airportplan
Posts: 319
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 12:36 am

Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 5:41 am

CHICAGO, May 5 (Reuters) - The union representing mechanics at bankrupt United Airlines on Thursday said mechanics at seven other U.S. airlines have vowed to support their colleagues at United, "up to and including the right to strike."
The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association said this week that United's mechanics were planning a strike in defense of their pension plans, which the carrier hopes to shift to government pension insurers. United, the No. 2 U.S. carrier, is a unit of UAL Corp. (UALAQ.OB: Quote, Profile, Research)

Thursday's AMFA announcement beefs up that threat, saying mechanics at Alaska Airlines, ATA Airlines (ATAHQ.PK: Quote, Profile, Research) , Horizon Airlines, Independence Airlines, Mesaba Airlines, Northwest Airlines (NWAC.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Southwest Airlines (LUV.N: Quote, Profile, Research) would strike in sympathy with United's mechanics if a bankruptcy judge approves the pension shift.

"I am authorized to call for an immediate nationwide strike against United if modifications are made to our contract without the approval of the membership and have called strikes three times before on behalf of AMFA's members," AMFA National Director O.V. Delle-Femine said in a statement.

The airline, which has been in bankruptcy since December 2002, has said a strike under the circumstances would violate the Railway Labor Act and bankruptcy law.

"We have had to make difficult choices, but those actions have brought us to the point where the goal line for an exit from Chapter 11 is close," said UAL spokeswoman Jean Medina.

"We take negotiations seriously, and believe energies are better focused on reaching consensual agreements."

The AMFA's recent strike threat comes in response to news that United and the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corp last month reached a settlement, clearing the way for the carrier to shed its four employee retirement plans.

The pension agency has said the difference between promised benefits and assets in the four United plans is $9.8 billion. The government will guarantee retirement benefits totaling $6.6 billion. A bankruptcy judge was expected to rule on the settlement on May 10.

United, battered along with the rest of the industry by soaring fuel costs and weak revenues, has said it needs to cut labor costs to emerge from Chapter 11 protection.

Voiding and replacing its pension plans would give United an average savings of $645 million a year for five years. United has said it remains open to suggestions that would keep the pension intact and still grant the airline the savings it needs.

Some union leaders have said they have offered workable alternatives that the airline has rejected.

United also faces a threat of intermittent strikes by its flight attendants if the carrier dumps the pensions on the PBGC.
 
satx
Posts: 2771
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:26 am

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 5:48 am

Quoting Airportplan (Thread starter):
The government will guarantee retirement benefits totaling $6.6 billion.

Typical. UA screws up royally and then expects the tax payer to foot the bills. Forget that! All these conservative Republicans in power are complaining about personal bankruptcy but then they have no problems whatsoever with corporate welfare on a massive scale. They're willing to kiss over $6 billion of our tax dollars goodbye at the drop of a hat. What kind of self-respecting conservative supports that?
Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
 
LAXintl
Posts: 20183
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 5:52 am

Well this is pretty good news for UA then.

Almost certainly guarantees the government would step in a block any potential strike as sympathy strikes would threaten the industry and transportation system.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
762er
Posts: 522
Joined: Thu Feb 08, 2001 8:18 am

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 5:56 am

I think the sympathy strikes are all talk. If UA mechanics struck I think all the other guys would be like, well, we support you but we don't want to screw our own goose that lays the golden egg.
 
rsmith6621a
Posts: 1507
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 2:21 pm

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 5:58 am

I cant wait for next week........the tempture is just starting to rise.....Employees Have Had enough this kind of action in this country is 20 years overdue.....

Unions supporting Unions????????......WOW that is how it was in the old days and everybody did well......employee and employer.....

If TILTON wants to diffuse this he should put his 4.6 million into the same pot he wants to put those who built the airline.
Did You Ever Think Freedom Could Be this Bad
 
aa757first
Posts: 3140
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 6:36 am

Quoting SATX (Reply 1):
Typical. UA screws up royally and then expects the tax payer to foot the bills. Forget that! All these conservative Republicans in power are complaining about personal bankruptcy but then they have no problems whatsoever with corporate welfare on a massive scale. They're willing to kiss over $6 billion of our tax dollars goodbye at the drop of a hat. What kind of self-respecting conservative supports that?

The $6 billion is for Susan Stewardess who retired in 1995 and for Mike Mechanic who is in a nursing home now.

Rsmith6621a - How Do You determine which Words to capitalize? it seems As If you just randomly hit the shift key. Also, There is no Need to use seven periods, three periods express your viewpoints Just fine.................And use those Sparingly.

AAndrew
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15251
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 6:43 am

Sweet! Bring it on! Let's knock out UA, DH, and TZ and move on with life for God's sake!
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
commavia
Posts: 9741
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 6:48 am

I don't see this stike happening because I think once side or the other will back down first. But, this would be an absolute goldmine for AA, DL, CO, and US. They would be the big winners in this scenario.
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 6:57 am

Now, if all mechanics did actually strike, what would happen?

UA and US would be gone. DL probably would be too...

I still don't think the strike will go through, despite the union grumbling, most UA employees still want a job.
 
DL WIDGET HEAD
Posts: 1469
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 7:03 am

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 8):
UA and US would be gone. DL probably would be too

Why would DL be gone if UA mechanics strike??
 
FriendlySkies
Posts: 3540
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 7:05 am

Woops...might help if I read the entire PR.  Wink
 
satx
Posts: 2771
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 7:09 am

Quoting Aa757first (Reply 5):

The $6 billion is for Susan Stewardess who retired in 1995 and for Mike Mechanic who is in a nursing home now.

I'm not saying that they don't deserve their pensions; I'm saying that the hypocrisy our government is showing is absolutely ludicrous. If they're going to willingly screw over Consumer America, it's about time they started screwing over Corporate America. Don't let UA off the hook. Force them to pay what they owe and actually stand by the supposed values that our government can't shut up about. Our current government is only interested in helping those who don't need any help. That's not the kind of country I want.
Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
 
CXA340
Posts: 81
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 7:13 am

1. This should only have to be posted once so that everyone can finally understand it. THE PBGC IS NOT FUNDED BY TAX DOLLARS!!! The PBGC is a self-insuring agency, this means that for years United, as has every other company that offers a pension, been paying premiums so that every pensioner in the country is insured to a guaranteed benefit of $3,800 a month. If the PBGC decides to take over United's pension, which it has the legal right to do with or without United's approval, it will cost the American taxpayer exactly $0.00 Again, for the benefit of some who seem incapable of grasping this fact: THE PBGC IS NOT TAXPAYER FUNDED - IT USES NONE OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS TO EXIST - ONLY BIG BAD EVIL CORPORATE PROFITS WHICH PAY ITS PREMIUMS. One would wonder if these same unionized employees would realize they receive a right granted to them by the federal government that most workers do not while their unions lobby to deny that right to other Americans - a guaranteed retirement benefit above and beyond SS - last time I checked my IRA had no government guarantees on it.

2. The PBGC makes the final decision of whether or not to assume the liability of a pension - if the PBGC so wishes, it may assume any or all of United's pensions without any consent from an employee union. For those who love to decry United for acting in bad faith with their union contracts - realize that same contract, as well as federal law, spell out the right and responsibility of the PBGC to assume the liability of any pension it deems at risk. If you value your union contract so much, then let the PBGC fulfill its legal right and obligation in assuming those pensions - this was agreed to in your contract.

3. A strike against a bankrupt company is illegal - it is in open violation of the National Railway Act and current bankruptcy law. Remember that any contract with a company is null-in-void upon entrance into bankruptcy protection, and any contract agreed upon with a company while under bankruptcy protection is tentative at best under the control of the secured creditors (there is no collective bargaining requirement for a company in bankruptcy). If the unions goes ahead with an illegal work action, they will be held liable for all damages incurred to the secured debtors, as well as any striking employee could be held in contempt.

4. United does not exist to employ workers - unionized or not. United exists in order to make money for the shareholders who own the company. As an employee, you legally and morally deserve a paycheck and nothing else. You forget the plight of the shareholders, unsecured, and secured creditors in this situation who are loosing the most. They are the ones who are legally entitled to something, not you.
 
ord
Posts: 1355
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 1999 10:34 pm

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 7:14 am

Quoting SATX (Reply 1):
Typical. UA screws up royally and then expects the tax payer to foot the bills.

See this quote from another thread. The taxpayers don't get screwed at all.

"PBGC is not funded by general tax revenues. PBGC collects insurance premiums from employers that sponsor insured pension plans, earns money from investments and receives funds from pension plans it takes over. PBGC pays monthly retirement benefits, up to a guaranteed maximum, to about 518,000 retirees in 3,479 pension plans that ended. Including those who have not yet retired and participants in multiemployer plans receiving financial assistance, PBGC is responsible for the current and future pensions of about 1,061,000 people."
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 7:17 am

Some people insist that taxpayers foot the bill. No matter how many times it's explained, they don't get it.

BTW, didn't US cancel it's pensions? Why doesn't anyone complain about that? But as soon as you say UA and pension in the same general vicinity, all hell breaks loose.
 
mcdu
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 7:21 am

"Don't let UA off the hook. Force them to pay what they owe and actually stand by the supposed values that our government can't shut up about. Our current government is only interested in helping those who don't need any help. That's not the kind of country I want"

SATX,

I would appreciate if you would please review the PBGC website. While the PBGC is a goverment entity the funds for payments are NOT generated by TAXPAYER DOLLARS. Did you read that all right? Just want to make sure you get the message as it appears you are a headline reader and not an issue inquirer.

Next. The UAL pensions whether UAL liquidates or continues flying would be sent to the PBGC. If you follow the news you will see that DL has asked to have the pension funding level timeline increased to 30 years from the current requirements. Do you think DL is doing this because they have the cash lying around to pay the pensions or they are facing pension contribution problems?

Finally just a little history lesson on how the funding of pensions takes place. The company does not keep 100% percent of outstanding pension funding at any time (not required by law) the companies keep a portion of the funding and those funds are INVESTED in the MARKETS. Well what do you think has happened since 9/11 and the reign of King GeorgeII? The markets have collapsed and the airlines found themselves on the backside of the minimum funding levels as mandated by the govt. These funding levels were also adjusted higher by the aforementioned KGII. The boy who would be king. Anyway, the entire problem can be layed at the hands of the markets and the presidency. You did not hear of the funding problems in the past because the money was invested and the markets grew. Also the airlines were profitable and able to fund any shortcoming in a market dip. Now no one has extra cash they are all trying to compete on the level of the average LCC.

So now Mr. SAT. I ask if you believe that UAL should be held to pay a pension. Then I suppose that mandating a pension at the other carriers would be warranted? That all airlines should be forced to cough up enough cash to pay a pension would on be fair, correct?

I hope this has cleared up an issue that obviously was foreign to you.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15251
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 7:24 am

" If they're going to willingly screw over Consumer America, it's about time they started screwing over Corporate America"

What makes you think those are two different entities?
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
txagkuwait
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 7:28 am

>> So now Mr. SAT. I ask if you believe that UAL should be held to pay a pension. Then I suppose that mandating a pension at the other carriers would be warranted? That all airlines should be forced to cough up enough cash to pay a pension would on be fair, correct? <<

I've got an idea.

How about airlines be forced to pay out in pensions whatever they agreed to pay out in pensions during past contract negotiations?

I don't think anyone is suggesting all airlines be forced to adopt some sort of uniform pension guarantee. However, it is unseemly to allow a company who previously promised to pay to shuck themselves of that responsibility through the use of legal sleight-of-hand.

If the airlines can't pay the pensions, let them liquidate and use whatever funds they generate from liquidation to purchase annuities to cover their pensioners as much as they can.
 
searpqx
Posts: 4173
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 7:40 am

SATX - while I generally agree with your overall sentiment, in this particular instance, it's misplaced. The PBGC is not funded with tax dollars, but with premiums paid by corporations. When the PBGC assumes the UA pensions, the payments will come from those fees collected from United and other corporations. While I don't agree with UA being allowed to dump existing pension obligations, at this point, it's not our (taxpayer) money involved.

Now, by assuming United's (and by inference every other troubled carriers') pension obligations, the PBGC goes bust, a la the Savings & Loan fiasco of the late 80s and 90s, then we'd likely see our tax dollars used to bail them out. That is one of the many reasons I don't agree with this action, but that is also the subject for another thread.

As for the sympathy strikes called by the AMFA, its more a posturing move than an actual threat. If you read the release, any strike called by the other airline AMFA unions, would be against United, not their respective airlines. In other words, AS, WN, TZ, etc., AMFA members would not cross or work on any UA aircraft/property. Since, for the most part, they don't anyway, it's a fairly empty threat, but it shows solidarity with their UA union brothers. AMFA cannot (without facing serious legal issues) call a strike at their own airlines in sympathy with UA. The Railway Labor Act doesn't allow it.

Duane
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
satx
Posts: 2771
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 8:27 am

It looks like I went off the handle on this one. I will look much closer at the PBGC before I make any additional far-reaching comments about them again. My general sentiment is that United should still be forced to pay the pensions, but my presumption that taxpayers would be directly involved was incorrect. Personally, I don't get very hot under the collar about taxes anyway, so complaining about them isn't really my bag.

As for pensions in general, I have never been employed by any business that has one. The closest I have ever gotten to a pension is a 401k matching contribution. However, it is my personal opinion that retirement savings are the responsibility of the individual and I don't harbor any ill will from the fact that pensions are a dying breed.

Now, does that clear everything up?
Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
 
mcdu
Posts: 900
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 8:37 am

SATX,

My apologies if I came unglued from your comments. The misinformation that is flowing on this issue is overwhelming and being involved directly in my career at UAL it is dissappointing to see the "let them liquidate" and that will fix everything comments just drives me nuts.

Someone made the comment that "they should have to pay what was agreed to". Well that is grand. However, times change and issues change that is what separates us from the rest of the cave dwellers. The ability to adapt is what is neccessary. This job is worth what is worth to whoever is doing it. I am a pilot and we lose the greatest amount of our pension. We have taken the largest percentage of paycuts and are now paid lower than most every other carrier. Is is still a job worth doing? Yes. I am getting close to my bottom dollar but as of now I am willing to keep going to help the airline.

As one final note. I see todays release from AMFA as a bad sign for the union. If they had the support they needed at UAL they would not be trying to drag in the other carriers. Also from what I have heard through the grapevine today there is progress with AMFA on a supplement to the PBGC pension to avoid in shortfalls for the employees.

My feeling is that the employee that is not happy should vote with their feet. The door is always open and please let yourself out if you want. Just don't burn down my house to support your cause.

Take care and again, sorry for the over the top reaction.
 
F9HNLPLZ
Posts: 102
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 8:54 am

Hooray for Mcdu. As I have stated before, I pray that UA makes it out of this OK and that all is well. The Union Presidents that are screaming strike and getting every one in an uproar will still get a paycheck if there is a strike. Now with the claims they have made, they are now for sure going to get the government involved. Here is an idea, come up with a idea to save the pensions. They say they have come up with one, but then it is reported the UAL management rejected it. HMMM, what was the ideas that were rejected? Fire the current Management? Didn't Tilton help an oil company out of Bankruptcy? I think I would want someone like that running the company.
Frontier Airlines, A Whole Different Animal. Maybe some day to Hawaii???
 
brons2
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 9:09 am

I hope WN fires any employees that participate in any "sympathy strike".
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
christao17
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 9:15 am

A second hooray for Mcdu and all the other hard-working UA employees. As a loyal UA family member and 1k flyer, it makes me sick to think of the possibility of a strike and potential liquidation of the carrier. Hang in there and let's make it to the next (and better) chapter in UA's history.
Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
 
squirrel83
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Str

Fri May 06, 2005 10:03 am

Here is another little Updated News ~
But I think its the same but. . . I love seeing this rollout ~

The union representing mechanics at bankrupt United Airlines on Thursday said mechanics at seven other US carriers have vowed to support their colleagues at United, "up to and including the right to strike."

The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association said this week that United's mechanics were planning a strike in defense of their pension plans, which the carrier hopes to shift to government pension insurers.

Thursday's AMFA announcement beefs up that threat, saying mechanics at Alaska Airlines, ATA, Horizon, Independence Air, Mesaba, Northwest and Southwest would strike in sympathy with United's mechanics if a bankruptcy judge approves the pension shift.

[Edited 2005-05-06 03:06:48]
A346, 7E7, 747, 777, Sonic Cruiser
 
CWAFlyer
Posts: 536
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 10:35 am

Quoting Rsmith6621a (Reply 4):

I cant wait for next week........the tempture is just starting to rise.....Employees Have Had enough this kind of action in this country is 20 years overdue.....

Yeah boy that will show everyone. We haven't had a show of solidarity
like that since PATCO walked off the job and Reagan fired them.
 
Planesmart
Posts: 1734
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:18 am

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 11:50 am

Solidarity is one thing - stupidity another.

UA staff shouldn't be encouraged to strike by the apparent support from staff in other airlines. Some may speak with forked tongue, as a strike by UA staff will harm UA. If the support doesn't materialise, UA will be harmed, and others helped.
 
filejw
Posts: 312
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2000 2:58 am

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 12:13 pm

I hope these guys remember what happen to the American pilots union.An unauthorized strike cost them about 40 million and just about bankrupted the union.
 
RyanAFAMSP
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:24 pm

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 2:58 pm

CXA 340 posted a few facts and a lot of hogwash.

The Railway Labor Act of 1926 (NOT the National Railway Act) has no special language regarding bankrupt airlines. Workers have a right to strike if the contract breach creates a major dispute under the law. If a Federal Court of Appeals rules the pension issue a major dispute, workers may strike immediately. Bush has no right to issue an injunction against the strike, as such action may only occur after the breakdown of contract talks after regular negotiations.

It is also a deep oversimplification to say that taxpayers have nothing to do with the PBGC that ERISA mandated in 1974. True they don't if terminated pensions are fully funded, but if this United ordeal sets off a chain reaction of underfunded pension distress terminations in the airline industry (and watch out for the auto industry), you are looking at a 30 billion dollar burden placed on the agency that will only be partially funded. All airline pensions are underfunded at this time, and the system is not designed for multiple, large underfunded pensions to all collapse at once. Folks should go back and read the case history on the junk bond scandles that perpetuated the S+L failure. The S+Ls were supposed to be self insured, shielding the taxpayers. Then Drexel Burnham Lambert got involved, selling junk bonds to the S+Ls and defaulting. Then we all payed for it. So please don't assume this is a tidy situation.

Just trying to clear up some misinfo.

Ryan
 
B737200300
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 11:43 pm

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 3:23 pm

Go for it United, I'm a AWA Tech, I hope that they stick to their guns on this one.....
 
bcbhokie
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 7:30 am

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 5:24 pm

So how does a "sympathy strike" work? I can understand if unionized mechanics at, say, WN refuse to perform contract mx work on UA aircraft that normally would have been performed by UA in house mx..... is that the case, or does sympathy strike really mean they walk off the job no matter what?

If it's the latter, I don't get what it achieves at all except souring management-union relations even more than they already are. If you have no grievance with your company, why strike and fiscally damage it? If you do have a legitimate complaint, go to the union and have them represent you as best as they can, even up to a strike - but man, if you've got a working relationship with a company, why walk out on them because of something happening at a totally disconnected competitor?

Just my $0.02... hopefully it's the former scenario and not the latter.

Ben
 
DeltaA380
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2005 3:18 am

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 6:07 pm

Quoting CXA340 (Reply 12):
United does not exist to employ workers - unionized or not. United exists in order to make money for the shareholders who own the company. As an employee, you legally and morally deserve a paycheck and nothing else. You forget the plight of the shareholders, unsecured, and secured creditors in this situation who are loosing the most. They are the ones who are legally entitled to something, not you.

With all due respect to shareholders, myself included, CXA340 has very nicely summed up the 1984ian attitude of US business and the Republican menace that is ruining this country and the airline industry.
Vote Democratic in '06 and '08
 
RDUDDJI
Posts: 1700
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 4:42 am

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 6:11 pm

Quoting SATX (Reply 1):
Typical. UA screws up royally and then expects the tax payer to foot the bills. Forget that! All these conservative Republicans in power are complaining about personal bankruptcy but then they have no problems whatsoever with corporate welfare on a massive scale. They're willing to kiss over $6 billion of our tax dollars goodbye at the drop of a hat. What kind of self-respecting conservative supports that?

Whew...I'm glad everyone beat me to responding to that...I was about to fly off the hiznandle! Sometimes, I'm glad I work the night shift so I can sleep through most of the B.S. and all the A v. B threads...
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
B737200300
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 11:43 pm

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 9:12 pm

What kind of presence will this have on the rest of the industry, the Union needs to work for UA mechanic and not for the Supreme Court, this could give them ideas with other Unions. Stand up for what is you all earned, social security may not be there when you retire.
 
patrickj
Posts: 88
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:42 am

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 9:39 pm

Speaking as one who's airline retirement was pirated away to the PBGC for safe keeping at maybe 40% of what I would receive. And speaking as a conservative voter. And speaking as a former union member.

The liberal judges appointed by the Clinton Administration are just as responsible for ruling on motions in court that allow a bankrupt company to raid employee retirement funds. Conservative judge nominations are held up in confirmation hearings. Unions are closely aligned with the liberal side of the political house. My own former union did nothing to help me and my fellow pilots out when needed, but I did get a nice magazine every month.

Management of course remains incompetent and labor unions still like to squeeze the poor working man between themselves and management. The consumer is paying dirt cheap rates for airtravel and most of the employees would just like to enjoy going to work again.

Seems simplistic to blame one party for the troubles in the industry when it has been a group effort. And by the way we haven't even touched on the banks, lawyers, regulators, investment funds, and equipment lessors.

It is a complex problem, without simple solutions. I doubt that any judge would allow the mechanics to shut down such a large portion of the nations airtravel capability.
 
supa7E7
Posts: 1360
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:05 am

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Fri May 06, 2005 11:20 pm

The PBGC is IMMENSELY underfunded and WILL BE BACKED BY TAX DOLLARS.

It is welfare indeed - NOT corporate welfare, but personal welfare to pensioners. I will pay their pensions through my tax dollars. It's already included in the price of union goods, but soon in taxes as well. Read the papers, the PBGC has already said this explicitly after having $billions in pensions plopped on them last year - they will fail without a huge rise in fees, which nobody will pay.

These pensions were negotiated under extreme duress which brought UA to its knees. The pensions have caused UA's bankruptcy. That's because they are ludicrous compared to what ordinary American non-union members get and hence grossly uncompetitive on the American wage scene. On a societal level, it is grossly unfair for the Treasury to give pension income to people who CAUSED their company's financial dissolution at the bargaining table.

Corporate profits are evil? Would Ben Franklin agree with you? As a very liberal person, I think you union elitists need to get a clue and learn more about the free market, the source of our country's wealth and culture.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
Arrow
Posts: 2325
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2002 7:44 am

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Str

Sat May 07, 2005 12:12 am

It might be worth taking a look at the other big pension-related implosion in the U.S. -- the steel industry. The U.S. steel industry fell into disarray at least in part because of the gold-plated pensions negotiated by the unions (and signed into effect by management). They also had too many mills, many of them outdated and inefficient; terrible productivity rates; and foriegn competition.

The answer for steel was a bunch of blatantly protectionist tariffs that drove up the price of steel, and cost thousands of workers their jobs in all those industries that use steel. Now the steel industry is in good shape, and all the steel users are bleeding profusely. Airlines don't have the tariff option, thank God, since there aren't any foriegners to blame the problem on.

It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. Air Canada went through something very similar, with many of the same gold-plated pension issues driving costs through the roof, and a bunch of unions threatening to strike to protect those fixed-benefit deals. They survived it because when the crunch finally came, the unions recognized that the choice was a job, or no job. They chose having a job.

I'm betting that United's unions -- despite the current rhetoric -- will do the same thing. I hope so, because I've got tickets on some United flights in June and I'll lose more than just the price of the ticket if these guys sink the airline.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
FlyHoss
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Sat May 07, 2005 1:24 am

Searpqx (very well) wrote:
"The PBGC is not funded with tax dollars, but with premiums paid by corporations. When the PBGC assumes the UA pensions, the payments will come from those fees collected from United and other corporations. While I don't agree with UA being allowed to dump existing pension obligations, at this point, it's not our (taxpayer) money involved."

"At this point..."

Given the massive shortfall the PBGC faces, how else will the pension guarantees be paid? There's only one answer, the taxpayer, in my opinion.

So why shouldn't a corporation be forced to "capitalize" the assets that they do have (capitalize = sell and lease back or outright sale) to fund the obligations that they agreed to?

GM and Ford should be held to their obligations, too.

I firmly expect to pay for part of UAL's pensions as long as there isn't political pressure to force them into paying for it themselves. Is this part of the reason they're not it a rush to exit Chapter 11? For now, they get to have (keep) their cake (assets) and (make us) eat it, too.
A little bit louder now, a lil bit louder now...
 
tgocean
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Sat May 07, 2005 2:38 am

Stupid.
Suicidal.
When The Public reads about a UA strike in the general press, you can kiss future bookings goodbye. Unions! Bosses get paid, rank-and-file loses jobs. Nothing like a short-sighted view to brighten one's day. Can't anybody see what is going to happen? Everybody loses.
Ah, well. What a great legacy airline it was. The best.
 
Thucydides
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Sat May 07, 2005 5:20 am

Ok, where to start...I guess I will work backwards...

Patrickj, Supa7E7, and Arrow - I agree with much of what you say...

Pensions are a mess, and not just in the airline industry. The PBGC is seriously underfunded and with all likelihood, taxpayer dollars will eventually have to be spent to bail it out.

Arrow - you are right on with your comparison to the steel industry. However, while the legacy carriers don't have foreign competition to worry about, they like the vertically integrated steel mills, do have competition from younger competitors that don't have the pension systems the older carriers have.

Supa7E7, I also agree with you that these very nice pensions were negotiated very aggressively by the unions and really put the screws to the airlines and that eventually, we will all be paying twice into their pensions. Once through the ticket and again through our own taxes.

Patrickj - You are right on about people blaming one party.

RyanAFAMSP - very good points as well on the S&L bailout. PBGC is no different.

Comments like "King George" are silly and ruined an otherwise good post by Mcdu. The problems of the industry are the same problems that other aging industries have gone through. As Mcdu seems to recognize, the LCCs don't have the same cost structure as the legacy carriers, however that is not President Bush's fault and it is not the fault of the markets. It is the result of 26 years of airline deregulation, which has had some amazingly positive impacts on airtravel in America, but has also created problems such as the pension issue, as you really have legacy airlines saddled with pension costs that newer airlines don't have.

And to SATX, the truth is more Republicans are aghast at government bailouts of very generous pensions that were negotiated by the unions than Democrats are. The problem is that every politician eventually faces the voters and very few of them are willing to tell 10,000 union employees in their state or district that they don't support a bailout for their industry because the taxpayer should not be guaranteeing what corporate management negotiated. The only ones that really come to mind are recently retired Senators such as Phil Gramm (R-TX) and Don Nickles (R-OK).
 
srbmod
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Sat May 07, 2005 5:35 am

Once the mechanics at UA strike, the clock starts ticking on the airline. Regardless of whatever fellow AMFA wrenchturners at other airlines do in a show of support, this would be more than likely the beginning of the end for United if they don't end it quickly. With other union employee groups @ UA rumbling about a strike, they'll probably follow the mechanics out the door as well. Once United has to suspend operations due to labor troubles, they may be out for good. If the Eastern Air Lines labor troubles of the late 1980s early 1990s are anything to go by, then United could be joining them on the scrap heap of clipped wings in the very near future.
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Sat May 07, 2005 6:51 am

Ok, ok...there are two scenarios:

A) United cancels pensions and sends them to PBGC. United stays in business, employees keep jobs.

B) Employees strike. United goes the way of the do-do, pensions sent to PBGC. Employees are now unemployed.

Now, the difference between A and B is that in A, United almost certainly survives. In both, the pensions are gone and sent to the gov't.

So...would somebody PLEASE explain to me WHAT THE HELL THE DIFFERENCE IS??? Either the PBGC gets slapped with the pensions now, or later.
 
satx
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Sat May 07, 2005 2:26 pm

Okay, I've been reading that the PBGC does not yet get any funding from public tax payers, but I've also been reading that the end result years from now will quite likely involve eventual taxed supplements or even a complete bailout when or if the PBGC is no longer fully solvent. That sounds quite possible given who and what is involved.

And also, please don't try to bullshit me with the idea that this is not at least partially a corporate bailout. Anybody who blames the unions and employees can honestly only blame them for part of the problem. Likewise with those who exclusively blame the management. It's a two-way street and I'm sick of hearing how only once side is to blame.

Personally, when I say "United Airlines" I'm referring to the whole group; unions, upper and middle management, general employees, buddy-buddy creditors, major stock holders, and so on. Many corporate screwups, like what has been happening with United, are born of multiple mistakes from several sources and all sides should share in the pain. So far, that does not appear to be the case.
Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
 
CTHEWORLD
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Sat May 07, 2005 2:35 pm

Quoting SATX (Reply 1):
Typical. UA screws up royally and then expects the tax payer to foot the bills. Forget that! All these conservative Republicans in power are complaining about personal bankruptcy but then they have no problems whatsoever with corporate welfare on a massive scale. They're willing to kiss over $6 billion of our tax dollars goodbye at the drop of a hat. What kind of self-respecting conservative supports that?

Typical Liberal Democrat, only reading the headline and not getting the facts. The PBGC is a Government managed insurance fund. The 6.6billion comes from premiums that private companies, UAL included pay in to the system. The fund is short right now because the Government is inept at running a business and was asleep at the wheel when Clinton signed in to law, new legislation accelerating the funding requirements.

[Edited 2005-05-07 07:36:31]
 
uadc8contrail
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Sat May 07, 2005 2:51 pm

i wonder how O.V. and his idiots are going to pimp out these morons who go out on strike and get fired.....ual mechs would have a hard time getting on anywhere else as they will have a stigma attached to that application they fill out...i am voting NO...there is NO way any of us can go out and get a job making half as much as we are making now....our backs are up against the wall but it is currently better than what we could make anywhere else...go ahead and flame away but O.V. doesnt give a rats a** about anyone but making sure his dues keep coming in....ask some of those former nwa mechs now making 14-20/hr.....any one remember charlie bryan????he should be the poster boy for what happens when you listen to some schmuck about how we are going to show them.... he showed all of them right into ch7
bus driver.......move that bus:)
 
CTHEWORLD
Posts: 463
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Sat May 07, 2005 2:54 pm

Quoting DeltaA380 (Reply 31):
With all due respect to shareholders, myself included, CXA340 has very nicely summed up the 1984ian attitude of US business and the Republican menace that is ruining this country and the airline industry.

An you represent socialism, which has proven itself to be obsolete and the ruin of many large and proud nations.
 
CTHEWORLD
Posts: 463
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:27 am

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Sat May 07, 2005 2:59 pm

Quoting Uadc8contrail (Reply 44):
i am voting NO...there is NO

The best thing for you to do is to speak up and get vocal with your co-workers at your base. O.V., Davidowitch and all of those leadership monkeys are grasping at straws and willing to destroy the lives of 10's of thousands of families just to make a point for their rapidly dying way of doing business. With unionized workers only being 8% of the working population (down from 50% in 1940) the writing is on the wall. Please contrail, talk to your co-workers, and explain the truth. Strike or no strike, the pensions are going away. Strike and you have no pension and no job, don't strike, at least you have a job.
 
satx
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Str

Sat May 07, 2005 3:06 pm

Quoting CTHEWORLD (Reply 43):
The fund is short right now because the Government is inept at running a business

So you're saying that they should force the companies to pay more into the PBGC fund? I fully agree.

Quoting CTHEWORLD (Reply 43):
Typical Liberal Democrat, only reading the headline and not getting the facts.

Oh wait, it's just an attack. Never mind.

Quote:
All these conservative Republicans in power are complaining about personal bankruptcy but then they have no problems whatsoever with corporate welfare on a massive scale.

I still stand by this 100%. The fact that I was wrong about how the PBGC is currently run does not undo the fact that corporate welfare is completely ignored by conservatives, just as consumer welfare is completely ignored by liberals. Conservatives keep consumer welfare in check and liberals keep corporate welfare in check. It's not 100% down party lines, but I think you get the point; if we only have one side in power we lose the balance that keeps most government waste in check.
Open Season on Consumer Protections is Just Around the Corner...
 
United737522
Posts: 410
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RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Sat May 07, 2005 3:10 pm

Sympathy strikes--Yeah, lets go strike so our airline can suffer as well, then they can pass their loss that we just caused, back down to us via paycuts, reduced benefits, etc.

Yeah, I see the logic in that.... *rolls eyes*
'Michael Mooronism' ~Jetjack74
 
CTHEWORLD
Posts: 463
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:27 am

RE: Mechanics At 7 U.S. Airlines To Support UA Strike

Sat May 07, 2005 3:17 pm

Quoting SATX (Reply 47):
Oh wait, it's just an attack. Never mind.

Just countering the babble in your first, uninformed post.

Quoting SATX (Reply 47):
So you're saying that they should force the companies to pay more into the PBGC fund? I fully agree.

No, I am saying that when the funding schedule was accelerated by Clinton backed legislation, the PBGC was caught off guard and labor, commerce and treasury didn't take in to account the ripple affect, nor plan for it. But I don't find it surprising that you think D.C. should get more of my money to re-distribute to others.

Quoting SATX (Reply 47):
but I think you get the point; if we only have one side in power we lose the balance that keeps most government waste in check.

or creates large amounts of it, one of the two.