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flyf15
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Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:37 pm

Buddy of mine at Pinnacle just sent this to me. The Pinnacle pilot strike vote closed yesterday with 99.39% of pilots voting to strike.... an astonishingly strong message it seems that the pilot group is very unified and is sick of being treated the way it is. They're backing up this vote with picketing today at the Atlanta airport to coincide with starting service for Delta.

Sure, some pilots may be called spoiled or such at some airlines, but half of all Pinnacle pilots make less than $30,000/yr... many with families and house and car payments just like anyone else. Its really time that regional airline pilots be paid better for what they do. Just because their planes are a little smaller doesn't mean they should be paid the same as if they were fast food employees.

I commend this pilot group and hope they are able to raise the bar for the regional airline industry, someone needs to do it. It seems though things are about to get really ugly over there in order for progress to be made. The pilots are showing that they're not afraid of management and they're flexing their muscles in preparation for a fight.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news...ec/01/pinnacle-pilots-back-strike/

In the article, Pinnacle's CEO states "We have asked that they refrain from doing so. It's not a professional way to kick off a new contract." I find it somewhat ironic that he is saying this, while a large portion of his workforce qualifies for food stamps and has been waiting over 3 years for a contract themselves.

[Edited 2007-12-01 12:38:46]
 
WJ
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:46 pm

Striking is so overrated and childish. Over the past 10-15 years this has been the "coming of age" of airline pilots and you put in your time at a low paying regional job and if you are good enough you get picked up by the majors. It's not to say that they get paid enough or adequetly but striking is the most backwards way of trying to force a company's hand these days. The list of unions just in the airline business, that such action back-fired on is getting too long to list. Death to all unions - dont like your job? Quit and find something else.
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SNCNtry32
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:09 pm



Quoting Flyf15 (Thread starter):
The Pinnacle pilot strike vote closed yesterday with 99.39% of pilots voting to strike

Good. It is a shame it was not 100%, but 99.39 is close enough.

Quoting Wj (Reply 1):
Striking is so overrated and childish

Hardly. The pilots at 9E make little to nothing. They will send a strong message to management if they do strike.

Quoting Flyf15 (Thread starter):
"We have asked that they refrain from doing so. It's not a professional way to kick off a new contract." I find it somewhat ironic that he is saying this, while a large portion of his workforce qualifies for food stamps and has been waiting over 3 years for a contract themselves.

More then half.. Do you know how much the ground people make in MEM? 7.25 last time I read their contract... Out of hub its less I believe. Someone correct me if I am wrong. Uncle Phil needs to wake up and smell the coffee.
Long Live Memphis!
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:28 pm



Quoting SNCntry32 (Reply 2):
Hardly. The pilots at 9E make little to nothing. They will send a strong message to management if they do strike.

And where is the money to pay them more going to come from?
I don't take responsibility at all
 
flyf15
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:42 pm



Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 3):
And where is the money to pay them more going to come from?

Pinnacle was the most profitable regional airline in the country last year. Something on the order of $300 million. With it they managed to buy another airline (Colgan), 25 Q400s for that airline, and they recently purchased upwards of $50 million of company stock from NW.

This airline is bursting at the seams with money. Its stock price is triple what it was a year and a half ago. It has no financial problems whatsoever.

All this money was made at the expense of treating its employees like dirt. Sure, their purchases I've listed above are investments, but paying your employees a livable wage so that they have better morale, stay longer, and are more willing to be a part of the team is an investment too (if you only look at it from a business aspect). From a persona aspect, theres no reason why an airline raking in money like this should be paying its pilots food-stamp wages.
 
Tango-Bravo
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:02 pm



Quoting Flyf15 (Thread starter):
The Pinnacle pilot strike vote closed yesterday with 99.39% of pilots voting to strike....

Although when the proverbial push comes to shove and it becomes time to walk the talk, about 99.38% will cave in and vote for yes to whatever management offers -- even if there are zero improvements and/or defacto concessions.
 
luisca
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:08 pm



Quoting Wj (Reply 1):
Striking is so overrated and childish. Over the past 10-15 years this has been the "coming of age" of airline pilots and you put in your time at a low paying regional job and if you are good enough you get picked up by the majors. It's not to say that they get paid enough or adequetly but striking is the most backwards way of trying to force a company's hand these days. The list of unions just in the airline business, that such action back-fired on is getting too long to list. Death to all unions - dont like your job? Quit and find something else.

Do you have any Idea what has been going on? they have been in mediation for a long time and Pinnacle refuses to sign a new contract, the Railway Labor Act in the US basically allows pinnacle to keep the contract forever unless the pilots strike.

It is not as easy as just quitting and getting a new job like many other careers, you would be at the bottom of the seniority list which would mean reserve time, even less of a life, the crappiest trips, etc.

It is not in the best interest for pinnacle that their pilots packed and leave, for the first time in years pilots have the upper hand as far as were they want to work, and believe me NOBODY in their right mind is applying to pinnacle, there are much better opportunities out there so pinnacle is stuck with those that cant make it into other airlines.

It is in the Airline that has everything to loose today, with the market the way it is those pilots will find jobs in no time, pinnacle will be stuck with no one to fly their planes, cancelled contracts and penalties, higher training cost and sky high attrition (can somebody say MESA?).
If it ain't Boeing (or Embraer ;-)) I ain't Going!
 
WJ
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:09 pm



Quoting SNCntry32 (Reply 2):
Hardly. The pilots at 9E make little to nothing. They will send a strong message to management if they do strike.

Again, I wasnt doubting the fact the do not make any money there. That is how the regional business works. Just like it is in any field or any professional industry, you struggle through the "low-end" of the spectrum when you start in hopes of getting picked up by the big boys. What these clowns dont understand is that if they strike, they can forget about ever being hired by another airline. They are signing their own career suicide note as no airline will touch them if they go thru with it.
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peterpuck
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:15 pm

If you can't make money while paying people a decent wage you shouldn't be in business.
 
WJ
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:21 pm

First of all let me say that I am not pro-Pinnacle, 3 years ago I thought it was just a card game. Never the less, every one of these moronic union uprising gets my blood boiling because of the stupidity and herd mentality that is involved where no-one is able to think straight and realize what is truly going on.

Quoting Luisca (Reply 6):
It is not as easy as just quitting and getting a new job like many other careers, you would be at the bottom of the seniority list which would mean reserve time, even less of a life, the crappiest trips, etc.

No its not, I agree, life isnt easy.

Quoting Luisca (Reply 6):
It is not in the best interest for pinnacle that their pilots packed and leave, for the first time in years pilots have the upper hand as far as were they want to work, and believe me NOBODY in their right mind is applying to pinnacle, there are much better opportunities out there so pinnacle is stuck with those that cant make it into other airlines.

This is business. Pinnacle is obviously in no hurry because they know there are not too many opportnities out there and every day that passes by with old wages is a benefit for them.

Quoting Luisca (Reply 6):
It is in the Airline that has everything to loose today, with the market the way it is those pilots will find jobs in no time,

Wrong. if they strike and force and sort of shut-down or flight reduction, "ex"-pinnacle pilots will be flagged as anti-company wherever they go and will be lucky to find crop-dusting jobs.

If anything, there is an overload of new pilots wanting to get in to the business and would welcome to take the opportunity the strikers leave behind. Anyone here an ex NWA mechanic??
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flyf15
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:26 pm



Quoting WJ (Reply 7):
you struggle through the "low-end" of the spectrum when you start in hopes of getting picked up by the big boys.

This used to be the case, but the regionals are no longer small podunk operations. Many of our regional airlines in the US are larger than some of the better known carriers across the world. There are almost 2000 regional aircraft in service in the United States, they carry a large portion of the domestic passengers and at many airports that were once loaded with 727s, DC-9s, and 737s, you will not see a single mainline jet anymore. Yesterday's "regional" airlines are today's "domestic feed".

The point being, there are not enough slots at majors to take all the regional pilots. Regional airlines are now a large enough part of the system that they're not a stepping stone, they're a career for a very large portion of pilots. They fly jets the size of DC-9s and F100s and carry a large chunk of the domestic passengers. There is no reason why these should be "stepping stones"... they're as serious of operations as any other domestic carrier and should pay their employees appropriately. Pinnacle pilots are standing their ground to help cause the horrible conditions at regionals to change and I commend them.

Take this for example....

Simply to upgrade at some regionals (such as American Eagle), takes up to 10 years. Say you're an up-and-coming airline pilot. You do a couple years of instructing or night freight after college and get picked up by American Eagle. You're 26. You upgrade when you are 35. By the time you are 40, you're a fairly experienced captain with some contacts and networking and you can start to really have a chance at the majors. Then 9/11 hits and American furloughs thousands. Its 6 years later and they're still not hiring. Say they start hiring again by the time you're 47. You're now competing with every other regional captain in the country for those jobs... you get an interview and are hired by the time you're 50. So much for a stepping stone and moving on to the majors for your "real" career.

Of course, that situation I just typed out doesn't happen to everyone, but it is by no stretch of the imagination a possible situation and has undoubtedly happened to people. Many get to regionals much later in life and will never have a chance to get to a major even though they are phenomenal pilots. My airline has pilots that have been here for over 20 years, they've carried hundreds of thousands of passengers in jet aircraft throughout the years, should they be paid stepping stone wages?
 
flyf15
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:33 pm



Quoting WJ (Reply 9):
This is business. Pinnacle is obviously in no hurry because they know there are not too many opportnities out there and every day that passes by with old wages is a benefit for them.

Pinnacle pilots are seeking full retroactive pay to the date their contract went amendable. When their new contract is signed, pilots will be receiving a check for the difference between their new and old contracts for the past 3 years. This is going to amount to tens of millions of dollars charged to the company. Every single day that goes by, the new contract is going to get more expensive... the pendulum swings more in the pilots direction and with inflation, they are going to work for and have more leverage to get more.

Every day that goes by without a new contract is going to end up costing the company dearly.

Quoting WJ (Reply 9):
Wrong. if they strike and force and sort of shut-down or flight reduction, "ex"-pinnacle pilots will be flagged as anti-company wherever they go and will be lucky to find crop-dusting jobs.

Thats not the case at all. Firstly, I guarantee that if Pinnacle were to go on strike, the strike would not shut the airline down, this airline has hundreds of millions in the bank. Additionally, you can bet Northwest would order Pinnacle's management to sign a contract immediately. The pilot contract really amounts to pennies compared to what a strike would cost Northwest and I'm sure they would not tolerate it.

Secondly, there are thousands of pilots out there who have struck and have had no trouble getting other jobs. It doesn't really become a deciding factor. The only thing that comes up is, when the union reviews potential applicants, they are compared to a scab list and may not gain the union's approval to be hired if they are scabs. Nobody won't be hired solely because they have struck... that is not a concern.
 
SkyexRamper
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:42 pm



Quoting WJ (Reply 9):
"ex"-pinnacle pilots will be flagged as anti-company wherever they go and will be lucky to find crop-dusting jobs.

Have you no idea that most of major airlines have had strikes by their pilots and you didn't see those guys labeled did you? In this day and age, if you want your company to take note of a situation, you have to make a big visual display. A lot of airline management, that does not work on front line, is "blind" and lying to themselves about the happiness level of their front line workers. If all people had to do was to tell HQ that they deserve better, than there wouldn't be strikes anywhere in the world. You can't call strikes childish when they have been a practice for over 100yrs.
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!
 
luisca
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:52 pm



Quoting WJ (Reply 9):
If anything, there is an overload of new pilots wanting to get in to the business and would welcome to take the opportunity the strikers leave behind. Anyone here an ex NWA mechanic??

This post might have applied 2 years ago, today the airlines are hurting for pilots, most people leave college to go to an airline job right away, I have 2 job offers and I am only 22 years old, still not graduated from college. Believe, the pilots have the upper hand in this market.

Quoting WJ (Reply 9):


Wrong. if they strike and force and sort of shut-down or flight reduction, "ex"-pinnacle pilots will be flagged as anti-company wherever they go and will be lucky to find crop-dusting jobs.

You obviously have no Idea how unions work in airlines, if you ever dare to cross a picket line you would be put on the scab list for life, meaning that you would almost never be able to jumpseat and also most pilots that interview check applicants names to see if they are on the scab list and take that into consideration (AKA dont hire them).
If it ain't Boeing (or Embraer ;-)) I ain't Going!
 
davescj
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:56 pm

The labor relation issue in the US, I think, is that we always works as adversaries. When the premise is adversarial, it makes negotiation difficult. This isn't only true of the airline industry, but US labor in general. On this point, many other countries have us whoopped.

That said, it isn't the fault of one or the other. There is plenty of blame to go around. But as long as the starting point is a fight, this kind of problem will continue.

And as others have said, if a strike happens, NW will shut it down.

Dave
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SNCNtry32
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:02 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 3):

And where is the money to pay them more going to come from?



Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 4):
Pinnacle was the most profitable regional airline in the country last year. Something on the order of $300 million. With it they managed to buy another airline (Colgan), 25 Q400s for that airline, and they recently purchased upwards of $50 million of company stock from NW.

Point in case. If you look at thier finical results, they can afford to cough up a few more bucks. Not to mention the 900's and the Q400's Pinnacle and Colgan are getting will be owned by Pinnacle Corp.

Quoting Davescj (Reply 14):
NW will shut it down.

It will certainly cripple NW. Shut them down? I think thats going a little far.

[Edited 2007-12-01 15:06:48]
Long Live Memphis!
 
flyf15
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:11 pm



Quoting Davescj (Reply 14):
And as others have said, if a strike happens, NW will shut it down.

My guess is more likely, NW will say to Pinnacle management "You put a stop to this right now, we're sick of you and the pilots bickering, you're acting like spoiled little kids with ego problems." I'm sure the loss for NW due to a strike would be more than settling the contract would cost.
 
SNCNtry32
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:18 pm



Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 16):
My guess is more likely, NW will say to Pinnacle management "You put a stop to this right now, we're sick of you and the pilots bickering, you're acting like spoiled little kids with ego problems." I'm sure the loss for NW due to a strike would be more than settling the contract would cost.

Exactly. I wouldnt be surprised if NW had a little chat with Pinnacle in the coming weeks. I believe Pinnacle flies more passengers under the NW Banner then CP and XJ, but I could be wrong.
Long Live Memphis!
 
rdwelch
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:19 pm



Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 16):
My guess is more likely, NW will say to Pinnacle management "You put a stop to this right now, we're sick of you and the pilots bickering, you're acting like spoiled little kids with ego problems." I'm sure the loss for NW due to a strike would be more than settling the contract would cost.

Couldn't that be said of any labor strife involving NW and their work groups?

Gus.
They say I have ADD, but they don't understand..Oh look! A chicken!
 
Tango-Bravo
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Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:37 pm



Quoting WJ (Reply 9):
Never the less, every one of these moronic union uprising gets my blood boiling

Ease up on yourself! Wink ...and repeat after me... there will be no strike... while there may be plenty of talk of a strike, when it comes time to walk, Pinnacle's pilots will agree to whatever managment throws their way, regardless of the pilots' talk, even if the company's offer is concessionary. Management has nothing to fear nor do those who beat up on themselves over the prospect of a strike that will never happen.

And, if for some reason, your blood is still boiling... why allow a lot of empty talk and what will never happen take a toll on your health?  Wink
 
SNCNtry32
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:38 pm



Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 19):
Pinnacle's pilots will agree to whatever managment throws their way

If they did that, they would have singed a contract a long time ago.

=C
Long Live Memphis!
 
flyf15
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:39 pm



Quoting Rdwelch (Reply 18):

Couldn't that be said of any labor strife involving NW and their work groups?

It doesn't cost Northwest more if Pinnacle pays its pilots more. It costs Northwest a lot if Pinnacle goes on strike, if Pinnacle cancels flights, etc.

The amount being talked about here is tiny... from what I've heard, they're about $10M/yr apart. Pinnacle makes hundreds of millions per year. The only reason why the pilots don't have a contract is because management has egos they don't want bruised. Northwest is tolerating it now, but I'm sure if Pinnacle goes on strike, Northwest's patience will be gone... its already razor thin.
 
flyf15
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:42 pm



Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 19):
Ease up on yourself! Wink ...and repeat after me... there will be no strike... while there may be plenty of talk of a strike, when it comes time to walk, Pinnacle's pilots will agree to whatever managment throws their way, regardless of the pilots' talk, even if the company's offer is concessionary. Management has nothing to fear nor do those who beat up on themselves over the prospect of a strike that will never happen.

Pinnacle pilots have already negotiated vast improvements to their current contract. But, their current contract is so bad that more strides need to be made to make it acceptable. I know a few Pinnacle pilots and most would rather burn the company's headquarters down than give management anything.

Pinnacle is dealing with one group of pissed employees. They seem to be about the most angry and hell-bent pilots in the industry right now. It used to be that Pinnacle just wanted a fair contract, but management wouldn't give them one. Then they wanted a good contract, but management wouldn't give them one. Now they want a great contract or else. These are not pilots who are going to settle for anything less than what they deserve and I am proud of them.
 
RJwrench85
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:52 pm



Quoting Luisca (Reply 13):
You obviously have no Idea how unions work in airlines, if you ever dare to cross a picket line you would be put on the scab list for life, meaning that you would almost never be able to jumpseat and also most pilots that interview check applicants names to see if they are on the scab list and take that into consideration (AKA dont hire them).

Sorry a little off topic but isnt that the reason some United pilots only have half wings?
"Improvise, Adapt, Overcome"
 
WJ
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:21 am



Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 19):
And, if for some reason, your blood is still boiling... why allow a lot of empty talk and what will never happen take a toll on your health?

Thanks... I needed that  Smile

And calmly... unions are a cancer in the airline industry. Justifiable or not, these old world socialist movements have lost most if not all of their power with the emergence of service providers and out-sourcing. I dont know the situation from the inside but I find it very hard to believe that as a carrier serving NW, NWA management would not be fully aware of the situation at Pinnacle and would not be guiding them along, the same NWA that broke their own Mechanics. I do feel bad for the regional carrier pilots who make far less then they deserve working just as hard if not harder then their mainline brothers. But who I do feel worst for are the $7, $8 hourly worker that may end up losing his/her job because a different group is deciding to try and take down the whole ship. They did not do anything wrong but will be left as fodder if this ever happens.
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N908AW
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:11 am



Quoting Wj (Reply 1):
Death to all unions - dont like your job? Quit and find something else.

Good thing that the industry is so versatile to allow quitting and switching jobs at a whim. You also have to take into consideration the fact that many of these pilots were hired at a higher wage and then cut--and quitting and finding a new job, especially when you have a family, isn't something you can just do.

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 16):
My guess is more likely, NW will say to Pinnacle management "You put a stop to this right now, we're sick of you and the pilots bickering, you're acting like spoiled little kids with ego problems."

 no  If so, to a certain extent NW would have to eat their own words--their pilots and flight attendants ALMOST struck (read: caved in) and their paycuts were ridiculous too, wasn't it upwards of 39%?
'Cause you're on ATA again, and on ATA, you're on vacation!
 
okie73
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:16 am

relax folks. Voting to strike and actually being released to strike are two different things. There is no way will a pilot group be released to strike while Bush is in office.
 
n710ps
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:17 am

Here here to Pinnacle pilots! You can always tell who the bean counters on this site are by reactions. I will make a better reply with in detail opinion and commentsry on other posts when I get done tonight making my "burger flipping" money when I should be home with the family.
There is plenty of room for Gods animals, right next to the mashed potatoes!
 
Tango-Bravo
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Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:52 am



Quoting WJ (Reply 24):
But who I do feel worst for are the $7, $8 hourly worker that may end up losing his/her job because a different group is deciding to try and take down the whole ship

Good point. It would no doubt inflict short-term pain on the pilots' co-workers.

Nonetheless, for Pinnacle's hourly workers to hypothetically lose their jobs because of a pilots' strike (which... repeat after me ...again... isn't going to happen Wink) may well be something for which said hourly employees would be thanking the pilots in due time -- for forcing them out of the rut into which they have placed themselves. If anything, hourly employees of U.S. regionals are locked into thankless dead-end low paying jobs to an even greater degree than the pilots. In the U.S., $7 to $8 per hour (or more) can be earned for virtually and every entry-level job in the fast food, retail and other service sectors, with greater opportunities for advancement and generally equal or better working conditions. And there is generally no lack of "help wanted" for non-airline jobs that pay at least $7-8/hr, for which airline employees are adequately qualifed.
 
avek00
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:22 am



Quoting Luisca (Reply 13):
This post might have applied 2 years ago, today the airlines are hurting for pilots, most people leave college to go to an airline job right away, I have 2 job offers and I am only 22 years old, still not graduated from college. Believe, the pilots have the upper hand in this market.

No, they do not. The REAL overcapacity in the US airline industry is currently in the regional/small jet segment, and any regional that proves unduly troublesome ot its mainline benefactor will not be long for this world.

If Pinnacle's pilots wish to strike, they may do so -- I wish to hear not a peep, however, when Comair, American Eagle, and certain other regionals take over all your flying and no one cares once the initial disruption/transition period has passed.
Live life to the fullest.
 
Transpac787
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:29 am



Quoting Wj (Reply 1):
Death to all unions - dont like your job? Quit and find something else.



Quoting WJ (Reply 9):
If anything, there is an overload of new pilots wanting to get in to the business and would welcome to take the opportunity the strikers leave behind.



Quoting WJ (Reply 24):
unions are a cancer in the airline industry.

I thought we had seen the last of Frank Lorenzo......I guess he lurks on a.net now.

Quoting WJ (Reply 24):
these old world socialist movements have lost most if not all of their power with the emergence of service providers and out-sourcing.

Just out of curiosity, whom do you think Pinnacle could possibly outsource to??  Yeah sure

Their pay-scales are about as low as they go, along the lines of Mesa and Great Lakes. When you already are the lowest bidder, there really isn't much more outsourcing that can be done...
 
apodino
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:43 am

I have criticized the AA pilots for what is going on over at that company with the contract negotiations. This situation is totally different than this. In the case of the AA pilots, they make a great wage, have good work rules, are treated pretty well by the company, and are doing great, despite what a lot of them say. The Pinnacle situation is totally different. This is a company that illustrates everything thats wrong with the regional airline business. Flying going out to the cheapest bidder, and they have to go even cheaper because of what the creditors in bankruptcy dictate. Even though the regionals have guaranteed profits when they fly fee for departure agreements (And before I get flames, ExpressJet and Mesa have standalone and at risk operations, not just FFD), they use the lower costs to justify wage cuts. I have seen this at Air Wisconsin, Mesaba, Mesa, and Trans States/GoJet to name a few. Air Wisconsin is currently in arbitration because the wage cuts didn't save the United flying, so the Pilots are trying to recoup that. Mesa has a contract up soon. GoJet took advantage of an AA clause to do an endaround the Trans States pilots. Mesaba threatened to go belly up, even though their losses appeared to be shady accounting.

And of course we have Pinnacle. They have a bad reputation for the way they treat their employees. Quite frankly, Regional Pilots across the board are getting raped. And with more and more flying being farmed out to them, there just aren't the pilot jobs at the majors that there once were. The seniority thing makes it difficult to get out of a bad situation as well. Because of the way the pilots are treated, turnover rates at regionals are going up, and because of whats happened in the industry, regionals just aren't finding the pilots to replace them. Hence, the regionals are forced to hire these 300 hour guys with the ink barely dry on their commercial who have no experience outside of flight training. Quality of pilots goes down, washout rates go up, ATC problems increase because of lack of experience and knowledge of how to operate in Class B airports (Chicago Tracon once told an Air Wisky guy on the approach frequency, when are you guys coming back, these Air Shuttle guys don't follow directions right). This increases delays. Wages have to go up at the regional level. I totally support a strike by the Pinnacle guys. Yes it will be a mess like the ComAir strike was. Even Bobby Crandall said, you can make a pizza so cheap that no one will buy it. I think that applies to Wages and benefits as well. If you don't allow your employees to make a comfortable living, they won't work for you.

And its not just the Pilots at Pinnacle that are having problems. The Pinnacle Dispatchers have been in the same boat as well. They are forced to work so many releases per shift, their ability to flight follow is severely limited, and it borders on FAR violations on a few counts in my opinion. They are not paid well either, and the office is in Memphis. They are represented by TWU, which also represents the other NW carriers including NW themselves, as well as Air Wisconsin. Even though the contract is up for negotiation, TWU has been unable to get Pinnacle to the bargaining table at all to negotiate. To give you an idea of how bad it is, TWU was voted in less than a year ago, and 75% of the workforce has already turned over since they came onto the property. Thats pathetic. So they basically have to get people straight from dispatch school, and with the high work load and low wage, they are asking way too much in my opinion. Even Mesa is a better job than Pinnacle. And that isn't saying much either.

One thing is sure, this will certainly give DTWClipper incentive to take his business elsewhere.

[Edited 2007-12-01 19:45:00]
 
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lightsaber
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:06 am



Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 11):
Pinnacle pilots are seeking full retroactive pay to the date their contract went amendable. When their new contract is signed, pilots will be receiving a check for the difference between their new and old contracts for the past 3 years. This is going to amount to tens of millions of dollars charged to the company.

That's the union's starting point. Pinnacle will almost certainly start with a pay increase with a small signing bonus. Which leads to the following point...

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 29):
No, they do not. The REAL overcapacity in the US airline industry is currently in the regional/small jet segment, and any regional that proves unduly troublesome ot its mainline benefactor will not be long for this world.

 checkmark  Oil is stuck pretty high. That makes it tougher to make a profit on the RJ's. I believe that current oil prices will force a shrinkage in the domestic aviation industry.

That isn't to say pilots shouldn't earn a reasonable wage. It might be that Pinnacle lacks a sustainable business model.  Sad I have a feeling this will get interesting. Then again, I believe there is a surplus of 50-seaters out there. In some ways, the salaries were only justified by the expectation of upward movement to the 'majors' after a few years. With pilots, dispatchers, and others blocked due to the lack of hiring at the majors. But that hiring is starting... so they should get their resume over there!

Lightsaber
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FlyDeltaJets87
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:26 am

 rotf 
The Ad at the top of the page as I was reading this thread made my day. I love irony.  devil 

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c334/TripleSevenPhil/PinnacleAd.jpg
It's either very right or very wrong.
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DashTrash
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:29 am

The problem with replacing 50 seat jets is that the larger aircraft required to replace them are not in the inventory. It will take a while to get them there, longer than it will take NW to recover from a Pinnacle walkout. We all know that 50 seat jets are money losing torture tubes, but what do you replace it with? 70 seat jets will suffer the same poor economics as oil prices go up, so why fill a fleet with that?

As far as other airlines filling in for Pinnacle, who do you think will do that? Any current Pinnacle flying will be deemed struck work by ALPA, therefore no ALPA carrier will fly those routes / flights. You won't see any airline represented by the Teamsters filling in either, so who do you think that leaves? I'll tell you... Skywest (not enough aircraft), BlowJet (same problem), Big Sky (doesn't have an RJ program), or Colgan (doesn't have an RJ program either).

With Pinnacle holding as much of NW's overall capacity as they do, I see them stepping in and having the problem solved. I'm actually surprised this hasn't happened already given Pinnacle's staffing levels recently. Staffing levels at all the regionals is, or will be a problem in the near future.
 
avek00
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:44 am



Quoting DashTrash (Reply 34):
As far as other airlines filling in for Pinnacle, who do you think will do that? Any current Pinnacle flying will be deemed struck work by ALPA, therefore no ALPA carrier will fly those routes / flights.

The struck work problem is only a problem to the extent Pinnacle continues to exist. Any regional that experiences major disruptions is at severe risk of having the plug quickly pulled by its legacy benefactor, and it's a short course from that to a liquidation in bankruptcy court.
Live life to the fullest.
 
stratosphere
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:59 am



Quoting WJ (Reply 9):
. Anyone here an ex NWA mechanic??

I am. What's your question?
 
DashTrash
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:02 am



Quoting Avek00 (Reply 35):
The struck work problem is only a problem to the extent Pinnacle continues to exist. Any regional that experiences major disruptions is at severe risk of having the plug quickly pulled by its legacy benefactor, and it's a short course from that to a liquidation in bankruptcy court.

True statement. It still begs who would pick up that flying if Pinnacle walked? Some other airline could buy Pinnacles entire fleet, take 100% of their pilots and flight attendants, and it would still take months to get the aircraft and crews on the acquiring airline's certificate. The aircraft would have to be inspected, and then added to the certificate. Crews would have to go through indoc, systems, sims, and IOE as if they were new hires. That stuff doesn't happen overnight.

Case in point. Piedmont and Allegheny merged. We flew the same type aircraft. It took close to a year to get all the ALG pilots on the PDT certificate. Those guys had to go through initial new hire training to fly the same aircraft to the same cities from the same bases they had been using for over 20 years in some cases.

The pilots have the upper hand in this case. Large percentage of the overall capacity, no readily available replacement, and an angry group who's standing together. The likely outcome? NWA management stepping in, and the Pinnacle pilots getting most of what they want.
 
avek00
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:11 am



Quoting DashTrash (Reply 37):
True statement. It still begs who would pick up that flying if Pinnacle walked? Some other airline could buy Pinnacles entire fleet, take 100% of their pilots and flight attendants, and it would still take months to get the aircraft and crews on the acquiring airline's certificate. The aircraft would have to be inspected, and then added to the certificate. Crews would have to go through indoc, systems, sims, and IOE as if they were new hires. That stuff doesn't happen overnight.

That's just it -- there's alot of excess capacity in the system ,such that no one would necessarily NEED to acquire any significant part of Pinnacle's operation.
Live life to the fullest.
 
flyf15
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:16 am



Quoting DashTrash (Reply 37):
and it would still take months to get the aircraft and crews on the acquiring airline's certificate.

Not to mention that the pilots would definitely not even go over there unless the contract they offered was better than the best of any regional... because experienced RJ pilots are hard to come by, all the other regionals would gobble them up in a heartbeat.

So, this is not a viable way to get around pilot pay either. Management has to face the facts... the ball is in the pilots' court, they're winning, and there isn't much time left on the clock.
 
davescj
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:57 am



Quoting DashTrash (Reply 34):
The problem with replacing 50 seat jets is that the larger aircraft required to replace them are not in the inventory. It will take a while to get them there, longer than it will take NW to recover from a Pinnacle walkout. We all know that 50 seat jets are money losing torture tubes, but what do you replace it with? 70 seat jets will suffer the same poor economics as oil prices go up, so why fill a fleet with that?

This may be off topic, but at what point does a jet go from RJ to mainline? 100 seats? 150 seats? Is NW looking to go to E170s? Would that even help?

Thanks!

Dave
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
Theoden
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 1:53 am

RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 8:49 am



Quoting WJ (Reply 9):
Pinnacle is obviously in no hurry because they know there are not too many opportnities out there and every day that passes by with old wages is a benefit for them.

A company is its people and a company that treats it people as if they were unimportant will be punished with high turnover and difficulty finding good people who want to join it. If a company cannot retain good people, then the company, being of its people, will not produce a good product. Sooner or later this will catch up with them.

Well thats just my opinion. Best of luck to the 9E people.

Theoden
Fear no darkness!
 
avek00
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:54 pm



Quoting Okie73 (Reply 26):
There is no way will a pilot group be released to strike while Bush is in office.

Never say never, especially if NWA decides to cut Pinnacle loose.
Live life to the fullest.
 
DALATBHM
Posts: 13
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:01 pm

Wow. If the strike actually happens, it will suck. Especially for the people that have nothing to do with it...the customer. But will see how it goes.
 
MaverickM11
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:44 pm



Quoting N908AW (Reply 25):
Good thing that the industry is so versatile to allow quitting and switching jobs at a whim.

That's a union problem.

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 4):
Pinnacle was the most profitable regional airline in the country last year. Something on the order of $300 million. With it they managed to buy another airline (Colgan), 25 Q400s for that airline, and they recently purchased upwards of $50 million of company stock from NW.

$300 million from operations alone? I find tha thard to believe. The additional pay has to come out of operational revenue, not from one time items like aircraft purchases or stock buybacks.
I don't take responsibility at all
 
Splitz
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:15 pm

RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:36 pm

This is my first post but I just had to post something about this topic.

I have vast education in the Aviation Industry (my Bachelors and Masters Degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University).

That being said:

#1. This is a free enterprise economy in the United States. If you feel as an employee that you don't get paid enough, you have the right to LEAVE the business/industry.

#2. If you choose NOT to leave, it is then your responsibility as the employee to take the "medicine" about the low pay.

#3. IF you choose to become an airline pilot, you knew as an employee that there were risks.
1. September 11th - Many industries have gone under due to this act, don't see other companies going on strike.
2. Gas prices - Geopolitical problem that nobody could foresee.

#4. It costs an average airline pilot nearly $100k to start their "Career". Takes just a little bit more to become a doctor. How many doctors have gone on strike?

#5. Since the inception of the "Regional" carriers, the wages have ALWAYS been sub par to the mainline organization. Isn't that just the cost of doing business?

In todays state of the US economy, unions are UNNECESSARY. Employees have a CHOICE of where they work. IF they don't like it, tough, quit and go somewhere else. But they must understand the consequences of their decisions. Granted, if they go to a different carrier, that their seniority will start over. THAT HAPPENS IN EVERY INDUSTRY.

I don't mean to be sarcastic, but to me, this is "oh well" to the pilots. They decided to change carriers. Pinnacle, Eagle, Comair are operating at extremely SMALL margins already. It is a complete misnomer that Airlines are making millions or even billions. It is perceived that way, however, their outlay is nearly equal to their income.

Unions need to realize what a strike could do to the carrier.

As an employee what would you rather have?

#1. Sitting on a strike earning $0

or

#2. The Carrier being sold off, still earning $0 and NO JOB? Then EVERY Employee (not just pilots) will be looking for new jobs.

A striking employee in my opinion, is selfish and doesn't think of the "Greater" good of the company (thus is all about me me me me me).

If pilots strike what happens?
#1. Maintainers then can't work - nothing to fix because pilots haven't broken anything.
#2. Flight attendants have no flights to attend because of the pilots being childish.
#3. Ground handlers loose their jobs because the contract was cancelled because no planes to fly.
#4. Lessors of the aircraft get an asset back, but can't lease it back out
#5. Website planners, dispatchers, call centers, etc etc.

So, all this could happen, because ONE employee group is "happy" with their pay.

OH WELL!

Is the Pinnacle pilots making the same "average" pay throughout the entire regional community?

I would venture to say yes, but without further research I can not make a definitive evaluation.

But will do more research at a later date. But had to start stirring the pot!

Splitz
 
davescj
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RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:40 pm

Splitz

Welcome to A net!

Dave
Can I have a mojito on this flight?
 
saab2000
Posts: 1232
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2001 6:19 pm

RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:54 pm

WJ is one of those knee-jerk pro-business idealists who think it's OK for the companies to operate without a contract for years, but it's not OK for the employees to demand a contract. Pinnacle has been flying without a contract for 3 years IIRC and IMHO they could have walked off the job the day their contract expired.

Labor relations get ugly precisely because of attitudes like WJ has. The laws are seriously biased in favor of the corporation and the employees are basically without recourse. A strike is unlikely to actually happen simply because the president can tell them not to. And I have no doubt that that is exactly what would happen.

Yeah, it's a business. Not a kingdom or dictatorship. The two sides need to work together and the pilots have been very accomadating to the business by allowing them to operate for so many years with no labor agreement.

Attitudes like WJ's are the reason labor unions became a factor.
smrtrthnu
 
saab2000
Posts: 1232
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2001 6:19 pm

RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:14 pm



Quoting Avek00 (Reply 38):
That's just it -- there's alot of excess capacity in the system ,such that no one would necessarily NEED to acquire any significant part of Pinnacle's operation.

With several airlines having severe enough staffing problems that airplanes are actually parked, I am not sure there is a lot of overcapacity in the regional airline sector. Planes are full, full, full. Regionals are hiring (and washing out!) lots of 300-500 hour fresh pilots. You can't go lower than that.

If they wanted to solve the problem they would park some of the RJs and increase flying in the mainline sector. But nobody wants to do that.

I see that those bleating about how the pilots need to just suck it up probably don't work in the business and don't see the reality of it all. Eventually the tide will swing in the pilots' favor simply because it will have to. Demand will outstrip supply and the game will change. Simple economics. It's happening already WRT things like signing bonuses, etc.
smrtrthnu
 
Splitz
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:15 pm

RE: Pinnacle Pilots Vote To Strike

Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:34 pm



Quoting Saab2000 (Reply 48):

I agree with most of your response.

However,

Every industry has it's wave effect or peak/valley. Right now, it's in a valley.

OTHER industries that have been effected by the US Slowing economny (post Sept 11) have had the SAME problems.

1. Rising Costs
2. higher Cost of Living for employees
3. Higher fuel costs.

This being said, EVERY employee union to me is selfish and think that they are the only ones effected.

Keep in mind, if the biggest regional goes under, there will be less capacity available, prices will increase. (simple supply/demand)

If prices increase - people will FLY LESS! Most jobs will be cut, pilots will take another 10-15% paycut etc etc etc.

The opposite could happen. If the public refuse to pay the higher fares, carriers will then decrease the price of the fares, undercutting eachother and operate at a loss, then layoffs again AGAIN.

It's a vicious circle.

This is just a period of "lower" pay for the pilots. This will bring into equality of the pay from the mid 90's when pilots were reported to making $250k+ year on left seat widebody aircarft.

Am I totally off track?!!?!?!?! (or just a Capitalist/Republican?)

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