Chip Question

Oliver Twist

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Aug 20, 2002
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From another buried thread:
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On 1/31/2003 9:36:44 PM Do_it_for_Dave wrote:
Forbes Magazine
Wage Slasher
Thursday January 30, 6:34 pm ET
By Mark Tatge
With help from a Chapter 11 filing, DAVE SIEGEL persuaded $336,000-a-year airline pilots to take huge pay cuts.
The pay-cutting started in July when US Airways was awaiting word on its $1 billion federal loan guarantee application. First officers on A330 jets were cut from $229,000 to $143,000; on Boeing 737s, from $152,000 to $111,000. ----------------
Chip, I have to ask. Are these numbers real? Did a Capt on a 330 really make 336K ??? and a F/O 229k on the 330 and 152k or a 737?? Is this true??
I realize these are pre-cut numbers and I want to make sure they are accurate.
I just want to know if they are true Chip. I suppose I will get flamed by every Pilot on the board, but I want a truthful answer. Is it true? Did your group make that level of pay before the cuts?
If it is true I can see why you are grumbling so much. I would not want to see my pay cut from 152K to 111K or 229K to 143K either. But I do think, if I made that much to begin with, I would not be so shocked that the company wanted so much from the Pilot group to begin with. They always go to the group who has the most money to begin with in any cutting situation.
I know you will be forth coming and answer my question Chip. Thanks in advance.
 
C

chipmunn

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The numbers are accurate, but misleading and do not tell the entire story. Those pay rates were from the last parity review and were in effect for only two months, from May 1 to July 1, 2002.

The new pay rates are accurate for a pilot who can fly a full month. Reserves get paid about 15 percent less because they are on call and rarely are called on to fly a full month. These pilots sit on reserve and can get called out in the middle of the night or fly less than desirable trips.

In addition, the new gross pay does not take into account pilots who were displaced to lower paying aircraft, went from lineholder to reserve, or from Captain to First Officer; therefore, these pilots took an even deeper cut.

The average pilot pay and benefit cut is 46 percent and that excludes the further reduction in the pension due to the distressed termination.

I recognize it is difficult for lower paid employees to sympathize with these gross pay amounts, but the problem is when anybody expects a certain amount of pay they establish a fixed cost structure with mortgage payments, tuition expenses, car payments, etc. It's not easy to quickly adjust to a 46 percent cut in pay and benefits in a six-month period, regardless of who you are.

Especially troubling is a 58 year old pilot who (under Siegel's retirement plan) will retire with a PBGC award of about $28,000 per year, who will have no time to react to the distressed termination of the retirement plan. There are pilots in this situation.

The pilot anger remains very high as indicated by today's MEC code-a-phone update.

Chip
 

mrplanes

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Sep 17, 2002
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Piney:

I don't recall Chip or anyone saying pilots have not salted away money in addition to their earned pension. And not one of us needs or wants your or anyone else's empathy or pity for our problem. Whether or not anyone understands is irrelevant and I am amazed Chip continues to try to explain things although I suppose he is trying to help folks see what is going on here.

Siegel can solve this problem and most likely will once HE understands our resolve. What he and we have agreed to regarding BENEFITS will stand. Or everything else will fall. Whether you understand, empathize, agree, disagree, or just don't care is not important. All that matters is that we do what we need to do to make him live up to his committment. And we will. BTW, your price for freedom quote is appropriate here. We will take the risk for the freedom that our pensions will afford us. You can count on that.

mr
 
C

chipmunn

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Biff, you're correct. I was thinking of the tenth firm order, which was changed last week to ten new orders for a total fleet of nineteen A-330s.

Chip
 
C

chipmunn

Guest
Just one more point...we only have 9 A330s and there are just a few pilots flying this machine. In addition, the A330 pilots took even deeper pay cuts as did the A320 family pilots, when they lost their override pay in the first restructuring agreement.

What is annoying is how some members of senior management are now bragging to people on Wall Street on their success to reduce employee pay and benefits, which sort of makes the company propaganda appear differently. This certainly does not sit well with the pilot group when the company is seeking to eliminate the defined benefit retirement plan.

Chip
 

mrplanes

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Sep 17, 2002
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Piney:

I did not attack you. Read my post again. All I did was state facts. Your opinion is as valid to you as you want it to be and you should voice it as clearly and as much as you want. Your opinion however, is irrelevant to me and the pilots to whom this issue is germaine. That is not an attack. BTW, I am a staunch conservative who totally relies on my own devices. Which is why I will fight to the last breath of this airline for what we have ALREADY earned. That is my right. And if it shuts down, I will work twice as hard at my other endeavors and most likely will make more money. But that is not my love. Flying is. Plus it is a lot more fun.

BTW, my Grandfather fought in the Pacific, my Father-in-law fought in Korea and I fought in Viet Nam for the same thing that your relatives fought for.

I agree with a great many of your posts and your feelings. You seem to me to be conservative too. While I can only speak for myself, many of us HAVE planned for this event and will be fine regardless of what happens. For me the planning began when BNF went broke in the early 80's.

What they are trying to do to our pension, after agreeing to stated benefits, is nothing short of immoral. It is wrong. And is is NOT out of Siegel's control to live up to his committments. And we will either make him do it, or we all will move on to other jobs. Including Dave and his minions. I had the utmost respect for him as he navigated through this C11 process. It has been masterful. But he has overstepped the line between need and want. Big time. And this is between him and us. Your opinions on it are interesting to read, but they are meaningless to us. That doesn't mean I don't like you. Even Conservatives disagree sometimes.

mr
 

autofixer

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Aug 20, 2002
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PineyBob, Registered Libertarian dittos to you! Remember, just because the pilots oppose the termination of their pension, does not mean they have not been saving for the future. Most of us knew that the retirement would never materialize (too many examples, EAL, Braniff, PanAm). We simply insist on what was one of the conditions for employment--a contract if you will. If you want to freeze the retirement fund as of now, that is a different issue and most pilots would probably support that; however, when you take away 16 or 30 years accrued benefits, that is an entirely different issue.
 

x300Udriver

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Sep 10, 2002
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mrplanes> "Which is why I will fight to the last breath of this airline for what we have ALREADY earned. That is my right."

mrplanes-Didn't you learn anything when you got out of the sandbox in kindergarten? You can't have all the toys all the time. It's not your right or privilege!

Pineybob - This must be a real education to you on how many (usually senior) pilot's think. Just cos they make big salaries doesn't automatically make them experts on life and/or financial planning. Having spent thousands of hours in the cockpit as a Captain and an F/O, I've observed that the cockpit door seems to insulate some "brains" from what goes on in the real world. Hopefully, from my posting on "Don't go breakin' my heart", you can see that I have a life beyond "sticks and rudders". The future of U hangs on levels of leadership, below the President, taking the tough cuts. (Those who are holding their breath waiting on the President, will only end up with really red faces.)
 

mlt

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Dec 2, 2002
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Chip,
Let me preface this by stating I support ALPA's attempts to maintain the current defined benefit pension. But.....

Attempting to follow your logic, if it is unfair to base a pilot's earnings on the last parity increase (I believe it was 17%), why is it fair to include this same parity increase in your concessions? If you subtract 17% from 46% the figure is 29%. This figure is in the same ballpark as all employee groups when you consider the reductions associated with pay, vacation accruals, vacation pay rates, LTD/OI, longevity/override etc. Additionally, all groups empathize with a captain moved to f/o as all groups have faced similar cuts from full time to part-time and the associated w-2 cuts. While your cuts have a larger dollar value, proportionally the cuts are very close to all work groups.
 
OP
O

Oliver Twist

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[blockquote]
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On 2/5/2003 6:49:17 AM mrplanes wrote to Pineybob:

I don't recall Chip or anyone saying pilots have not salted away money in addition to their earned pension. And not one of us needs or wants your or anyone else's empathy or pity for our problem. Whether or not anyone understands is irrelevant and I am amazed Chip continues to try to explain things although I suppose he is trying to help folks see what is going on here.

Oliver says: I think we all see what is going on here, and other opinions or views are relevant. Arrogance needs to stay in the closet. As for Chip, I appreciate his intrest here.
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Siegel can solve this problem and most likely will once HE understands our resolve. What he and we have agreed to regarding BENEFITS will stand.
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Oliver says: My pension was cut 10 years ago. I saw no resolve for your group or anyone else to help us out. Perhaps you did not see the writing on the wall that far back. It's now catching up to your plan it seems, it just took 10 years to catch it.
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Or everything else will fall.
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Oliver says: With an attitude like that, we are all in trouble. Do you truely wish to try and bring the company down for all of us? Where is the intelligence in that?
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Whether you understand, empathize, agree, disagree, or just don't care is not important. All that matters is that we do what we need to do to make him live up to his committment.

Oliver says: They commited to me a defined benefit plan when I signed on 20 years ago and 10 years ago they took it away. Yours has lasted 10 more years than mine.

And we will. BTW, your price for freedom quote is appropriate here. We will take the risk for the freedom that our pensions will afford us. You can count on that.

Oliver says: What is truely amazing to me is the number of folks on here who think that a paycheck is so easily replacable. If it is, take Chips advice and go get another paycheck. But don't try and wreck it for all of us.

Sorry folks, ranting is over now, thank you
 
OP
O

Oliver Twist

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Chip, thanks for the prompt and lucid answer to my question. I and many others I'm sure like to be informed. Since ALPA has apparently chosen to keep it's salary scales under lock and key for all but pilots, it's refreshing to hear an answer such as yours. Without sounding sarcastic, I can see why they chose not to disclose the pay scales. It would be impossible to get any support or empathy for anything given those salary levels. BTW, I also realize the company HAD to agree and sign those contracts to begin with.

I now understand your anger and belive me, I was as angry as you are now back in '92 when my defined benefit pension plan was ditched. It was a major blow I assure you.

It is also understandable why so many others on here seem to give your group little empathy or support. We got zero support from the other employee groups when CS, Rampers, and non-managment types pensions were terminated in '92. We had no one then to support our cause either just as no one here seems to support yours. The diffence here is it's 10 years later for your group.

Without sounding trite, I will remind you of what you were saying a few weeks ago to other groups on this board, in essence, if you sink the company, no one gets anything. Anger is one thing, just don't sink the ship with it. They were good words then and still ring true I think.
 

PITbull

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Dec 29, 2002
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mrplanes,

Below is your thread above, and below that was taken from another thread in a previous post "AFA Council 40 responds to Dave's letter" on Dec. 29:

Mrplanes wrote:

[ Which is why I will fight to the last breath of this airline for what we have ALREADY earned. That is my right.

----------------
[/blockquote]

Mrplanes wrote:
mlt:

If Siegle were union "busting" we would NOT have had the chance to negotiate (albeit under duress) anything. He would have negated the contracts under the BK code and could have done so long ago. You seem to miss that point. What is happening here is a change to the very industry that has provided substantially excellent pay and working conditions over the years. We are in front leading the pack in those changes. If you think the other major airlines will not follow suit in short order you are drinking from the same cup as your Troubled Teddy. Look at UAL for example. Ask yourself which management team is more "labor friendly".

If you and Teddy think he is bluffing you are sadly mistaken. Just as Poli and Bryan were at ATC and Eastern. This industry will no longer support the kinds of pay and working conditions you have been used to. And USAirways is the first to understand that. The MAJORITY of our union leadership also understand that. That's why you are presented anything to vote on in the first place. Unfortunately, some of our union members don't understand what is happening. And they will vote no as is there right. But in the end, the yes votes will win. And common sense will prevail over emotion and denial.

Our jobs and our industry have changed. You can blame whoever you want but that will not change that fact. And all the name calling and chest thumping may make you feel better but it will do no good.

_________________________

mrplanes,

I think you now have a profound understanding of what it is to feel so strongly about an issue that no matter what, you must take a "stand" that you believe in your heart is "the issue among issues" that deserves all your focus and strength to fight.

Everyone has their own "threshold" when you know you have reached the point of "enough is enough"...

You have seen and have arrived on the otherside.
WELCOME HOME BROTHER!

PITbull

 

mrplanes

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Sep 17, 2002
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Bull:

Thanks for the welcome. I still believe what I said above by the way. The industry has changed and we have all given what has been required. My point is that Dave has taken people like me, who have been in his corner, and brought us to our line in CONCRETE over money that has already been earned. Not future earnings mind you, already earned. He is attempting to steal it from us. That will not stand.

I truly believe he and Bronner and the ATSB would, and possibly will, shut it down. That is the difference between me and Teddy. She thinks they are bluffing, I do not. But now, the pilots are willing to accept that risk because of what he is doing. It is sad that HE, not the pilots, is putting this airline in that boat. He can solve the problem any number of ways. I hope that he does. Givebacks are one thing. Stealing already earned money is something completely different.

mr
 

RowUnderDCA

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Oct 6, 2002
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You know, I can't help getting the sense, from these boards and just contemplating the airline industry, of pretty heavy anachronisms.

Guys, even Federal bureaucrats don't have a defined benefit pension! I mean that's so steel industry. Major airlines are beginning to smell a lot like Amtrak, lately. It's hard for me to accept that the ALPA labor strategy has, over the years, resulted in perfectly accurate fair market valuation of pilot labor, but every other process to determine labor valuation is faulty.

MrPlanes, you talk about change. So, a living wage for semi-skilled labor IS a thing of the past, but a defined-benefit pension for multi-six figured labourers is a thing for the future?

The issue is how do the employees of U negotiated the softest transition with a very weak hand. Your company is bankrupt.
I truly hope that the pilot group can protect themselves as much as possible AND not screw over the already retired pilots. More rhetorical consistency and logic would give me more hope.