IAM in T/A - Now we need ratification and the loan

Having worked for union and non-union
companies about the equal amount of time
my opinion is the union is here for a reason.
Last company I worked for was non-union because
there was no logical reason why you would want
one.Believe me they tried many times to get in
but never even could get any employees to sign
maybe a few cards out of about 5,000 employees
they were looking to unionize.At UAL on the
other hand some 20 something new supervisor
could come after you no matter your seniority or
how good a worker you were
as was the case recently at my station.He threatened
to level at 35+ year lead mechanic for work not
being finished at 6:00 am.This is how UAL treats
one of the hardest working person I personally
have ever seen at this company.The lead told the supervisor
to send him help at the beginning of the shift to which
the supervisor refused and lo and behold the work wasnt
done.At my last employer this would have never happened
if I had asked for help I would have been probably been
given to many people.This is not a unusual situation here.
Unions do protect some people that arent worthy of protection
but at UAL its insurance you cant afford to leave home without.
Without a union people would be fired here for not pencil
whipping work on a aircraft when ordered to do so.Now if the
situation occurs I call the FAA AND SHOP STEWARD AND THEY WILL
BACK OFF.We have had two supervisors get in trouble for pencil
whipping and even after one paid a fine and the other lost his
license for a year the company did nothing to them and they were
just shifted to another area.Double standard you think?? Mechanics
have been fired and rightly so for signing off work they did not
do,but the supervisors no way.Just let me catch one and I will have
the duty sup at FAA here at the gate before the plane pushes.
Need a union at UAL you ask?? Couldnt imagine not having one.
Well worth the 50.00 a month I think.
p.s.The one incident the supervisor signed off a bracket that held the fuel/oil air cooler to a 767 engine.You think thats not dangerous?
The man would have gladly put your or my mother on that plane with the broken bracket for a days pay or to save a delay or trip cancellation.

I tend to agree with you. Employees usually organize for a reason: they feel they're getting BOHICA'd by senior management on a consistent basis. My view is that if a company truly and consistently values, rewards, leads and takes care of their employees, the leverage to unionize simply won't be as prevalent. I mean think about it. As an employee, if you feel you're being taken care of, why would you organize and pay monthly dues for something that you view as unnecessary? But the way this industry is run, it's almost impossible to keep unions off the property. Why? Because the track record of senior management at airlines is abysmal in terms of taking care of, valuing and rewarding employees. There are a few exceptions, but they are in the minority. You can only take your employees for granted for so long.
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No offense...but it would be nice to focus on the here and now which is the fact that we have T/A's with all unions and are waiting to hear about the loan.
For example my last employer was a grocery company
that was owned by a christian family well known
in Texas.If there was a occasion that someone was
unduly giving you a ration of you know what I just
had to make one phone call,and his butt was answering
to my division v-p.If you answer to the ombudsman wasnt
good enough you were history.Its simple take care of your
people and they will take care of you.There was not a thing
that any of us wouldnt have done for those people.They had
more than 20,000.00 people when I left and every Thanksgiving
and Christmas you were called in and read a letter of thanks
from the family,and handed 100.00 bill and told to go to the
frozen food supervisor and get our turkey.I left there because
I worked on helicopters in the military and always wanted to do that
full-time.So I quit took my life savings went to school,got a license
and towards the end of class UAL came and offered me a job.I was
stoked when I arrived in SFO with 250.00 left in my pocket,and a small
Sears toolbox to get me started.Its been a good ride all in all,but
at UAL in my opinion a union is like health insurance no doubt about
it you need them.Wish it wasnt so.
By the way its local management that people interface with the most and that is where UAL management is represented to the employees.We form our
opinions based on their actions or statements.
I can agree with that if you had just said that earlier I
would have understood.We are going to make it one way or the other.
I feel like the contract will be signed on the 27th.,and we can breathe
a sigh of relief.One thing at a time.
On 11/20/2002 11:40:30 PM autofixer wrote:

Busdrvr, How much CRAF is being used right now? There is a huge build up in southwest Asia. It is a NEW world since 9-11. Do not have a self inflated world view...the Romans did.

You have no idea... The USAFs entire strat airlift component was pretty much maxed out by afghanistan. Why do you think Boeing got a HUGE C-17 order? If we are STILL operating in Afghan, and attempt something elsewhere, you can bet you'll see UAL 400's on the ramp at Al's Garage or Quatar. Prior to the last Gulf war, when was the last time CRAF was used? Good thing we still had it then despite the new world order and the demise of the Soviet Union huh.
On 11/20/2002 11:49:29 PM avek00 wrote:


I dare say that all regulatory restrictions aside, LH and SQ would NOT lend UAL a meaningful amount of money in the absence of a loan guarantee or Chapter 11 filing. From a dollars and sense standpoint, UA is simply too risky a firm in which to invest serious money absent additional "safeguards" to protect the investment. This is the reason why UAL has been shut out of the post-9/11 capital markets, and must take (or be the recipient of) action soon to offer an additional incentive to prospective investors.

You don't get it. LH has 770 flights a month from GE to the US. do you think all those pax jump off the 747 or A340 in ORD or DEN and drive 10 minutes to thier home? Or do you think a large number of those pax get on those handsome UAL jets flown by the best flight crews in the world and maintained by the best mechanics, and make thier way to GRR, DSM, ABQ and other smaller cities throughout the US? We are a vital part of their business plan. Why do you think UAL and LH threw about half a billion at AC? Maybe to keep that market in the alliance?
The LH and UA relationship is solid and continues to get better. The A + venture will bring more revenue to both carriers and will further solidify our working relationship.


That's a great example that you gave. It is amazing how such a simple concept of if you take care of your employees, they will take care of you gets lost at many companies, especially airlines. It's really not rocket science. To take care of your employees doesn't necessarily mean they must be the best paid. WN, CO and Jetblue are shining examples of that.
On 11/21/2002 3:00:22 PM UAL777flyer wrote:

The LH and UA relationship is solid and continues to get better. The A + venture will bring more revenue to both carriers and will further solidify our working relationship.


That's a great example that you gave. It is amazing how such a simple concept of "if you take care of your employees, they will take care of you" gets lost at many companies, especially airlines. It's really not rocket science. To take care of your employees doesn't necessarily mean they must be the best paid. WN, CO and Jetblue are shining examples of that.
What is really great is the fact that employees who sometimes see things from different prospectives can finally find a common ground to work from and join in a common goal to bring Ual back to what it should be.
This isn't as much rocket science as just doing the right thing.
We all need each other more than we realize to accomplish this goal.
After we get this deal behind us, let's work toward a common goal for all concerned. Ual will be ok, but it can be great with the right culture.
Maybe you might consider that you are the one without a clue. Have you read the act? Who has control over the Board? The Board is made up of The Secretary of Transportation, The Secretary of the Treasury, both Presidential appointees, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve or his appointee- Allen Greenspans pick, and the Comptroller General of the Government Accounting Office. Two out of three members of the board are Bush appointees, they have the majority and the Chair is from an organization that is intensly anti labor, an organization that seeks to keep a certain minimum level of unemployment to curb wage growth. An organization led by a cult follower of Ayne Rand whose actions reveal that he beleives in the power of Capital instead of the power of the people. A man who apparently believes that human suffering is an acceptable price to pay to promote Capital growth that will only benifit the few. We have two Bush appointees and the Comptroller General, (the GAO has no special interest in Labor). So we have a board that is rigged with anti-labor people. We have two members that are directly answerable to the President, one answerable to Greenspan and one who is just there to make sure that the Governments money is not wasted. The interests of labor are not represented at all. This bill is being used to promote the Interests of Bush and Greenspan. Two evil greedy people who could care less about anybody except the rich.They have set terms and have positioned the Act as a means of securing long term concessions from workers. These two are using this act as a front to create a condition of fear and submission from the workforce to lower the average wage rate till they can get S-1327 in place.

If you feel that you are overpaid, in other words that the skills that you posess could not once again earn you what you are getting now then you should accept the paycuts.But if your a mechanic, someone whose pay rate is not above what he could eventually once again earn should UAL actually go bankrupt, then he would be foolish to undersell himself. Since he never received an exceptional rate of pay, even when times were good, why should he accept even less when things are not so good? There are workers in this industry that may feel they receive a rate of pay that is far in excess of what they could expect to earn outside this industry. They may have even agreed to accept pay cuts, but even with those cuts they may still be in excess of what they could expect to earn outside the industry. This is not the case with Aircraft Mechanics, they tend to be paid less than someone with comparable skills on the outside. They dont stand as much to lose or gain,those who have more to lose should not expect those who have less to lose to make the same sacrifice they are willing to make, after all they wont get the same reward will they? If I were a mechanic at United I would say to the company, We agreed to what we both accepted as a reasonable rate of compensation ( with the government meddling in on the companies behalf), we will accept nothing less. If you wont pay us that rate we shall all withold our labor. Then see who blinks. Remember what Bush said last year. The country cant afford to let you strike. Even if the government forced concessions (which there is no basis in law to do) how bad could they actually make it without expecting the workers to react? But once you vote it in, you lost any moral arguement that you could have. Thats why its so important that the ATSB backs and supports what United is trying to do. They have to intimidate you to willingly accept the concessions, then in a few years when they are making money again and you start to really feel the pain of your concessions they will stand on the moral high ground by claiming that YOU AGREED TO THIS, its not their fault that you were short sighted and easily intimidated, its just business.
Read the press release again. CORZINE wants the ATSB to take away equity and IMPOSE provisions that assure a positive ROI for the government. As for the board membership, Greenspan? Remind me again who appointed him to his current term? Transportation? What political party does Mineta belong to? Is he, a democrat, so weak willed that he's willing to be pushed around by congress? If he were, in actuality, being pressured by the White House, don't you think a public outcry from him prior to the elections resulted in a sweeping Dem win and the canonization of him? Could it be that Daschle doesn't really want us to get the loan. Bad economic news is, after all, good for the dems fortunes. And considering his wife is a BIG lobbyist for NWA and AMR (two of the biggest lobbiers against UALs loan Guarentee), it'd be a shame for him to get cut off (she is a hotty). Heck, just look at this board. Avek was a loyal employee of Corzine, and is IMHO the new face of the DNC. You're labor. You drive a big polluting truck. You drink beer. You (traditional labor unions) have views on women and affirmative action that don't go along with the program. You WANT to drill in the artic (more GOOD JOBS). You are the great unwashed, and they know better whats good for you than you do. You are patronized for the votes they think you can deliver. No other reason. As for what I'm worth, I agree, I'm underpaid. UALs out of control pilot wages are now the same as the were 10 years ago. That's BEFORE inflation. But the truth is we're losing money. How long should the government keep feeding us money before we turn a profit? Why aren't we profitable? could it be that the government under Clinton was giving away slots to those poor unfortunate discounters? was it a bunch of libs that gave JetBlu slots? Could they at least have requested that they pay union wages and give the employees comparable bene's? they could have, but you see, low fares gets more votes from the constituants than holding the line for labor. How about international markets? We compete there right? well we did befor the huge Clinton tax burdon on domestic carriers and Bobby Rubins bid up the stock market exchange rate policy. In 1992 (who became president then?) US carriers had 55% of the pacific market. now we have 40%. In since 1992 UAL has added appro 150 flights to Germany, LH added 350 to the US. Dal added 65 flight to france, AF added 300 to the US. that's what happens when you intentionally undermine american workers by making us unable to compete on international markets due to exchange rates. The sad truth is that was EXACTLY what Rubin intended to do, and he admit's it in congressional testimony.
I have litttle confidence in Union Leaders that are making six figure salaries who then sell concessionary deals to their members. They are obviously protecting their own interests when they agree to break their contract and offer concessions. The reality of the present becomes clearer with time. The hard sell and the rush rush are not being used to provide the time for rational thought. I still say if they are really hurting that bad why not go year to year? Why 5.5 years? Because the ATSB has allied their interests, the interests of investors, with the airlines interests and the workers are going to be the losers. How can the government claim on the one hand that they are denying workers the right to strike because their service to the public is too important but then a short time later say that the same airline has to prove that they can produce a 7% ROI or go out of business? Does this make sense to you?

As a mechanic I've never earned a wage that was more than I could have earned outside this industry. Right now my hourly pay is just under $35 per hour. How much do you make per hour? Could you get back up to that rate in five years or less? If the answer is no then maybe you should accept the concessions. Mechanics should not give back one penny. You say that the concessions are equitable yet that some will get stock options and profit sharing that reflect their sacrifice. Well let me ask you if a mechanic is earning $70K a year and he gives up $20k is that the same as a pilot who is making $280k and gives up $80K? No its not because the hardship for the mechanic going down to $50k is greater than the hardship suffered by the pilot going down to $200k. Could anyone say that someone earning $200K or even $100K is deprived? But, the pilot who goes down to $100K will gain a lot more when the company turns around. He will still be way ahead of the game. The mechanic making $70k could probably find employment that replaces this income should United fail. How likely is the pilot to find a job paying $300K? Mechanical jobs that require the very skills that mechanics posess are out there in other industries. Right now they may not be that easy to find but recessions are cyclical events, this will end. How many jobs are out there for pilots at $300,000 or for flight attendants that pay $50 per hour, recession or not? Now I'm not attacking your rates of pay, I realize that only those with many years get to those levels,your worth every penny you make, the question is could you replace it? Is your risk of permanent loss greater or less than a mechanics? I would say that it would probably be very difficult for a top paid pilot to find another job at $300,000/year, same for several other classifications, therefore you may have a greater incentive to make any neccisary sacrifice, but for mechanics the potential for loss is less. When EAL went under, their mechanics, even those in their 60s with health problems were picked up pretty quickly, within three years they not only were at top pay but making more than they did at EAL, same with the Pan Am mechanics. I doubt that any of the other workers recovered as quickly. Therefore, would it be fair if the mechanics said NO to givebacks even if everyone else agreed? YES. Why? Because mechanics have never earned a wage that is considerably higher than they could have earned in other industries with the same skills. Because why should they make the same sacrifice when they dont have as much to lose or gain? Tilton isnt working for nothing is he? Why is he going to get more in one year than most people make in a lifetime from a business that is supposedly almost belly up? Because he could probably replace his income somewhere else(as if he would need to). Tiltons refusal to sacrifice is acceptable if he performs his job well, why shouldnt the mechanics be held to the same standard?
UAL777 Flyer;
To take care of your employees doesn't necessarily mean they must be the best paid.

True. But it doesnt hurt. How much do you make? Usually people who make a lot of money like to tell everyone else how unimportant their pay is.