Mechanics Wages

HI-LOCK

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Aug 30, 2002
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If UPS can afford $42/hr for aircraft mechanics then the major airlines can afford $35/hr.We also fly cargo and will leave passengers off the airplane to fly cargo.The UA or AA mechanic changes the same brake and tire on a B-757 as the UPS mechanic does.The UA or AA mechanic installs the same skin doubler as the UPS mechanic.This is an apples to apples comparison of skills as we are being paid for our skills not the kind of business we are in.
 

BeenThere

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Aug 26, 2002
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HI LOCK:
I couldn't agree with you more. I would bet that AA or UA would argue that they would gladly pay us higher wages if we operated like UPS. UPS has only 1000 or so mechanics compared to 10,000 to 12,000 at AA and UA. UPS contracts out most of its work. They operate much leaner than the passenger carriers do. They don't look at us they way they look at their own Executive VIP selves when it comes to compensation. I am also curious that if the mechanics are making those wages, will they give comparable percentage increases to the loaders and sorters at UPS? I bet not!
 

UAL777flyer

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Aug 20, 2002
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To simply assume that if UPS can pay its mechanics $42 an hour than UA and AA can pay their mechanics $35 an hour is ignorant of the major differences between all cargo/package delivery carriers and passenger carriers. The cargo/package delivery business is not anywhere near as susceptible to cyclical downturns in the economy as the passenger airline industry. Case in point would be the present fiasco we're in. While the U.S. airlines are struggling with the recessionary economy, the all-cargo/package delivery carriers are not dealing with the same loss of revenue. While conference calling and slashed budgets has limited business fliers willingness to travel at exhorbitant fares, packages/documents/cargo still need to be shipped worldwide to conduct business.

Also, those cargo/package delivery carriers do not suffer from the many inefficiencies built into the hub/spoke passenger carriers. There are many more differences that enable those carriers to pay more because they're less at risk to fluctuations in the revenue environment. I'm not talking about carriers like Atlas. I'm talking about UPS and FedEx.
 

Steiner

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Aug 21, 2002
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So would you say UAL cannot afford to hold onto their most talented mechanics, given that greener pastures lay beyond? That is what tends to happen when companies cannot keep up with market prices for talented technicians. Keep you pay lower than other industries and those that can move on, leaving behind those who cannot for lack of skills.

Oh yeah, don't confuse us with pilots. Pilots have to have a ATP to work at an airline. Mechanics just need the equivelant to a Private Pilot's certificate. Your mileage may vary after that.
 

ExAF

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Aug 20, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 9/13/2002 10:30:31 AM Steiner wrote:

So would you say UAL cannot afford to hold onto their most talented mechanics, given that greener pastures lay beyond? That is what tends to happen when companies cannot keep up with market prices for talented technicians. Keep you pay lower than other industries and those that can move on, leaving behind those who cannot for lack of skills.
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That would be true if it wasn't a seniority based industry. Most mechs with any seniority aren't about to leave and start all over at the bottom of the seniority list at another carrier just because their hourly rate is a few dollars more. Pilots are in the same boat. If it took a while to get where your are now, it will take even longer to get there if you start over with another company.
 
Aug 20, 2002
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Valhalla
www.usaviation.com
[blockquote]
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On 9/13/2002 10:30:31 AM Steiner wrote:

So would you say UAL cannot afford to hold onto their most talented mechanics, given that greener pastures lay beyond? That is what tends to happen when companies cannot keep up with market prices for talented technicians. Keep you pay lower than other industries and those that can move on, leaving behind those who cannot for lack of skills.

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The industry has a serious revenue problem. If the revenue ain't there then why do you think you're entitle to high wages for just showing up for work??

And don't think the cargo carriers are greener pastures either. Post 911 so much domestic airfreight moved to expedited trucking. More truck mechanics required, not airplane mechanics.

Bottom line -- the customers ain't paying the price you airline folks think you're worth. Welcome to supply & demand!

Even the cargo carrier Atlas just cut a new unique deal with CI to provide everything but the aircrew. So don't think the cargo people aren't watching their costs.
 

mastermechanic

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Aug 20, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 9/13/2002 11:07:13 AM ExAF wrote:

[blockquote]
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On 9/13/2002 10:30:31 AM Steiner wrote:

So would you say UAL cannot afford to hold onto their most talented mechanics, given that greener pastures lay beyond? That is what tends to happen when companies cannot keep up with market prices for talented technicians. Keep you pay lower than other industries and those that can move on, leaving behind those who cannot for lack of skills.
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[/blockquote]
That would be true if it wasn't a seniority based industry. Most mechs with any seniority aren't about to leave and start all over at the bottom of the seniority list at another carrier just because their hourly rate is a few dollars more. Pilots are in the same boat. If it took a while to get where your are now, it will take even longer to get there if you start over with another company.
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I figure with the pay AND benefit cuts coming at United, I won't be far off from what a starting position pays at the freighters. I also have pretty good senority, and I'm trying to get on over there as we speak. That should make 777flyer and his flying co-horts very happy
 

UAL777flyer

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If you were to find greener pastures, I would be happy for you. I'd be happy for anyone who managed to do better for themself and their family, especially during a difficult economic time. So if you're able to do that, my hat's off to you. I wish you no ill will, nor anyone else. Just trying to be positive even though I realize that pain is on the horizon for ALL of us. But I'd rather shoulder some pain for awhile and work to turn things around than throw in the towel and bring down the company for good. That serves no purpose whatsoever. And if it turns out that I cannot withstand the cuts that come to my group, than I'll have no choice but to leave. But that doesn't mean I'd advocate shutting the place down just because I viewed the cuts as being too steep.
 

Bob Owens

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Sep 9, 2002
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UAL777;
What do UPS pilots earn? Does a UPS Pilot earn 20% more than a UAL pilot? If the business is so different then wouldnt pilots pay also reflect the difference?
 

magsau

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Aug 20, 2002
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Bob,

Not sure about the UPS pilots, but at FedEx their pilots, while earning a lower hourly wage, earn higher year on year salaries. The FedEx pilots get lots of credit time for their operation. If you think about how the night hub works, a pilot would come fly from MEM-EWR, depart at 2300 arrive EWR at 0300, leave EWR the following evening and be back in MEM at around 2200. This eats up alot of days of availability and has little flight time. The FedEx pilots get much more and they are paid time and 1/2 or double time on some occassions. If a pilot picks up a trip that is paid at time and 1/2. There is no limit on the amount of credit hours a pilot can be paid for in a month at FedEx. At UAL the most we can get paid for is 85 hours. These are just a few of the differences that allow the 727 captains at FedEx to earn over 250K a year.

The comparison of freight vs pax carriers is skewed by the schedule. They are not looking for frequencies (hourly service in business markets) they are looking for making sure the freight arrives on-time. A freight carrier may have thousands of customers (letters) on board a 727, when the best the airlines could do is about 145. (often the letters pay a higher fare than the pax!) There are enough dissimilarities to make the comparison apples-oranges.

In fact I bet the people that load the freight at the sort center in MEM probably earn more than the folks that load the bags at UAL or AMR for that matter. FedEx is committed to getting the product where it needs to be when it is supposed to be there. I am sure UPS operates in a similar manner.
 

bigJ

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Sep 2, 2002
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UAL777Flyer....You make it sound like UPS/FEDEX don't operate a hub/spoke carrier operation.
 

magsau

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FedEx and UPS do not operate a traditional hub and spoke airline. With generally only one flight a night through a hub, with the exception of say LAX, SFO, EWR etc. It would be impossible for a traditional passenger carrying airline to operate with a one bank, one hub type of arrangement. Freight vs Airline is apples oranges.
 

UAL777flyer

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I never said UPS/FedEx don't operate hub/spoke systems. But they are not traditional passenger hub/spoke systems, which are laden with gross inefficiencies. The freight hub system is different and less inefficient. That was my point.
 

Steiner

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Aug 21, 2002
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Didn't UAL once have a freight operation?

Really, this is all too complicated. An airplane is an airplane. If you can't afford to fix it, you shouldn't be flying.
 
OP
H

HI-LOCK

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Aug 30, 2002
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[blockquote]
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On 9/15/2002 8:02:54 PM UAL777flyer wrote:

I never said UPS/FedEx don't operate hub/spoke systems. But they are not traditional passenger hub/spoke systems, which are laden with gross inefficiencies. The freight hub system is different and less inefficient. That was my point.
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Who do you think was performing the Fed Ex Heavy C checks from 1995 until recently on B-727 and A-300 aircraft? A major airline named American Airlines in Tulsa.The same skills have to be utilized repairing a freighter as is used repairing a passenger plane.Some of the structure repairs on a freighter are MORE extensive than on a passenger plane such as a seat track splice on B-727 freighter.EQUAL SKILLS=EQUAL PAY.
 

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