Tuesday â€“ One year later
Well for me today is the day that represents the anniversary of 9/11. As it was a Tuesday morning much like today, bright and sunny, that has resulted in many changes for all of us. A year ago I was off to the first PTA meeting of the year celebrating that my youngest child was now in first grade. It was going to be a year off for me before I thought about re-entering the work force. Little did I know that this past year was anything but a year off. As a year later I am now working at a less than glamours job to help prepare my family for the worst (and this job does not have medical benefits nor vacation time). What for many of us looked like a bright future and hopes that USAirways would make it though the down turn in the economy little did we ever think that the Company would end up in Chapter 11 and now facing possible liquidation. What a stressful year it has been.
As horrified as I was as the events unfolded last year - as the planes smashed into the World Trade Centers, and coming to grips with the devastation that occurred, never did I think it would truly impact the Company our family and so many others that have given so much of our time and effort to USAirways over the years. Nor did it ever occur to me that just one year later USAirways is on the brink of disappearing off the map, much more quietly than the World Trade Centers, but with it comes the loss of over 40,000 jobs and all of the families that are attached to those jobs. Although not the loss of life, a loss none the less.
I know that I have no voice or power to change any oneâ€™s mind on the up coming votes on the CWA or the IMA contracts, as quite frankly I am seen as an â€œoutsiderâ€ who just wouldnâ€™t understand. . Perhaps I am.
I also know from reading the posts that most people feel so strongly on their position itâ€™s like discussing religion. As we all know many a great war has been started in the name of religion which only resulted in the destruction of cities and the loss of countless lives. No where did a war started in the name of religion ever change anyoneâ€™s mind. Most of the people killed in war are just caught in the line of fire. Perhaps that is how I feel, caught in the line of fire.
I know that things with U have sucked for everyone for a very long time. I know that the past management was incompetent and that goes for all those that came before Wolf, and including him. â€œDaveâ€ is doing what he can with what he has to work with, and quite frankly he must feel like heâ€™s bailing water on the Titanic.
I know that pay cuts, reduction in benefits and layoffs have everyone on edge, angry and resentful. I know that it is difficult for anyone to see outside the box and react with anything other than the â€œhell noâ€ attitude. But please remember these are not normal times. There are not many great jobs out there right now.
Doing less with something is a whole lot better than doing with nothing, as we are personally taking a 60% pay cut, but so far that is better than a possible 100% cut. Oh well, I know it makes no difference to point this out, saying such things as a bad contract is better than unemployment. Falls on deaf ears, makes people angry and unable to look outside the box. It may be true, but no one wants to accept it. I guess those who will not agree to any cuts, would just rather do without a job. The only problem is that it is not about the loss of a single job, but the loss of thousands.
I also recognize that the contracts both the CWA and IMA have to vote on do not truly address cost effective measures that are employee friendly, such as works schedules etc and other ways to be more efficient. Somehow it maintains the antiquated ways of thinking that do no one any good. Itâ€™s unfortunate there isnâ€™t a better way to make this work for everyone.
Itâ€™s a few union leaders and a few legal Company types trying to come to terms. I know the Unionâ€™s are suppose to represent the employees, but more often the unions seem to just serve themselves and somehow the employees are left in the cold (with or without union representation employees tend to get screwed) and well who could ever say anything nice about a Company lawyer???. So I wish there was a more constructive way to sort all of this out. Itâ€™s not about what was given in the past as much is what is needed to make a go of it today. It seems as there should be a way to accomplish this. But all indicators are that it is failing. And unfortunately time is limited to change the system.
I hope every day that U, the employees, and the bankruptcy judge can find a solution to keep the Company together. So that those of us remaining at U all 40,000 (or so probably more like 36,000 can continue to eek out a living). I hope that September 23, the day the judge hearsâ€™s the Companyâ€™s case to cancel the remaining union contracts isnâ€™t the day that USAirways is dissolved. What a sad day it would be to join the ranks of Eastern as a post script in aviation history.
September 11 will always mean more to me than the attack on America. It will also represent the day that USAirways, started itâ€™s final decent into the abyss. Perhaps it can be saved? But by whom?
Best to everyone. I have good friends that are in reservations (customer service), that are mechanics, and flight attendants, and yes, pilots too (Pittsburgh is a small town when it comes to U). I know this has been a difficult time for all of them, as well as our family. It would seem that after many years with this company it would not have to come down to this, starting over. I suppose things can now only get better. One day at a time. One paycheck at a time. One Court order at a time.