A reflection of the past year

av8orwife

Member
Aug 20, 2002
58
0
Pittsburgh
www.usaviation.com
My following post is merely a reflection on the past year, it is not to start a hostle thread about who should vote for what contract, it is just a comment about how life has change so much for many of us at U.
I know every one feels strongly about their own personal battles. No matter what position a person has in this Company, are are needed for U to succeed, all positions have value. Everyone is facing a difficult time. Both financially and professionally.
 
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av8orwife

Member
Aug 20, 2002
58
0
Pittsburgh
www.usaviation.com
Tuesday – 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 one’s mind on the up coming votes on the CWA or the IMA contracts, as quite frankly I am seen as an “outsider†who just wouldn’t understand. . Perhaps I am.

I also know from reading the posts that most people feel so strongly on their position it’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 anyone’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. “Dave†is doing what he can with what he has to work with, and quite frankly he must feel like he’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 “hell no†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. It’s unfortunate there isn’t a better way to make this work for everyone.

It’s a few union leaders and a few legal Company types trying to come to terms. I know the Union’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. It’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 hears’s the Company’s case to cancel the remaining union contracts isn’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 it’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.
 
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chipmunn

Guest
Av8orwife:

Av8orwife said, 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 hears’s the Company’s case to cancel the remaining union contracts isn’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. She continued, One day at a time. One paycheck at a time. One Court order at a time.

Chip comments: Av8orwife, the events of the past year have been extremely difficult on everybody interested in the success of US. I appreciate you taking the time to write your well-written comments. Let's hope reasonable people can find a way to work through these issues, so this company does not end up like Eastern Airlines.

Chip
 

Sidestick

Newbie
Aug 27, 2002
10
0
av8orwife
A great post, I have a no vote, but after reading your post I will listen before I vote. People like Chip do more harm then good. Most pilots have more to lose then anybody because of ther over inflated pay. av8orwife 60% is a huge loss of income but your 40% that is left is still larger then most employees on the property. Pilots are looking out from themselves like Chip, he knows right seat at some commuter pays considerable less, and there is no guarantee with all pilots out of work he would land a job if U went under. Chip needs to understand employees are not robots. People have had enough with the company and know the IAM... Employees have feelings, emotions, etc, so every crisis that comes upon us may not be reasoned with logic. I am from the Miami area were Eastern was so huge in Dade County and our largest employer. Most of the mechanics I know said to me, it was hard to walk away from Eastern airlines because of lifetime employment and a recession was still going strong. All found new employment with some mechanics making more and some with less... But almost all said the samething... Most said they will never go back to any airline and most looking back said they were glad it was over with Eastern airlines. av8orwife sometimes you have to know when its over and cut your loss. I know times are hard... I been commuting since March 2002 and I can afford to take much less money and stay home, but the best part is sleeping in my own bed at home with less stress in my life. av8orwife I hope my post was not offending, if was I apologize.
 
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av8orwife

Member
Aug 20, 2002
58
0
Pittsburgh
www.usaviation.com
Sidestick,

I take no offense. The purpose of my post was not to debate each person's contribution to the Airline - their value and the pay they make, only to recognize that most of us all have taken a pay cut and we are all at risk of losing a job/career. Some professions have skills that are more able to cross over to other industries, such as customer service and probably mechanics. Pilots have less of an ability to do that, so starting over for most of them means a new profession of some sort.

I could go on and on about our personal experiences of years of B scale, reserve, base closings, relocation, and give backs, and pay cuts, etc.. but everyone has a story, it really doesn't matter what job you have at this Company, most of us at some point have lost or given something to sustain the possibility of a future. And here we go again. Only this time the situation is more dire than it was 10 years ago.

I also recognize that trying to persuade anyone on how they should vote is fruitless. Again it's like discussing politics or religion, no one is ever right no matter what side you are on.

I just know these are very difficult times for all employees of USAirways. I just hope that the employees can come to some sort of settlement, because it does leave liquidation a very strong possibility.

Well, only time will tell. I wish you the best I know it is not an easy decision to make your vote. To vote no, truly means that the Company's assets will be sold off, as there will be no financing. To vote yes, means accepting a contract that is incomplete, does not address real work issues, and in some cases will result in the loss of additional jobs to lower paying RJ support. Both choices suck. I do understand both sides. And like religion and politics, it is time to stop this part of the conversation.
 

Meriel

Member
Aug 19, 2002
63
0
Av8torwife,

Thank you for your wonderful post. Like you, I'm just a wife, not an employee. Perhaps it's arrogant or immodest to say, but sometimes I think that as family, our extra step away from the issues enables us to take in more of what's happening than our spouses, who are very tightly focused. Kind of like a football game -- our guys are in their huddles, focusing on the ball and their opponents... while we're sitting in the wives' section, watching the whole playing field.
 

mech.wife

Newbie
Sep 11, 2002
2
0
Dear Av8orwife;
I would like to reply to your well thought-out post..... I sense your fear and dread at the very prospect that USAir might not make it through these difficult times. I am sorry to hear that you had to return to the work force taking a job you apparently are not wild about. I understand your depression of 9/11. It seemed to have robbed me for awhile of my love for travel....as well as making it very difficult to do with all the layoffs.....(14 yrs of service is nothing anymore when flying space available)..however, through all of last year's mess....I have peace....I would love to share with you the secret to my peace .....you see USAir is not the source of my being...just an instrument being used to provide for us currently....
As a mechanic's wife..I COMPLETELY support my husband's NO vote...after 14 dedicated years of service he still can only hold 2nd shift...with 2 week days off....the children and I miss him desperately in the evenings...of course (being a mech. wife's) I am employed...restricting our time together even more....I am very proud of my husband and the job he currently maintains...however....should this job become no longer available...my support and honor for my husband will not change....He is a thoughtful, generous, humble man...who would be willing to make some sacrifices at this time for the company ...(as he has in the pass).....but he is a man of integrity and he does stand for something. Where injustice reigns...he will take a stand. I have seen and read what the company is offering...(compliments of Dave ..via USPO) .....and find it appalling with the bonuses being added to this contract under the current conditions......if I understand this correctly it will be another 6 to 8 years of this same mess....management in position to be honored through additional bonuses IF the company comes out of this ....while mechanics are frozen...I see the corporate greed all around...just watch your local news....but for now...as an employee....my husband has the Right and has been asked to cast his vote....this is the only way he is able to communicate his feelings on the matter....only through a vote...and it is his....and my heart rejoices that it is NO and that he will not be swayed by the attempts to create fear from so many sources....if I seem callous, or uncaring...please forgive me....that is not the case I assure you....I have high hopes for USAir...and in my experience ...USAIR has some of the best professional people around.....some refer to this as the Titanic...well folks...I am the wife who refuses to take the life boat and escape (through pushing husband to look for different employment)...I am going to stand by my husband’s side on deck.....I am trying to encourage him to look away from the sinking ship and at the One that is walking on the water...the One who can calm the storm....the One that declares and promises..I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jer.29:11 ..that will be our focus...who knows...maybe I'll get to take a few steps out on the water myself…..I just gotta remember to keep my eyes on Him.....Please try...just try to understand this from the mechanics point of view....and by the way ....should I find my husband greeting folks at Wal-Mart.....this I know...he'll be one of the greatest assets Wal-Mart has every been blessed with. His NO vote is not a personal attack on the company ...just the means he has been provided with to speak....each person must make their own decision....I am proud that fear did not prevail in the first vote....may the confused NO vote be spoken even louder the second time....Peace and Grace to all....God Bless America
 

Liz

Newbie
Sep 7, 2002
10
0
Av8orwife, Mech.wife, and Meriel,

Your thoughtful comments have been a pleasure to read. I've printed them off for my husband to read tonight when he arrives home. The bottom line is that each person needs to vote their conscience and honor whatever the vote outcome is on September 17.

Liz
 

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