SonofHerman
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Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Thu Oct 13, 2005 3:36 am

Star Tribune
Last update: October 12, 2005 at 12:48 PM

Northwest Airlines filed a motion in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York today to reject the contracts with its labor unions. The request, if approved, would speed up the airline's efforts to secure $1.4 billion in annual labor savings.

The motion gives union leaders a limited amount of time to negotiate new contracts with Northwest. If they are unwilling or unable to do so, the bankruptcy judge could impose new pay scales and work rules.

Northwest wants to reduce pilot pay by an average of 28.4 percent, flight attendant pay by 17.5 percent and ground worker wages by 5 to 12.5 percent.

Salaried and management workers are expected to take cuts worth $36 million.

Last year, the Air Line Pilots Association agreed to a 15 percent pay cut for its members and that concessionary contract is saving Northwest $250 million per year. When those cuts went into effect, salaried and management employees at Northwest took cuts that add up to $35 million per year.

"Our court motion gives union leaders and Northwest management time to reach the necessary agreements, before the court would be compelled to intervene and impose new contracts," Northwest CEO Doug Steenland said in a statement.

Northwest pilot union leaders are meeting in Memphis this week, and Mark McClain, chairman of Northwest ALPA, told pilots Tuesday that Northwest's filing of the labor motion was "imminent."

In a report to pilots, McClain cautioned that negotiations in bankruptcy are quite different from traditional bargaining "because there is less control, the timeline is condensed and controlled by the court, and the judge is more concerned with what will allow the company to succeed than with what is fair to labor."

Northwest also said Wednesday that its mainline flight schedule, over time, could be "reduced by as much as 15 percent or more."

In the first quarter of 2006, Northwest's seat capacity will be down 11 to 13 percent compared with the same time period this year.
 
m404
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Thu Oct 13, 2005 4:22 am

Interesting how they dragged out negotiations for years with only a VERY few days a month allocated to reaching a settlement but once they file BK it's "you better signed or --- or --- or Well, we'll just do it anyway."
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
SHUPirate1
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Thu Oct 13, 2005 4:26 am

Anybody else find it hilarious that there is an ad right here (unless it's a variable ad) that says "Save big on your next airfare on Northwest Airlines"?
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FriendlySkies
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Thu Oct 13, 2005 5:08 am

Well it worked for UA...but they didn't do it a few weeks after filing, more like a few months (over a year). This could get ugly...
 
DLKAPA
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Thu Oct 13, 2005 5:17 am

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 3):
Well it worked for UA...but they didn't do it a few weeks after filing, more like a few months (over a year). This could get ugly...

Already has. Who wants to bet they're "rejecting" so they can move crews over to Northwest Lite?
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
LUVRSW
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Thu Oct 13, 2005 5:24 am

Those are huge paycuts. It wouldn't suprise me for the unions to take a strike vote if the court imposes those sanctions.

[Edited 2005-10-12 22:25:24]
 
DLKAPA
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Thu Oct 13, 2005 5:29 am

As they are operating in bankruptcy wouldn't any strike be illegal?
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
FlyGuyClt
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Thu Oct 13, 2005 5:37 am

As far as the Flight Attendants go. AirTran's new contract would pay more than NWA's proposal. Now, what is wrong with that picture?

Safe Flying  Smile
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LUVRSW
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Thu Oct 13, 2005 7:38 am

I don't know if it's illeagal....but if it is, will they be arrested? What do they have to lose?
 
Squid
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Thu Oct 13, 2005 7:51 am

Quoting FlyGuyClt (Reply 7):
As far as the Flight Attendants go. AirTran's new contract would pay more than NWA's proposal. Now, what is wrong with that picture?

Nothing !!! NWA is in debt to their ear's and AirTran isn't. NWA need to under cut AirTran to greatly speed up flight attendant retirements. NWA's work force is too old and senior. By under cutting AirTran as well as all other airlines, many people would leave NWA for jobs at other airlines which also would increase NWA's turnover, thus allowing NWA better profits since flight attendants would most likely not work their entire lives at NWA.

I'm also looking forward to NWA's Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic flight being staffed with foreign based flight attendants. This will allow NWA greater control of their product and image on crucial money making markets. Within a year, most of the international FA's will be young, thin and speak several languages. Go NWA !!!!!
 
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jetjack74
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Thu Oct 13, 2005 9:28 am

Quoting Squid (Reply 9):
I'm also looking forward to NWA's Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic flight being staffed with foreign based flight attendants. This will allow NWA greater control of their product and image on crucial money making markets. Within a year, most of the international FA's will be young, thin and speak several languages. Go NWA !!!!!

Well, when you get out of the Navy and have to get a job, hopefully you'll lose your job to foreign nationals. That would be great.
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KarlB737
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Fri Oct 14, 2005 3:51 am

Courtesy: Workday Minnesota

Unions Seek To Save Contracts In Face Of NWA Motion

http://www.workdayminnesota.org/view...d=2adc0b12703b51e39585cb48ec3da83a
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Fri Oct 14, 2005 4:29 am

Quoting Squid (Reply 9):
By under cutting AirTran as well as all other airlines, many people would leave NWA for jobs at other airlines which also would increase NWA's turnover, thus allowing NWA better profits since flight attendants would most likely not work their entire lives at NWA.

Translation: We (NW) need to make working for us as uncomfortable a proposition as possible to increase turnover and hire cheap(er) replacements.

Sad.

Especially since having a transient workforce is ultimately just as expensive as paying for a higher-priced but stable labor pool.

Quoting Squid (Reply 9):
I'm also looking forward to NWA's Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic flight being staffed with foreign based flight attendants. This will allow NWA greater control of their product and image on crucial money making markets. Within a year, most of the international FA's will be young, thin and speak several languages. Go NWA !!!!!

I think this is short-sighted on your part. Ceding control of your front-line employees to an outside vendor (since foreign-based flight attendants would not be NWA employees but outsourced to another company) actually reduces quality control, especially on a service-based product.
"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
 
m404
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Fri Oct 14, 2005 4:39 am

Outsourcing customer service to low bid non-company personnel is a disaster waiting to happen. Customers expect quality service with accurate answers to questions. High turnover disenfranchised contract help is not the answer. It would appear that AA and CO already know that.
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
FlyGuyClt
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Fri Oct 14, 2005 4:41 am

Quoting Squid (Reply 9):
I'm also looking forward to NWA's Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic flight being staffed with foreign based flight attendants. This will allow NWA greater control of their product and image on crucial money making markets. Within a year, most of the international FA's will be young, thin and speak several languages. Go NWA !!!!!

Please do tell us. How many times have you flown NWA as a paying customer? NOT on a Navy ticket, but out of your own wallet?

Safe Flying  Smile
Florida Express, Braniff II and ......
 
zvezda
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Fri Oct 14, 2005 4:58 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 12):
I think this is short-sighted on your part. Ceding control of your front-line employees to an outside vendor (since foreign-based flight attendants would not be NWA employees but outsourced to another company) actually reduces quality control, especially on a service-based product.

Sorry, but there is no quality control with US-based union FAs. It doesn't matter how lazy, surly, or rude they are, they never get fired. The US has by far the worst FAs in the world. The worst foreign outsourcing would be a dramatic improvement.
 
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Fri Oct 14, 2005 4:35 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 15):
Sorry, but there is no quality control with US-based union FAs. It doesn't matter how lazy, surly, or rude they are, they never get fired.

Do you always speak in hyperbole?  sarcastic 

Sorry, but you're 100% incorrect. It's far easier to assert quality control over your own people than with outside vendors.

And FWIW, unionized employees can still be put into steps of discipline up to and including termination. It's managerial laziness that allows the "rotten apples" to stick around.
"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
 
mrocktor
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Fri Oct 14, 2005 9:29 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 12):
Especially since having a transient workforce is ultimately just as expensive as paying for a higher-priced but stable labor pool.

Debatable. For non skilled work, highly debatable.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 12):
Ceding control of your front-line employees to an outside vendor (since foreign-based flight attendants would not be NWA employees but outsourced to another company) actually reduces quality control, especially on a service-based product.

Only if no actions are taken to audit the service provided or if there is a single foreign suplier (monopoly).

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 15):
Sorry, but there is no quality control with US-based union FAs. It doesn't matter how lazy, surly, or rude they are, they never get fired. The US has by far the worst FAs in the world. The worst foreign outsourcing would be a dramatic improvement.

 checkmark  The wonders of competition...

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 16):
Sorry, but you're 100% incorrect. It's far easier to assert quality control over your own people than with outside vendors.

Not when you can't fire your own people for underperforming, you can easily void a contract with a subcontractor for underperformance (and rake in compensation) and hire someone else.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 16):
And FWIW, unionized employees can still be put into steps of discipline up to and including termination. It's managerial laziness that allows the "rotten apples" to stick around.

Only egregious violators of specific company rules or people who fall from grace with the union. Mediocre performance will never be grounds for dismissal in a union shop.

mrocktor
 
Squid
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:28 am

I have bought my own ticket on NWA many times to visit family and friends and have crossed the Pacific several times on NWA as well as other airlines, and NWA is ALWAYS poor service by comparison. I even remember visiting with a NWA flight attendant one night on a red-eye flight and she told me a very funny, yet sad example of how difficult it is to get rid of poor performing employee's because of the union. Apparently a group of reserve flight attendants, mostly gay men, were assigned to work a DTW to NRT flight on a 747 equipped with crew bunks and during their break they engaged in an orgy. They were discovered by a senior flight attendant who went to wake them up. Once arriving in NRT, they were dead-headed back to DTW to be fired, however, thanks to their awesome union, they only were given probation.

I agree with Zevzda, I doubt NWA will have much to worry about when hiring Asian national women to take over the Pacific. To this day I am amazed to walk into a 7-11 in Hong Kong. It's so clean an orderly I would have no problem eating a sandwitch if it dropped onto the floor.
 
steve6666
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Mon Oct 17, 2005 5:38 am

If this reserve group was only "mostly" made up of gay men, what were the others doing in the orgy? Were they watching or taking pictures, or was this an inclusive, pluralistic, 21st century orgy for straight/bi men and women? Were any of them cute?
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Squid
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:31 pm

Well I don't know the details but the flight attendant told me it was 4 men, all gay, and two women and it involved toys. But the point is having sex at work is apparently OK by PFAA, they are all still flying.
 
OOer
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:40 pm

Very true....everyone knows all unions do is keep lazy people from getting fired. In this case however the NWA employees need to reject the very crappy contract that NWA management wants to offer them and if a judge OKs it then its time to hit the picket line. Is everyone in the airline industry just gonna keep getting pay cuts after pay cuts? At least if the FAs and Pilots union decides to strike then it WILL be the end of NWA, but it would discourage other airlines from thinking they can get away with murder when dealing with their employees!!!
 
SHUPirate1
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Mon Oct 17, 2005 2:50 pm

Just a hunch that seniority will be THE deciding factor in which of the 500 (just a hunch that they will bring back the lowest number) come back...that is, the 500 mechanics with the LEAST seniority will be back...less money the bean-counters have to pay them, remember.
Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
 
Squid
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:01 pm

Well I disagree OOer. Why do these airlines need unions other than to protect idiots like this? If NWA wants to impose wages that top out at $20,000 per year with no benefits, and people stay, than good for NWA. But if NWA cannot get people to work there, than they will raise wages. The only people to be slightly concerned about is the really senior people, but if NWA cuts their wages enough, than even they will leave and get part time jobs as Wal-Mart greeters.

Life is not fair, or fun. And business isn't about taking care of your employee's. NWA must do what is fair for their creditors and stock-holders. They are the people who put their hard earned money into something they believed would pay out in returns.
 
m404
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:15 pm

I've never heard of the above word of mouth example of job saving but from the experiences I've seen of similar instances the union really did not have much to do with it. Look at the lawyers of different rights groups. They get around little things like contract violations using legal methods that protect all kinds of behavior. No. I doubt unions had anything to do with this.

Very true....everyone knows all unions do is keep lazy people from getting fired.

Now that's one broad brush I have to disagree with completely. No, not about the less than worthwhile employee your thinking of, most of us have seen that happen. Until these latest union busting tactics can you say you would have had the wages and benefits without that same union?
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
LMP737
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Tue Oct 18, 2005 1:08 am

Quoting Squid (Reply 23):
Life is not fair, or fun. And business isn't about taking care of your employee's. NWA must do what is fair for their creditors and stock-holders. They are the people who put their hard earned money into something they believed would pay out in returns.

Spoken by someone with limited life experience and who works in an environment where you don't have to worry about getting fired or laid off during your enlistment. Ever hear of the saying "Take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers"? Seems to have worked out for SWA.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
Dougloid
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Tue Oct 18, 2005 1:13 am

Quoting Mrocktor (Reply 17):
Only egregious violators of specific company rules or people who fall from grace with the union. Mediocre performance will never be grounds for dismissal in a union shop.

So you're an expert on labor relations and union contracts among your other self professed attributes?

There's no fool like a fool who knows everything.
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Tornado82
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Tue Oct 18, 2005 1:24 am

Quoting FlyGuyClt (Reply 7):
Now, what is wrong with that picture?

Not a damn thing. Airtran is profitable and can afford to pay their F/A's that salary. Oh wait, I get it. Since Airtran is 'cheap' they're supposed to pay their employees nothing because of that perceived lower quality, correct? Sorry, Airtran's service is head and shoulders above NW's.

Quoting LUVRSW (Reply 5):
It wouldn't suprise me for the unions to take a strike vote if the court imposes those sanctions.

They'd be brave. NW already showed the mechanics they're not too afraid of strikers. Not saying I condone nor condemn the actions of strikers nor management... but I'm just saying that a precedent has been set, and a strike vote might be a suicide vote at this stage in NW's game.
 
mrocktor
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Tue Oct 18, 2005 4:25 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 26):
So you're an expert on labor relations and union contracts among your other self professed attributes?

There's no fool like a fool who knows everything.

A man who uses his mind is difficult to deal with, is he not? There is no need to be an expert to have an opinion. There is no need to be an expert to aply reason to life.

Try it yourself: reason out exactly how a union contributes to selecting the best performing workers. I'd be very interested in your line of thought.

mrocktor
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Northwest Airlines Asks That Labor Contracts Be Re

Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:05 am

Quoting Mrocktor (Reply 17):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 12):
Especially since having a transient workforce is ultimately just as expensive as paying for a higher-priced but stable labor pool.

Debatable. For non skilled work, highly debatable.

You fail to take into account the lengthy and intensive FAA-mandated training and certification process for flight attendants - while being a F/A isn't brain surgery, it's not like replacing them is the same as replacing the fry cook at McDonald's either.

Quoting Mrocktor (Reply 17):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 12):
Ceding control of your front-line employees to an outside vendor (since foreign-based flight attendants would not be NWA employees but outsourced to another company) actually reduces quality control, especially on a service-based product.

Only if no actions are taken to audit the service provided or if there is a single foreign suplier (monopoly).

And those actions are to be taken by management. Or are you suggesting that management shouldn't be required to actually manage anyone?  sarcastic 

Quoting Mrocktor (Reply 17):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 16):
Sorry, but you're 100% incorrect. It's far easier to assert quality control over your own people than with outside vendors.

Not when you can't fire your own people for underperforming

Once again, you CAN. It's called managing - look it up.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 16):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 16):
And FWIW, unionized employees can still be put into steps of discipline up to and including termination. It's managerial laziness that allows the "rotten apples" to stick around.

Only egregious violators of specific company rules or people who fall from grace with the union. Mediocre performance will never be grounds for dismissal in a union shop.

Hogwash. If management has documented the steps taken when counseling the employee that has led them to termination, any union grievance will ultimately go nowhere. In fact, many union stewards and general chairs will even tell the terminated employee flat-out if their grievance has no merit.

They'll still pursue it since they're required to, especially hoping the company misses a time limit in the employee's favor - but ultimately if management does their job properly, no underperforming employee can expect to be free of worry from discipline or discharge.

Quoting M404 (Reply 24):
Very true....everyone knows all unions do is keep lazy people from getting fired.

Now that's one broad brush I have to disagree with completely.

I disagree as well. I'm certainly no fan of organized labor, but they are a necessary evil to some degree. Sometimes the lazy, incompetent or marginal are protected - but provided that management actually MANAGES and does their job in evaluating performance and discipline, no one would be able to just slide by.

Quoting Mrocktor (Reply 28):
There is no need to be an expert to have an opinion. There is no need to be an expert to aply reason to life.

True - but that's the difference between having an educated, informed position and one merely plucked out of midair.

Guess which one yours is?
"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