Gloom Over Chicago

Speedbird

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Aug 20, 2002
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As events unfold at United Airlines I can''t help but compare the actions between this airline and Eastern during the 1980s. It is almost eerie in its similarities. However, this time instead of Lorenzo as the big bad wolf, it is Chp. 11 Bankruptcy itself.
For those of you who have access to Petzinger''s book, Hard Landing, go read chapter 11. This should serve as a stern wake-up call for anyone at United who thinks this is all gonna work itself out in the wash. It looks like history is about to repeat itself again in this business, and Tom Petzinger is taking copious notes for his sequel.
 

Bob Owens

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Sep 9, 2002
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When will airlines executives learn that it doesnt pay to screw your mechanics? Of all the employees the airlines have, they have always recieved their best bargain from the mechanics. Mechanics do not enjoy the airline premium that many other workers receive- meaning that their pay is at a level where they could take their skills outside the industry and earn the same or better.

Speedbird, are you a pilot?

Read the book a few years back. I agree it is good reading but I dissagree with what you got out of it. Are you saying that every time a company gets into financial difficulties the employees should agree to long term concessions?
 

atabuy

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Oct 13, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 11/29/2002 8:38:18 PM Bob Owens wrote:

When will airlines executives learn that it doesnt pay to screw your mechanics? Of all the employees the airlines have, they have always recieved their best bargain from the mechanics. Mechanics do not enjoy the airline premium that many other workers receive- meaning that their pay is at a level where they could take their skills outside the industry and earn the same or better.

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[/blockquote]
Bob,
Why have you stayed at AA when you could get a premium in another job.
Why are there so many bitter mechanics everywhere in the airlines. How many head hunters have invited you to take a job in their company.
I don't understand. Where have you worked? Why the airlines.
Why would any person go to a job that did not pay the highest wage?
Oh was it the airlines? What a dumb statement to make. You are sooooooo in denial!!
 

Boomer

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Aug 20, 2002
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atabuy
-I know this wasn't directed my way but like most opinionated mechanics, I have something to say on the issues you raised.

"Why have you stayed at XYZ Airlines when you could get a premium in another job."

Because I really like to fix aircraft much more than anything else and I was taught to stick and fight to improve my condition instead of quitting.

"Why are there so many bitter mechanics everywhere in the airlines."

Because there are so many pilots and management that always want us to just leave or shut up or go along when we have an opinion that differs from theirs: but, more importantly, we get tired of being the first ones questioned when a flyboy does a CFIT or somebody's nephew becomes the latest greatest Aviation Neophyte.

"How many head hunters have invited you to take a job in their company."

More than a few, as my better half continually reminds me.

"I don't understand. Where have you worked? Why the airlines. Why would any person go to a job that did not pay the highest wage? Oh was it the airlines? What a dumb statement to make. You are sooooooo in denial!!"

I've worked in different fields. I've crunched numbers and even managed others but I really get off on taking something that is broken and returning it to a condition that is as good or better than the day it was made. If you're into fixing things, aircraft are the tops and if you're gonna get a steady paycheck then commercial aviation is the game. As far as the highest wage; nope, at least not until the last round of AMT negotiations within the air carrier industry.

So we end up where we always do.

I fix aircraft for the same reason you fly them: because I think I can do it as well as anyone else and better than most. I will not be run off from something I like to do because someone else doesn't want to hear me and because maybe, just maybe, a member of Senior Management for Northwest Airlines was saying what a lot of others really think when he told the Mechanics' Union Negotiators that they really just needed to know their place in Society.

I'll end with a letter sent to me from an AA Mechanic that was written by a former CEO of American Airlines years ago. Apparently their Pilots thought enough of its' contents that the Pilots Union, APA, printed it in an edition of their Company Publication a year or two back.
-------------------------------------------------------

A Note from C.R. Smith

C.R. Smith

We're told that after the Pilgrims had landed at Plymouth Rock, had looked over the job to be done, and had evaluated their resources in personal skills, they promptly returned word to the old country; "Please send us some mechanics - they are needed"

The mechanics came and took their rightful place in the life and prestige of the community. They devoted their skills to the productive capacity of the nation. Their contribution was a major one, and the small settlement which was the beginning of the great nation we now know as the United States was on its way to ultimate success.

The mechanic aided in winning this country. He also aided in preserving it. Twice during our lifetime; First in World War I and again in World War II, the security of our nation was preserved -- by the courage and valor of it's citizens, of course, but also in a very major way, by the productive capacity of the nation.

The productive capacity stems directly from the cumulative genius of the American mechanic, Engineer, and Scientist. Without their creative ability, the American industrial machine would never have been developed. Without the continuing availability of their day-to-day ability as mechanics, the American productive machine could not be maintained.

In air transportation, the contribution of the mechanic has been uniquely constructive. When the panorama of pioneer aviation is painted, the prominent spot of the foreground will be shared between the builder of the airplane, the pilot and the mechanic whose skillful attention has permitted the airplane to be flown with safety.

When the young man at school says; "My father is a mechanic" pay attention ; he is from a line which has contributed much to the history of this country.

C.R. Smith
 

Steiner

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Aug 21, 2002
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Good job on trying to explain the situation, Boomer. As I've pointed out before, if everyone who could left the airlines, the folks who say "just quit" probably wouldn't be happy with what they were left with.
 

AirplaneFan

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Aug 20, 2002
174
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[blockquote]
----------------
On 11/29/2002 8:38:18 PM Bob Owens wrote:

When will airlines executives learn that it doesnt pay to screw your mechanics? Of all the employees the airlines have, they have always recieved their best bargain from the mechanics. Mechanics do not enjoy the airline premium that many other workers receive- meaning that their pay is at a level where they could take their skills outside the industry and earn the same or better.

Speedbird, are you a pilot?

Read the book a few years back. I agree it is good reading but I dissagree with what you got out of it. Are you saying that every time a company gets into financial difficulties the employees should agree to long term concessions?
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[/blockquote]

Bob,

I am trying to figure out your angle. You work for AA, but spend all your time (I presume) on the UAL board. You claim that it is because what happens at UAL directly affects personnel at all other major airlines (I agree). But it seems that from quite a few of your posts that your arguing out of your self interest and not for the people of UAL. I would gather what you would prefer is for UAL unions to not agree to any concessions and essentially drive UAL out of business. That would provide job security for all the other employees at the remaining major airlines, but would work against the good people at UAL.
 

UAL777flyer

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Aug 20, 2002
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AirplaneFan,

Of course BobOwens is arguing for his own agenda. He is an employee of AA and realizes that his employer will soon come calling for paycuts just like UA is doing. It's in AA's best interests, and Mr. Owens, to sabotage any effort by UA to successfully restructure, either in/out of bankruptcy.
 

JI Guy

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Aug 20, 2002
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Where is the economic discourse in all this? IF the carriers are losing money, labor will be pared! This is happening right now at your Oak Brook neighbor, McDonalds...so it isnt novel.
 

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