Sep 17, 2005
Found the following article interesting....realizing of course new hires in PHX and RNO still hired in at $7.65 p/hr...hmmmm...

By Richard Craver JOURNAL REPORTER A renewed focus on domestic customer service is prompting US Airways Group Inc. to bolster the work force at its Winston-Salem reservations center.

The airline has hired 48 employees for its Hanes Mall Boulevard center, Vonda Hardy, the president of Communications Workers of America Local 3640, said yesterday. There are plans to add at least 100 more "as soon as possible," Hardy said.

US Airways has 591 employees at the center, including 525 reservation representatives, according to Philip Gee, a spokesman for the airline.

"What I understand is that the reservations center has been told to hire and to keep hiring until they're told to stop," Hardy said. "We started two three-week classes for new trainees on Monday for another 48." Gee said that the company is planning more training classes for late February.

Hardy said that the hiring strategy is recognition by US Airways' new management that the outsourcing of domestic-reservation calls wasn't working as efficiently as expected. Gee said that US Airways did not have a comment on how the airline is handling domestic production.

The airline will conduct a job fair at the Winston-Salem Urban League from 9 a.m. to noon next Wednesday. All applicants must submit a resume to Urban League officials by Friday at the group's office at 201 W. Fifth St. or e-mail one to [email protected] to participate in the job fair. For more information, call 725-5614.

America West Holdings Corp., based in Tempe, Ariz., completed the purchase of US Airways on Sept. 27 after US Airways emerged for the second time from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The airline kept the US Airways brand.

The previous US Airways management closed the Pittsburgh reservations center in September 2005 to consolidate domestic reservations in Winston-Salem. The airline also transferred some domestic calls to centers in San Salvador, El Salvador, Mexico City and the Philippines.

"We're getting some of the jobs back because the outsourcing wasn't working in some areas because of the language barrier," Hardy said. "Some reservation calls were taking up to 40 minutes longer than they needed to be."

Many new hires are likely to work second shift, along with weekends and holidays. The starting salary will be $8.72 an hour, according to Hardy and Urban League officials. US Airways paid a starting salary of $9.52 an hour for reservations representatives before being bought by America West. Adding local jobs also represents a sharp reversal from US Airways' recent personnel strategy, which had cut the work force at its reservations and Dividend Miles centers from 1,600 in August 2004 to 468 in October 2005. The airline is consolidating its consumer-affairs division and revenue-accounting operations in Tempe by spring.

The previous management offered early-out packages to local reservation employees and 324 accepted, Hardy said. Another 40 local reservations employees retired. "I don't think the company was ready for that many people to take the early-out package," Hardy said.

Steve Jones, the director of the Urban League's employment division, said he didn't know whether the airline's recent personnel moves will affect its hiring plan. "I know that many people are attracted by the benefits package that include free flights," he said. Hardy said that new management has taken away "some of the uneasiness about the status of the company."

US Airways is not the only airline reducing the number of domestic calls being transferred offshore, said Dean Headley, an aviation analyst at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kan.

"It's likely that the America West management has gotten a better feel for the holes in the merged company, and one of them is how it handles domestic reservations," Headley said. "They might have determined that whatever cost savings they're getting are being lost in customer dissatisfaction."

The airline is eligible for up to $100,000 a year in incentives for three years from the city of Winston-Salem, according to Derwick Paige, the assistant city manager for economic development. He said that US Airways could receive $88.24 for each retained job and $83.34 for each transferred job in September.

"The incentive deal does not address new positions, and the airline hasn't approached us to request incentives for new hires," Paige said.

Forsyth County commissioners made a similar three-year offer to the airline last February. Ed Jones, a deputy county manager, said he hasn't heard from the airline about the county's offer.

Posted By admin on 2006-02-01 06:56:45.0 | General Announcements
Reads: 76 |

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What kind of people & why would anyone take these positions ?
Good question and because I do it I will try to answer. This is my person reason and by no means represents the whole. My family has close friends who work for HP/US and they thought it would be great to trvl together. The pay was not the issue as my other half works in upper managment for a company that makes money. Also as a stay at home mom for years and working for another company that gave me the ability to be with my kids, I thought this would be a way to get my feet wet in the corp world. I mean how hard or stressful could a job be that pays 7.65 an hour? I enjoy the varied hours and ability to trade shifts. I also enjoy helping pax on the fon. At first it was fun and changes were there but someone always could clarify these changes. Now, no one knows much of anything. Many of us have created close friendships with each other and that is probably why we stay. We can depend on each other to pick up shifts to trvl or doctors appts etc. Sometimes I think all of that stay are either abused in this life or have been abused in another life! For some I know its the fear of moving from the frying pan into the fire. Its the unknown. Some would just like to retire with non rev benies as Hp has never had a pension. I hope this has been a bit insightful and Im sure others have their own reasons. Many have extended family in other parts of the country or kids in college and flight bennies come in handy.
Thanks for the reply. I understand better now. You sound like the perfect employee for this kind of position.
I have also worked in res.(I was an Assistant Manager) at another airline that went bankrupt in 1984. Working conditions there & in the good ole days were so good I would've paid them to let me work there. Now the airlines are nothing. Many of us are just buying time.
Thanks for the reply. I understand better now. You sound like the perfect employee for this kind of position.
I have also worked in res.(I was an Assistant Manager) at another airline that went bankrupt in 1984. Working conditions there & in the good ole days were so good I would've paid them to let me work there. Now the airlines are nothing. Many of us are just buying time.
I know many people who feel the same way. All the changes within the company and the industry have many employees weary of their jobs. The working conditions have steadily gone down hill for many but if you are lucky(as I have been lately) and have an immediate supervisor who understands your job, going to work each day is a lot easier. To work for someone with job knowlege,who is human, who enjoys a good joke or with whom you can swap a few stories makes a big difference in how you feel about going to work and performing your best. For me its a good fit until I have to work for someone who feels the nazi mentality works. There is nothing like loyalty from an employee. There is also nothing like true leadership that will gain their employees trust and loyalty. I hope your days become better and you start to enjoy your job again. Remember, when you feel the need to vent(as we all do) we will all be here! Regards.
I will add in my 2cents...just because I can.

I actually went to a trade school for the airline/travel agent industry. I have wanted to work for an airline since I was a child. (flight attendant was my first 'dream')

When I graduated from school, HP was all my class could talk about. They had (and still do have) some of the best benefits in the industry. They were not hiring at the time of my graduation, so I took the job with another carrier.

When I had the opportunity to apply for HP res I litterally jumped at it. I didn't care about the pay, I assumed raises would come.

Nearly 7 years later, I am still wondering where the raises are, but I have something that is nearly impossible to put a price-tag on, which keeps me here. Job satisfaction.

Job satisfaction is not about pay, its about going home at the end of the day with a feeling of accomplishment. No matter how disgruntled I am about pay, or declining health care coverage, I still go home at the end of the day PROUD that I know I have done the best job, not just the best that I can do, but the best that can be done.

This is what keeps me in my current position and company. I have had so many jobs in my life (the longest was for 1yr4days, before my current job) and I have never had the level of job satisfaction that I have now. I am the first to admit, I am scared of failing. I am scared at taking a chance, and ending up with a job, that like so many others I have had, I lothe waking up in the morning to go to work.

I am hopeful that the merger will bring improvments in the areas that I am not satisfied with, such as pay, but only time will tell. At this point, I have no choice but to give it time, and see what happens....or take the chance I am completely terrified of....
Many who join this industry now have to be really be careful about which airline hires them. Quite frankly I like HP because they have luck and an underdog reputation which I respect. Out of all the airlines started during the 1978 deregulation they are still here.

Delta is spending their cash at warp speed and quite frankly is banking a lot, possibly even the company, on this summer's transatlantic expansion. Northwest has terrible labor relations even compared to our grumbling, and UA's bankruptcy was a waste since AA did the same reductions without resorting to chapter 11 or pension discontinuation.

The only legacies I feel somewhat optimistic about are US, AA ,and CO.