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Hargrove : CAW Will Not Give Concessions To AC

Mon May 17, 2004 9:10 am

The president of a key Air Canada union said on Sunday that his union was unwilling to give any concessions to help save Air Canada.

"We can't give what they want. We can't get there. They've given us a load we can't carry," said CAW President Buzz Hargrove.

"What the investors are looking for is capitalism for the workers and the poor, and socialism for the rich. They want a guarantee they're going to get a major return on their investment. It's unfair as hell," said Hargrove.

The CAW remains one of only two Air Canada unions who have not yet reached agreement on concessions to save the carrier. All other unions have chipped in their share of cuts but Hargrove, who has a history of personal disagreements with Air Canada CEO Robert Milton, refuses to even consider the proposal.

A spokesperson for the IAM, Air Canada's largest union, commented on Hargrove's refusal to discuss concessions saying that "to the best of our knowledge, this is the only way to have Air Canada remain flying."

http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/05/16/aircan040516
http://www.forbes.com/work/newswire/2004/05/16/rtr1373211.html
http://news.airwise.com/stories/2004/05/1084735843.html
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
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RE: Hargrove : CAW Will Not Give Concessions To AC

Mon May 17, 2004 9:16 am

To a degree, they have a point. It's sad when an airline CEO (e.g. Don Carty) can orchestrate numerous continued poor decisions, layoff/fire a good portion of his work force, demand pay concessions, etc. -- then reward himself with millions in retention bonuses because he helped get the airline into the "mess", and he's going to help it get out...

[Edited 2004-05-17 02:17:00]
 
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yyz717
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RE: Hargrove : CAW Will Not Give Concessions To AC

Mon May 17, 2004 9:24 am

Buzz needs to understand that as long as AC employees have higher salaries/wages than their WS/SG counterparts, then they are overpaid. It's a commodity business now. The spoils go to the lowest cost providers.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
Dash8King
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RE: Hargrove : CAW Will Not Give Concessions To AC

Mon May 17, 2004 9:31 am

Wouldn't that be bargaining in bad faith?
 
captaingomes
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RE: Hargrove : CAW Will Not Give Concessions To AC

Mon May 17, 2004 10:35 am

Buzz needs to understand that as long as AC employees have higher salaries/wages than their WS/SG counterparts, then they are overpaid. It's a commodity business now. The spoils go to the lowest cost providers.

I agree, and disagree. AC must be more competitive with compensation, however I'll disagree that it's not just a commodity business anymore. The industry is going through a phase, and while the share of the market for airlines such as Air Canada may be diminishing, it is hardly disappearing. Air Canada will be able to attract more higher yield passengers, especially once things improve. Westjet operates with low cash structure largely as a result of the growth it has generated, which keeps stockholders and employees happy. What happens when that growth diminishes or even perhaps what if it reverses? Then how do you keep employees happy? And Jetsgo has such a high turnover and many unhappy personnel that things wont stay forever the way they are now. Leblanc has been riding on the fact that there are many unemployed people in the industry, and that could very well change in the next few years. Then what? Neil, you know as well as anybody, that things go in cycles, and at the present time, things just look up for the LCC's, but as I've said already ... things change.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
buckfifty
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RE: Hargrove : CAW Will Not Give Concessions To AC

Mon May 17, 2004 12:04 pm

I agree with gomes completely, as not everybody can be Southwest in this business. In fact, as we're starting to see in Europe now, lowest cost does not necessarily mean success. Once the growth stops, being a LCC can be a handicap in a certain way, as this recent boom of LCC's is more akin to the tech bubble we have seen in the late '90's. With the lack of liquidity and tight margins, that there is no room for recovery once the downward slide begins. Check the ex-Canada 3000, and possibly Ryanair.

An airline is successful not because of formulas and low overheads, but clever management and a bit of luck on the side. AC has neither of those at the moment.

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