A little part of agent’s history at US Airways, young HP’ers take note

john john

Sep 12, 2004
August 2004 Management continue to demand radical cuts in employee income and benefits, based on a hybrid of working conditions, wages and benefits at America West. Management’s proposals would, among other things, cut employee take-home pay by about 50 percent, also demanding the right to contract out all agents' jobs.

The proposals management made to the agents group were disrespectful and insulting. The agents were willing to take their families into bankruptcy. that was the only possible outcome of management’s proposal.

Agents voted to authorize a strike or other legal work action at the airline if negotiations fail to reach a fair contract. Ballots were mail to 6,000 active agents, with the vote to be counted in mid-November 2004. The strike vote demonstrate agents' solid support for CWA negotiators. The goal of the CWA was to reach a fair agreement that agents could ratify, an agreement that maintained our pay and our standard of living.
Agents voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike.
The ballots were counted on Nov. 10,2004. "The goal of the CWA was to reach a fair agreement that agents can ratify, an agreement that maintains our living standard and that acknowledges the value that experienced, skilled and professional customer service brings to US Airwaysâ€￾
December 6, 2004
The agents reached a tentative settlement with US Airways covering airport and reservations agents, boosted by an overwhelming strike authorization vote by members.
In the face of devastating demands for wage and benefit cuts and other concessions at the bankrupt airline, CWA was able to push back against the harsh and excessive proposals made by US Airways management. US Airways filed for bankruptcy protection on Sept. 12 and petitioned to abrogate its union contracts unless the unions agreed to concessionary settlements.
The agents agreement called for a 12.9 percent average wage cut in the first two contract years, reducing the current $20.05 top rate to $17 per hour. Top wages will increase to $18 an hour in 2007 and to the new top of scale rate of $18.60 in 2008. Wages will increase by 3 percent in 2009, 4 percent in 2010 and 4 percent in 2011. An additional 2 percent increase takes effect as negotiations get underway for a new contract beginning Jan. 1, 2012. The customer contact premium, now 25 cents per hour, will be restored in 2008 and increased to 30 cents at the end of the contract.
Management had been seeking wage cuts of as much as 34 percent and was demanding a new top rate of $13.10 an hour THE SAME wages FOR America West AGENTS
For agents, the new contract, which runs through Dec. 31, 2011, calls for an immediate average wage cut of 12.9 percent. The contract includes provisions to restore nearly all cuts in benefits by the end of the contract term and includes wage increases of 13 percent in later years of the contract, with the last increase taking effect January 2012.