Great item in todays New York Times
Coffee, Tea or Job? For Airline Workers, an Uncertain Future
By MICHELINE MAYNARD
Published: September 3, 2004
For decades, an airline job was a coveted plum. Good pay, generous benefits, strong unions and the glamour of air travel made pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and even baggage handlers the envy of their neighbors.
Now there are two airline industries, one that created those attractive jobs but can no longer afford them, and another that is thriving in large part because it has avoided creating them. Struggling traditional airlines like United, Delta and US Airways have laid off tens of thousands of employees and told the rest that they must absorb round after round of salary and benefit cuts to keep flying. At the healthier low-fare carriers like Southwest and JetBlue, the pay is much lower and the benefits are skimpier, but a good year can yield a big bonus at the end......