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DLKAPA
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Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 6:50 am

http://charlotte.bizjournals.com/charlotte/stories/2004/10/04/daily47.html

US Airways Group Inc. has told a judge in U.S. Bankruptcy Court it needs an answer by the end of next week on its proposal to cut employee pay 23% or it faces possible liquidation, the Associated Press reports.

And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:03 am

Looks like another great airline is going down at the hands of unions....it's a sad world we live in when the ones who are supposed to protect us lead to our destruction...  Sad
 
uswyjer
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:06 am

Does anyone know when are the pilots are expected to vote on the contract proposal? Would it come before the end of the week?
 
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mariner
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:11 am

FriendlySkies:

Why place all the blame on the unions? Perhaps really bad management had something to do with it.

cheers

mariner
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N1120A
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:12 am

Um, the pilots Union leaders accepted a contract that would make them some of the worst paid A32S/737 pilots in the country, the pilots are voting on it now, and the unions are ruing US? The unions at US have given everything and more to keep US flying, and US just keeps mismanaging them into more cuts, while the management keeps getting golden parachutes. This has nothing to do with unions (WN is the most unionized airline in the US and keeps on making money) it has to do with bad decisions by bad management and then treating employees like crap in the process. The only difference is that at US the employees are doing everything they can, to no avail, while at other airlines the unions see that the management of the airlines will junk the bottom line even if they are making minimum wage for keeping airplanes in the air.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
supa7E7
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:15 am

Agreed FS. The Management of US is trying to save that airline. There is no wealth to being made there, except by bankruptcy lawyers. The CEO is a seasoned old exec with no dollar signs in his eyes -- an honest man.

The unions have a long history of deeply irrational behavior. I would vote for total elimination of unions in air transport; they simply have too much leverage over other peoples' capital. There is no rationale for this in a free country.

It's like if I had a hardware store and my employees unionized and demanded $25 an hour. I would struggle, be understaffed, and eventually I would die. No surprise.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
supa7E7
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:22 am

Mariner, "why blame it on unions?"

Let's look at the past week. Mechanics union lawyers say a paycut will lead to "unreasonably high levels of cash in 2005." Hello, insane?

The union leaders (not members) are intentionally destroying US like a ritual sacrifice for their pagan dances. The union members are victims in all this, because they are 1 week from getting canned. Unless the judge wisely disregards the union lawyers...
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
PhilSquares
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:28 am

I would like to challenge the idea the unions have been responsible for the demise of USAirways.

If you look at the history of the airline, you will see the management of Allegany/US Air/USAirways has never been on the forefront of airline management.

Colodny/Wolfe were probably the two biggest obstacles to USAirways success. Look at the purchase of PSA. What happened to the routes on the west coast that were so successful with PSA. USAirways purchased PSA and had a route structure that look like a set of barbells. Plenty of routes on the east and west coast, but nothing in the middle. The purchase of Peidmont is another example of poor management. It did nothing to really improve the feed for US Air. It did give them a hub, but the hub competed with ATL, RDU and MEM.

Are the unions without blame? Certainly not, but to blame the unions entirely is just lunacy. Management is certainly culpable. If you look at the revenue/employee USAirways has always been at the lower end. WN has always been up at the top. The basic issue with USAirways is the same issue all the legacy carriers are trying to deal with: LCCs
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N1120A
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:30 am

I cannot believe you believe what the US management tells you people. David Siegel raped that airline for his GP and the unions have taken 2 major paycuts already. Instead of taking the stance that they should be happy US has given them jobs, US should look at some point and be thankful its people have kept it flying this long with such flawed business plans. They bought Piedmont and gained a semi-fortress hub at CLT, which they claim makes them money even now. They bought PSA to gain a west coast presence, and then frittered it away, when they could have had a major presence in the west where short hauls make a lot more money than on the east (no train competition to speak of, larger distances between cities). Instead they have redundant hubs, are subject to major delays and spent money on fleets they could not afford. None of this is the unions' fault. Just because they don't want to be abused anymore than they already have does not mean they are trying to destroy an airline
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
burnsie28
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 7:39 am

They bought Piedmont and gained a semi-fortress hub at CLT, which they claim makes them money even now

If that is true, then continuing operations is right in front of their eyes, use CLT and only CLT how it is today if its making money.

But that may not be enough for them, dont blame this S**T on the unions, because as it is, US guys are lowest payed in the industry, the only exception is the fact that WN has some guys, that get payed a couple bucks less an hour then a A330 captain at US that has been with US for 12 years, also, after all the cuts, everyone that is up in the front, was a captain at one time, no original F/O's remain at US. So everyone should look at the facts instead of what management says, its funny, they say the need cuts, but look at some of them with their X-mas bonuses. Management makes the decisions, unfortunately for US, they have made all the wrong ones.
 
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 8:01 am

Thank you Burnsie, it is nice to see someone who understands this as opposed to what certain political figures want people to think. US is not being abused by its unions, it has survived this long because of them. The DOT should have just let UA buy them, might have saved both.

Oh, and Burnsie, welcome to the proverbial list

[Edited 2004-10-11 01:04:11]
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
A330323X
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:03 am

Sorry to disappoint, but this isn't news.

It's been known that the judge wasn't going to finish the 1113(e) hearing last week and that the hearing would finish on Tuesday.

See https://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/1756518/6/, for example.

Does anyone know when are the pilots are expected to vote on the contract proposal? Would it come before the end of the week?

The pilots vote on the tentative agreement on the 21st. The agreement will be effective retroactive to the date the court grants the 1113(e) motions. If they don't approve the agreement, the 23% paycut of the 1113(e) motion will come into effect instead. The pilots aren't the issue here; it's the 1113(e) motion as it deals with the IAM/AFA/CWA.
I'm the expert on here on two things, neither of which I care about much anymore.
 
The777Man
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:44 am

So it's basically down to the judge to either grant the motion in favor of the 1113 (e) and US stays in business or he denies it and they liquidate ?

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
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ERJ170
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:56 am

Speaking of USAirways camp, RDU last week gave them an ultimatum that they were snatching 2 gates and maintanence facility from them for under-use unless they can come up with more uses from them. Anyone inside know what the outcome of this will be? Will US add more routes or will they give up 2 of their 5 gates? They have already lost 1 to Delta when MetroJet folded.

Just wondering...

BTW.. I dont' know if it is the case or not, but Independence was supposed to have 2 gates at RDU but sounds like RDU may have taken one from them also.. seems RDUAA is in the mood to reclaim some territory! They seem to be ready to offer an airline or 2 some gates (up to 4 if US gives up their 2.. A10, A12, and 2 from A20-24)
Aiming High and going far..
 
burnsie28
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 9:57 am

Either way The777Man, US is unlikely to last, however, if the judge grants this, it will allow them to stay a bit longer unless they make a 180 degree turn.
 
The777Man
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:03 am

I guess if the judge approves of the wage reductions, then all they have to worry about is exit financing from Chapter 11, which probably be difficult to get even with reductions. Any idea long US said they will be in Chapter 11 ?

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
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mariner
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:15 am

Supa7E7:

First: The unions/staff have given back - twice - to the company.

Second: Management is now admitting that they "got their figures wrong" in the first bankruptcy, and that all (not some, but all) their projections were wrong.

Why would you trust 'em now?

Third: Chairman Bronner speaks with forked tongue. Six or seven months ago, he announced in the press that he wouldn't go Chapter 11 a second time, he would rather liquidate the company (Chapter 7).

He said he would liquidate because there would be a greater value for the shareholders.

But gosh, he did take the airline into Chapter 11 a second time and has now screwed a second batch of shareholders.

Fourth: the Mechanics Union is up in arms because of Bronner's decision to outsource all heavy maintenance to (guess where) Alabama.

This would have meant big job losses for the mechanics, and the courts have now ruled the outsourcing as illegal.

And you put all the blame on the unions? My, my.

cheers

mariner
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ERJ170
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:19 am

so what would the best answer be? an entirely new management team? is us management top heavy? or are they just salary heavy? What WOULD the best move be for US? They have one of the highest overhead out there.. what would be the best answer..??

Do they have too many managers? too many staff? under-utilization of aircraft? what? WHAT I SAY???
Aiming High and going far..
 
NWFltAttendant
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:32 am

A few things to remember.....

1. NO AIRLINE WILL GO BUST BEFORE THE ELECTION. Too much risk for votes prior to the electoin.

2. With the money (not much) that they have, this is highly unlikely to occur as quickly as threatened by USAirways mgmt. It can happen soon, but I doubt 2 weeks will bring the downing of the airline.

3. Dont forget that this garbage is being prepetuated by USAirways itself, can you say brinksmanship ?  Nuts
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wgw2707
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:05 am

1. NO AIRLINE WILL GO BUST BEFORE THE ELECTION. Too much risk for votes prior to the electoin.

How exactly is an airline supposed to avoid a pre-election liquidation? I can picture Bruce Lakefield saying to the creditors "Oh please don't liquidate us just yet, it's just a few more weeks until the election, and then you can have at us all you want." It doesn't really work that way.

If US Airways should suddenly run out of cash, experience a scandal (accounting, safety) or have a plane crash between now and the election, they will liquidate, and no one could stop it.

If you're going to argue the politicians could, how EXACTLY would they do that? Congress is about to adjourn, once congress has adjourned what could you do? Bush isn't going to call an emergency session of congress if US Airways runs out of cash, and I don't see that the executive branch has any powers that could hold that off.

All of this said, I'd like to point out that US Airways has sufficient cash to see it through at least until the election, and in all probability until Febuary. After Febuary who knows. It's also worth mentioning that since Bronner and Lakefiled keep discussing Febuary as the Month of Judgement, anyone who is following this story isn't likely to book tickets for travel on US Airways past January, so even if they do stabilize before Febuary they can certainly expect it to be a rather tight month...

-WGW2707
 
nomorerjs
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:06 am

Nwfltattendant: You are correct, US will not go Chapter 7 before the election. But who knows what will happen after 11/02/04 (election day in the US).

 
wgw2707
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:16 am

Nwfltattendant: You are correct, US will not go Chapter 7 before the election. But who knows what will happen after 11/02/04 (election day in the US).

Again, what's there to stop them? If some calamity occurs that would force them into liquidation between now and November 2nd, what can save them? The answer: very little. If they crash a plane, have a major scandal or run out of cash between now and then, they're toast.

-WGW2707
 
SonOfACaptain
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:41 am

Hey Burnsie28, well written, couldn’t have said it better. Except, I want to point out a little mistake. There are no 12-year guys left. All pilots there have been there for at least 16 years. In fact, if you were a 12-year pilot at US, you wouldn’t even have been captain for 1 day at US. My dad has been there for 15 years, never has made captain and is currently in training for MidAtlantic after a one-year stay at Mesa.

I don’t agree, however, about just flying out of clt. True, it is a money-making city, but I think it would be a huge mistake by just flying out of there. The Northeast is also a huge market for them, along with the Caribbean.

-SOAC
Non Illegitimi Carborundum
 
Cactus739
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:47 am

Mariner

I couldn't agree with you more. Unions are not the problem at US Airways. Management got them where they are now. I'm assuming you've read their bankruptcy filing. http://www.transformingusairways.com/html/pdf/legal/SupplementalFirstDayBrief.pdf. The way I read it, management was basically saying "we as managers didn't do so hot out of Chapter 11 last time."

There was an article in USA today not long after they re-filed. It sums it up VERY nicely I thought. http://www.usatoday.com/travel/columnist/brancatelli/2004-09-17-brancatelli_x.htm.

Good luck US Airways.
You can't fix stupid.... - Ron White
 
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mariner
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:53 am

Cactus739:

The thing that really puzzles me - amazes me - is that US Airways believed Southwest would set up at Allentown, not at PHL.

You would think they'd learned their lesson after their encounters with Southwest at BWI.

cheers

mariner
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ETStar
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 12:17 pm

If and when US shuts down (this now appears more imminent than a few weeks ago), and if parts of it are purchased by other airlines, what happens to the staff? I know they no longer work for US, but do they get the first chance to get employed by the airline that buys them? For example, if CO buys the shuttle routes, will CO employ their own people and aircraft first BEFORE considering hiring US folks? How was it when PA and EA were sold off, did their staff get sold with them?
 
chgoflyer
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 12:25 pm

Chalk another one up to airline/transportion union choke hold! For those you comment that the dept of trans should have allowed United to buy US. Get the story straight. The UA employees/owners and their unions said no the the purchase.
Will someone please wake me up in 4 years
 
Cactus739
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 12:37 pm

Mariner

Not only did they expect Allentown, it took 5 months to come up with a response to WN. Southwest entering one of their hubs was long overdue. Considering Southwest handed them their a$$es on plates more than once, they should have had a contingency plan set up for such an event as Southwest entering PHL, PIT, or even CLT.

Forward thinking is not something they were / are good at. Leadership is not just running the show right now,, its planning for the future and planning for what might happen. Playing the "what if's". I know I would not be with the company I'm at now if I didn't know where our leaderes were taking us.

You can't fix stupid.... - Ron White
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 12:45 pm

I think the philosophy isn't that any carrier won't go bust before the election, but that political leaders will be doing everything they can to avoid having a shutdown and liquidation occur prior to November 2nd.

"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
 
supa7E7
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:04 pm

Oh, Mariner and Cactus, go do your pagan union dance.

This is a profitable airline saddled with a crushing load of union salaries, work rules and layoff restrictions. It pays higher than LCCs (yes). Soon, that will end.

Is it so mind-blowing that in the "real" world, if MX can be done cheaper in Alabama, you simply lay off your Mechanics and perform it in Alabama? That seems like a great idea to me as an airline customer. Keep me safe, but don't overpay somebody. They are mechanics, not kings for life.

You criticize Mgmt quite a lot in general but never in specifics. The Pilots' financial analyst had nothing but praise for US management's maneuvers over the past 1.5 years (GoFares, FLL hub, P2P, pay cuts, 70 seaters). It also recommended they accept pay cuts immediately. If you had to tell the pilots' analysts about one flaw of US planning / operations, what would it be?
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
N1120A
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:07 pm

chgoflyer said:

Chalk another one up to airline/transportion union choke hold! For those you comment that the dept of trans should have allowed United to buy US. Get the story straight. The UA employees/owners and their unions said no the the purchase.

What in the world are you talking about? The purchase was completely done, the DOT called them on an anti-trust charge from the other legacies (most notably CO and AA) and would not allow the purchase. They felt UA would be too big and control too much of the eastern US market, combining with their large presence in the midwest and the west. It was absolutely a DOT ruling, as they ruled that UA would have to divest all kinds of US routes and at least 1 hub.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
chgoflyer
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:26 pm

what was the biggest complaint during the pilots contract at UA? The boards move to purchase US. Eventually heads rolled over it. Understand no on here in Chicago either passenger or employee wanted UA to buy US.. not good could have come from it. Look at US and Piedmont.. where did that get them?
Will someone please wake me up in 4 years
 
aa777flyer
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:30 pm

Irregarless of the election or not, I doubt US would liquidate by 11/2/04. They have enough cash to operate through then. Its just three weeks away.
The TSA was created to make the post office look efficient!
 
N1120A
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 1:33 pm

Piedmont was a much smaller carrier and it was a much different time. Piedmont could have been a really good thing for US, but their management frittered it away like everything else. UA had made all the moves needed and tendered an offer that was accepted, the DOT did not foresee what would happen and rejected the deal. If UA had any money now whatsoever, and made the same offer, they would allow it because the airlines are both smaller than before and UA would probably be willing to restructure US's routes. Even UA, who has been very hit or miss (recently miss) with management could run US better than Wolfe/Siegel and company.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
jeb94
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:34 pm

Supa7E7,

Do you have any idea what kind of responsibilities an A&P mechanic has? Do you have any idea how many lives can be riding on just one mechanic's actions and signature? Do you think an A&P mechanic is just a grease monkey like you see at the quick oil change shops? Do you think an A&P mechanic is like a car mechanic (who usually get paid more by the way)? Just remember, a car can pull over, an airplane can't. Did you know that the mechanics usually take the first and largest hits from management when they want to reduce costs? Did you know mechanics are usually the last to see any significant pay raises? Did you know that most repair stations have numerous unlicensed techs working for $14 to $16 per hour? Now then, would you rather be flying on an aircraft maintained by a licensed mechanic making $30 to $40 per hour or an unlicensed tech at a repair station? I've personally seen some of the work that has come out of these repair stations and its scary. Corroded skins, frayed control cables, miswired systems or wiring that hasn't even been connected. Poorly routed wiring and hydraulic lines etc... There is a reason airlines like Southwest and Midwest decided to do heavy checks in house. Real quality reasons. One last question. Do you really think the pilots of Alaska flight 261 could do anything after management pressured mechanics into signing off that bad stabilizer jackscrew because they wanted the airplane to fly and make money? Think about how important quality mechanics are the next time you see an airliner flying. You definately get what you pay for in aviation maintenance.
 
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mariner
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 3:46 pm

Supa7E7

"...a pagan union dance"?

Um - call me dumb, but I'm not sure how "pagan" comes into this. Unions are a byproduct of the non-conformist church movements of the 18th and 19th centuries.

"Union dance"? I once took a union to court - and won - because I believed I did not have to be a member. It was not in this country, but in another, where more than 90% of the work force is unionized.

"This is profitable airline..." Quickly now, how many years is it since US Airways turned a full year profit?

"Saddled with a crushing load of union salaries, etc..."

Well, two things:

(i) Takes two to tango. Unions can ask. Management doesn't have to give. Any management that agrees to "crushing" salaries is, by definition, bad management.

If the result is a strike - and lost money for the time of the strike - that is preferable, for the shareholders, than unsustainable wages forever.

(ii) But if those salaries are "crushing", how come US Airways was able to turn a profit of $35 million in this past second quarter?

If they can do it once, with those salaries, how come management can't do it again? Out of control debt (not a union's responsibility) may have something to do with it.

"Is it mindblowing.....to simply lay off your mechanics...?"

If it is illegal, as the court decided, then yes, it is fairly mind-blowing. At the very least, it is totally inept management/worker relationships.

No one is asking to be a king for life. All they are doing is asking management to abide by the renegotiated agreements that management wanted.

NOTE: "That management wanted". The Mechanics agreed to what management wanted. Twice. Then management changed its mind and wanted something else.

"The pilots analyst had nothing but praise, etc."

As I recall, it was the pilots who were the main movers in getting rid of Mr. Siegel (they refused to work with him).

Since Mr. Siegel actually wanted less from the workers than the present CEO, I would say that the pilots shot themselves in the foot.

Simply because I defend the unions, does not mean I think the unions are blameless.

You ask me to give one flaw in the turnaround plan? Okay. FLL.

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
supa7E7
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:53 pm

Sorry for my language, I admit to being outre about all this. A devil's advocate view, if you will. Certainly agree that MX quality is important. Bad MX has caused crashes, this is true. IN an ideal world, you could hire quality MX in-house and they would not strike. Of course, that's not how the world is... even the MX at Indy Air is threatening to strike. Strikes are never honorable and never fair, that's my opinion. If you don't like "your" job... ___find another job___.

As for the supposed "indignity" of cost cuts... is it the mark of failure to cut, cut, then cut again 2 years later? Maybe it is the mark of continuing efficiency. Look at GE. Look at Wal-Mart. Now look at Southwest. Same. Uh-oh, now it's time for me to eat an ounce of crow... unions can be beaten back by miraculous Mgmt as has been the case at WN. Growth also shields WN from seniority creep.

Clearly, things at US have not gone the way anybody hoped. I hope for the best for US and its people.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
Gnomon
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 10:57 pm

I think there's no question that airline unions in general -- and pilot unions in particular -- have become more powerful than was contemplated last century when they were formed. It seems their focus, over the last 50 or so years, has gone from protecting safe and fair working conditions to negotiating outrageously extra-market compensation packages. It's no mystery why, in the popular media, pilot unions are disparaged and laughed at.

That said, I don't think we can assign blame for US's impending failure to either ALPA or management. Both have made unfortunate decisions over the last several years. Perhaps the simple, hard truth of it is that there are more seats chasing a finite number of passengers. The industry's structural realignment, with its market cap now dominated by LCCs, is to blame for US's failure. Bad management and stubborn unions have been unwitting and actors who, in their own mutual greed, obliviously blundered into this grand scheme of fate. The only silver lining in this cloud is that we can learn from their mistakes -- if it's not too late...
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:14 pm

You would think they'd learned their lesson after their encounters with Southwest at BWI.

Mariner,

US actually began to reduce its BWI presence at least 2 years before WN came to BWI.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
jetbluefan1
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:17 pm

I don't think the unions are to blame. If they've given two pay cuts since 9/11 or whenever, then I think that's more than enough. Now it's up to management to make things right. Frankly, management sucks at hiring the correct amount of people, etc. IMO. Ex:

Go to ROC and look at the SIX gates that US uses. Look at the huge amount of ticketing counter space they use. Never is there a line at the US ticketing counters, and I've never seen more than 2 planes on the ground at the same time. So, is there really a need for all those gates, and triple the amount of ticketing space than any other airline there? Their market share there has shrinken to under 30% now.

Also, US is intentionally competing with LCC's in their turn-around plan. They are starting FLL-LGA, one of the lowest yielding routes in the country because of B6 and Spirit. What's the point of starting that route? Same goes for FLL-BOS.

It's poor decisions like those that are giving US tough times. Why don't they start routes where there is no non-stop competition? PHL-Portland (Oregon) has no competition so I'm sure they could get some great yields out of that. PHL-SMF, PHL-San Antonio, PHL-AUS, PHL-Vancouver...US can really take advantage of the size of Philadelphia as a city; I'm sure there's demand for these routes if the flights are there.

Just my thoughts.

JetBluefan1
 
PHLBOS
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:27 pm

PHL-Portland (Oregon) has no competition so I'm sure they could get some great yields out of that.

There were plans at US to establish PHL-PDX service by June 2002.

At first, it was a route that was going to be added following the UA/US merger (as a UA flight, of course). When the merger was shot down, US had plans to offer the route on its own; but the downtown following 9/11 and its first Chapter 11 filing scuttled those plans.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
sfo777
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Mon Oct 11, 2004 11:31 pm

Has any major been able to overcome competition from Southwest? I can't think of any examples, anywhere Southwest goes, they have ruled - look at the west coast, Phoenix, and the new east coast hubs. Not clearly a problem with US management or unions in this regard,except for the fact that all the legacies will need to dump prior union contracts, pension plans, and lower service levels if they hope to survive price-wise with Southwest.
 
masseybrown
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:27 am

Sfo777 asks: Has any major been able to overcome competition from Southwest?

TW/AA held them at bay in STL. HP is still no.1 in PHX. CO keeps them a distant no. 2 in a combined HOU/IAH market. ATA (for the moment, anyway) is bigger in MDW. They no longer fly to SFO or DEN. I think it depends on how capable and determined the competition is.
 
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mariner
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Tue Oct 12, 2004 12:27 am

Supa7E7:

I don't think you need to eat any amount of crow. I enjoyed that interchange.

And your final summation about US Airways is both accurate and diplomatic.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

cheers

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
727LOVER
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:03 am

There was a lengthy analysis of how US got to this point in the WSJ. The key factor was that when US purchased Piedmont and PSA, these carriers had far lower cost structures. Instead of incorporating the lower cost structure into US, they expanded the high cost structure into the new combined company. WHY? Because, if they hadn't there would have been union turmoil, according to then CEO Edwin Colodny.
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
aa777flyer
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:11 am

They really had no choice but to integrate those carriers in at their current pay scales. Unless it was in writing that they could operate subdivisions of the company or certain reigons at a lower pay scale they would be in violation of their legally biding union contracts.
The TSA was created to make the post office look efficient!
 
ltbewr
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:13 am

Labor costs vs. revenue is the conflict facing majors/legacies like US today. In a recent article in the Wall St. Journal on the problems facing major/legacy airlines today one point was made on how the large raises in the 1980's in part due to the high inflation, good profits and an effort to keep labor peace all lead to higher payroll structures that are not sustainable today. The same article noted how US had Piedmont & PSA employees adopt the higher payroll and more union friendly work rules of US. These issues have been recently compounded by higher labor costs (such as medical insurance & pension costs) the substantial rise in oil/fuel costs and the rise of the 2nd generation LCC's (JetBlue for example) with their lower labor costs. With US, they also operate may locations where they have few flights with the attendent overhead costs (like noted in a previous post as to Rochester), short flights that have high costs, operates at airports like LGA where tight turn arounds (except for the Shuttles) of aircraft are difficult. Often some of these routes are price sensitive due to JetBlue, other airlines, or that with the hassle of air travel today, a potential passanger may just drive or use corporate/private aircraft.
 
ATLhomeCMH
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:43 am

Look, this isn't a surprise and it shouldn't be to anyone. This situation has been looming on the horizon for a while now.

It's just a shame that all parties involved...the corporate "heads-of-state," mechanics, pilots, etc wouldn't budge enough to prevent their airline--one which has served the U.S. public faithfully for decades--from being on the brink of destruction.

It's a damn shame that US has to be in this position...they're a good airline. But, such is the nature of the airline industry. One carrier's loss is another carrier's gain.
"The most terrifying words in the Engligh language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"-Ronald Reagan
 
jeb94
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:44 am

Hey supa,

Sorry to jump on your case like that. I'm a mechanic and I don't like to have what I do looked down upon. I have pride man!  Big grin That being said, I'm working for my second airline now. Both have been fairly small and serve "niche" markets. The one I work for now is turning a nice little profit going where no others will go. The other is struggling a bit because it has mainly a high end product that isn't in demand, or is in demand but no one wants to pay for it. Both are non-union and hopefully will stay that way. I'm not a fan of unions as they are restrictive and in most cases I feel are unnecessary in this day and age. They become necessary when management refuses to treat the employees fairly. The airline I used to work for has been non-union mechanic wise for its 20 year existance but there are struggles now. In the last three years they've had 2 attempts to unionize. The last one failed by just 5 votes and that's mostly due to the dilution of the voting pool by the company and the union's greed in attempting to get more members. Granted you'll always have employees that are sour grapes and will want a union no matter what. In that case, I have to agree, if you don't like the job, go find another one and take your bitterness elsewhere. Let someone that wants to work have the job. Oh, and so you all know, labor costs and unrest are starting to take a toll on even the mighty Southwest.
 
Gnomon
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RE: Dire News From The USAirways Camp

Tue Oct 12, 2004 1:45 am

Ltbewr --

I agree completely with your analysis. I think that's a fair assessment of US's problem.

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