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Do Non-labor Employees Suffer From Govt Mentality?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:57 am

To what degree do non labor airline employees suffer from the stereotypical government worker mentality?

I'm curious along the lines of:

- Is there a strong sense of entitlement?
- Is it mostly an hourly or salaried workforce?
- Is the workforce competitive with the external (to industry) market?
- How much do they rely on "consultants" to solve their problems?
- Are they mostly 9 to 5'rs?

(Note: I understand there are a lot of hard working government employees. Also, I think most government workers are victims of their environment. With that said, I think you get the gist of my question.)

Thanks for your thoughts.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: Do Non-labor Employees Suffer From Govt Mentality?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 3:44 am

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
(Note: I understand there are a lot of hard working government employees. Also, I think most government workers are victims of their environment. With that said, I think you get the gist of my question.)



  

By non-labor do you mean contract employees? I'm a little confused. Within our industry, you either make it or you are an early casulty. Being a time sensitive industry one has to be on their toes. If you have that paper pushing/government mentality you'd never get your flights out on time. For that matter safety would take a beating. Nine to Five? No way Jose! As a matter of fact at least here in the states the overkill of Government holidays actually are "job security" for us.
One glaring difference; in our industry you get points/occurrences for being out sick. Dr. notes help a bit but at many airlines, once you hit a certain number within a time period it's "ba bye!" So, many times there are crew members both in flight and ground who will work with fevers, "Hershey Squirts" etc. whereas in many fields especially government and the legal profession, someone is a wee bit hung over or a woman has the makings of a bad "monthly visitor" they will take off from work.
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mayor
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RE: Do Non-labor Employees Suffer From Govt Mentality?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:22 am

I'm not sure what he means by non-labor.............is he talking about other than "frontline" employees? Are you talking about "administrative" employees......? The question could be a little more clear, I think.
"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
 
hatbutton
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RE: Do Non-labor Employees Suffer From Govt Mentality?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:34 am

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
- Is there a strong sense of entitlement?

Perhaps at high levels of management? In my experience though, no.

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
- Is it mostly an hourly or salaried workforce?

I would say majority are salaried which means no overtime pay for working long hours (happens a lot).

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
- Is the workforce competitive with the external (to industry) market?

Are you meaning are the jobs at an airline in management paid accordingly to similar jobs in other industries with the same title? If that's the case then no. It is sometimes a shame how little airlines pay management relative to other industries. Take an accountant as an example. The accountants I know get paid at least 30% less than accountants at other companies. My job pays a good 20% less than the same job at another non-airline company as well. But you know, we get flight benefits and all that. So we should be happy with our pay right?  
Quoting questions (Thread starter):
- How much do they rely on "consultants" to solve their problems?

Not very often. The industry is highly specialized and from my experience there isn't much that comes up that someone at the company hasn't seen before. The only time I've ever seen consultants used was when the airline I work for was going into contract negotiations with credit card or GDS companies for example. It helps your case when you get outside consultants acting as unbiased parties to conclude the same thing you are concluding when you're trying to argue for a better deal.

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
- Are they mostly 9 to 5'rs?

This I think is the common misconception among airline management. That they're just 9 to 5ers. And probably the biggest complaint I have when labor groups want to accuse management of making all this money and doing little work. Yeah technically you're a 9 to 5er. However I have rarely been able to work less than 40 hours a week. The last 2 months I have probably logged 50 hours a week, sometimes 60. I don't get paid any more money for doing that either. And when snowstorms or other irregular ops happen, management comes to the airport to help sort things out. Granted, front line employees work longer hours as well, but they at least get paid for their overtime. Salaried management doesn't.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Do Non-labor Employees Suffer From Govt Mentality?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 4:51 pm

I do not know a lot about DL management specifically however management at airlines works very hard. Front line employees often complain about upper management but most people are your typical salaried engineer or analyst that puts lots of hours in at pay a little less than they would earn elsewhere and horrible annual raises. Airlines are like banks where there is very tight regulation on everything and a simple mistake can result in huge fines.

When I was in airline management we had the goals if improved performance and passenger comfort. However you see cost restraints more and have a better idea how doing something will impact overall costs. Every decision is made carefully after being analyzed. Front line staff do not see the work behind the scenes and only the results.

I have worked under executives and giving presentations to VPs and you see their decision process. They understand costs better and sometimes it is impossible to see why they make their decisions. However they are not on a whim and there is absolutely no sense of entitlement. Management does not see themselves with different objectives. They all want the best experience for the customer but also understand revenue and costs. I know I earned far more money than any crew member serving directly the customers but that did not stop me from thoroughly engaging mechanics to learn from what they knew and understood during maintenance check audits.

Everyone has to work together. People like to blame "the man" and management gets it at the line but mist in management are hardworking people with necessary skills. If they did not get the pay they expected it is easy to jump ship. Salaries are based on experience and not seniority for a reason.
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bobnwa
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RE: Do Non-labor Employees Suffer From Govt Mentality?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:48 pm

Think your question needs re-wording to recieve more answers.
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: Do Non-labor Employees Suffer From Govt Mentality?

Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:10 pm

Quoting questions (Thread starter):

- Is there a strong sense of entitlement?


No, there is not. Everyone is currently very thankful they have a job to begin with. Those lucky enough to get on in airline management these days are very smart people who have worked hard to get to where they are, even at the analyst level. It is now much more competitive to work in airline management than it used to be, often with the expectation of having already gotten one's MBA.

- Is it mostly an hourly or salaried workforce?

In the States, if you do not work at the airport or on an airplane, most positions, including secretarial ones, are salaried with no pay for overtime.

- Is the workforce competitive with the external (to industry) market?

I would say yes, with the caveat that often times, the people working have a skill set that is very specific to the airline industry. Much of the time they themselves have worked in res, inflight or elsewhere prior to joining management, although that is less the case these days for some reason.

- How much do they rely on "consultants" to solve their problems?

Hardly ever. Only a few consultants are used (for bankruptcy, fuel hedging, organizational development, etc.)

- Are they mostly 9 to 5'rs?

Most are actually 8-6ers with pay based on 40 hours per week. Many in management work and respond to correspondence and phone calls outside of working hours, including the weekend. It basically works the same as in every other corporate environment. Working for an airline is very much part of the "real world" these days.
 
Flighty
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RE: Do Non-labor Employees Suffer From Govt Mentality?

Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:37 am

Airlines are unstable compared to a normal big company or government office. Totally different environment. The kind of people who enjoy government 9-5 jobs would be scared out of their minds working at an airline company, unless it was FedEx. Their dreams would be haunted by "what-if" which includes HQ closing, strikes, bankruptcy, route network changing every few years, or heaven forbid an accident. That kind of excitement / danger is what draws people to the business. Few big businesses move so fast.
 
jcs17
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RE: Do Non-labor Employees Suffer From Govt Mentality?

Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:04 am

That's kind of an odd question. I've never worked for an airline -- although I've interviewed for one, but I imagine it's like any other white collar, non-union job -- your boss tells you to do something, you're doing it unless you want to be dismissed or get on the wrong side of them. It's not like a unionized flight crew or ground crew where your duties/hours are very clearly marked in a contract. I would venture to guess that in government-owned carriers like Air India there is a lot of people who have make-work sort of jobs, but in a privatized environment the white collar workers have a job that is certainly more tenuous than someone with a union behind them.
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