MECHANICS ONLY PLEASE....

The Ronin

Senior
Sep 17, 2002
497
0
Alright guys...whats the deal? You have heard all these wonderful peoples thoughts about you and your profession. I''ve been doing this for 16 yrs and all that counts to me is what the man standing along side me thinks. This new deal is still smoke, but my question to you is WHAT do you guys want to do. I''ll listen to your thoughts, no one elses. No venting or chest beating, just an honest evalutaion. I voted NO the first time, at best I will abstain from voting the second time. IF YOU ARE NOT A UAL MECHANIC YOU ARE NOT INVITED TO THIS POST, THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF FOLKS. If you are a pilot or F/A or ramper maybe you can walk up to a mechanic, tell him you know he is pissed, and you''ll respect his decision. This is not easy, especially on the mechanic so save your baseball bat and put out a hand. They might be hardheaded, but all they really want to do is make ''em fly.
 
U

UAL24

Guest
A lot of people are pissed Ronin. That going up and being civil is two way street. How bout when a Pilot takes the logbook out to a waiting mechanic and says good morning how you doing he actually gets a goodmorning and not a door slammed in his face. The fact that you have said you will not under any possible circumstances vote yes makes this thread moot.

Everyone should have open and peacefull dialogue with each other yet there has become an atmosphere of finger pointing between the groups. Mechanics think all pilots are overpaid Aholes that dedicate all their waking moments contriving ways to screw over mechanics. Pilots are indignant that a bunch of blue collar mechanics should have any say in their ability to make 6 figure incomes and drive BMW's for commuter cars. F/A's have been very forthright and supportive during this crisis and I commend them. The mechanics have sent a message, what ever it was, to the NEW management of this company. NEW management is receptive to all employees needs but is really walking a fine line here. The must stabilize the company before all of our concerns can be addressed. You want to have your problems heard and addressed. That won't and can't happen if BK is filed. Give Tilton a chance he is a good man. He will make it right eventually but not if you don't give him a chance.

Constant bickering and finger pointing won't solve this problem. Neither will taking the company down to make some point about past wrongs perpetrated by people that dont even work here anymore. I support your base grievances, but it is time for reasonable action and more cooperative efforts from the employee's. I know this falls on deaf ears and there will be the insightfull quipings of MasterMechanic and his lunatic rantings but channeled this into a more positive posting vice the usuall hostility displayed on this board.

If anyone wants to get really pissed go to The-Mechanic.com. There are postings there about other employee groups that are so far from reality it shows you what you are dealing with. The IAM has done a great disservice to it's members by not educating them on the realities of other peoples jobs or the mechanics actually believe the fabrications and myth that exist in the breakrooms.
 

Tim Thorpe

Member
Aug 20, 2002
53
0
[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/2/2002 12:52:45 PM The Ronin wrote:

Alright guys...whats the deal? You have heard all these wonderful peoples thoughts about you and your profession. I've been doing this for 16 yrs and all that counts to me is what the man standing along side me thinks. This "new" deal is still smoke, but my question to you is WHAT do you guys want to do. I'll listen to your thoughts, no one elses. No venting or chest beating, just an honest evalutaion. I voted NO the first time, at best I will abstain from voting the second time. IF YOU ARE NOT A UAL MECHANIC YOU ARE NOT INVITED TO THIS POST, THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF FOLKS. If you are a pilot or F/A or ramper maybe you can walk up to a mechanic, tell him you know he is pissed, and you'll respect his decision. This is not easy, especially on the mechanic so save your baseball bat and put out a hand. They might be hardheaded, but all they really want to do is make 'em fly.
----------------
[/blockquote]
OK Ronin I'll bite and tell you why I am voting to accept the agreement. They left my benefits package alone and I don't think a BK judge will do that. It was not an easy decision. History tells me that concessions have not helped in this industry. But at the stage I am at in my career I will take that chance. The thought of starting over does not appeal to me. I don't care to be a new hire working next to the kid straight from A+P school. Aviaton gives you nothing for your expeience if you change jobs. I have three children. Medical and dental are very important to my family. It is in their best interest that I accept this deal. I still have hope that Tilton can pull off a recovery. I know some people that need to be forced into retirement and I hope the first vote opened his eyes to the poor leadership at the top of the maintenance division. The hardest thing for me to do in this whole mess is to forget about the past for a moment. It has no bearing on the vote we are about to take. At this time only the present and the future are important. As to the people who are going to disagree with my vote. Have the guts to sign your name if you want flame me.
 

gatemech

Senior
Aug 24, 2002
356
5
www.usaviation.com
[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/2/2002 8:11:20 PM UAL24 wrote:

A lot of people are pissed Ronin. That going up and being civil is two way street. How bout when a Pilot takes the logbook out to a waiting mechanic and says good morning how you doing he actually gets a goodmorning and not a door slammed in his face. The fact that you have said you will not under any possible circumstances vote yes makes this thread moot.

----------------
[/blockquote]

I don't want to point fingers but the first crew I saw after the vote last week made for an unpleasant and hostile environment. 20 minutes later the same thing. I have always conducted myself in a professional manner. Always polite. I always try to check with the crews to see if they need anything so I won't have to disrupt the boarding process. I always say hello. Now I try to avoid going on the aircraft unless I have to when the crew is on board. What I choose to vote doesn't mean the crews can treat me like s**t. They don't even know how I voted. Most on this board know how I voted.

If you’re a pilot or F/A reading this just remember that the aircraft is not the place to show your feelings. Act professional and lets get the customer to their destination on time and safe.
 
OP
T

The Ronin

Senior
Sep 17, 2002
497
0
[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/3/2002 11:14:42 AM Tim Thorpe wrote:

[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/2/2002 12:52:45 PM The Ronin wrote:

Alright guys...whats the deal? You have heard all these wonderful peoples thoughts about you and your profession. I've been doing this for 16 yrs and all that counts to me is what the man standing along side me thinks. This "new" deal is still smoke, but my question to you is WHAT do you guys want to do. I'll listen to your thoughts, no one elses. No venting or chest beating, just an honest evalutaion. I voted NO the first time, at best I will abstain from voting the second time. IF YOU ARE NOT A UAL MECHANIC YOU ARE NOT INVITED TO THIS POST, THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF FOLKS. If you are a pilot or F/A or ramper maybe you can walk up to a mechanic, tell him you know he is pissed, and you'll respect his decision. This is not easy, especially on the mechanic so save your baseball bat and put out a hand. They might be hardheaded, but all they really want to do is make 'em fly.
----------------
[/blockquote]
OK Ronin I'll bite and tell you why I am voting to accept the agreement. They left my benefits package alone and I don't think a BK judge will do that. It was not an easy decision. History tells me that concessions have not helped in this industry. But at the stage I am at in my career I will take that chance. The thought of starting over does not appeal to me. I don't care to be a new hire working next to the kid straight from A+P school. Aviaton gives you nothing for your expeience if you change jobs. I have three children. Medical and dental are very important to my family. It is in their best interest that I accept this deal. I still have hope that Tilton can pull off a recovery. I know some people that need to be forced into retirement and I hope the first vote opened his eyes to the poor leadership at the top of the maintenance division. The hardest thing for me to do in this whole mess is to forget about the past for a moment. It has no bearing on the vote we are about to take. At this time only the present and the future are important. As to the people who are going to disagree with my vote. Have the guts to sign your name if you want flame me.
----------------
[/blockquote]
No arguements or rebuttles Tim. I just want to to how the mechs on this board feel. I know how they feel where I work, and it was all NO, but I talked to the whole crew and put alot on the table. I think it made them think a little. One more torpedo and this ship is down. I will abstain from voting. This thing is too close to call yet but I think it is turning the corner. Problem is....I'm pretty sure we're going BK, but not because of Thurs vote.
 

atabuy

Senior
Oct 13, 2002
419
0
I vote yes for the following reason.
It is the most logical thing to do.

Will we get the loan? I don't know, but I would not want to be the group who was blamed for sending Ual into BK. Mechanics have already felt hostility from other employees and it is as predictable as, you all not liking what the company has done to you.
You guys, like it or not, are in control of losing other employees money for them if you vote no. You can't mess with someones money and not expect repercussions.
You will be blamed for BK even if the gov. would have rejected the loan.

My suggestion is to not allow Ual to go into BK with the no vote. Let the gov. be the bad guy if they so choose. You made your point, and the company has just announced that they are cutting 18% of top management jobs. Will address quality of life issues, and if we start doing better, will share in the profits before 2008.

At least give Mr. tilton a chance. He might be the leader we have needed for a long time.
He has done more in 3 months than 2 ceo's did in 2 years.
Good luck to all of us.
 

Bob Owens

Veteran
Sep 9, 2002
14,274
6,112
"At least give Mr. tilton a chance. He might be the leader we have needed for a long time.
He has done more in 3 months than 2 ceo's did in 2 years."

And he's made more money in those three months than you will in a lifetime. But dont worry 'He feels your pain".
 

Bob Owens

Veteran
Sep 9, 2002
14,274
6,112
[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/3/2002 8:06:39 PM atabuy wrote:

I vote yes for the following reason.
It is the most logical thing to do.

Will we get the loan? I don't know, but I would not want to be the group who was blamed for sending Ual into BK. Mechanics have already felt hostility from other employees and it is as predictable as, you all not liking what the company has done to you.
You guys, like it or not, are in control of losing other employees money for them if you vote no. You can't mess with someones money and not expect repercussions.
You will be blamed for BK even if the gov. would have rejected the loan.

My suggestion is to not allow Ual to go into BK with the no vote. Let the gov. be the bad guy if they so choose. You made your point, and the company has just announced that they are cutting 18% of top management jobs. Will address quality of life issues, and if we start doing better, will share in the profits before 2008.

At least give Mr. tilton a chance. He might be the leader we have needed for a long time.
He has done more in 3 months than 2 ceo's did in 2 years.
Good luck to all of us.
----------------
[/blockquote]

Sorry Ronin.
ATABUY;
Your post is pure bunk. Everyone is responsible for their own actions. Each group chose to make their offer conditional. That was their choice. The mechanics do not have any fiduciary responsibilty towards these other workgroups. All they should be considering is the impact of their decision to them and their families, both short and long term. Thats it.
You imply that a No vote will prevent UAL from going into BK. Well what happens if the ATSB ups the ante and wants even more concessions before they approve the loan? The fact is that nobody, at least at our level knows what will happen with either a yes or no vote. The only thing that is likely is that 6 years from now, UAL mechanics will at best be at the same rate of pay as they are now if they vote yes. In real dollars they will be 6 years behind.
Whats next, going to threaten to slash their tires if they vote No?
 

atabuy

Senior
Oct 13, 2002
419
0
Ahso Grand Master Bob,
I am humbled with your presence in the hallowed hall of Ual mechanics.
You being the best of the best. (BOB) I guess you also get to vote here.
I am going to guess no. I hope I have it right.
Get better quick!!
 

767jetz

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
3,286
2,779
Hey Bob,

I've been trying to ignore your BS, but since you are so persistent, let me throw in my 2 cents worth.

You claim to know so much about our situation even though you don't work here. You claim that the mechanics should vote no because if UAL doesn't get the ATSB loan, at least they will be starting from a better negotiating point infront of the BK judge. Well you're wrong. All concessions are contingent upon APPROVAL of the ATSB loan guarantees. That's right! No ATSB guarantee, no ERP. Then we all get to go into CH11 from our current position.

To all UAL MECHANICS, (not Bob)

Please keep in mind that Mr. Tilton has addressed some of your concerns since the first vote. (ie: quality of work life, and clarification of the vacation changes) Please keep in mind that although it is not a great deal, it is still better than CH11, and it is the last deal before we run out of time and options. For those who think UAL might file or CH11 anyway, keep in mind that if there wasn't a strong possibility of ATSB approval and staying out of CH11, Tilon would have pulled the trigger on December 2nd.

Don't let an AMERICAN AIRLINES employee sway your opinion. I certainly hope you vote yes. But in the end, just vote what's in your heart and in the best interest of your families. Maybe when we get through this, we can finally start to stick it to American, Continental, NWA and all the people lobying so hard for our collective failure. Our best revenge to them and the former management who put us where we are is our success.
 

Bob Owens

Veteran
Sep 9, 2002
14,274
6,112
This is from a UAL mechanic in ORD

Ladies and Gents,
We have a serious vote before us this Thursday. I could offhandedly say we
have already weighed the facts, since none have changed, and collectively
voted our individual decisions to reject this concession package but due to
the climate we find ourselves in there is only advantage in reviewing the
issues. Our position, our contribution, company need, and the future are
all aspects of the current situation that are being spun by various
interests but I hear no one being our advocate.
It is a fact that the UAL mechanic is unlike any other UAL employee with
regard to our cost relative to our peers at other airlines. We alone have
true parity encompassing; compensation, work rules, and benefits. This
detail aligns us with Southwest Airlines (SWA) the benchmark reference for
competitive labor cost. In fact, analyst often lump our entire company
together and deride United for having the "highest labor cost" compared to
SWA while somehow always managing to ignore the issue of our parity. We are
not now nor have we ever been the driver behind the United Industry Leading
Labor Cost.
Unlike most other groups at United who are jockeying to be the LAST one to
give a dime we have been contributing to the UAL recovery since before
9-11. Part of our concession (approx. 200 million) has come from a union
that allowed a half of our contractually guaranteed full retro-pay to be
totally removed by inserting raises that never occurred. Another
contribution we have already made to the United recovery is the nearly
interest free loan to UAL of the remaining portion (approx. 200 million) of
our retro-pay. A final and often overlooked area in which we continue to
contribute to the United Recovery is the manpower reductions we have dealt
with for some time. Make no mistake the savings created by this forced
productivity improvement is as real as pulling one pilot out of the three
position aircraft and it equates to a significant reduction in manpower as
well as overtime cost. Although we have supplied the very substantial
recovery package detailed above not one dime has been acknowledged.
The true picture at United is only known to those few who have access to the
books and understand the real nature of what is contained there. United has
removed most of the old high operating cost fleets, laid-off a tremendous
number of people, has load factors that exceed our competition and nearly
match pre 9-11 levels, closed whole stations, removed cash drain to venture
projects, and already renegotiated with several large vendors to reduce
cost. Our operation has streamlined dramatically and operates with 70% load
factors. United has claimed our daily loss was 15 million then 9 then 5
then 2 now we are 5 or 7 or 9 million a day but only a few really know. I
think we all understand a small $2.50 increase in yield from each ticket
based on the number of folks we move everyday could and would impact this
daily imbalance. Regardless of what analyst and pundits and union reps will
guess about United's need only a few know the real truth and their insight
is biased by an interest in reduced and fixed labor costs.
The future of United is perhaps the most widely speculated aspect of our
current dilemma. Some say bankruptcy is a foregone conclusion, some say
only if this or that happens, some say we alone will determine the future of
United. The bottom line is that only a few actually know the bottom line at
UAL. If UAL files Chapter 11 there is no automatic change or total removal
of our contract and that is the law. Giving concessions will not stop
layoffs or prevent them from coming back for more as the truly insolvent US
Airways has proven. It is idiocy to think a judge, Justice Department
appointee, or new management team installed by debt holders will be
impressed because you did or did not already give at the office so to
speak. After the mechanics first refusal at US Airways the airline had
everything required to seek limited or total removal of the contract. Why
when given the "supposedly" easy option of removing the entire contract or
waiting for limited changes did US Airways wait? They waited because the
only concessions US Airways could be sure of getting was self inflicted
ones! It is also very possible there will not be a Chapter 11 and then it
is not possible to just target mechanics in any fashion.
My vote will still be a NO! It is foolish to lock into such a long-term
contract with no provision to reopen it or review it dependent on company or
economic conditions. We already have parity with our low cost competition.
It is not reasonable to be the only group that would be sinking so far below
our peers and market value. We have already given a substantial amount with
no recognition or return. The company has demonstrated no real plan to
change the business strategy that delivered us here. Management has not
frozen their merit or bonus increases beyond this year. The main reason I
am re-voting NO is that I refuse to surrender over $58,000 myself when very
likely it will never happen otherwise!!!
Name Deleted

Lead AMT ORDMM

I have been considering another side of this story lately and I am have
trouble believing that the US Government would ever allow UAL to flounder or
go into bankruptcy for much larger reasons than mere Capitalism. The
terrorist used United and if they see this major US airline and US
corporation taken down as a result of their actions it only adds to their
impact. I have seen the US support small countries just to save face or
demonstrate our power. I believe the government will not let United sink
and allow terrorist to claim one more victory. I don't think the Government
wants to have small distinctions or any possible debate, like an employee
imposed failure versus a terrorist one, to lend Bin Ladin and followers a
chance to gloat. My feeling is that whether this crisis is real or created
the US Government will do whatever it takes to assure United remains to show
the world you cannot destroy America, ever!
 

Bob Owens

Veteran
Sep 9, 2002
14,274
6,112
Many United mechanics feel they've given enough

By Robert Manor and Grace Aduroja / Chicago Tribune staff reporters
December 3, 2002

United Airlines has a lot to fear in mechanics like Jim Chapko. Chapko, a 17-year United employee, spent part of Monday at his union's headquarters in Des Plaines pondering the latest news from the airline: a wage-concession proposal that would cut his salary by 7 percent.

United and leaders of Local 141-M of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers agreed to the deal Monday. On Thursday, Chapko and about 13,000 union mechanics will vote on the plan. Industry observers see it as United's only hope of avoiding bankruptcy.

But Chapko was unmoved. He was among the 57 percent of mechanics who rejected an almost identical deal last week. Not even the threat of his employer's insolvency can convince him to change his mind.

"Personally, I think bankruptcy is a better thing at this point," said Chapko, 39, of St. Charles.

With a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge overseeing business decisions at United, he reasoned, the airline might avoid the kinds of bad business decisions it has made in the past.

United mechanics have been called a lot of things--holdouts, rogues, professionally suicidal--for voting down the earlier contract proposal after the airlines' other major unions agreed to givebacks.

But they don't see it that way. Understanding why requires a look at United's history, the mechanics' take on the economics of their profession and a little labor politics.

For starters, the mechanics have endured a wage freeze since 1993. Many say they are tired of rescuing a company in perpetual crisis.

"These guys are in a very ill humor," said Darryl Jenkins, director of the Aviation Institute at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. "Years ago, they gave up some pretty good wage concessions, which were supposed to bring them to Valhalla. They ended up going eight years without a pay raise."

The mechanics feel they have paid a steep price for what they consider years of bungled management, such as United's aborted attempt to buy US Airways.

"They feel they have been treated badly," Jenkins said.

Some, including the mechanics' union leaders, have pointed out that a bankruptcy filing could nullify the union's contract, raising the possibility that a judge could set wages lower than a 7 percent reduction. A senior mechanics with dual licenses from the Federal Aviation Administration could earn $72,000 a year.

But a wage cut isn't guaranteed. And if it happened, the mechanics know their skills are in high demand, even in a tight economy.

Mechanics expert at repairing jet engines can learn to maintain the gas-fired electric generators sprouting at factories. Those adroit at repairing plane air-conditioning systems can do the same for office towers. And others who repair aircraft electronics are fully capable of learning to fix the sophisticated electronics of an automated factory.

Needed skills

What's more, United has said it would continue flying in bankruptcy. So it still would need mechanics, and the mechanics think they would have significant wage-pricing power.

All of this makes many mechanics doubt that bankruptcy is such a bad alternative.

Joe Goldhar, a professor of technology management at Illinois Institute of Technology, describes airline mechanics as "knowledge workers."

"Its not turning a wrench," he said. "It's using a computer."

Goldhar said the mechanics have the same power over airlines that the longshoremen have over the nation's docks. But he said the mechanics have earned that power by making themselves indispensable, something the dockworkers have not done.

"The longshoremen have resisted new technology to preserve jobs, while the machinists union embraced new technology because it meant more maintenance work," Goldhar said.

An airline mechanic must study aviation maintenance technology for two years at an approved school, such as Lewis University in Romeoville. Students learn topics such as the use of "liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, eddy current [and] radiographic, sonic and ultrasonic evaluation procedures" for detecting problems with aircraft, according to a course description.

After graduating and earning a Federal Aviation Administration license, prospective airline mechanics must spend five more years as apprentices. For those who make it all the way, the rewards are good, but there are drawbacks.

Unattractive hours

By most standards, the mechanics earn good wages. But the money doesn't come easy.

"It's mostly night and weekend shifts," said Dave Quinn of Glenview, a lead mechanic with 17 years at United. "We work holidays."

The shifts are only logical, as United's planes are flying most other times.

Quinn has no interest in giving more back to United. If the union accepts the latest wage deal, Quinn said, he would work from 1993 to 2010 without a raise.

"We are just coming off a long-term wage freeze," Quinn said. "Nobody wants to go through that again."

Scott Shields, a United mechanic for 18 years, said he doesn't understand why he is being asked to vote again on an agreement almost identical to the one he turned down only a few days ago. It's the same sentiment expressed by other mechanics, some of whom clearly have lost faith in their union leaders. That feeling came through loud and clear in last week's vote to reject.

"It's a little frosting they smeared over the old contract," said Shields, 42, of Mt. Prospect.

Shields said he won't change his vote. "If I have to, I'll work two jobs."
 

Latest posts