycut on top of the one we are still in the midst of. I know I will NOT agree to ANY paycuts. We are already working at 1994 wages from the ESOP we had several years ago(not the pilots of course, they already got their well known contract ). I was laid off as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks. The morale was so bad at UA even before Sept. 11 that a majority of the employees I talked to would rather let UA go belly-up than take a paycut. I don't know about you guys and gals, but I sure don't want to by flying on an airline where the employees, especially mechanics, are not happy. Taking another pay cut would cause many good employees to take a hike and find employement elsewhere. We are sick of the lies and the BS the company feeds us time and time again. It's time to settle these contracts UA. I guarantee you that if these contracts are not settled soon, you will see people start to work more "cautiously." Big grin
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 8:58 pm

RE: Bush To Block Any Strike By United Mechanics

Thu Nov 22, 2001 12:11 pm

I'm sure you are right Bagsmasher - I'm talking about the pilots - since they got such a rich deal, presumably they could afford to take a pay cut... And how many millions did the outgoing CEO take with him? If morale is that bad, and I believe you from the experiences I have had with United recently, there may be no hope for the airline anyway. I have always believed that happy employees are more important as a focus point than happy customers, since the happy employees will cause happy customers more or less automatically. Look at Southwest as a perfect example. I think I'm right in saying that the vast majority of their employees LUV working for them... (sorry, couldn't resist). And the vast majority of their customers? They love them too.
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RE: Bush To Block Any Strike By United Mechanics

Thu Nov 22, 2001 12:13 pm

you obviously don't work for United. That probably makes you an investor of some kind.

Let me make things easy for you. If you own UAL stock, sell it. If you were thinking of buying UAL stock, don't bother. We will get along find without you.

UAL would do well to realize that it's mechanics are more than willing to weld the doors shut if management shuts down the airline. Fair is fair.
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 10:47 am

IAM Member

Thu Nov 22, 2001 12:20 pm

UAL Bagsmasher,

I agree with you! Many don't understand what type of management most of the airlines have at this time.

When it's time to save the company the employees are there. But, when it's time for the company to back the employee's they look the other way.

Nevertheless, UAL is still spending money trying to make to outside look good, but forgetting to take care of the inside.

Been there done that at AA!! Go IAM!!!


Association of Professional Flight Attendants

Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:57 am

RE: Bush To Block Any Strike By United Mechanics

Thu Nov 22, 2001 12:24 pm

As one of the IAM (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers) represented employees at United, I can see that the problem that my union has with the company is not stated in the posted media report. We know United is in trouble. However, the company can not be saved if only one employee group is forced to give concessions. United mechanics, ramp service, and customer service employees are paid much less than their counterparts at Delta, American, and Southwest.

All employees, including management, pilots, flight attendants, and IAM represented employees must be asked for equal consessions. The problem is that the IAM represented employees are working under the 1994 ESOP agreement. ALL of the other employee groups have had large raises in the last two years. In other words, every day I make 23% less than my counter-parts at Delta and AA. Don't ask me to give up any more until you have cut management's pay and have re-opened the pilots and flight attendants contracts. It is not greed, only fairness.

I would also like to point out that due to the labor laws that govern the U.S. airline industry (The Railway Labor Act), most contracts are reached within the 30-day cooling off period. For those of you not familiar with this law, let me explain it. Under the Railway Labor Act union-management agreements do not expire after the last day of the contract. They become "amendable" at that time if both the union and the company reach an agreement on a new contract. If the parties are unable to reach a new contract the old one just continues while negotiations continue. If the parties are unable to reach a negotiated agreement, then federal mediators are called in to assist in the negotiations. If mediated talks fail to reach an agreement, then the company and the union are both offered "binding arbitration". This means that a third party would decide who gets what. If either side declines binding arbitration the 30 day cooling off period begins. At the end of the 30 day cooling off period, the company can impose a new contract and the union is free to strike. The President may extend the 30 day cooling off period by 60 more days by appointing an emergency board to examine the issues in the dispute. If there is no agreement at the end of the 60 day extension, then congress can force a settlement. Congress has never settled an airline dispute. So after all of this, the President has extended the possible strike date by 60 days.

This antique law just streches negotiations out for years. All airlines seem to use stall tactics to delay new agreements and to save money. This in turn leads to a growing feeling of mistrust between the employees and the company. United and the IAM have been negotiating since December of 1999. The posted report says that this is the first labor dispute since September 11, however this is simply not true.
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Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2001 2:01 pm

RE: Bush To Block Any Strike By United Mechanics

Thu Nov 22, 2001 12:26 pm

I agree somewhat with Bagsmasher except for this:

From everyone I talked to at work, I think you have a better chance of seeing pigs fly than to have us take another paycut on top of the one we are still in the midst of.

I hope you didn't mean that, http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/pig0001028.html

hehe... Big grin

UAL Bagsmasher
Posts: 1839
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 1999 12:52 pm

RE: Serge

Thu Nov 22, 2001 1:01 pm

LOL..I remember reading about that. We talked about that incident in my training class at another airline, which shall remain nameless. (that's another story for another day) In any event, the CS agent who worked the flight was following her training by allowing "guide animals" onboard with the pax. Obviously in this case though..hehe...uhhh...something just wasn't quite right Big grin

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