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antoniemey
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:39 am

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 6):
If folks on the ground want to get paid per flight, they should have negotiated that in their contract.

Some days I wish I got paid per mishandled bag claim,. Other days, not so much.

Quoting INFINITI329 (Reply 159):
WN solution is to split their pilot group and pay both group the same rate. WN pilots say no.. different seniority list require different rates.

Theoretically it should still be one seniority list, with a bid to determine what subtype the pilots fly. At least, that's how everyone else handles it... but they do have different pay rates for different types and, in some cases, different variants of a type.

And I'm sure the WN pilots want the (presumably) NG/MAX group to get a bump up rather than the Classic group taking a small cut. The company would rather keep all the pay the same or have it go the other way.

Neither side is entirely unreasonable, but they will act unreasonably to force a compromise in their own favor.
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futureualpilot
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:35 am

Quoting bobnwa (Reply 147):

Quoting SPREE34 (Reply 134):
I see. So the particular training/education they worked for, skills built, and the market bearing compensation they can attain by such, should be limited by some method YOU think/feel is fair, locks them to other people in onther unrelated fields of expertise. Do I have that close?

No not close I am saying that pilots for the large carriers in the US already earn a very nice high pay compared to other folks with the same education. again let me say that they are in the 99 percentile of all wage earners.

No disrespect intended, but how is this relevant to this discussion? Nobody argues that pilots can earn a handsome wage. That pilots can earn a handsome wage as it relates to the average income level is not relevant when it comes to negotiations between a pilot group and their company. What is relevant is the health of the company and what other pilot groups of the same or similar type earn.
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DualQual
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:20 am

Quoting bobnwa (Reply 147):

There's a shortage. Go get your ratings and get hired.
There's no known cure for stupid
 
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ssteve
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:59 am

Quoting zeke (Reply 118):

When my employer curtails what I do, where I am, I am very much on the job.

I have long been amazed with airline compensation having to do with flying time, rather than time spent on the job.

However, your quote here is a bridge to far, in a way. Many many roles have presumed conditions about when and where you have to show up to be compensated that in no way resemble one work location for five days a week.

I think it's ridiculous that crew aren't compensated for delays outside their control. But on the other hand, there's a certain realization that if you're going to be flying, you're not going to be in your own bed every night. It sucks, but it's part of the job. You're "curtailed" in being away from home.
 
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zeke
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:57 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 164):
However, your quote here is a bridge to far, in a way. Many many roles have presumed conditions about when and where you have to show up to be compensated that in no way resemble one work location for five days a week.

I think it's ridiculous that crew aren't compensated for delays outside their control. But on the other hand, there's a certain realization that if you're going to be flying, you're not going to be in your own bed every night. It sucks, but it's part of the job. You're "curtailed" in being away from home.

It is an interesting comment you have made, and what has happened to me over my career has been similar to many other in many different airlines. When I started working for a legacy airline, I would fly 500-600 hours a year, would get good layover and was always well rested. We would all put the extra mile in to get the job done, there was a lot of respect for the management, and the management respected us in return. I would say it would be similar to the relationship Herb had with his pilots at WN. WN had been famous in its early year as being a airline you would want to work for because of the way they looked after you, they wanted you healthy so you would make the valuable contribution to the bottom line.

I have seen a disease infect the industry where MBA types have come in and destroyed the workplace, they have similar attitude as you have mentioned, comparing the productivity of pilots to other office workers. The focus these days is all about shareholder return and management bonuses. That is being done at the expense of the people who have their career with the airline, rather than the managers on a 3 year campaign to make as many cuts as possible to increase their end of year bonus. Why do they care, they are not in the company for a career.

I can turn up for work for a 4 hr flight with an overnight, 11 hours on the ground and fly back next day. At dispatch moved to a 14 hr long haul flight, 18 hours on the ground, 14 hrs back. When I land at my home port, told to be back at work again in 12 hours for another 6 hour flight through the night, rest during the day, and 6 hour back through the night. So what has gone from a reasonable short overnight, turns into week with 5 local nights of sleep are lost. The computer says its legal, it is hardly very smart. I am not allowed to be impeded by substances at work, but they will retask pilots on duties which have scientifically been proved to have the greater performance decrease as consuming 6 or more beers.

The legally binding agreements I started with that protected our work/life balance have all be torn up, fatigue limits are no long just hypothetical "legal" limits they are seen as rostering targets. They were never designed with that in mind, it is literally killing pilots worldwide.

People who are not airline pilots do not realize how bad things have become over the last 10 years. We have gone from sickness rates of below 1% to over 20%. We dont run our engines or machinery at 100% all the time, however the same simple logic is not used on their valuable human resources. Our management in return has decided the best way to fix this is to deliver us 7 days notice of a new absence management policy (no consultation with the employees), pilots who are sick too often now face summary dismissal, that is their solution to reduce the sickness rate. Day 1 of the policy coming into effect 3 pilots were terminated.

I trust this has been an eye opening post for you, the perception and reality of the life of an airline pilot are poles apart. I actively discourage people from entering the industry these days because of the way things have degraded, it is unhealthy and getting worse.

Reading between the lines, the WN guys are more than happy to fly anything, but they have been taken advantage over now for some time and need to use as way to see their long list of concerns addressed. I fully support them in their efforts, as I know there information war always will portray pilots as being overpaid under-worked privileged Prima donnas. Reality is there is two side to any negotiation.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
FlyHossD
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:22 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 166):
It is an interesting comment you have made, and what has happened to me over my career has been similar to many other in many different airlines. When I started working for a legacy airline, I would fly 500-600 hours a year, would get good layover and was always well rested...

I have seen a disease infect the industry where MBA types have come in and destroyed the workplace, they have similar attitude as you have mentioned, comparing the productivity of pilots to other office workers...

IMHO, Best post ever. It should be required reading, especially for those outside the industry and especially those who want to become airline pilots.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
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ssteve
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 5:17 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 166):
I trust this has been an eye opening post for you, the perception and reality of the life of an airline pilot are poles apart.

Not really. I'm married to an ER physician, and she probably makes less than you. Variable schedules suck.
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:10 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 166):
WN had been famous in its early year as being a airline you would want to work for because of the way they looked after you, they wanted you healthy so you would make the valuable contribution to the bottom line.

I have seen a disease infect the industry where MBA types have come in and destroyed the workplace, they have similar attitude as you have mentioned, comparing the productivity of pilots to other office workers. The focus these days is all about shareholder return and management bonuses. That is being done at the expense of the people who have their career with the airline, rather than the managers on a 3 year campaign to make as many cuts as possible to increase their end of year bonus.

   THIS.

Excellent, spot on post.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
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zeke
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:44 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 168):
Not really. I'm married to an ER physician, and she probably makes less than you. Variable schedules suck.

I have a number of friends that are ER doctors (some I have known since school), they take home over double what I do. Being the more senior consultants these days, they hardly ever work nights. Perceptions and reality are not what they seem. I have never been able to match their wages.

The major difference between them and myself is that when they change organisations, they maintain their role or promoted. I would start all over again from the bottom.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
DualQual
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 6:54 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 168):

Your use of "probably" just proved the point. You're assuming, guessing, and not basing your opinion on fact.
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ssteve
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:47 pm

Quoting DualQual (Reply 171):
Your use of "probably" just proved the point. You're assuming, guessing, and not basing your opinion on fact.

Low six figures. About the median flight crew number for WN. So, probably, any given pilot at WN is making more.

[Edited 2016-03-07 11:48:39]
 
Flighty
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:05 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 170):
I have a number of friends that are ER doctors (some I have known since school), they take home over double what I do. Being the more senior consultants these days, they hardly ever work nights. Perceptions and reality are not what they seem. I have never been able to match their wages.

Yeah I don't know too many jobs that make more than ER docs. Not a single pilot that I am aware of. Maybe in software, big lawyers. Private equity guys or whatever. Not super easy to do. Airlines would have, what... 10 people in that range? Maybe 20.

Quoting zeke (Reply 166):
The legally binding agreements I started with that protected our work/life balance have all be torn up, fatigue limits are no long just hypothetical "legal" limits they are seen as rostering targets. They were never designed with that in mind, it is literally killing pilots worldwide.

Post well worth considering. And since pilots are paid hourly, I struggle to see the pressure to overburden pilots. Can you explain? Health benefits only?

You know, I have been into some future endeavors that frankly will make pilots even less happy. But there is no excuse not to be safe. I don't see why the schedulers are doing that.
 
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Tugger
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:28 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 170):
I have a number of friends that are ER doctors (some I have known since school), they take home over double what I do. Being the more senior consultants these days, they hardly ever work nights. Perceptions and reality are not what they seem. I have never been able to match their wages.
Quoting Flighty (Reply 173):
Yeah I don't know too many jobs that make more than ER docs. Not a single pilot that I am aware of. Maybe in software, big lawyers. Private equity guys or whatever. Not super easy to do. Airlines would have, what... 10 people in that range? Maybe 20.

Ehh? where are you getting that? A simple google of Glassdoor is showing the salary range varies a lot based on the location but the range seems to be around $140-$160 to a high of about $250-$275. And I know a lot of pilots that make a similar range.

Tugg
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FlyHossD
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 8:58 pm

Quoting Tugger (Reply 174):
Ehh? where are you getting that? A simple google of Glassdoor is showing the salary range varies a lot based on the location but the range seems to be around $140-$160 to a high of about $250-$275. And I know a lot of pilots that make a similar range.

Tugg

I have one friend who's an ER doc and your range is accurate. But it's also true that the average pay of the pilots at my former carrier is less than your range of $140-$160K for ER docs. In other words, it seems that Zeke was correct.

Further, pay is only part of the picture and I'm sure you know that.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
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ssteve
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:52 pm

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 175):
Further, pay is only part of the picture and I'm sure you know that.

Right. ER docs often have no health care benefits and no retirement plan.

In any event, this wasn't supposed to be a measuring contest. I'm just not going to stand for being talked down to like I can't possibly conceive of the woeful woes that come from having a nontraditional work schedule. Again:

Many many roles have presumed conditions about when and where you have to show up to be compensated that in no way resemble one work location for five days a week.

To imply that you are "on the job" every time you lose the freedom to sleep in your own bed during nighttime is ridiculous. I'm not saying it doesn't suck or deserve compensation-- you actually have a sympathetic ear here-- but you really ought not stretch the complaint too far.

[Edited 2016-03-07 13:55:03]
 
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zeke
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:00 am

Quoting Tugger (Reply 174):
Ehh? where are you getting that? A simple google of Glassdoor is showing the salary range varies a lot based on the location but the range seems to be around $140-$160 to a high of about $250-$275. And I know a lot of pilots that make a similar range.

I am not sure as to the type of ER doctor you are referring to, they are not all the same. My fiends these days are the senior ER doctors called consultants, being the experienced specialists that residents call upon when something is beyond their skill level. As consultants they earn over $500k. Working in a teaching hospital, they are also senior lecturers.

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 176):
Right. ER docs often have no health care benefits and no retirement plan.

Must depend on the employer. My friends have both. The hospital pays for their phones, car, and children to attend school. They get 6 weeks annual leave, plus an additional 2-3 weeks which can be used for "professional development" conferences in places like Whistler, Rome, and Paris. The conferences are paid for by the hospital, they normally pay a little extra for the family to join them.

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 176):
To imply that you are "on the job" every time you lose the freedom to sleep in your own bed during nighttime is ridiculous.

That is not the measure by any means, what the regulator considers as duty (i.e. work), what you consider as work, and what pilots get paid for a three very different things. Many pilots are limited by regulation to around 60 hours of duty per week, which is a "rostering target" these days, however I will only be paid for around 20 hours of flight time. That is 40 hours a week that the regulator sees as work that I don't gt paid for. I dont know of many jobs where you get paid for 1/3 of the hours you spend at work, definitely not a ER doctor.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
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ssteve
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Tue Mar 08, 2016 2:29 am

EM physicians aren't consulted. Specialists in other medical specialties are. EM physicians are calling the consultants.

You're also mixing up hourly and salaried compensation. Doctors on hourly compensation don't get paid leave. If they are salaried, there are minimum shifts they'll work per month, in which case they could shift things around so they get some number contiguous days off. Say, by squeezing night and day shifts too close together. Does that make it paid time off? Not by the way you're accounting for it. But if it is paid time off, then so is any day you're not working. So how much PTO do you get when you cram those duty hours together? (Genuinely curious)
 
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zeke
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:22 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 173):
EM physicians aren't consulted. Specialists in other medical specialties are. EM physicians are calling the consultants.

I dont want to drag this thread off topic, if you want to discuss this further please PM me. My friends are emergency medical specialists, fellows of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and emergency medicine (FRCEM) fellows of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Canada (FRCP(EM)). They are employed as emergency medicine consultants. What you are calling a EM physicians, is equivalent to a registrar in our system, it is a lower level of qualification. They are the regional airline pilot equivalent of emergency medicine.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
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ssteve
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:06 pm

Aw zeke, you don't know what you're talking about. Surgeons wouldn't be caught dead calling themselves EM physicians. "Trauma surgeon" maybe.

And no, resident salaries are like $40k/year. I'm talking about attendings.

In any event, still curious about that PTO.

[Edited 2016-03-08 10:26:33]
 
Flighty
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:29 pm

Quoting Tugger (Reply 169):
Ehh? where are you getting that? A simple google of Glassdoor is showing the salary range varies a lot based on the location but the range seems to be around $140-$160 to a high of about $250-$275. And I know a lot of pilots that make a similar range.

I heard 400s in the Midwest for ER attending physicians (the senior staff on duty). The Google answer is 250-300k but in many cases, there is also a "profit distribution" that could be hundreds of thousands on top of that, in private practice. The range of 140-160 strikes me as non credible, unless for a 1-2 year probationary period.

These things go up and down. If a pilot is making 200k and an ER doc 275k, I think the pilot is doing remarkably well.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:30 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 161):
I have seen a disease infect the industry where MBA types have come in and destroyed the workplace, they have similar attitude as you have mentioned, comparing the productivity of pilots to other office workers. The focus these days is all about shareholder return and management bonuses. That is being done at the expense of the people who have their career with the airline, rather than the managers on a 3 year campaign to make as many cuts as possible to increase their end of year bonus. Why do they care, they are not in the company for a career.

        

As a resident "MBA type," your post reflects the ignorance of an outsider looking in. How do I know that? Because business schools love Southwest Airlines and hold them up as an example of a company doing everything right in terms of employee relations.

But I get it. Who doesn't hate people with more education that demand higher standards than you're willing/able to meet? I'm sure if we all slack off and move the goal posts to "the long run," everything will turn out just great.

[Edited 2016-03-08 10:34:38]
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Silver1SWA
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:43 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 177):
s a resident "MBA type," your post reflects the ignorance of an outsider looking in. How do I know that? Because business schools love Southwest Airlines and hold them up as an example of a company doing everything right in terms of employee relations.

I'm on the inside and I agree 100% with zeke. I took business courses in college and I've been saying for a few years now, it's time to rewrite those textbooks.

[Edited 2016-03-08 10:43:24]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
hivue
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:46 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 161):
When I started working for a legacy airline, I would fly 500-600 hours a year, would get good layover and was always well rested.

Sounds really great. But then folks outside the airline industry will do the math on that and come up with 12 - 15 40-hr weeks per year. Yes there is a lot of other stuff that goes into the job, but does all that add up to the other 35 40-hr weeks (we'll allow 2 weeks vacation)? So the MBAs come in and try to squeeze out more productivity because they were hired to do that and that's how THEY make THEIR money. Of course, the predictable result is that the pendulum swings to the other extreme.
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futureualpilot
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:44 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 177):

Quoting zeke (Reply 161):
I have seen a disease infect the industry where MBA types have come in and destroyed the workplace, they have similar attitude as you have mentioned, comparing the productivity of pilots to other office workers. The focus these days is all about shareholder return and management bonuses. That is being done at the expense of the people who have their career with the airline, rather than the managers on a 3 year campaign to make as many cuts as possible to increase their end of year bonus. Why do they care, they are not in the company for a career.

        

As a resident "MBA type," your post reflects the ignorance of an outsider looking in. How do I know that? Because business schools love Southwest Airlines and hold them up as an example of a company doing everything right in terms of employee relations.

But I get it. Who doesn't hate people with more education that demand higher standards than you're willing/able to meet? I'm sure if we all slack off and move the goal posts to "the long run," everything will turn out just great.

[Edited 2016-03-08 10:34:38]

And yet, those same products of the business schools that hold Southwest in such high esteem are the ones degrading the culture that has been so crucial to Southwest's success. This has nothing to do with hating someone with "more education" (many, many, many pilots hold MBAs and/or PhD's themselves) or "demanding higher standards." The proof is in the pudding. The "MBA types" have been chipping away at cultures and employee compensation and employee relations nearly across the board in every industry in the name of the bottom line. It is a systemic problem not relegated to the airlines that companies will protect shareholders at all costs, up to and including screwing over the very employees that make that company run. Executive compensation has skyrocketed in the last couple decades yet labor wages remain mostly flat. Certainly they lag behind the ever increasing cost of living, particularly in large cities. That is a major problem. What we are witnessing with Southwest is a clash between business types who do not understand the culture there and an employee group that is deservedly proud of their culture that wants to see their tireless efforts rewarded.

It isn't an accident that airlines that invest in their employee groups and treat them as important assets rather than simply as costs to be managed generally see more success than others. Delta invests in their employees and shares their profits with them and is widely regarded as the company that sets the standard among U.S. airlines (or Air Lines, in Delta's case) yet when Smisek decided to do everything as cheap as humanly possible and to treat his employees like dirt, United's culture and product went to hell in a hand basket.

Of course a profitable company is vital to everyone involved, but when companies are seeing record profits and employee groups are still being asked to give concessions in favor of pay raises they have rightfully earned, there is a problem. Re-read this thread and look at what the Southwest pilots (yes, I know there are other employee groups that have sacrificed for the well being of the company but this thread deals with the pilots in particular) have done for their company over the last decade and see if your highly educated brain can understand why they're upset with the current direction of their beloved company.

[Edited 2016-03-08 11:51:55]
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ont 737
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:31 pm

Think either side (Southwest and SWAPA) would agree to contract identical to either DL, UA or AA’s contract? Industry standard compensation and industry standard work rules? Everyone happy (or equally un-happy)?

[Edited 2016-03-08 12:47:33]
 
FlyHossD
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Tue Mar 08, 2016 8:38 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 177):
As a resident "MBA type," your post reflects the ignorance of an outsider looking in. How do I know that? Because business schools love Southwest Airlines and hold them up as an example of a company doing everything right in terms of employee relations.

But I get it. Who doesn't hate people with more education that demand higher standards than you're willing/able to meet? I'm sure if we all slack off and move the goal posts to "the long run," everything will turn out just great.

My experiences with MBAs tends to contradict your statement. As always, actions speak louder than words.

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 180):
And yet, those same products of the business schools that hold Southwest in such high esteem are the ones degrading the culture that has been so crucial to Southwest's success. This has nothing to do with hating someone with "more education" (many, many, many pilots hold MBAs and/or PhD's themselves) or "demanding higher standards." The proof is in the pudding.
Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 180):
The proof is in the pudding. The "MBA types" have been chipping away at cultures and employee compensation and employee relations nearly across the board in every industry in the name of the bottom line.

Excellent post. Those MBAs who are determined to make a name for themselves tend to overlook the human factors. EVERY thing is quantified and that metric is placed on a spreadsheet. What they then do is manage the metrics, rather than lead the people. And because they can't quantify morale, that metric isn't created - can't be created - so morale is absent on the spreadsheet(s). And if it's not on the spreadsheet - it must not exist!

That may sound cynical to some of you, but again, it's the result of my experiences.

P.S. The smartest business man I ever knew was my father. He didn't finish high school, but did get a GED in his 20s.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
Dallas
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RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Tue Mar 08, 2016 9:53 pm

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 180):
but when companies are seeing record profits and employee groups are still being asked to give concessions in favor of pay raises they have rightfully earned, there is a problem

These record profits are largely due to extremely low fuel costs, something airlines can't control. Had fuel kept on pace from the early 2010s, there would not be record profits even if airlines had operated in the exact same manner.

Fuel costs - cannot control and are highly variable
Labor costs - always are increasing, especially with how contracts are worded
Revenues - domestic fares are down 6.2% from last year; however there has been an increase in capacity to offset

Employees are rewarded through profit sharing, which has also seen record highs. Shareholders are rewarded through dividends and gains from stock sale/ higher stock price. Is there a problem rewarding both, I don't think so. Furthermore, I am a big fan of profit sharing and bonuses, as they reward employees for that specific year's accomplishments while still protecting the company for the long-run. Companies are trying to watch the costs that they have control over, especially if it will affect the long-run (with wording in contracts, work rules, and pay rates). WN did not have the same luxury of every other major airline of going through bankruptcy, and all the ULCCs and LCCs are relatively new and also have much cheaper labor.

I believe WN is trying to get back to "industry-leading" pay for pilots (with the last TA voted down), but they also want something in return (hence the negotiation part). However, since there are record profits, giving anything in return is apparently greedy and unnecessary. That's what I've taken out of this thread from all the armchair CEOs. That and that if pilots were running the company, things would be 100x better with no negative effect on other work groups or the bottom-line. I've read many times in this thread the sacrifices and concessions that the pilots have made since the last contract, but I haven't seen any pilots appear thankful or appreciative of what the company has provided them: no layoffs, no pay cuts, newer planes, record profit sharing, and great job stability. Seeing how pilots and other work groups have been affected at nearly every other airline makes me appreciative at how things are at WN.

I started working in the airline industry in 2009 and still am here today. I am not an "outsider","uninformed MBA", or management, so I do believe my opinions are well-informed and justified. I've seen how the economy and recession have greatly affected the industry, and how big of a role fuel costs play into the final annual results.

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 182):
Those MBAs who are determined to make a name for themselves tend to overlook the human factors.

I will 100% agree things have changed at WN over the past 7 years with a big hit on morale and culture. I also think there should be shared blame for this from both management and employees. Do I want to make a name for myself? Not really, I'm fine as is just doing my job and staying low, and I definitely do not want to overlook the human factor with my ideas, thoughts, and recommendations.
 
futureualpilot
Posts: 2406
Joined: Thu May 25, 2000 10:52 am

RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:27 pm

Quoting Dallas (Reply 183):
Employees are rewarded through profit sharing, which has also seen record highs. Shareholders are rewarded through dividends and gains from stock sale/ higher stock price. Is there a problem rewarding both, I don't think so. Furthermore, I am a big fan of profit sharing and bonuses, as they reward employees for that specific year's accomplishments while still protecting the company for the long-run. Companies are trying to watch the costs that they have control over, especially if it will affect the long-run (with wording in contracts, work rules, and pay rates). WN did not have the same luxury of every other major airline of going through bankruptcy, and all the ULCCs and LCCs are relatively new and also have much cheaper labor.

I believe WN is trying to get back to "industry-leading" pay for pilots (with the last TA voted down), but they also want something in return (hence the negotiation part). However, since there are record profits, giving anything in return is apparently greedy and unnecessary. That's what I've taken out of this thread from all the armchair CEOs. That and that if pilots were running the company, things would be 100x better with no negative effect on other work groups or the bottom-line. I've read many times in this thread the sacrifices and concessions that the pilots have made since the last contract, but I haven't seen any pilots appear thankful or appreciative of what the company has provided them: no layoffs, no pay cuts, newer planes, record profit sharing, and great job stability. Seeing how pilots and other work groups have been affected at nearly every other airline makes me appreciative at how things are at WN.

I don't think anyone will argue that profit sharing is a bad thing, no matter their position held. I do think it should be viewed as a bonus of sorts and not tied into the expected compensation package for any employee group. Nobody is saying if the pilots ran the company things would be much better, what we are arguing is that the pilots deserve more than they currently see in terms of overall compensation. Big difference between the two. I'm sure plenty of Southwest's pilots are plenty grateful to have found a company that has provided more stability over the last decade or so than most. However, that stability was/is a result of a combination of employee sacrifice (among other labor groups, the pilots have seen one pilot CBA in two decades, agreeing to fly larger equipment for no added cost, etc) as well as smart decision making and some fortunate timing by management. Though I'm fairly certain you didn't intend it to, this part of your response reads as though the pilot group ought to shut up and be happy with a CBA that is below standard in many areas and not dare fight for more. Southwest made more than $2 BILLION dollars in 2015 (up from more that $1 billion in 2014.) Giving the pilots a pay raise and better work rules isn't going to come close to erasing that much money.

As far as negotiations, there is more to it than pay rates. Pilots know this as I'm sure management does yet both the Delta TA and this recent Southwest TA wanted work rule and/or retirement concessions in exchange for higher hourly pay rates. Clearly the pilot group was not happy with the totality of the package being offered and has elected to try again. As has been said before, this pilot group in particular deserves better than they are currently seeing for numerous reasons already listed. Outside of hourly pay rates, the current contract at Southwest lags in several areas and does not include things that are considered industry average. To my understanding, the TA that was voted down still did not improve in most of these non pay rate related areas which is why it was voted down.

Oh, one last thing, please don't ever refer to Chapter 11 as a luxury. It might be numbers on a page to some but it has very real effects that are almost always felt by those least responsible for the company being in that position. It is a tool that has seen employee lives left in ruins while executives bailed out with golden parachutes and it leaves a very real and very bitter taste behind. I have lived it and there is zero "luxury" for those of us catching the piles of poop that roll downhill.

Quoting Dallas (Reply 183):
I started working in the airline industry in 2009 and still am here today. I am not an "outsider","uninformed MBA", or management, so I do believe my opinions are well-informed and justified. I've seen how the economy and recession have greatly affected the industry, and how big of a role fuel costs play into the final annual results.


You present factual points in a level headed and rational manner. I've been in this industry since 2006 in a multitude of roles and feel feel the same way you do concerning my own opinions. I understand that you see the impact that a happy or unhappy labor force can have and my criticisms aren't necessarily directed at you, or anyone personally. Just observations and opinions from where I am in this industry now.

[Edited 2016-03-08 15:30:31]

[Edited 2016-03-08 15:33:14]

[Edited 2016-03-08 15:49:07]

[Edited 2016-03-08 15:53:04]
Life is better when you surf.
 
ont 737
Posts: 607
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2001 10:19 am

RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:59 pm

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 184):
Outside of hourly pay rates, the current contract at Southwest lags in several areas and does not include things that are considered industry average.

There seem to be several items in the contract that are not industry standard (or average). Some some are positive (scope/code share language) and some are not (international override). It would help the argument to speak of these things holistically as to see the big picture. I have no gauge how these pros and cons net out WN pilots vs. the industry.
 
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zeke
Posts: 15842
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:42 pm

RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:04 am

Quoting hivue (Reply 179):
But then folks outside the airline industry will do the math on that and come up with 12 - 15 40-hr weeks per year.

But that is an irreverent metric for pilots when the way airlines make money is by is by flying people and cargo over a given distance. On a global scale where I work we had industry leading FTK per pilot, i.e. each pilot carried more passengers and freight over a further distance compared to others in industry. You can having pilots that fly twice as many hours transport 1/10 as much, the number of hours flown does not correlate to the value added to the business.

Quoting hivue (Reply 179):
So the MBAs come in and try to squeeze out more productivity because they were hired to do that and that's how THEY make THEIR money.

No one I knows has an issue with productivity increases as long as it is a win-win situation, and that relevant productivity metrics are used. What has been happening in reality it has been all take and no give.
“Don't be a show-off. Never be too proud to turn back. There are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots.” E. Hamilton Lee, 1949
 
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barney captain
Posts: 2420
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2001 5:47 pm

RE: WN Pilots: New Contract, Or No 737-800MAX

Wed Mar 09, 2016 3:14 am

Quoting Dallas (Reply 183):
Furthermore, I am a big fan of profit sharing and bonuses, as they reward employees for that specific year's accomplishments

I agree.

Unfortunately - and unlike any other major airline - no SWA employee can touch that profit sharing unless they quit or retire, as it's locked up in a retirement account. Profit sharing should be paid as a true bonus in a distribution to the employees to do with as they see fit. SWA gets to count those funds twice, once as a profit sharing distribution and again as a retirement contribution. They can't have it both ways.
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