Corporate Help Please


Sep 17, 2005
Help. I am dying financially as I can no longer go on making the wages US/HP pays to reservations agents. AFter over 5 years and very little raises throughout I do hope CORPORATE realizes how difficult it truly is to live on less than $10 an hour! Gas has doubled since I started there, and I drive 25 miles one way. Does corporate realize how difficult it is to maintain living on this income? I can't even afford apartment rent or to purchase my own home! Getting a 2nd job is nearly impossible because of my children still at home. I heard our starting salary of $7.65 an hour is actually considered "poverty level" in the US now. Please, we're not asking for 6 digit figures, just enough of a raise to actually be able to afford rent/house payment (within reason)/ and gas and food. Taking home just average of $1100 a month just doesn't cut it. THey have increased HP medical over the years from $5 a month with 100% coverage hospital to close to $200 a month! But our wages havn't come close to being able to meet that increase! IT IS REALLY DEPRESSING to work for a company that I LOVE so much, but for soooooooooooooo little. Besides, those in RA(QM) that have to know every aspect of the reservations system including groups/more care/ flightfund/ etc aren't paid crap either! JUST A LITTLE RESPECT....I do hope the union gets this and forwards this to the corporate people....COULD THEY LIVE ON THIS INCOME? Single or not? Some of us love what we do but HATE the pathetic pay...there are single moms/dads working this plus a 2nd job, yet have kid problems....why...because they have no choice and corporate forces them to get 2nd jobs to make ends meet! THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW AGAINST THIS CRAPPY PAYSCALE....WE NEED MORE AND WE CAN'T WAIT TILL 2 YEARS FROM NOW AND A NEW CONTRACT..PLEASE...UNDERSTAND...THIS IS A PLEA! A SERIOUS ONE!!! Let's see corp CEO's etc, give up their $mil bonuses to help the "little guy"....and PLEASE.,,.NO MORE OUTSOURCING EITHER.....LOVE THE US..(INCL US AIRWAYS) OR DON'T....BUT STOP OUTSOURCING TO OTHER COUNTRIES AMERICAN JOBS......JUST TO POCKET YOURS WITH BONUSES SO WE CAN STARVE!!!!! OK ENUF...SAID....PLEASE....PLEASE....HELP US NOW!
Well, as harsh as it may sound, quitting would do the most for your cause. As the number of people willing to work for low wages dries up, the company will be forced to pay more. Staying just reinforces the notion that people are willing to work for the wages offered. What would possibly keep you here? All airline employees are being forced to adjust to what the job is and what it no longer is.
As much as people will sympathize with you here, it's not really the forum to illicit any action from corporate.

As Donald Trump would say "It's not personal, it's business"

Corporate knows only a few things, and one of them is supply and demand. There are many people who, if you quit, would step in and do the same job for your pay (or less). Until that labor supply dries up, the low pay will continue. Sad, but true.
Since it sounds like things won't be changing very soon and your situation is intolerable that you should probably consider finding a new job or lowering your expenses. How do you do that? Draw on all the resources that you can find. Ask relatives, the childrens father (if he's around), the local and federal government, your church, etc. Possibly relocate to where better jobs are available or lower housing costs or live with a relative.
It will be a long time if ever that the airlines will be able to be a career to raise a family. Mainly I see an airline job as just secondary income for most.
I see Bambi's point, and I sympathize.
Her point is, cost of living keeps increasing, but wages do not.
Health insurance increases are being passed to the employee, but wages are not being increeased.
The result is the employee ends up taking the equilvalent of a pay-cut.
I am in the same boat with a ceiling on my work-group's wages, that I reached a couple years ago. No cost of living increase here, either, and increased medical costs as well.
Mgmnt knows the longer they stall on negotiations, the more $$ they can save.
They don't really care if I am supporting 2 children and a disabled husband. More money for them.
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True...they'll hire others...they have been for years now...Attrition is astonishing! Why? Cuz those who hire in are now doing more than many of us when we hired in for the same $. Funny, 6 years ago, starting salary was $7.65 p/hr. What is it now...the same...nothing changes on that end. Yet, bet corporate folks have had increases and bonuses ey? Yet, used to be sales agents were just that..sales..and if you worked in international you got an increase in your hourly. Now sales agents do both for the low pay. This continues throughout the center.

As for new hires. Yep...they all have warm blood flowing thru their veins...yet many are incapable of any truly good communications skills whatsoever. But...what do you expect for $7.65 an hour? Some even type with one finger! How can their talk-time be sufficient to meet stats? Oh, but US corporate's ways of cutting to the chase was to outsource. No definite from Mr Parker there...sure, we here rumors that he doesn't like outsourcing, but for only $184 a month and no medical benefits being paid for by the company...why not outsource, despite the pathetic customer service pax get when calling them.

The way of Corporate America anymore...pocket the BIG GUYS...and screw the little guys just tryin to get by.

I don't want to quit! I LIKE what I do. Other than the pathetic pay...I LIKE working for US. I just question how corporate can justify this? How do they sleep at night? I only wish US would take off and be the LEADER in this. If WN can do it, why can't we? Get rid of the other overhead that isn't necessary. But without excellent customer service, what kind of company does one truly have? We are the foundation. We are the number one contact to pax, yet we seem to count for nothing. This is what irritates me and many, many others.

The big misnomer in all this is that I believe Corporate looks at us as "only a call-center" without any actual knowledge of everything entailed in our job. It is sooo much more than just answering the phone and booking a res. Until they recognize the legalities and details in this, nothing will be changing.

It just seems that they SAY they appreciate us, but dont SHOW it.
Nothing will get better until people realize that Big Business and their politician friends do not necessarily have the ordinary person's best interest at heart, nor are they concerned about the long-term reprecussions of their actions.
The sad fact is, so long as people stay on the job, thru pay and benefit cuts, that sends a signal to management they are still paying too much. The way folks are holding on, management knows they can cut pay further and still staff the airline.

Forget service levels. Management can teach enough customers to accept it. Remember the service levels ten years ago? We never thought we'd see it sink to today's level. Yet it has, and flights are still full.

I understand holding on. It is natural to not want to throw away the years you have put in. You have carried the airline thru some dark times, and you want to restore it, and the compensation, to former glory.

It is not going to happen.

Do yourself a favor. Do whatever it takes to further your education - night school, internet courses, whatever. You may very well qualify for educational and social assistance. Suffer thru the bureaucracy and get it.

If U turns around while you're upgrading your skills, fine and dandy.

If they don't, drop them like a hot rock - they'd do it to you.
We will be victorious if we are willing to fight for better wages and benefits and working conditions. CHAOS(tm) - Create Havoc Around Our System(tm) - includes a series of random, unannounced strikes. Management and passengers won't know ahead of time when or where a strike will take place

The clock ticks down for America West flight attendants as they get closer to March 20th and the end of the 30-day cooling off period. America West flight attendants, who have been negotiating their first contract for the past fours years, have voted overwhelmingly to support either a strike or CHAOS activities. Failure to reach an agreement between the management of America West and AFA could result in many America West flight attendants being stranded. AFA is asking members to donate buddy passes so these stranded flight attendants can get home. If you are interested in helping out in this way, please contact America West LEC #66 at 602-966-1231.

Shortly after the midnight deadline on March 20, 1999 AFA and management at America West reached a tentative agreement, after four long and difficult years of contentious negotiations for their first agreement. AFA leaders at America West attribute the success at the bargaining table to the strength and solidarity of the flight attendant members and was accomplished without risk to a single flight attendant job in a CHAOS strike action.
Charlotte Observer reports CWA strike authorization vote underway at US Airways...
Union could clear way for strike - Gate workers to vote on whether to authorize action
By: STAN CHOE Staff Writer 10/28/2004

US Airways' reservation, customer-service and gate agents will vote in coming days whether to authorize a strike, according to a source familiar with the union's plans, as the struggling airline seeks to slash their wages further and outsource their jobs.

Ballots should begin hitting mailboxes of Communications Workers of America's 6,000 active US Airways members today or Friday. No strike, though, is imminent.

If CWA members were to approve the strike authorization, the union would still have to take several more steps before picketing could begin.

The CWA would also strike only if US Airways convinces a bankruptcy judge to throw out their labor contract, the source said. The airline has said in U.S. Bankruptcy Court filings that it would make such a request if it doesn't get consensual labor concessions by mid-November.

However, the airline said even the threat of a strike may be enough to scare away passengers already skeptical about whether the airline will be flying months from now.

And an actual strike would kill the company, said Chris Chiames, senior vice president of corporate affairs.

"The act of a strike would result in an immediate shutdown and liquidation of the airline," he said. "So this is irresponsible grandstanding of the highest level. This serves no purpose in getting a consensual deal and completing our restructuring."

US Airways also believes federal law prohibits the CWA from striking.
The strike authorization vote comes as CWA members face what they see as a Draconian proposal from the airline, including a 34 percent pay cut from wages they were earning at the time US Airways filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sept. 12. In addition, the carrier wants to be able to contract out their jobs.

CWA members already are among the lowest-paid workers at the airline. Since a bankruptcy court judge ordered temporary 21 percent pay cuts for most union workers earlier this month, CWA workers are making an average of $14.40 an hour.

The recent court order marks the third time in two years that the airline's workers have watched their paychecks shrink.
To Cathy Lee, a US Airways customer-assistance representative in Charlotte, a yes vote on the company's contract offer is essentially a vote to give away her job.

She said Wednesday that she is especially upset that US Airways' managers took only 5 percent to 10 percent pay cuts after receiving raises that averaged 4 percent earlier this year.
The airline is in bankruptcy court for the second time in two years, trying to slash its labor costs to better compete with low-cost carriers.

It's negotiating permanent cuts and work-rule changes with the CWA and the unions for flight attendants, mechanics and fleet-service workers. Pilots have already agreed to pay concessions and productivity improvements.

A CWA spokeswoman declined to comment on the strike-authorization vote.

US Airways believes the Railway Labor Act, which dictates relationships between airlines and labor, precludes a union from striking. "We believe it's pretty clear under the Railway Labor Act that there is no authority to conduct a work action," airline spokesman David Castelveter said.

Labor professors interviewed Wednesday, though, were unsure if a strike would be legal.

It typically takes years of impasse before a strike occurs, said Neil Bernstein, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis and a labor arbitrator. Federal law prescribes a lengthy schedule of requirements, from negotiations to mediation to a 30-day cooling-off period before unions can strike.

And even if the union were to strike, the airline would likely ask for an immediate court injunction to force them back to work, said Clyde Summers, a University of Pennsylvania law professor. "Courts are not very sympathetic to unions these days, to say the least," said Summers, who has testified before Congress on the Railway Labor Act.

US Airways carries nearly 90 percent of the traffic at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, the airline's biggest hub. It employs 5,700 locally.

Morton Beyer, chairman of aircraft consulting group Morton Beyer & Agnew, agreed that a strike could kill US Airways. Getting replacement workers trained is no easy task, he said.
"While there's a fair number of people out there on unemployment, it would take them a while to train them on the software and the procedures and policies."

It was unclear late Wednesday when balloting on the authorization would be completed. If the members approve, the next moves would rest with the union's vice presidents on the national executive board. The CWA represents workers across many industries, such as phone companies.

If the vice presidents approved, CWA President Morton Bahr could then set the date for a strike.

The last strike by a US Airways union was in 1993. The International Association of Machinists, whose members include mechanics, picketed for five days, after three years of negotiations and a 30-day cooling-off period declared by the National Mediation Board.

Picketing in Charlotte was peaceful, but 28 picketers were arrested in Pittsburgh: 25 for trespassing and three for allegedly having brass knuckles. The two sides settled on a 3.5 percent pay cut, down from the company's request of 8 percent.

US Airways AFA vows that if there's no agreement by November 19, the union will ask the National
Mediation Board to declare an impasse and start the federally-mandated 30-day cooling-off period. If no agreement is reached by the end of the 30-day period, flight attendants will engage in CHAOS. Creating Havoc Around Our System is a strike action that may take a variety of forms. Flight attendants may stage a walkout for a day or a week or strike individual flights. The airline will receive no warning.
Talks between the airline and AFA are taking place in a secret location outside Washington, DC.

After a long and arduous battle the National Mediation Board announced on Friday, August 20, 1999 that the Communication Workers of America would finally be the collective bargaining unit that will represent the more than 7,000 passenger service employees at US Airways
Have you tried promoting the BOA Visa card where you get $50 per approved application? There are a couple of Rez agents who have made thousands of $$$ doing this.
Unfortunately......As long as we have this administration in office in DC nothing will change. You are not their concern...look at how many pay raises the congress has voted in FOR THEMSELVES since this administration has been in office...and then look at the minimum wage don't see any??? point exactly. I always find it funny that they......our employees can give themselves a raise...but if you went to your boss and said "we all got together and voted ourselves a 28% pay raise" they would say "there's the door." Also look at how many tax paying citizens are having their pensions taken off of them...and how many tax payers don't have medical plans any more....but those in DC have the very best of medical care and YOU pay for it...and you pay for their retirement pensions. Now that is a disgrace .... we pay for them to live like fat cat's and we live like ally cat's....... God Bless US all. Also I must say that AWA employees have been the lowest paid folks in the industry for YEARS. :down: :down: :down:
Bambi, not sure where you live, but on that kind of salary your children should be on reduced fee lunch/breakfast at school. If I were you, I'd educate myself on all available government assistance and take full use of every program out there. God knows there's tons of em. You obviously know how to use the 'net so get to it girl. Don't waste your time complaining about company "X" or anything else in life not being fair because it will only fall on deaf ears, your best resource is yourself. We live in a capitialst world, and by definition, someone can only only do better if some one else does worse. As harsh as that sounds, thats the rules of the game my friend. Arm yourself with training/education when you can, and stay hard on your kids to do the same. Life's a ####, get a helmet.. or find a sugar daddy... its a rich mans/womans game after all.
this is not a company problem but a Country problem

Energy costs are just one more notch, "expenses" or every day living items have been on a steady march northward. while mr greenspan is "old school" and believes he can control inflation by interest rates, what he is forgetting that the above is a perfect example of what is to come (wage inflation). the only thing is instead of getting a raise and "getting ahead" this raise will be merely to keep pace with rising costs (sounds like inflation to me?) but in order to increase one's standard of living greater (faster or higher percentage) wage increases will be demanded soon. this will cause companys to increase their prices to pass along new costs over and above energy costs (thus greenspans controling price inflation to prevent wage inflation is not working). To top it off anybody (regardless of ones job in the industry) in the airline business is in the ONLY business that has (whether by choice or market) NOT been able pass so much as increased energy costs on much less any other costs along. and to begin with they need to do this just to break even NOT to make addtional profits (like oil, drug, retail companies are doing)

for this personal problem, if you got a 25% raise (which %-wise is HUGE) it would still be what 2.50 an hour? in this business it simply isn't going to happen. but that does not mean that one can not increase ones pay.
it just means that to do so from one particular company in one particular industry might be next to impossible. hence the logical answer becomes to look elsewhere that can command a higher wage, that is not dependant upon a business where the entire industry is broken.

best of luck.
If the OP made double her current pay, she still wouldn't be very well off.

When you find yourself publicly complaining about your financial situation, it's time for some self-assessment. Get some education and find a higher paying position. Not one that pays a little more; a job that pays a lot more.

I sympathize with the OP's plight. Very sad situation. And I agree with others who rightly point out that her refusal to quit and find something else (along with all her co-workers) guarantees that her job title will continue to command very little pay. Too many people are willing to do it (including Bambi) for less than $10/hr.

The airline industry may be fun, but feeding, clothing, housing and educating one's children has to come first. Not everyone enjoys what they do, but they do what they have to do to pay the rent or mortgage payment. Life involves many choices, including some we'd rather not make.