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ContnlEliteCMH
Posts: 1389
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 12:36 pm

Quoting Aogdesk (Reply 37):
Are you going to humor me and say that you won't have a problem if your boss comes to you tomorrow and tells you that a worker in Bangladesh has accepted your job for $5k a year? Do you really think thats a good way to sutain a nation, constantly shop overseas for cheaper (read slave) labor, until we just become a nation of consumers?

Sure, I'd have a problem if my boss came over tomorrow to tell me that. My problem would be that the going wage for my job would now be $5k/year. So I'd find a new line of work.

Your second question is irrelevant, because your scenario cannot and will not happen. We aren't selling ourselves to slave labor, and we are still a nation of producers. Just because you can't necessarily hold the goods in your hands doesn't mean you're not producing. Of all people, an aircraft mechanic should be careful with this line of reasoning. What, exactly, does an aircraft mechanic "produce?" They aren't making new goods. They aren't selling new ideas and innovations. But they *are* producing. They produce safety, among other things. In the case of AA, they might even be able to generate a positive cashflow instead of being a simple cost center, and do so by being the best and most productive. Read: best value.

My credentials: high-dollar Microsoft business intelligence consultant. I make my living by asking top dollar for excellence in a field which presently has lots of demand and virtually no supply of excellence. I *plan* on a negative price pressure for the work I do as time progresses. High dollars entice others to enter the market. The march of time reduces once-emergent goods and services to commodity of relatively uniform quality, and which competes on price.

Make no mistake: I produce something. I produce something ethereal, but very real, and HIGHLY valuable -- presently much more valuable than aircraft maintenance. Let's effectively distinguish between "important" and "valuable." Collecting the trash and cleaning the bathrooms in my office is important, but it's not nearly as valuable as what I do because right now, I produce something every company needs and wants. We won't become a nation of consumers. Production is *the* central tenet of effective capitalism, and we should be able to tell when production is reduced to rote status, and when it's still high-value.

Ask how many guys making top dollar in network operating systems in the early and middle-90's are still making top dollar? Ask how many guys who were making top dollar installing networks are still making the same? 10 years ago I had two Novell experts telling me that their market would never dry up, that their jobs were immune to this inevitable march of economics. Morons. I could NOT believe my ears, and I told them so. Guess who was right? Neither one of them makes nearly as much money now, and neither of them make it with Novell.

Know what? I think *all* of this is good. It's good for me; it's good for you; it's good for our economy. It's up to *me* to either become the standard of excellence by which all others are judged (thus still commanding a premium) or to find a new line of work which is emergent, high-value, and high-demand. My failure to do so *will* result in a drastic reduction of my income, and eventually, an elimination of my job. You can be assured that whatever path I choose, I will still be producing something.

I applaud AA for what they're doing. They're questioning their core competencies, and they are attemting to become best-of-breed (read: producer with highest value) in what is truly a commodity service industry: aircraft maintenance. And I don't buy for one second that there is a true cause-and-effect between outsourcing and safety. You're clearly a qualified, thoughtful, accomplished mechanic, and the fact that you can see and communicate what's happening is plenty of evidence that you are no victim. If you see your career deterioriating, and still you choose to cling to it, you're a fool. You KNEW what to do, but you didn't do it. How can we have pity for that? We *all* face these issues; some of us handle them well, and some don't.

Besides, you're the guy somebody like NW or AA wants/needs to keep around, even if in a supervisory capacity. The burden for you is not to "protect your brothers" and "full pay to the last day" and all that useless claptrap (and I emphasize "useless"). If you are capable of excellence as an individual, and as an organization, you should make it an overt goal to be the very best. Not the very best YOU can be, but THE very best, with value measured in real dollars. THAT is how you remain a producer.

[Edited 2005-05-25 05:43:26]
Christianity. Islam. Hinduism. Anthropogenic Global Warming. All are matters of faith!
 
aogdesk
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 12:36 pm

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 46):
Personally, I don't want to fly on the airline (UA or otherwise) that has the lowest paid pilots, lowest paid mechanics, and so on. You get what you pay for

True. Very true.
 
andrewuber
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 12:40 pm

Quoting Aogdesk (Reply 51):
Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 46):
Personally, I don't want to fly on the airline (UA or otherwise) that has the lowest paid pilots, lowest paid mechanics, and so on. You get what you pay for

True. Very true.

NOT always true. I've seen some $30 per hour mechanics that I wouldn't trust to repair my mountain bike. While I will agree that it is my philosophy that "If you pay peanuts - you get monkeys" I will also say that top-dollar mechanics do NOT ALWAYS perform top-dollar work.
I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
 
aogdesk
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 1:03 pm

I'm in complete agreement with you AndrewUber. We all know that theres alot of dead wood floating around the industry.
 
IslandHopperCO
Posts: 220
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 1:13 pm

>large corporations can and will sell your safety if it helps the shareholders.

Yeah...it all comes down to those evil CEOs, willing to trade lives for the bottom line. Hate to defend the union's favorite scapegoat, but plane crashes aren't good for the bottom line or the stock.

>Those standards put in place for your safety are slowly being dismantled all for the sake of economics

I wasn't aware that the FHA was relaxing its regulations on air safety. Care to share some of the safety checks or regulations that have been eliminated? Please educate me, I'm genuinely curious.

I apologize for being so callous about people's jobs, it's never pleasant to get laid off. But the great thing about living in America is that you can go back to school and do something else, probably at better pay than before. I've travelled all over the world, and most others don't have that opportunity.
 
StevenUhl777
Topic Author
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 1:16 pm

Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 47):
What you need to realize is that airlines must "re-invent the wheel" if they are going to survive. It's as plain and simple as that.

Re-invent what, exactly? Flying people from Point A to B is exactly that. It ain't rocket science. The service is either simple and cheap or expensive and premium in nature. The former is the domestic market, the latter is international...for now. While I don't have internal numbers to support/refute it, I can't say with 100% accuracy if TED/Song are profitable or not. Both UA and DL are losing money, but it's not made public how much of that is attributable to TED/Song. In UA's case for Q1, the vast majority was reorg. expense, for DL...I don't know.

WN, F9, B6, etc. are successful because they started out with the same basic business model they have now...no dramatic changes, whereas DL and UA have tried to think outside the box, so to speak, but the jury is still out.

Ultimately, business management comes down to optimization of its assets...physical property, skilled and unskilled labor, and financial capital. If the business is running at less than the optimal level in each of its markets for an extended period of time, ultimately, it fails. Sometimes external factors are to blame, sometimes internal factors, but often both. The company that mimizes it's downside exposure and maximizes potential will be viable long-term. Assets that aren't optimized become liabilities sooner rather than later.
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
aogdesk
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 1:22 pm

So far, the FHA has taken somewhat of a hands-off approach to aircraft maintenance.  Smile

In all honesty, I could describe many blatant areas of safety that have been compromised over the last few years, the many instances in which the ball has been dropped by third party contractors, and the very real inadequacies of regulatory oversight. I'm not going to however, because if you are genuinely interested, you can google it yourself. Start with the OIG report regarding lack of FAA oversight. From there, take a look at what FAA inspectors have to say about their overburdened offices. Talk to industry professionals about the time pressures that third party maintainers are subject to, and how that creates severe conflicts of interest.

And even though its not the primary topic of my postings, I think its pretty damn close to 'evil" when a CEO awards bonuses and lavish pensions to himsefl those around him while axing retirees pensions. That must be my neo-unionism showing thru again huh?
 
andrewuber
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 1:33 pm

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 55):
Re-invent what, exactly? Flying people from Point A to B is exactly that. It ain't rocket science.

It ain't rocket science? Amazing how many millionaires and multi-million dollar companies go bust in such a simple industry.
I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
 
burnsie28
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 1:51 pm

I figured that at $32 an hour, mechanics will still make 60K plus a year (before taxes) its not bad, hopefully when things pick up, everyone will get pay raises again.
 
jeb94
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 2:47 pm

How many of you understand the responsibilities a mechanic has when he signs off a log book or work order? Those lives getting on that plane every day rest in the hands of the mechanic. When mechanics screw up, people die. Its happened over and over throughout the history of aviation. Its also a proven point. If you want to attract quality people, pay them what they are worth. Think about that next time you all get on an airplane.
 
uadc8contrail
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 3:25 pm

the thing that i find hard to believe is that some people in here will say that a a.m.t. is paid too much($32/hr)we have not heard squat from our friends over at WN.....where else can a baggage handler make $25/hr and a mechanic make $32/hr...no one from WN has thrown their thoughts in here as they dont want to rock the boat....the southwest contracts with amfa and the iam go to show everyone in here that its how you run the airline vs trying to battle with the minions....if only the NWAs and the UALs would adopt a pro employee stance then you would have the same as what the people at WN are making.....
Bus Driver
 
sendMEtoLAS
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics

Wed May 25, 2005 4:57 pm

NW is playing games with the MX union. The ad they placed was created to send a public message to the union that they are replaceable. I think it's a response to the union stating that their fleet would not be safe because they are outsourcing their heavy maintenance.
Outsourcing is a bad word in my book, but everyone is doing it. It's a shame.
Can NW legally replace union employees with non-union employees? I can't see it happening. What are they going to do, start their own MX outsourcing company? But I guess it's possible. Especially with the way things work at NW.
I'm so glad today was my last day in this industry. It's getting to be too much for me. Good luck to everyone at NW MX. This sucks for sure.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 7:38 pm

Quoting N867BX (Reply 48):

I have a question for any NW mechanics out there. Can you honestly say that you do a full days work everyday. Maybe you do an honest days work, but can you look around and say that your coworkers do an honest days work. I don't feel sorry for workers that lack productivity. I think productivity of union workers is much more of a problem than high pay rates. Maybe if you guys did an honest days work you would not be having these problems. I am speaking from personal experience, some of you guys act like its a friggin game to see how little one can accomplish at work.

First, no mechanic I know earn $32 an hour plus benefits (maybe the UPS guys in the US, but nobody I know in Europe). I earn appr. $20 per hour plus benefits, but before tax. Most of what I make derives from tax free unsocial hours premiums and overtime, but this is in a qualified position as licenced staff with experience on several aircraft types.
Secondly, the trend in MX companies goes towards hiring unskilled former car and industrial mechanics without licence, who get paid even less.
These mechanics get "supervised" by a licenced mechanic, who gets paid more. Technically he uis supposed to know exactly what any mechanic for who´s work he signs is doing at any given time, but since he often is responsible for 10 to 20 mechanics, plus his own work (advanced repairs or troubleshooting he can´t trust any helper to do), he takes an enormous risk. If any of the helper f*cks up, the licenced mechanic will go to jail or loose his livelyhood.
The bosses will deny any knowledge of the conditions, they will say that they even offered human factors class, but they don´t offer the conditions to do proper work in.
They will accept any job from the customers, even if the equipment and facilities of the maintenance station are not up to the job (e.g. I got into trouble with a boss at one company I worked for because I refused to do permanent wet layup composite repairs on primary structure outside at temperatures around freezing. My boss didn´t accept my reasoning that the resin will never reach the strength required by the SRM, if the mixing ratios of resin and hardener are not exact and it isn´t cured at the correct temperature. He told me to add more hardener to speed up curing. I refused to do the work. At another time I had an argument with a customer rep, because he wanted me to sign off a plane with a known defect instead of getting an engineering order to defer it, because he didn´t want to have a delay on MX. I got charged with disobeying orders, because I refused to sign).
Then, the mechanics will often exceed working hours if a plane is AOG. I´ve done 24 hour shifts, with the customer constantly pushing to get his plane flying again. Obviously, if you are very tired, you´ll make mistakes and become increasingly dangerous.
This stems from experience from working for a small, no union maintenance company, which has been subcontracting to a big international carrier.
Mind you, most mechanics still try to do the best job they can, but many are afraid to loose the job, e.g. because they are foreigners and their work permit is connected to this particular company, they can´t go anywhere else, or they have family in this town and are not flexible to move.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics

Wed May 25, 2005 9:50 pm

BTW, inspections and audits of government agencies like the FAA or EASA are almost never done without prior announcement. This means that things like the gash box (scrounge box for you Americans) or other illegal things will just be hidden and all the paperwork (which is the main interest to the government paperpushers) will look spotless.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
NKP S2
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics

Wed May 25, 2005 9:50 pm

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 50):
Sure, I'd have a problem if my boss came over tomorrow to tell me that. My problem would be that the going wage for my job would now be $5k/year. So I'd find a new line of work.

The changes are hardly viccissitudinal. The downward pressure on compensation are brought about by a concious effort to do so, with the BK court system as the lynchpin du-jour. Changes very orchestrated...and incremental. As it did not happen overnight, it will not be arrested overnight. I'd fight it. Giving in is exactly what the pinstriped pinheads of the world want.

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 50):

Your second question is irrelevant, because your scenario cannot and will not happen. We aren't selling ourselves to slave labor, and we are still a nation of producers. Just because you can't necessarily hold the goods in your hands doesn't mean you're not producing.

It's not irrelevant. It's not an off-on/black-white situation. Just because the more well heeled overclass are not affected does not mean the economic base isn't eroding; It's a big economy after all, but the present erosion of the middle class is not sustainable. I have no doubt theat certain others will profit handsomely along the way, but that just shows, more than anything else, the power of owning the soapbox.

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 50):
Of all people, an aircraft mechanic should be careful with this line of reasoning. What, exactly, does an aircraft mechanic "produce?" They aren't making new goods. They aren't selling new ideas and innovations. But they *are* producing. They produce safety, among other things.

This is where the more fudamentalist free-marketeers get their reality clouded. What about fire, police departments? The military? Tough to quantify what might or might not happen with an erosion of a safety net. Skilled debaters know well the difficulty of attempting to prove a negative.

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 50):

My credentials: high-dollar Microsoft business intelligence consultant.

Now that's irrelevant! Other than a list of corporate buzzword sinecures, where's the connection?

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 50):
Make no mistake: I produce something. I produce something ethereal, but very real, and HIGHLY valuable -- presently much more valuable than aircraft maintenance. Let's effectively distinguish between "important" and "valuable."

That is completely a matter of opinion....and from the condescending tone of your post, hardly surprising. I've seen elitist attitudes amongst many employee groups of many companies, Aircraft mechanics as well. The big picture shows it's all a matter of perspective...or ignorance. I'll concede to ignorance of an outsider's view of an employee group's purview/responsibilities, and other issues.

On a more general note: Has anyone noticed the proliferation of kibbitzing know-it-alls lately? It's almost as if the less they know, the more strident, and steadfastly held are their opinions. I guess that's a casualty of the double-edged sword of the internet/imformation age. Before this time, I imagine a young opinionated critisizer of a person ( or group ) could only voice his opinion directly ( in person ) or an op-ed page. As a snotty, pompous opinianted delivery would surely be tempered in a face-to-face meeting, ceding to more civil and perhaps educating and eye-opening exchange, the anonimity of the internet is proving to be free-for-all for gits of the vilest sort. Face-to-face, I'll be they're not that way at all Wink
 
JMV
Posts: 230
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 4:22 am

RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics

Wed May 25, 2005 9:53 pm

Quoting Dc10guy (Reply 29):
How would you suggest they get rid of the "bad" mechanics ??? Also how can you tell the difference from a bad mechanic vs a good one ??? Just wondering.

Just like many workplaces, there is an assessment of an individual's performance, their competency, their productivity. How much re-work has to be done because an individual doesn't complete the job properly the first time? Does it take a poor performing mechanic twice as long to complete a job as a coworker? Does a particular mechanic require more supervision than another?

It would be great if all mechanics were all experts, all equally productive, all equally skilled, but that isn't the case. There are differences and all I was suggesting was if there is a need to reduce the workforce, for the benefit of the rest of the company, its employees, and its customers, eliminate those employees that don't measure up.
Google begins where my brain ends! ©
 
NKP S2
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 9:58 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 62):
First, no mechanic I know earn $32 an hour plus benefits (maybe the UPS guys in the US, but nobody I know in Europe). I earn appr. $20 per hour plus benefits, but before tax. Most of what I make derives from tax free unsocial hours premiums and overtime, but this is in a qualified position as licenced staff with experience on several aircraft types.
Secondly, the trend in MX companies goes towards hiring unskilled former car and industrial mechanics without licence, who get paid even less.
These mechanics get "supervised" by a licenced mechanic, who gets paid more. Technically he uis supposed to know exactly what any mechanic for who´s work he signs is doing at any given time, but since he often is responsible for 10 to 20 mechanics, plus his own work (advanced repairs or troubleshooting he can´t trust any helper to do), he takes an enormous risk. If any of the helper f*cks up, the licenced mechanic will go to jail or loose his livelyhood.
The bosses will deny any knowledge of the conditions, they will say that they even offered human factors class, but they don´t offer the conditions to do proper work in.
They will accept any job from the customers, even if the equipment and facilities of the maintenance station are not up to the job (e.g. I got into trouble with a boss at one company I worked for because I refused to do permanent wet layup composite repairs on primary structure outside at temperatures around freezing. My boss didn´t accept my reasoning that the resin will never reach the strength required by the SRM, if the mixing ratios of resin and hardener are not exact and it isn´t cured at the correct temperature. He told me to add more hardener to speed up curing. I refused to do the work. At another time I had an argument with a customer rep, because he wanted me to sign off a plane with a known defect instead of getting an engineering order to defer it, because he didn´t want to have a delay on MX. I got charged with disobeying orders, because I refused to sign).
Then, the mechanics will often exceed working hours if a plane is AOG. I´ve done 24 hour shifts, with the customer constantly pushing to get his plane flying again. Obviously, if you are very tired, you´ll make mistakes and become increasingly dangerous.
This stems from experience from working for a small, no union maintenance company, which has been subcontracting to a big international carrier.
Mind you, most mechanics still try to do the best job they can, but many are afraid to loose the job, e.g. because they are foreigners and their work permit is connected to this particular company, they can´t go anywhere else, or they have family in this town and are not flexible to move.

You hit the nail on the head Jan. The armchair pundits may counter with a litany of canned, paraphrased corporate PR BS, but they know nothing of the real world.

Witness this little gem from one of the sultans of sagicity on this BB. The utter cluelessness was funny and enraging at the same time:

Quoting Flypdx (Reply 5):
That is a really BAD way of putting it. They wouldn't outsource to a poor quality facility. The planes need to be in the same condition no matter who services them. B6 outsources their maintenance, no problems with their planes. The fact is, that for a plane to get into the sky it needs to be in the same condition no matter if it was serviced in house or elsewhere.

Get some seasoning kid thumbsdown 
 
slider
Posts: 7671
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:42 pm

RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 11:37 pm

Quoting SendMEtoLAS (Reply 61):
The ad they placed was created to send a public message to the union that they are replaceable. I think it's a response to the union stating that their fleet would not be safe because they are outsourcing their heavy maintenance.

Whatever the motivation by NW to make this announcement, it's a horrid way to begin what will certainly be acrimonious AMFA negotiations.

Let's not forget how difficult the first contract was to get inked, and that was pre-9/11 when times weren't nearly as tight. AMFA got a sweetheart of a deal.

Time for a lot of those goodies--and more for better or worse--to come off the table.

I'm making a prediction now: the AMFA/NW contract talks will get stupid. Bigtime.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 8529
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Wed May 25, 2005 11:59 pm

Quoting Slider (Reply 67):
I'm making a prediction now: the AMFA/NW contract talks will get stupid. Bigtime.

Slider, I couldn't agree with you more.

The gloves came off awhile ago, when NW started making initial posturing and the AMFA started shooting out press releases claiming NW planes that had outsourced maintenance were unsafe.

Sounds more like posturing on both sides of the table, and the truth lies somewhere in the middle. This is going to get a lot uglier before anything gets resolved. This could likely be the deal-breaker that takes NW close to the brink, similar to AA about 2 years ago.

The pilots issued their own message last week, telling everyone else to get on-board, and they got laughed at, saying their were protecting their own interests. Now you not only have management alienated, now they have different work-groups. At least thinks are a little bit happier in Airlink-land, but so 70-seater issue has been resolved yet.
 
aogdesk
Posts: 748
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2004 2:26 am

RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 12:20 am

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 50):
My credentials: high-dollar Microsoft business intelligence consultant.

Laughable. Truly. Here's your morning ego stroke: I'm sure that you're very good at what you do. Done. Are you insinuating that because you are a business intelligence consultant you have an all-encompassing ethereal understanding of aircraft technical issues? You are definitely a legend in your own mind....your holiness.

As for your senseless blather in which you define 'important' and 'valuable', you again truly show an intelligence level far beyond that of us mere mortals. Blah blah.....

Are you telling me that the men and women who educate my three boys are important, but they're not valuable? I'd like to see how you'd debate my knowledge and experience at FL300 when a portion of cowling rips away from the engine. You sound like the type that would be peeing your pants and clinging to the old lady next to you. Would your highly valuable business intelligence calm you?

Makes me wonder how you are so successful in what you do (if you actually are, most times when someone labels themself as a consultant, it means "unemployed") when gathering intelligence requires a good deal of listening to what people are saying. Do yourself a favor before you continue to embarass yourself and do a little listening. Stop trying to apply your supposedly extraordinary levels of intelligence to something that you are completely ignorant about. Pooh.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 12:50 am

Coronado,

That would be a great idea if NW could turn the DLH facility into a profit-center by doing 3rd party maintenance for other North American Airbus operators. A little outside of the box thinging, some efficiency/productivity gains, and some concessions would still hopefully allow for a majority to retain employment.

Sounds like AA's maintenance group has it figured out and adopted lean/continuous improvement methodology. It would be nice if NW could do the same.
 
blackearth
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2005 1:34 pm

RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 1:16 am

Quoting IslandHopperCO (Reply 14):
I have a masters degree making $35K per year and live comfortably. Please excuse me for not shedding a tear for those making $50-100K who have a 2-year mechanics certificate. Union labor rates are obsolete, face facts.

I have a doctorate, and make $40,000 a year.

If I wasn't in a union, I'd be making $20,000.
 
planefreakaa
Posts: 102
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 4:26 pm

RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 3:23 am

Why stop at MX, lets farm out pilots, and flight attendants, and management. here soon the airline will be ran in china. Cheap labor that's all that matters.
 
roadrunner165
Posts: 882
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2000 6:28 am

RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 5:27 am

-IslandHopperCO- Im sorry you wasted so many years of your life and so much money getting your masters degree so you could make a whopping $35k a year. I'm sure you feel truly stupid.

- It is still cheaper to run the Diesel 9's than to make loan payments on a fleet of new (low maintenance) aircraft.

- People need to start looking at the big picture of what we are doing to our society by not supporting unions. Union members are good responsible people who work hard and deserve fair pay.They spend there hard earned money and thus do there part to omprove the economy. The ironic part is that union members taxes are going to state and federal governments so that the government can give dental and health benefits to the kids of non unionized workers who can't afford insurance because they only make $20k a year.


Adam
 
JMV
Posts: 230
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 4:22 am

RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics

Thu May 26, 2005 6:13 am

Quoting Roadrunner165 (Reply 73):
Union members are good responsible people who work hard and deserve fair pay.They spend there (sic) hard earned money and thus do there (sic) part to omprove (sic) the economy.

ROTFLMAO!!! Stop, please stop! You're killing me here in Detroit, where the unions are such great contributors to our economy!  rotfl  Anyone care to comment on the quality of American made cars back in the 70's and 80's?

Let me ask a couple of questions. How many non-airline union members are willing to pay higher fares to fly NW, UA, AA, or CO in order to save union jobs with those carriers? How many UAW members do you think will say next winter, "Northwest, your $220 round-trip fare from Detroit to Orlando is too low. Here is an additional $100 for my ticket, another $100 for my wife's ticket, another $100 for my daughter's ticket, and another $100 for my son's ticket. I sure could use this $400 elsewhere, but you take the money in order to save a union job in the maintenance hanger."
Google begins where my brain ends! ©
 
LMP737
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 8:31 am

Quoting IslandHopperCO (Reply 35):
Yes, I work for a well respected non-profit org that does medical work around the world. I live near Riverside where you could buy a nice 3br house for $100K four years ago (which I did), so yes, I do fine on my salary. My father lives in NC and that is the going rate for his job. I used his job as a comparison because he has life-and-death responsibilities in his work, and requires a 2 year certificate much like aircraft MX.

I think I know what your problem is. Even though you try to give the impression that you are perfectly happy making $35K a year with a masters degree there more to the story. There's a part of you that resents the fact that someone with only an "associates" is making more than you.

By the way I hope you realize you were incorrect in your assumption that AMT's make six figures a year. I still chuckle when I read that.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
hammer
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 8:49 am

there will be a decision made by August 1st with NWA and AMFA...
 
B744F
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 9:01 am

What is this obsession with Union workers being lazy, doing less work, etc? Take a look around you, at ANY JOB you will find these type of workers. Mostly they are highly paid executives who let the people below them do all the work while they cash in for it. Union workers doing little work is just a myth

[Edited 2005-05-26 02:05:37]
 
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 9:27 am

Quoting JMV (Reply 7):
Too bad the union won't allow NW to get rid of the bad mechanics, the poor performers. Quality of maintenance could actually improve if this were properly thought out and executed correctly. Unfortunately, it will be all about seniority.

As someone who has 40 mechanics + engineers working for me, I feel VERY qualified to answer this implication. The worst things unions do is "carry along" senior members who aren't adding ANY value today. 75% of my guys work for a union shop and 25% for a non-union shop. About 66% of the work is done by the non-union guys. Are the non-union younger? Actually no... The average union guy is late 40's, non-union early 50's... Are they paid differently? Nope, not allowed. They know that if they don't get training, I won't have a need to take them along to my next job! The union guys? Neither side cares. The sad thing is... long term, the non-union guys are the ones with the job security and better pay. (I'm promoting two up to management in a few months.) None of the union guys have the training to qualify for management... go figure... they don't have to. (And they don't want a job you could get fired from anyway.)

Ok, rant off. I really couldn't care if someone is in a union or not. But since what matters to my career is how much work gets done... I favor those who help me get the work done. PERIOD. For the fewest billable hours. (Note: If one of my guys ever undercharges, I will be on his a$$ as that would end my career and is *not* how I keep up efficiency.)

Oh, just to be clear. Training isn't just taking the classes. Its coming out of the class ready to teach it! That's the difference.

Quoting Roadrunner165 (Reply 73):

- People need to start looking at the big picture of what we are doing to our society by not supporting unions.

How does supporting unions help us compete against the industrializing countries? Globalization is called "creative destruction" for a reason. Oh, I'm all for keeping experienced hard workers around. But they must adapt just as I must. I'm doing a job I couldn't have done two years ago. The only reason I have job security is not that I have a masters degree but because I could teach what I was taught.

Just so I don't sound like a total a$$. I feel for all of the hard workers at NW who are going to lose their job. However, I don't feel for those who wouldn't let the shop improve its efficiency so that this layoff wouldn't be required. Did anyone else read the aerospace week article on how brutal the MX market is right now? Also, recall how much money NW is losing; if NW doesn't cut costs fast, they're gone.

Just like the airlines, only the quality low cost providers of mx will survive. (Note I didn't say LCC, some quality network carriers with reasonable cost structures will thrive.)

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IslandHopperCO
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 9:34 am

>I think I know what your problem is. Even though you try to give the impression that you are perfectly happy making $35K a year with a masters degree there more to the story. There's a part of you that resents the fact that someone with only an "associates" is making more than you.

No resentment. I love my job and wouldn't leave it for three times the pay. My friend never finished high school, yet he makes close to six figures and deserves every penny. He started his own landscaping business, and that's what the market is willing to pay him. Unions are nothing but a way to protect a few "elite" workers from real job market conditions.

>Mostly they are highly paid executives who let the people below them do all the work while they cash in for it.

Yeah, yeah...all the airline CEOs are murderous monsters hell bent on eliminating the middle class. Go back to reading your Karl Marx and your union pamphlets. Workers of the world unite!  Smile
 
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 9:57 am

Its funny how people blame unions for bad management. Does a union prevent a company from "managing the work force" ? NO. Look at Southwests union mechanics. Too many managers confuse brown nosing with productivity. Brown nosers get promoted by brown nosers. Mechanics fix airplanes.
Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
 
jaysit
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 10:08 am

Why? Your dad provides a valuable service and deserves a decent wage, but I'm sorry, a 2-year degree should not be making six figures.

Why not?

I know lots of people with a simple Bachelors degree who make more than Ph.Ds or MDs. Where does it say that a higher degree is a guarantee of more pay?

Aircraft mechanics provide one of the most valuable services in the United States today. Without their skills and expertise gleaned over years of experience, planes would be falling out of the sky.

Frankly, I say pay these people well at the expense of those useless managers and Vice-Presidents and CEOs who make millions of dollars.
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FDXmech
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RE: NAY Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 10:15 am

I've worked for non-union as well as union airlines. There's actually no difference in work attitude based on having a union.

Also, seniority is the determining factor in most issues in a non-union carrier as a union one. You know why? Though it's not perfect, it's the fairest way. This eliminates or mitigates favoritism and as$ kissing in many areas.

35k with a masters and happy? Fine. But don't relegate the rest of us to your downward spiral. Wake up.
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
B744F
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 10:31 am

"Yeah, yeah...all the airline CEOs are murderous monsters hell bent on eliminating the middle class. Go back to reading your Karl Marx and your union pamphlets. Workers of the world unite! "

Are you denying the job of an executive is purely a figurehead who takes the credit for the job done by the people below them? This has nothing to do with Karl Marx, are you suggesting only people who support Unions are Communist? I'm glad you think a society can survive without Unions. Good luck on that competition with 3rd world countries who will work for less than slave wages. Once companies figure out how to outsource everything to said countries, what do you have left?
 
aogdesk
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 10:37 am

Islandhopper:

You can't debate the issue of safety can you? No. Of course not...... from your 13A window seat, you like to creatively blend the discrete issues of unions, productivity and what your masters is worth..but when push comes to shove, you know no more about aircraft maintenance than I know about molecular biology.

Sorry. Staying at a Holiday Inn Express last night doesn't make you an aircraft mechanic.
 
commavia
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 10:44 am

Quoting B744F (Reply 83):
Are you denying the job of an executive is purely a figurehead who takes the credit for the job done by the people below them?

If you were serious and not asking that question hypothetically, than I am more than happy to deny it. Regardless of what the unionized rhetoric might be, airline CEOs don't all sit at huge desks in huge offices playing Pong on the internet. They do bust their a** (or at least most of them do) and they actually have a whole h*ll of a lot of responsibility. Yes, they may not be front-line, making sure a flight takes off on time, or making sure that Mr. Smith in 4B gets his champagne, but they are responsible for making sure that the shareholders are happy and that all those unionized employees have a paycheck.

Quoting B744F (Reply 83):
Once companies figure out how to outsource everything to said countries, what do you have left?

Let's not be overly dramatic. Outsourcing is a natural evolution of capitalist free market economics. Labor, manufacturing and -- ultimately -- jobs, go where it costs less. That means India. That means China. That means El Salvador. That doesn't mean Boston or San Francisco, unfortunately for American workers. However, economics is not in a vacuum and its unfair to analyze economics in a completely micro sense as you appear to do. When companies "outsource everything" as you put it, it dramatically reduces the cost of consumer products, which drives demand, which increases spending, which ultimately creates jobs. This has been happening since World War II when the U.S. began transitioning from an industrial to a post-industrial economy. The reason outsourcing and all these other labor rallying cries are getting so much attention today is because we are in the last phase of that transition process, the most painful phase, in which the actual cutover must occur. Either you adapt to the new environment, or your finished. That goes for companies, unions and individual workers. It's harsh, but so is life, and so is capitalism.
 
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 10:53 am

I chose my job because of the satisfaction I get there, obviously not for the money.

So why do you bemoan someone who is less-educated than you making more than you do? You said it yourself - you CHOSE to make less than you could.

Don't get indignant about your pay vs. others when it was your voluntary choice to be compensated at that rate.

[Edited 2005-05-26 03:53:34]
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics

Thu May 26, 2005 10:56 am

I'd suggest you get some seasoning Commavia. While free-market fundamentalism sounds like great theory to a student, in actuality it paints the citizens into aneconomic corner of unsustainable transfer of wealth and will create ( if left unchecked ) a plutocracy.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 85):
When companies "outsource everything" as you put it, it dramatically reduces the cost of consumer products, which drives demand, which increases spending, which ultimately creates jobs.

Jobs for whom?

Get some seasoning

[Edited 2005-05-26 03:57:32]
 
commavia
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 11:08 am

Quoting NKP S2 (Reply 87):
While free-market fundamentalism sounds like great theory to a student, in actuality it paints the citizens into aneconomic corner of unsustainable transfer of wealth and will create ( if left unchecked ) a plutocracy.

Taken any trips to North Korea lately, NKP S2? Free-market capitalism is the best chance that any and all workers -- in every circumstance, at every strata of society -- has to succeed, because it offers continual motivation to grow and improve. To the contrary, it does not, as you say, "[paint]...citizens into [u]neconomic corner of unsustainable transfer of wealth," but rather rapidly transfers capital, resources, investment and materials between sectors, industries, companies and yes, even jobs. That is reality, and it is very hard right now for people in old-labor jobs to accept because they are still living in the old economy, where (very generally speaking) one person stayed in one job their whole life because their company remained relatively stable, always paid their paycheck and offered full medical and a pension. Those days are long gone. We're now living in a global economy where a tech developer in Bangalore can do the job of ten tech developers in San Jose, and one person sitting at a computer in New York can move ten billion dollars from Hong Kong to Paris with one keystroke. In that type of highly volative, highly competitive environment, things move around and things change. Now, I personally feel that this change is good because it drives competition and creates an impetus for competing entities -- be they companies, labor unions, individuals, etc. -- to constantly have to reevaluate themselves and improve. If you want to call that an [u]neconomic corner of unsustainable transfer of wealth," that's your perogative and I respect it. Lord knows there are a whole lot of people who agree with your point of view.

The bottom line, though, is that whether you or I or anyone else likes or dislikes this economic model, it is here and it is here to stay. NW outsourcing maintenance to whoever wherever is a canary in a mineshaft, a sign of things that came and more things to come. Companies that face real and formidable competition won't spend a dime more than they have to, on maintenance, labor or any other line item.

Quoting NKP S2 (Reply 87):
Jobs for whom?

The person who has to research, design, develop, market, distribute, and sell the new products made available by lowering commodity costs.
 
NKP S2
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 11:16 am

Listen; You do not need to post economic theory here as it is discussed ad-nauseum in about every 3rd thread on this BB...and in any case, I'm quite familiar with the theories, even if you believe I'm not. I throw theory into the wind when measure against an observed effect...and especially when it's being preached by a 16-20 year old...as you are not seasoned enough to see results over time. Aping the words of a proffessor doesn't lend it any more credance.

Quoting Commavia (Reply 88):

The bottom line, though, is that whether you or I or anyone else likes or dislikes this economic model, it is here and it is here to stay. NW outsourcing maintenance to whoever wherever is a canary in a mineshaft, a sign of things that came and more things to come. Companies that face real and formidable competition won't spend a dime more than they have to, on maintenance, labor or any other line item.

Translation: 'We, the new-monied class set set this up through our deft lobbying and managed trade....resistance is futile" ( and in any case, far be it to derail our own gravy train )

Get some seasoning.
 
commavia
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 11:23 am

Quoting NKP S2 (Reply 89):
the new-monied class

What is this, Soviet Russia? The "new-monied class?" I thought all us workers were in this together, right? This is what I fundamentally miss about your argument -- what's good the "new-monied class" as you call younger people is, "over time," as you say, good for everyone. Again, economics doesn't happen in a vacuum. Everybody eventually benefits. But it takes time, and it takes struggle and change and transition. It is very easy to put up the sound byte on the 11:00 news about how this plant is laying off people or this data center is being outsourced to India. What is much harder to illustrate to most people, however, is that because of many measures like outsourcing and the WalMarts of the world, inflation is relatively flat and has been for years and Americans are getting more for less today than at any other time in history, assuming they are willing to shop at WalMart and not boycott it.

Quoting NKP S2 (Reply 89):
an observed effect...and especially when it's being preached by a 16-20 year old

Please don't assume that just because a person is a younger adult and not an older one, they haven't experiencedt the positive and negative effects of economic "theory" and its real-world application. I assure you, I have, and I have no clue what experiences you have had in life, and I don't doubt that you have plenty of experience with the real world, but please don't presume what mine is.

Because this is getting off topic, this will be my last post on this "ad-nauseum...economic theory," and I suppose we will just have to agree to disagree.
 
LineMechQX
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics

Thu May 26, 2005 11:44 am

As long as our A&P jobs are not understood by the general public, we will all face these types of criticisms. Someday (never) people may begin to understand that a/c are getting more difficult to maintain not easier. Requiring all of us to constantly learn new systems not just the a/c systems. But all the new technology from the outside world being made into these planes. We went from discrete wiring systems to ARINC 429 overnight. From microswitches to proximity sensors, old tape reel FDR's to solid state DFDR's, GPWS to EGPWS, analog gauges to glass cockpits, laminated skins to chemically milled skins and so much more. These a/c arrived overnight and we were expected to be there on the line in the morning ready to fix these more efficient and pilot friendly planes without a hiccup. Sure most industry's evolve, find me one where all these different technologies hit you all in the same product all at the same time. And people's lives depend on you to have it all figured out. I don't consider my 2 years at A&P school to be relevant, I consider my hundreds of hours each year in company initials, and factory schools to be my training. I know the airplanes I work on inside and out, maybe, just maybe this is my masters degree. And for those of you who don't think it is similar come on out and help me change an oil filter sometime, I'll even provide the wrench. There are some who are professors and those who aren't, those who are scientists, accountants, CEO's, I can't do your job that's why I don't have it. Can you do my job? If I deserve to be paid so little, then I must be easily replaceable. I'll give you 3 years to get trained, lets see if you can match my 5 years of experience, or more importantly the 20-30 years of those well above. Maybe 3rd party is better, no a&p required or factory training given. Here's an airplane, here's a part, go make it fit. Sounds like a great deal to me.
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DC10GUY
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 12:43 pm

Nice piece LinemechQX, I disagree about things getting harder though. The new airplanes are much easier to work on then the old. What the public doesn't understand is we A&P's are there to make airworthiness decisions. Can it fly or not. Who do they want to make that decision ??? I think airline management is pissed that they can't export the high paying mechanic jobs to Mexico or china. When a airplane breaks in MSP they need a mechanic in MSP.
Next time try the old "dirty Sanchez" She'll love it !!!
 
ContnlEliteCMH
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 12:47 pm

Quoting Aogdesk (Reply 69):
Are you insinuating that because you are a business intelligence consultant you have an all-encompassing ethereal understanding of aircraft technical issues? You are definitely a legend in your own mind....your holiness.

No, no, no. I'm simply responding to *your* question about what to do if our boss came up and announced that they were outsourcing my job to Bangladesh for $5k/year. The obvious undertone of your question was that we would be helpless victims, unable to stand up to the onslaught of the evil empires really just wanting to rape and pillage the worker. You further drew such a picture by asking a silly question about us becoming a nation of nothing but consumers.

I apologize for not making my point clear. I thought it would be; I see that it was not. So I'll spell it out right now: Some of us have to deal with your scenario as *reality*. When I decided to go into business for myself, I did so wittingly, knowing that two things were true:

(1) My clients can terminate my contracts at will. They can just walk up, tell me to pack my crap, and get out. Hey NKP S2, are you reading this? You're right; they aren't vicissitudinal. But the reality is that such terminations never sneak up on any of us. We always see them coming, and anybody who doesn't probably should be a W-2 instead of a 1099. In other words, we can't control them, but we can usually assess the likelihood of such happenings, just like such changes shouldn't sneak up on any thoughtful airline employee.

I'm not joking here. My income can go from $100/hour straight to $0/hour in the blink of an eye. My client terminated 150 such contractors in the month of March in a drive to temporarily reduce expenses. Number of consultants I heard complain: BIG FAT ZERO. Again, we all accepted this risk when we became contractors. My point is really that your question, "how would you feel?" implies that we don't understand what you're going through, despite this reality that some of us deal with as a matter of course in our careers. You speak as if this is a unique situation to you, and that nobody else in any other path could possibly know what it's like. Not only do I know what it's like; I openly embrace the reality.

(2) The price pressure for what I do is chronically downward. And NKP S2 nice stab at the conspiracy theory bit there. No really. I applaud you. OF COURSE the effort to drive costs/prices downward is conscientious. My very career leverages this conscientious drive! This is where the anti-free-marketeers assign sinister intentions where none *obviously* exist. This is where the mental midgetry of the conpiracy theorist shines most brightly, by assigning evil intent to a perfectly natural, amoral, and generally beneficial goal: doing it better, faster, cheaper tomorrow than today.

We *do* need to distinguish between important and valuable. That you or anybody else thinks such distinction naturally arrogant or condescending is a personal problem, but not germane to the question, "What is the difference between important and valuable?" The answer is also not personal, nor condescending: importance is derived from being necessary for production; value is derived from the price that somebody is willing to pay for the good or service being produced. Again, getting the bathrooms cleaned in my office is important, but it's not valuable. I can find people to do it for $8/hour all day long. What I do, *right now* is valuable because nobody can find people to do it well for under $100/hour. This is *not* a sustainable rate, by the way, for reasons I clearly outlined above. And I accept the reality that sooner than later, it *will* be relegated to "important but commodity" status. What should I do? Should I become offended that somebody will only want to pay $25/hour for what I used to get $100/hour? Should I say that the middle class is disappearing and we are selling ourselves out? Or should I recognize ahead of time that value and importance are two totally different things, easily separable, very impersonal, and an economic reality?

Did you guys miss the part where I noted the importance of mechanics?

Did you guys miss the part where I said that AA's drive to leverage their core competencies is good? Can't you see that AA's success in this transformation is to the benefit of all their A&P mechanics? Can you see that such a change is to avoid the aforementioned vicissitudes of life and work?

Did you miss the part where I said that your very acknowledgement of these issues means you have the ability to change and personally benefit from the changes?

Has anybody else noticed the proliferation of people mired in union jobs who seem to be so willing to tell those of us who work in a truly free market just how rigid and inflexible *they* think *we* are? Or the number of people who have never owned a business, paid employees, or whose pay is tied to satisfactory delivery, but who insist that we can't possibly understand the factors that make their industry turn, an industry subject to selfsame market forces which we must also bow to? NKP S2, simply telling me I don't know what I'm talking about, or I'm cliche, or I'm binary, is hardly any way to refute my points. Oh, you may fully believe what you say about me, but I have found such tactics to usually be a smokescreen to avoid the greater issues.

Just so the air is clear: I'm not rich. I'm not even "well-monied." I do have a large income, but that's not wealth unless you convert it. So you can avoid accusing me of being the "noveau riche" oppressor, etc. I live in a small house, drive used cars, and keep my financial footprint small. The reason for this is because I *want* to be well-monied. I started from nothing, and I'm on my way to my goal. The difference between us is that I want you to do the same should you choose; you think I will only get to my goal by necessarily sinking others along the way. You bandy about economic theory and tell the rest of us that we don't really know what we're doing. But we do. The evidence is in our practice thereof, not just our speech.

[Edited 2005-05-26 05:50:03]
Christianity. Islam. Hinduism. Anthropogenic Global Warming. All are matters of faith!
 
commavia
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 12:59 pm

Quoting LineMechQX (Reply 91):
As long as our A&P jobs are not understood by the general public, we will all face these types of criticisms.

So true. I think that organized labor in general in the United States, and in the airline industry in particular, has been devoting its resources and energy to opposing the wrong "enemy" in the last few years since 9/11. In the midst of concessions, lost pensions and pay cuts, they have been devoting all their efforts to vilifying executives. While some executives definitely deserve this treatment, perhaps labor should devote, or should have devoted, more energy to public education -- to trying to personalize how important their jobs are and how critical a role the play in the safety of the flying public. While I personally think this effort would have been futile, it is (or was) at least worth a shot and probably would have gotten labor unions farther than their first objective of just making executives into the devil. That plan has totally failed, as just about every airline has seen paycuts, pensions eliminated, work rules changed, tons of outsourcing, layoff after layoff, or a combo of all or some of the above.
 
ContnlEliteCMH
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 1:03 pm

Quoting LineMechQX (Reply 91):
As long as our A&P jobs are not understood by the general public, we will all face these types of criticisms. Someday (never) people may begin to understand that a/c are getting more difficult to maintain not easier. Requiring all of us to constantly learn new systems not just the a/c systems.

Respectfully, if the general public doesn't understand what an A&P mechanic does, it's because they haven't looked. For the studious individual (and/or somebody with engineering/science education) aircraft maintenance is not a difficult topic.

If you say, "You don't know how to take a job card, get the right tools and parts, peform the work, have it pass quality inspection, and repeat this process over and over again", you're right. I've never fixed an airplane (which technically isn't true either; I've done some work on my father-in-laws Piper Cherokee, which is hardly an airliner, I freely grant). But I've fixed lots of cars, because I do that for a hobby. I've fixed a house, too -- rehabbed most of it with my own hands, an experience I never wish to repeat.

Yes, the aircraft are getting more complex from a systems standpoint. This is no different from what anybody else in a technical position faces. Yes, there is constant training you must do. This doesn't make you more valuable; it keeps you current. It's the same for me. All that studying, exam-taking, publishing, etc. -- all that does for me is keep me current.

None of this is criticism. I won't lie and say that I'm not happy to avoid your situation. But knowing how to fix an airplane, and knowing what makes an A&P mechanic and his job are two totally different things. Furthermore, you haven't any clue how to build a business intelligence application. But does this mean that you can't understand what I do for a living? Never! Again, a little studiousness and you'll understand it, too.

The issue at hand is not "Is the job more difficult?" I freely concede that point. The issue is, "Does the constant training and increased systems complexity increase the value of the A&P mechanic?" I'm not sure it does, any more than such complexities have increased the value (not importance!) of the line worker at GM Lordstown, or the longshoreman on the west coast.
Christianity. Islam. Hinduism. Anthropogenic Global Warming. All are matters of faith!
 
aogdesk
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RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 1:19 pm

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 93):
We always see them coming, and anybody who doesn't probably should be a W-2 instead of a 1099. In other words, we can't control them, but we can usually assess the likelihood of such happenings, just like such changes shouldn't sneak up on any thoughtful airline employee.

I've tried to keep my postings specific to aircraft maintenance. While I can't argue with the overall ideology of your posting, I'm curious as to what you mean in one respect. You're essentially saying that we have no control over things happening around us, and that we should just watch for the signs and roll over submissively when things turn sour. The entire point of my postings is and has been there are valid safety and QA issues that arise when airlines slice 75-80% of their maintenance force. While the level of concern necessary varies amongst industry professionals, you seem to be saying that we should throw in the towel 'just because'. I see the signs, I'm not the proverbial ostrich, and as a mechanic with 16 years of experience, I'm concerned for YOUR safety.
I honestly can't think of another industry in which safety is a more paramount concern, and it freaks me out when it appears as if economic pressures have shoved safety to the back burner. I hope you understand that.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13899
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 6:53 pm

IMO, the biggest difference between E.g. a car mechanic and a A&P is the legal liability. Face it, I get paid mostly because I take the responsibility for my work and the work of others, I rarely do a lube job these days or change a wheel, but I sign off the work done by others and do avanced troubleshooting and special repairs. I make the decisions if a plane flies or gets grounded.

I know of no car mechanic, who has to legaly document his work and who can get sent to jail or loose his profession for minor f*ck ups.
Also, aviation is a zero tolerance for errors enviroment, there is no way you can pull a plane to shoulder of a road in midflight if something breaks down.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
hammer
Posts: 642
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 9:02 am

RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 9:02 pm

This seriously shouldn't turn into how a mechanic or other union workers are "lazy" and how or why they should or shouldn't get paid what they do, the fact is NWA (and with other carriers) are cutting jobs hand over fist and outsourcing the work. It is not a good time to be in this industry right now and big business is loving every minute of it. The CEO's and other big whigs in the industry don't care about there workers, they care about the bottom line, making money at a cheaper cost to them. Personally I feel that NWA screwed alot of employees by not asking for concessions 2 years ago when every other airline was. We would have gladly given back some money if we would know what lies ahead--unemployement.
 
FDXmech
Posts: 3219
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2000 9:48 pm

RE: NWA Wants To Eliminate Half Of Their Mechanics!

Thu May 26, 2005 10:36 pm

Quoting ContnlEliteCMH (Reply 95):
The issue at hand is not "Is the job more difficult?" I freely concede that point. The issue is, "Does the constant training and increased systems complexity increase the value of the A&P mechanic?" I'm not sure it does, any more than such complexities have increased the value (not importance!) of the line worker at GM Lordstown, or the longshoreman on the west coast.

Did the US develop its huge middle class with its accompanied high standard of living and self sustained growth because the general populace had a religious zeal in justifying why people should make less money? Or a convoluted reasoning that sending our well paying jobs abroad will create more jobs?
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