Mikey711MN
Topic Author
Posts: 1232
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 4:19 am

United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Thu Nov 25, 2004 3:57 pm

Ugh...

United Asks Court to End Union Contracts
Wednesday November 24, 11:23 pm ET
By Don Babwin, Associated Press Writer

United Airlines Asks Court to End Union Deals if Carrier Can't Get $725M More in Cost Savings

CHICAGO (AP) -- United Airlines asked a bankruptcy court Wednesday to terminate its union contracts if the carrier can't get an additional $725 million in cost savings from employees by mid-January.

The nation's No. 2 airline says it needs the additional labor concessions and the ability to drop traditional pensions to secure financing and get out of bankruptcy. The cuts would come atop the $2.5 billion United employees have already made in annual labor concessions.

In its court filing, the company said it "is committed to attempting to negotiate agreements with its unions on the required savings, but its urgent financial needs compel the company to file this motion in case consensual resolutions cannot be reached."

See more at http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/041124/united_airlines_6.html
I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
 
FA4UA
Posts: 777
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2003 6:26 pm

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Thu Nov 25, 2004 4:44 pm

I can't help but see the irony in all this. How typical to release all these news stories literally hours before the United States celebrates Thankgiving Holiday.

Just perfect timing to put a dark cloud over 62,000 employee's holiday plans.

None of this is suprising in the least. Only time will tell!

FA4UA
The debate continues... Starwood or Hyatt... which is better
 
sdkualeb
Posts: 128
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 2:13 pm

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Thu Nov 25, 2004 6:15 pm

Im starting to think that getting laid off this month couldn't happen at a better time. And now IM stress free,  Smile the place is spinning out of control and I was able to get out at the right time. The only people that I feel sorry for are all the Union people that has mad the company look good all threw this mess and now are getting screwed the most. Good luck too them. I hope all works out well. You all deserve better then this.
 
scotron11
Posts: 1181
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:54 pm

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Thu Nov 25, 2004 6:22 pm

It has been discussed before and I am sure will be discussed many times more. but when is this carrier actually going to emerge from Chap.11?

We need this concession. That, it seems, is all you hear from UAL these days; but no concrete exit date. Ok, they get this agreement, what then? Oh, by the way, can you cancel out Pension Plans as well, otherwise we will have to stay in Chap.11.

It is not a dark cloud over just UAL employees, it is an ominous signal to ALL airline employees; If UAL are allowed to annul their Pension Plans, what are all the other carriers going to do with their plans?
 
User avatar
EA CO AS
Posts: 13502
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 8:54 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Fri Nov 26, 2004 2:39 am

Unfortunately, UA and US are singing the same song:

"We need concessions - and hey, thanks for working with us on this!"

"Oh, by the way - we need even MORE now. Hey, thanks again - you guys rock!"

"Oooh - wow, I hate to say it, but we need MORE. Can you help? No? Well then we'll just have to go to court and TAKE them from you!"
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
United1
Posts: 2878
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 9:21 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:18 am

UA did this before earlier in the BK process. Last time they reached "consensual" agreements with the Unions so they ended the process. It takes 60 days to end/replace a Union contract in Court so, as has been discussed before, in order to get everything in place by mid January they had to file now.
Chuck
I know the voices in my head aren't real but sometimes their ideas are just awesome!!!
 
FriendlySkies
Posts: 3540
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 3:57 pm

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:24 am

I too would like to see UA come up with an exit plan, but all they can do is keep on taking. I don't see the contracts being terminated, most likely they will reach some agreement with the unions. Afterall, it's not like they have a choice. I just hope this is the last one for awhile... Sad
 
SPREE34
Posts: 1567
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:09 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:28 am

Question. When, and if UA and US get all of these concessions, will they then be considered the scourge of the industry for bringing compensation down. They (UA/US) will have a cost (unfair?)advantage over the carriers that haven't gone chap.11. I ask this because of statements I have heard in the past from certain groups at UA and US, directed at other carriers. I'm not taking a personal jab at anyone, just curious how the other wolves are going to behave when the previous leaders have a limp.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
bennett123
Posts: 7461
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:30 am


What is the point in having contracts?.
 
supa7E7
Posts: 1360
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:05 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:52 am

I feel thankful for living in America, where we are free. Free to work, with or without unions.

SPREE, hopefully people can appreciate the benefits of a free labor market. It results in lower prices, which the LCCs have introduced. Given those prices in all major markets, there's no room for a union pay premium above perhaps 10-20% (not 80-100% as it was until recently, relative to equivalent skilled jobs outside the unions). This is not a moral issue so much as an irreversible, mainly good, change.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
DfwRevolution
Posts: 8590
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Fri Nov 26, 2004 4:05 am

Jeez... happy Thanksgiving UA

SPREE, hopefully people can appreciate the benefits of a free labor market. It results in lower prices, which the LCCs have introduced. Given those prices in all major markets, there's no room for a union pay premium above perhaps 10-20% (not 80-100% as it was until recently, relative to equivalent skilled jobs outside the unions).

One LCC in particular, WN, is one of the most heavily unionized airlines in the industry and they are doing just fine. So long as unions don't hold a company hostage, they are not the enemy.

The problem is with management who think they can trod through Ch. 11 without making the really painful cuts like selling assets or cutting routes. Isn't UA coming up on two years in Ch. 11?
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Fri Nov 26, 2004 4:37 am

2 years right around the corner and so far all they have done is asked and received extensions, with no plan filed as of yet.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
uadc8contrail
Posts: 1636
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:23 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Fri Nov 26, 2004 3:51 pm

first thing that comes to my mind is how WN has some of the highest paying wages in the industry so the unions and mgmt have found a really nice common ground(kinda throws the union messing things up thoughts out the door). 2nd thing is any of you other legacy carriers employees that wish demise on ual....ual will prevail albeit a smaller and reduced cost airline BUT you minions at the other legacys are going to ride shot gun whether you like it or not when it comes to wages,pensions and other benefits, even if ual goes belly up the rules have been rewritten and there is no turning back now, good luck and enjoy the ride,,,better get moved back to mom and dads and enjoy the ramen noodles along with the l.c.c. folks.......
bus driver.......move that bus:)
 
uadc8contrail
Posts: 1636
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:23 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Fri Nov 26, 2004 4:32 pm

What is the point in having contracts?---BENNETT123


bennett123,
uals employees wont have to worry about contracts as when ual filed the papers on wed there is a provision that has it that if judge gene DOES not act on the motion within 30 days then ual can abrogate the contracts till he rules on them....meaning...gene can take as long as he wants and utill he issues a opinion then ual can impose anything they want on the employees as if they are not covered by any collective bargaining agreement. ALSO all he is to consider is 2 THINGS...either enforce the CURRENT contract or axe the union contracts.....this does not bode well for any union member at any carrier covered by union agreements....and that includes WN as well
bus driver.......move that bus:)
 
John
Posts: 1253
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 1999 10:47 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Fri Nov 26, 2004 11:11 pm

It won't be pretty if the bankruptcy judge DOES rule in favor of UA and US and cancels the labor contracts.
 
UALramperORD
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 8:59 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Sat Nov 27, 2004 1:19 am

This is the main thing I dont like about my company. I hear about all this stuff from tthe media and you folks before they tell us...or if they tell us. I think any UA employee will agree somewhat. If we gotta take more pay cuts so be it...as long as its not outrageous like 5 an hour, and as long as I get to keep my job.
"Roger, cleared to push spot 3"
 
LMP737
Posts: 4859
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Sat Nov 27, 2004 1:24 am

"Given those prices in all major markets, there's no room for a union pay premium above perhaps 10-20% (not 80-100% as it was until recently, relative to equivalent skilled jobs outside the unions"

Supa7e7:

Exactly what do you mean by this statement?
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
supa7E7
Posts: 1360
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:05 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Sat Nov 27, 2004 3:08 am

Hi LMP,

Unions negotiate pay premiums so they make more than "real world" workers. Many airline employees used to make 100% more than their job description demanded. Sometimes even 200%. Pilots at 250k, FA at 60k, gate agent at 50k, you get the picture, all thanks to hard core negotiations.

To despair about pay cuts is one thing, but the bedrock figure is what your competitor workers are paid. As an example, legacy carriers will cut the wages of call center workers from say $21/hr to about $10/hr. Because that's what call center jobs pay in the real world. Eventually competition does catch up with the union pay premium -- in bankruptcy court, where at least the jobs and company can be saved.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
AADC10
Posts: 1507
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 7:40 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Sat Nov 27, 2004 4:10 am

It is not very likely that the contracts would actually be voided. It is just a tactic to pressure the unions to renegotiate. It also provides cover for the union leadership when they give concessions. Otherwise the angry rank-and-file might turn out the leaders or switch unions, as the UA mechanics did.
 
User avatar
EA CO AS
Posts: 13502
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 8:54 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Sat Nov 27, 2004 4:11 am

As an example, legacy carriers will cut the wages of call center workers from say $21/hr to about $10/hr. Because that's what call center jobs pay in the real world.

And yet WN - who always makes money - has no problem paying their senior call-center employees $24.00/hr...  Insane

So much for your argument.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
klwright69
Posts: 2396
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 4:22 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Sat Nov 27, 2004 4:40 am

Yes, and more and more, pension plans (defined benefits as opposed to a 401K defined contribution plan) are becoming extinct since having a company pay out for years into an employee's retirement is becoming a risky, expensive proposition.

The only place where defined benefit retirement plans are the norm are government sector jobs. But since the airlines used to be regulated, airlines were quasi public sector jobs....

Therefore I think it is inevitable that UA's pensions will be history, as depressing as it is.
 
supa7E7
Posts: 1360
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:05 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Sat Nov 27, 2004 5:20 am

EA CO AS,

Southwest is special. I find it amazing they can pay a high union premium AND make profits. No one else is able to do that.

If legacy carriers slash down their unit costs, you will see WN crack down on union premiums like those enjoyed by $24/hr call center staff.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
Midway2AirTran
Posts: 847
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 7:34 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Sat Nov 27, 2004 6:15 am

Southwest is special. I find it amazing they can pay a high union premium AND make profits. No one else is able to do that.

Southwest has engraved itself so well as an LCC leader that they have almost total price control in many of the markets served, the difference b/t them and the legacy carriers is their innovative framework. WN does not rely totally on low-cost structure, they know how to price their passengers and make the highest yeilds in the industry. Very smart!

As for the UAL situation, this should have be re-titled as
"United Asks Court For More Trouble Ahead"
"Life is short, but your delay in ATL is not."
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12427
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Sat Nov 27, 2004 9:28 am

As noted above WN is heavily unionized, with well paid workers and few worker problems, but it isn't perfect. If I am correct, didn't it take almost 2 years to negotiate a contract with one group of workers?
WN can be successul with unions and good pay vs. 'legacies' for several reasons. One, they operate mostly short haul routes so don't usually have the overnight costs for flight staff/pilots (motels, meals); Two, they probably get far more efficiency (in flight/true work hours) from all of it's employees as started in the 1970's, not the 1940's unlike the legacies so have modern jet age rules; Three, while they do pay well vs. the industry they probably do not have the highest pay rates in the airline industry and get more on duty hours from their employees; Fourth, with some exceptions (out of LAX for example) most employees are based in lower cost of living areas of the USA; Fifth, no 'international' routes, with their additional labor costs; Sixth, fast turn around, so all have more efficient real duty time, without the lost time between flights.
As to UA attempting to end union contracts, they may not be really asking for total aborgation of them, but not far from them. Probably, they want the court to give them more authority to revise work rules, reduce pay and replace pension plans with 401(k) programs, with no or very limited contribution from UA. There is a risk of totally enraging their employees with this threat and may lead to (like proposed by US f/a's) CHAOS job actions with disruptment especially during Christmas time. Yes, the UA employees may be like lemmings over the cliffs, but for some further pay cuts and the end of pensions may be the point of no return, even with the end of UA and their jobs.
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Sat Nov 27, 2004 1:48 pm

And yet WN - who always makes money - has no problem paying their senior call-center employees $24.00/hr...

So much for your argument.

When you offer a Greyhound bus with wings what do you expect. When you are no frills you will have money to spend on employees.

Good for WN
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Sat Nov 27, 2004 2:11 pm

What is the point in having contracts?

Great question. There isn't any point.

I don't have a contract. I get paid what the market will bear for the job I do, and if I don't do it I get fired.

N
 
DfwRevolution
Posts: 8590
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Sat Nov 27, 2004 2:20 pm

When you offer a Greyhound bus with wings what do you expect.

And when the credit card bills arrive December 31s, find me one WN employee who gives a damn that their employer is a "Greyhoud bus with wings."  Insane

When you are no frills you will have money to spend on employees. Good for WN

If you can't pay your employees.... excuse me, but what the hell is the point!?

"We can't pay our employees, we've been clowning around in Ch.11 for 2 years, still no plan to emerge from BK, but hey, we've got frills so we're better than WN.... Welcome to UAL"
 
avek00
Posts: 3160
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:56 am

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Sun Nov 28, 2004 1:58 pm

"As to UA attempting to end union contracts, they may not be really asking for total aborgation of them, but not far from them."

Under the bankruptcy laws, the judge cannot simply amend a contract - 1113(c) requires that a contract be affirmed or abrogated, with no middle ground.
Live life to the fullest.
 
Thrust
Posts: 2585
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:17 pm

RE: United Asks Court To End Union Contracts

Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:59 pm

Well, hopefully UA employees can see that if they allow their pensions to be cut in order for their company to begin generating revenue again, maybe the union contracts can be reinstated later on when UA can get the money to pay the current demand.
Fly one thing; Fly it well