CAL
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CO Seeks Mediation With F/A Union (IAM)

Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:55 am

CO seeks federal mediation with flight attendant union

CO today applied to the National Mediation Board for the immediate appointment of a federal mediator to assist the company in reaching an agreement for pay and benefit reductions with its flight attendants, represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM).

Under the Railway Labor Act, either party may apply for mediation if an agreement is not reached through direct negotiations.

“All of us work on the same team,” Larry said. “Bringing in a federal mediator is the next step in the process of reaching an agreement that’s fair to the company, fair to the flight attendants, and fair to all co-workers. It’s important that our flight attendants join the rest of our co-workers in participating in pay and benefit reductions. Their share of the reductions remains necessary to help ensure our survival and success.”

In addition to Employee Bulletin No. 13, CO has issued an employee Q and A explaining the federal mediation process. The Q and A and employee bulletin are on the Intranet under “Get the Facts. Stay Informed.” CO encourages all employees to get their information regarding pay and benefit reductions from this site, which contains all employee bulletins and Q and As.
CAL........Continental Airlines....... Work Hard, Fly Right
 
ikramerica
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RE: CO Seeks Mediation With F/A Union (IAM)

Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:11 am

Sounds in good faith, though mediation is not binding. At least it often leads to cooler heads and less resentment. It would be interesting to see what happens.

As a flier only, I think cuts should only come from "seniority" pay scales because honestly, I've found the more senior an F/A, often the less customer oriented they are. Not in every case, but in a majority. Without the same seniority incentives, it might encourage more older F/As to find other work after a certain period of time. I'm all for a fare wage for all, but seniority pay actually makes that a harder proposition. After a certain number of years on the job, you know your job as well as you are ever going to know it, be it F/A, teacher, engineer, etc. At that point, your pay shouldn't continually increase just for hanging around.

It should level off, only going up with cost of living (assuming that is in the contract). Only if your job title and responsibilities grow should your pay go up from that point. But just to be paid more for continued loyalty isn't always the best solution, as loyalty can often be trumped by youthful enthusiasm.

One reason that newer LCCs can do better on wages is not just because of lack of unions, but because since they are often very new, there isn't this seniority compensation that doesn't give you a return of greater productivity. And as long as they never build that into their pay system, they will always have a lower cost.
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atmx2000
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RE: CO Seeks Mediation With F/A Union (IAM)

Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:44 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
After a certain number of years on the job, you know your job as well as you are ever going to know it, be it F/A, teacher, engineer, etc.

I wouldn't say that is the case for any knowledge based profession. You accumulate knowledge over the years as a result of experience and that can make you more valuable. However, sometimes being the old fart can be a hinderance, as you might be set in your ways and may not be able to adapt.

But for a profession like F/A or even a pilot I would doubt there are serious gains productivity after a certain number of years on the job.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
One reason that newer LCCs can do better on wages is not just because of lack of unions, but because since they are often very new, there isn't this seniority compensation that doesn't give you a return of greater productivity. And as long as they never build that into their pay system, they will always have a lower cost.

Though this isn't the case for all LCCs, since Southwest has strong unions and has been around for sometime.
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luv2fly
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RE: CO Seeks Mediation With F/A Union (IAM)

Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:08 am

Where AnoyedFA (not sure if that is how he spelled his user name) when you need him. One bitter employee, though I think he was with Expressjet.
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CAL
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RE: CO Seeks Mediation With F/A Union (IAM)

Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:17 am

Full Release with Q&A's


Continental Airlines Seeks Federal Mediation With Its Flight Attendant Union
HOUSTON, June 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --

Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) today issued the following bulletin to employees to update them on the status of negotiations with its flight attendants, represented by the International Association of Machinists:

Continental Airlines today applied to the National Mediation Board for the immediate appointment of a federal mediator to assist the company in reaching an agreement for pay and benefit reductions with its flight attendants, represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM).

Under the Railway Labor Act, either party may apply for mediation if an agreement is not reached through direct negotiations.

"All of us work on the same team," said Larry Kellner, chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Airlines. "Bringing in a federal mediator is the next step in the process of reaching an agreement that's fair to the company, fair to the flight attendants, and fair to all co-workers. It's important that our flight attendants join the rest of our co-workers in participating in pay and benefit reductions. Their share of the reductions remains necessary to help ensure our survival and success."

In addition to this employee bulletin, Continental has issued an employee Q and A explaining the federal mediation process.

What is federal mediation?

Federal mediation is a process that is designed to help the parties in a collective bargaining negotiation to successfully reach agreement. When parties have not reached agreement through direct negotiations, they can ask the National Mediation Board (NMB) to appoint a federal mediator to help them resolve their remaining open issues.

How long will federal mediation last?

We intend to work with the federal mediator to move the process along quickly. Continental Airlines needs these savings as soon as possible, and flight attendants need to join their co-workers who have already taken their pay and benefit reductions.

Can the federal mediator force either Continental or the IAM to agree to a contract?

No. The federal mediator will help the parties reach an agreement but has no authority to impose terms. The federal mediator will help both sides to understand the issues and work out their differences.

The company previously said that it wants to avoid federal mediation, so why are we applying to start the process?

We wanted to give the flight attendants every opportunity to achieve their share of the reductions in the least contentious manner possible -- just as we did with all other work groups. Our culture of dignity and respect requires no less.

However, since we have been unable to resolve all of the issues necessary to reach an agreement, we are seeking the assistance of a federal mediator to move the process along quickly to reach an agreement.

We want to conclude our flight attendant negotiations with an agreement that's fair to the flight attendants, fair to the company, and fair to our co- workers who have already provided the reductions that enabled us to pursue our growth plan. The federal mediation process will enable us to do this.

Will the federal mediation process permit the flight attendants to take smaller pay and benefit cuts than the rest of Continental's employees?
CAL........Continental Airlines....... Work Hard, Fly Right

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