KarlB737
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USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Fri Feb 02, 2007 4:10 am

Press Release Source: Air Line Pilots Association, International

US Airways, America West Pilots Demand Fair, Single Contract

Thursday February 1, 1:35 pm ET

Pilots share passengers' frustration with two separate operations

TEMPE, Ariz., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly two years after the new US Airways (NYSE: LCC - News) was created by the announced merger of America West Airlines and US Airways, the pilots of America West and US Airways have had enough of management's lack of commitment to negotiating a fair, single contract and are demonstrating their frustration by picketing in front of their corporate headquarters.

There are still major gaps between the corporate promises made to employees and the reality of how management behaves at the negotiating table. US Airways is posting record quarterly and full-year profits, yet management is determined to force bankruptcy-era concessions onto the pilots. Such an agreement is not acceptable to either pilot group, both of which are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), International.

A single contract would be a significant step toward completing the America West-US Airways merger and combining the two airlines, making it easier for passengers traveling on US Airways. Management at US Airways instead chose to focus its energy on pursuing yet another merger (that has since been rescinded), causing the pilots to seriously question their ability to effectively run two operations, let alone three.

"There's no doubt that the quality of operations has deteriorated due to management's lack of focus in combining the two airlines," said Captain John McIlvenna, chairman of the America West Master Executive Council. "The sacrifices of labor, specifically the pilots of America West and US Airways, have enabled the new airline to succeed and post a considerable profit for 2006. Management has rewarded themselves with raises, bonuses and stock options and pursued a billion-dollar deal at the expense of the company, its employees, and our passengers."

"The US Airways and America West pilots have committed billions through massive concessions that were used to fund the recovery and renaissance of our airline. Yet, we continue to be paid wages that are at the bottom our industry while we participate in fruitless negotiations," said Captain Jack Stephan, chairman of the US Airways Master Executive Council. "It is unfortunate that our passengers are also forced to deal with management's whitewashing of the promise of a single carrier, and must endure the travel frustrations created from operating two airlines under one banner."

Joint negotiations with US Airways management for a single, fair pilot contract have been ongoing for more than one year. Both pilot groups remain focused on the issue of achieving a fair single contract, one that is commensurate with US Airways' position in the marketplace.

Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 60,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Air Line Pilots Association, International
 
gigneil
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:34 am

"Nearly two years" eh? Sept 27 2005 to Jan 2007 is not quite nearly two years.

NS
 
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:39 am

US will have a hard time pleading poverty during negotiations - which is yet another reason they're upset the DL bid collapsed. It would have given them an excuse to not open the checkbook to the pilots.

Now, they're faced with explaining how a $507MM profit before adjustments means they also somehow can't afford to raise pilot pay.
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MaverickM11
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:03 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 2):
US will have a hard time pleading poverty during negotiations - which is yet another reason they're upset the DL bid collapsed. It would have given them an excuse to not open the checkbook to the pilots.

Is there anyone at the union that thinks "hey maybe we can avoid this boom/bust cycle if we stop racheting up our pay to the stratosphere when times are good only to see it all disappear when the business goes down the toilet"?
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micstatic
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:12 am

The amusing thing is how many US supporters on here who claimed that this was not the case. I think Doug Parker might have ADD. He needs to finish 1 task before moving to the next
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:28 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 3):
racheting up our pay to the stratosphere when times are good

I guess that depends on your definition of "ratcheting up to the stratosphere." I'd say asking for huge increases is out of line - but asking to perhaps keep up with the cost of living - around a 3% increase per year - is not ridiculous.

I don't know what the union is asking of US right now, but I think it's fair to say a pay raise of some sort is due - they certainly can't be expected to keep working for the same pay rates without cost of living adjustments, at minimum.
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PanAm747
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:57 am

Quote:
Is there anyone at the union that thinks "hey maybe we can avoid this boom/bust cycle if we stop racheting up our pay to the stratosphere when times are good only to see it all disappear when the business goes down the toilet"?

That's a legitimate question. So is this one:

Is there anyone in management that thinks "hey maybe we can avoid this boom/bust cycle if we stop ratcheting up OUR pay to the stratosphere when times are good (or bad) only to see ourselves criticized for giving ourselves bonuses and pats on the back for mismanaging a company into bankruptcy while still getting our guaranteed golden parachute"?

There's more than enough blame to go around.
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tommytoyz
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:32 am

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 6):
Quote:
Is there anyone at the union that thinks "hey maybe we can avoid this boom/bust cycle if we stop racheting up our pay to the stratosphere when times are good only to see it all disappear when the business goes down the toilet"?

That's a legitimate question. So is this one:

Is there anyone in management that thinks "hey maybe we can avoid this boom/bust cycle if we stop ratcheting up OUR pay to the stratosphere when times are good (or bad) only to see ourselves criticized for giving ourselves bonuses and pats on the back for mismanaging a company into bankruptcy while still getting our guaranteed golden parachute"?

Both are good points. And both need to stop making the airline industry into a boom/bust cycleded industry. It doesn't have to be that way. Many international carriers seem much more stable in this regard. Even Southwest does. It can be done.
 
Molykote
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:22 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 5):
I don't know what the union is asking of US right now, but I think it's fair to say a pay raise of some sort is due - they certainly can't be expected to keep working for the same pay rates without cost of living adjustments, at minimum.

I agree that a cost of living increase is fair. Presumably this is negotiated into the contract (at least if they had union bosses who were in the position for the long term benefit of their union members and the company).

As for your statement that they "can't be expected to keep working for the same pay rates", I'd have to follow by asking how many pilots would be expected to leave if rates were frozen for the time being.
[edit]
I say the above not to suggest that pilot pay be squeezed to this point. Paying above market rates CAN bring benefits to a company.
[/edit]

My bottom line is that a "market rate" is the appropriate compensation for a pilot or any other employee. If the US pilots are at or near the bottom of the industry pay scale I believe they should and will get more money soon.

Although I respect the fact that the US pilots gave back a large amount of money, the more important consideration is how far below market rates US pilots were after these give backs.

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 6):
Is there anyone in management that thinks "hey maybe we can avoid this boom/bust cycle if we stop ratcheting up OUR pay to the stratosphere when times are good (or bad) only to see ourselves criticized for giving ourselves bonuses and pats on the back for mismanaging a company into bankruptcy while still getting our guaranteed golden parachute"?

Does anyone have figures on HP/US management pay compared to others in the industy?

[Edited 2007-02-02 05:27:45]
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HPRamper
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Fri Feb 02, 2007 1:54 pm

Quoting KarlB737 (Thread starter):
US Airways is posting record quarterly and full-year profits, yet management is determined to force bankruptcy-era concessions onto the pilots.

So true...but it's common knowledge in the industry that once you make concessions, it is very, very hard to EVER get those benefits back regardless of how profitable the airline is. When was the last time you heard about some airline giving all its pilots raises?
 
WJ
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:07 pm

I was litteraly counting down the hours from when US first announced their Q4 and 2006 profit until the first union pipes up. Has Doug Parker done anything unfair to any workgroup in the past 6 years? He basically saved one airline and then moved on to save the next. Whatever concessions former US Airways pilots gave up, A) they are lucky they still have an airline, and B) still make more than HP pilots. and for the HP pilots, A) you are lucky you still have an airline as well, and B) Give the man some time, he's a smart guy and he knows what he has to do. All US employees will likely see a good piece of that distributed so chill and take your seat.

I hate unions. Always us against them. Go away.
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Maverick623
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:26 pm

Quoting WJ (Reply 10):
I was litteraly counting down the hours from when US first announced their Q4 and 2006 profit until the first union pipes up. Has Doug Parker done anything unfair to any workgroup in the past 6 years? He basically saved one airline and then moved on to save the next. Whatever concessions former US Airways pilots gave up, A) they are lucky they still have an airline, and B) still make more than HP pilots. and for the HP pilots, A) you are lucky you still have an airline as well, and B) Give the man some time, he's a smart guy and he knows what he has to do. All US employees will likely see a good piece of that distributed so chill and take your seat.

I hate unions. Always us against them. Go away.

I myself am not a huge fan of unions either, but this issue goes beyond that.

Pilots are not the only workgroup that are having problems with pay. Gate agents, mechanics, rampers, all of us are either grossly underpaid to begin with (HP) or have had so many concessions it's not funny (US). It's kind of a slap in the face when the company talks about being "cost-neutral" in negotiations, and then decides they can throw a few billion at another airline.

As a fairly new employee, I really had no gripe pre-DL merger talk. I was one of the people who couldn't understand why others weren't being patient, and that their pay would be coming to them.

Now I see that you can't simply sit back and hope that the company will take notice, you have to really fight to get a fair chunk of the change. I'm not talking about profit sharing or any of that stuff (stock is a great way to go), but the base pay right now is horrible, especially compared to the condition of the airline. It's not asking for a boatload of money, it's asking to be compensated at a wage that could be supported during slightly below-average company health, and the pilots especially are still being paid as if the company was in bankruptcy.

Again, being a young, single college student, I personally don't really have a reason to raise a stink, but so many others have more than enough of a reason. To not support them would be rude at best.
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necigrad
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Fri Feb 02, 2007 7:28 pm

Quoting WJ (Reply 10):
Whatever concessions former US Airways pilots gave up, A) they are lucky they still have an airline, and B) still make more than HP pilots.

Regarding B, I think you're wrong. One of the current gripes is that the HP contract has a higher payscale. When it comes to merging the two airlines workgroups there are a few issues. One may have a higher payscale then the other, but the second has better benefits. If I made purchaces based on a payscale, which in theory shouldn't chage for the lenght of the contract, and then my pay gets cut, that's a problem. If I've set up my life based on recieving various benefits, and then lose them, that's a problem. Is making decisions like that responsible? I think so, but there's also the fact that you work for an airline, and that industry isn't known for its stability.

I think the bigger aggravation comes from management pay. I dont' believe US management makes more then their counterparts. I don't know, but I truly don't think so. Doug Parker made I believe about $450,000 pretax last year as salary. He will also get around a million in bonuses, again before tax. For his job in the United States that is reasonable. He puts in an insane amount of hours, is oncall 24/7, and his family life probably isn't exactly the best because of this.

So now that we've discussed Parker, let's look at the other side (that I'm failiar with) the ramper working 160-200 hours a biweekly paycheck. He's making $50K if he's lucky. He works as hard (some might say harder) then Parker, puts in at least as many hours, never sees his family, and is at greater risk of injury.

Two completly different jobs. Pay that's relativly comparable to each industries standard. But Parker has said that the company can't afford to give them raises. Maybe he didn't say this word for word, but he did say that US cannot afford to give any workgroup a contract that is "worth" more then the two combined. Basically if the union/s want to increase payroll by $1million, they need to find $1million in benefits to cut. To me this is offensive. It's also the way the US works. It is NOT like that in Japan, where the CEOs make FAR less then they would in the US, and the employees make far more. So when Parker says that the company can't afford, it's a touchy subject.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Sat Feb 03, 2007 12:02 am

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 6):
Is there anyone in management that thinks "hey maybe we can avoid this boom/bust cycle if we stop ratcheting up OUR pay to the stratosphere when times are good (or bad) only to see ourselves criticized for giving ourselves bonuses and pats on the back for mismanaging a company into bankruptcy while still getting our guaranteed golden parachute"?

That argument would have some resonance if 95% of the top paid employees at just about any airline weren't exclusively pilots, and if airline management weren't easily capable of switching industries.

[Edited 2007-02-02 16:07:54]
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KarlB737
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:08 am

Press Release Source: Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l

US Airways, America West Pilots Picket in Support of a Single Fair Contract, Challenge Management to Complete Unfinished Merger

Tuesday February 6, 10:58 am ET

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The US Airways [NYSE: LCC] and America West pilots are picketing at Reagan Washington National Airport today to demand that US Airways management, after being distracted by a failed merger attempt, focus on negotiations for a single pilot contract. The pilot groups, both of which are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), International, are also calling on CEO Doug Parker to take responsibility for the operational issues that have plagued US Airways since the merger process began in September 2005.

US Airways is posting continuous quarterly profits and just earned its first full-year profit since 1999. However, management continues to pass bankruptcy-era proposals at the negotiating table that ignore the unprecedented investment that the pilots made to keep their airline viable after 9/11. A single contract would be a significant step toward completing the America West-US Airways merger and combining the two airlines, allowing passengers to finally benefit from a fully merged, seamless operation.

"With operational issues threatening the stability of our airline, Doug Parker is beginning to see the consequences of unfinished business in his own backyard. When he decided to focus on acquiring Delta Airlines, it distracted management from their most important work: to complete the merging of US Airways and America West," said Captain Jack Stephan, chairman of the US Airways Master Executive Council. "He's had ample opportunity to improve the airline's performance. Instead, he has used our billions of dollars in concessions in a failed attempt to take over another airline, when he should have been concentrating on negotiating a fair contract that recognizes our investment."

"US Airways has the ability to negotiate fairly with labor and can ill afford not to," said Captain John McIlvenna, chairman of the America West Master Executive Council. "We have patiently watched and waited for management to improve its labor relations, and we continue to be disappointed. It's time to get serious about completing the merger between US Airways and America West in order to build a bigger and better airline."

The joint negotiations process with US Airways management for a single, fair pilot contract is now approaching a year and a half. Both pilot groups remain focused on the issue of achieving a fair single contract, one that is commensurate with US Airways' position in the marketplace.

Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 60,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at http://www.alpa.org.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l
 
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:54 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 3):
Is there anyone at the union that thinks "hey maybe we can avoid this boom/bust cycle if we stop racheting up our pay to the stratosphere when times are good only to see it all disappear when the business goes down the toilet"?

This isn't the same thing as Delta + 1 or United + 1 back in the days of massive record profits, nor were those things the cause of the most recent bust cycle. The pilots at US East took it in the pants beyond all reason during the two bankruptcies at that broken carrier, and they certainly weren't the reason it was so broken. Meanwhile, they have worked as have all the people at their combined carrier to make this thing work and they most definately deserve to be compensated for that.
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necigrad
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:46 am

Quoting WJ (Reply 10):
Has Doug Parker done anything unfair to any workgroup in the past 6 years? He basically saved one airline and then moved on to save the next. Whatever concessions former US Airways pilots gave up, A) they are lucky they still have an airline

I dunno. My contract was up in June of '05. I was kinda hoping for a raise. Then HP stopped negotiating the contract until the NMB ruled on representation. NOW I'm waiting while IAM and US screw around with a transition agreement.

Personally, this whole labor merger thing is getting WAY out of hand in my opinion. The merger has been final for over a year now. This should be resolved. The company was derelict in their responsibilities in resolving these issues. There is no excuse for over a month to go by with no negotiations for each workgroup. I need to be on a contract in a nonammendable status. Now.
 
Caspian27
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:49 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 3):
Is there anyone at the union that thinks "hey maybe we can avoid this boom/bust cycle if we stop racheting up our pay to the stratosphere when times are good only to see it all disappear when the business goes down the toilet"?

Although I'm not an HP or US pilot, as an ALPA member I support the pilots desire for reasonable pay increases. It's not about racheting up, it's getting back some of what has been sacrificed to allow the company to be successful.
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LCFreeman49
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RE: USAirways-America West Pilots Demand One Contract

Thu Feb 08, 2007 10:27 am

there will never be labor peace at US Airways.
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