|Quoting 717-200 (Reply 8):|
Having recently stated work at Menzies at SEA on the ramp as a lead I
see the low morale of the AS folks on a daily basis, especially the CSA's
and the mechanics. I am beginning to wonder if AS made the right move
in contracting out the ramp at their home base and hub here at SEA.
The problem is that the company never negotiated in good faith with the rampers. The company came to the table with a proposal that not only had huge cuts, but said that the jobs could eventually be outsourced at the end of the contract.
The negotiators said no, and upon the next time they came to the table the company's next proposal was actually much WORSE! They were asking for several times the amount of the previous cuts that had been shot down by the negotiators. Each time, they were told that these cuts wouldn't be necessary if they'd agree to let them outsource the SEA
ramp to a third party, Menzies.
So essentially the company said, "We'll gut your contract if you want to keep SEA
in-house...or we can ask for minimal cuts in exchange for throwing your 472 SEA
co-workers under the bus."
That's NOT negotiation - it's extortion.
Now with the pilots I can't argue - they shot themselves in the foot by not agreeing to smaller cuts earlier, but even the company admits they were shocked at how big the cuts were that the arbitrator handed down; hence their desire to pare them back somewhat to keep the pilots happy. The tradeoff was that they expected a 5 year deal instead of the 2 year one currently in place.
So the pilots had a choice - take a shitty contract for 5 years, or keep the current REALLY shitty one, but only suffer it for 2 years and then re-negotiate. They chose the latter.
I've been with AS
for nearly 14 years and I've never EVER seen morale this low - not after flight 261, not after 9/11 - NEVER. This is the worst it has ever been. We're short about 100 FTE (full-time equivalents) at the SEA
ticket counter; mandatory overtime has been in effect or quite some time there and it's not getting any better. You have handfuls of disgruntled pilots delaying flights until all the coffeepots have been replaced and every single lightbulb in the overhead passenger service units have been fixed. You have new rampers in SEA
driving beltloaders into the sides of brand new aircraft, putting them out of service.
At the start of the summer our schedule - admittedly, a very aggressive, ambitious one - relied on every flight running on-time to work. When flights were inevitably delayed for one reason or another, it resulted in total chaos - cancellations, huge delays of 4 hours or more, etc. AS
had to pare back some of the schedule as a result, postponing SEA
service for several months, cutting back on SEA
and temporarily suspending SEA
All of THAT added extra stress and work to an already-overworked group as well.
BUT - we've got a bunch of operational spare aircraft now, minimizing delays due to mechanicals and weather. We've streamlined the schedule to provide more reliable service. The Menzies folks in SEA
are doing better, but they still aren't quite up to par - but hopefully they'll get there soon.
|Quoting AS739X (Reply 3):|
Im frustrated with my union, they have not showed up 2 times to negotiations.
Both cancellations were because their financial guy Tom Roth hadn't reviewed the company's economic proposal, and consequently they were unprepared to meet. They DID call the company and cancel, though. I'm good friends with one of the Lead negotiators so I know this for a fact.
"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