Is the end of USAir near?

Aug 25, 2002
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Results of the IAM vote seem particularly dispiriting for anyone hopeful that a successful bankruptcy reorganization of USAir was in the cards. At the very least, the airline now has 1113 litigation in front of it with both the mechanics and the gate/res agents (and like two drunks on the street corner, one group can now be expected to prop up any flagging morale in the other). While I suspect that the mechanics'' vote was skewed negatively by solidarity among the utility workers component within that group (who, like their mechanic brothers on the tugs, were targeted for major productivity reforms in the rejected proposal), the practical effect will be to significantly delay the entire bankruptcy process and to dramatically increase the liklihood that various fragmentation proposals will surface from among USAir''s commercial adversaries (like DAL and AMR), and these proposals may now find better reception among the airline''s secured creditors. This doesn''t look good at all.
 
C

chipmunn

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Argento:

Your comment about the creditors committee is valid and the mechanics have just given them an opportunity to deal directly with DAL and AMR, both sitting on huge cash acccounts, who all have increased motivation to liquidate the company.

This does not look good for the company and its 36,000 employees at all. You're right, this could be the end of US Airways and Siegel knows it.

Chip
 

Oliver Twist

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Aug 20, 2002
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I do not believe the "end is near" for the company. I do however believe there is a judge nearby who will end a few contract problems.

Dave will get what he wants either from us directly as employees vote on TA's or through the courts. Either way, it will happen. The only question is how and when it will occur.

No doom and gloom here for me, hope for the future in fact and tired of the past. Let the past die a quick death, I like the future better anyway.
 

usfliboi

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Aug 20, 2002
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How many chapters do we have at this company ? I for one think im about to finish reading it ! Theres no excuse for where we are today with the exception for greed on both sides! Well the sun was up today despite it! Learn live move on !
 

Oliver Twist

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Aug 20, 2002
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I do not think that was the intent of the new policy, if it is deemed to be a bad move, they will remove it like any other fare change. In our industry, passengers think fare rules are made to be broken and don't apply to them anyway. We all know the fare rules are out of whack, perhaps this is a way to begn that fix.

By the way whlinder, I do not appreciate your choice of language.
 

Hope777

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Aug 19, 2002
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Agenttom..I do not believe that the Utility is what forced the vote no. IMO, the Utility employees made the vote closer. Most thought that Utility was going to be only in the Hub stations with the out station work preformed by FSA. I think the poor attempt by UM to secure a viable contract is what forced a no vote, also this was a clear statement towards the IAM that change is coming (AMA). Maybe the company should have tried to work out contract relief from all groups instead of focusing all their efforts towards the pilot group, then going onto the other groups. I was surprized that the FSA went the way it did, I was expecting a rejection as well. The very senior guys are what turned the vote positive since the pension issue was not that important to them since they are planning to leave the company within the next few years.
 

cavalier

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Aug 28, 2002
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Siegel might very well know the end is near, but, he can also take some of the blame as it goes down. He went around saying he wants to change the culture, then gives bonuses to management, at the same time telling the mechanics we will give retro give backs, and more, OR ELSE face the court, which was stated in all the papers this past Monday. Then you have the BOARD dictating what kind of cuts we MUST accept, OR ELSE. Last time I looked this was still a very free country, so now we are all looking at the, OR ELSE.
 

gilbertguy

Senior
Aug 29, 2002
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[:((] Cavalier....I'm afraid that maybe we don't live in a free country...it appears some of the doom-and-gloomers on this board think: one man, one vote does not apply to anyone who doesn't tow their line of thinking....US future was decided long ago...by management, unions and the customer.....
 
Part 2 of 2.


The first blunder was political. The IAM, while presenting the proposal of our financial plundering, explained that they had accepted reimbursement for their costs. So while many of my coworkers, and maybe myself, are putting their homes up for sale, the union will have their costs absorbed by the people "taking" money from their membership.

The second blunder was arrogance. The union proudly stated in our meetings, that aircraft "pushbacks" and aircraft de-icing were not allowed on the table. That the company valued the pushback language as a two-dollar an hour item. Our union stupidly opted to have us give up the pay, instead of the exclusive right to that task. Also de-icing of aircraft could have been traded for something, like maybe, the elimination of retro-payback.

Retro-payback is an issue unto itself. We, the membership, strongly stand by the conviction, that retro-payback IS the one issue that cannot be on the table. We don't care if the other labor groups pay the company for the right to work here. Our answer is NO!, NO!, NO!!!!!!

Did I vote for retro-payback in the last contract? Yes, but I hated myself for doing it. Luckily I was in the minority
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I'm a US Airways mechanic that voted yes on the last proposal, but part of me wishes I had voted no.

I voted yes because I believed the union's lawyer, Ms. Levine. I found her to be sharp and sincere. Even though my emotions said, "vote no", my logic said, "cut your losses".

I believe that this nation is entering a depression. The last thing I would want to do is be right at the wrong time. After all, timing is everything.

The truth is, after listening to the shouting and breast beating of my co-workers, that this vote, on an emotional level, was really a referendum on our representation, the International Association of Machinists.

They, the union leadership, have made a couple of huge blunders that the whole company may have to pay for. I pray not.

End of Part one. Continued in Part 2
 

N513AU

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Aug 20, 2002
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On 8/29/2002 10:42:07 AM

Maybe the company should have tried to work out contract relief from all groups instead of focusing all their efforts towards the pilot group, then going onto the other groups.
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I agree with you on that. I didn't like how how the company took forever just talking with the pilots, then showed up at the table for mech and related and CWA with take it or leave it proposals. The final TSA for the mechanics wasn't that bad, but there were a few things in it that were entirely unacceptable. If the IAM had even gone to their membership and asked what was okay and not with the TSA, then they might have had a "yes" vote. Although I tend to rant and rave
[:)] I'm not entirely of the full pay to the last day mentality, I just want an agreement that provides reasonable wages, job security (even for the junior guys), and doesn't mess with quality of life issues (vacation, holidays, sick time, etc.) It doesn't need to be a leading industry contract, but not the worst either.
 
OP
A
Aug 25, 2002
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What value is there is providing an explanation for the "no" vote inside the mechanics' section of the IAM? Whether it turned on union politics or it was a function of some "hot potato" like the aforesaid retro-pay is entirely irrelevant today. The cold hard reality is that USAir is heading straight into 1113 litigation in the bankruptcy court with two recalcitrant union groups. I have little doubt that the airline will prevail on the merits; but neither of these two groups is likely to get any statesmanship award in the interim (by reaching some kind of accomodation with USAir that would short circuit this process) because both are insecure vis-a-vis their own membership. Hearings on these issues (rejection of the two union contracts) and the virtually mandatory interlocutory appeals will consume at least the balance of this calendar year. That is more than enough time to allow USAir's commercial adversaries to organize among themselves and to offer up something appealing to its secured creditors -- like a complete fragmentation of the airline. Fear of this sort of scenario is exactly the reason that smart vulture money like Texas Pacific (and the lion's share of the DIP financing from Bank of America and Credit Suisse First Boston) conditioned itself upon full resolution of the outstanding labor concession questions. So as long as the 1113 litigation continues, USAir won't even be able to access most of the DIP financing that it had proudly proclaimed upon entering Chapter 11; and the liquidity squeeze that will almost certainly follow will make any fragmentation proposal look good.

Very nice work, fellas. Go ahead and collect that full pay until the very last day, which as of this moment looks to be this side of Thanksgiving.
 

us0004us

Senior
Aug 20, 2002
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On 8/29/2002 2:04:44 PM

So as long as the 1113 litigation continues, USAir won't even be able to access most of the DIP financing that it had proudly proclaimed upon entering Chapter 11; and the liquidity squeeze that will almost certainly follow will make any fragmentation proposal look good.

Very nice work, fellas. Go ahead and collect that full pay until the very last day, which as of this moment looks to be this side of Thanksgiving.
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what are the chances of the 1113 litigation coming to a quick
resolution...this being the rocket-docket...
 

fadec

Newbie
Aug 20, 2002
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The rejection of the Mechanics and Related proposal is not based on greed, rather on the fact that there were changes in the proposal that would have deeply affected the membership while doing nothing to help the company with it's cost cutting attempts. There were things that were taken from the employees and put directly into the pockets of the International. The company match for the 401k going directly into the IAM pension fund instead of into my account, how was that going to help the company cut their costs? I could understand if the company eliminated the match, but to take it from me and give it to someone else? Unacceptable. Giving UM a bonus while taking money from all other employee groups? Unacceptable.
Do you think that we voted this down on a whim? It took a lot of thought and soul searching for each individual to come to their decision, but I doubt that greed was a motivating factor. We want the company to ask what was so unpalatable in this proposal that we would risk everything when we voted it down. And we know that we are risking things, the unknown factors of a judges decision, the possibility of the liquidation of our company, we know, but things were so wrong with this proposal that we took that risk.