more IAM fleet service committeemen recommending a ''no'' vote


Aug 20, 2002
I was taught by the Air Force, if your engine is on fire and you can't put it out, Eject! I ejected as trained five days ago and I see the engine is burning and about to explode! I am still waiting for my chute to open, but at least I am not in that burning hulk of aluminum.
I have had the opportunity to converse with fleet service committeemen other than myself that have recommended a 'no' vote to the workers they represent. This vote will be very close.
I will not speak for them but below is what sums up my position on why I am recommending a 'no vote' for the workers I represent.
1. By fleet service voting 'no' it does not mean this company is going to go belly up and force us to look for other employment. Some 'Doom and gloomers' on this board are advocating that a 'no vote' by 4,500 baggage handlers will force this company to shut its doors. That simply is not true.
Fleet service couldn't force this company to close its doors even if we went on strike. Fleet service already knows that 4,500 baggage handlers alone will not force this company to close its doors, in any situation. Pilots for sure, possibly mechanics but not baggage handlers.
US AIRWAYS is in line to get a $1 billion carrot dangling in front of it, throw in hundreds of millions invested by corporate GIANTS like GE. To suggest that the company and Doctor Bronner will pick his ball up and go home over the ramp issues is unthinkable.
2. We were told that this modification is to address 'current' projection shortfalls. Yet, our proposed contract digs deeper into our pockets in years 2005-2008. Although it might have been fair to give the company more in 2003 or 2004, it is just 'mean' to take more from us in years where the company has written projections of making hundreds of millions of dollars. This is Robin Hood reversed.
3. The 1/1/09 medical snap back to levels described in the 1999 Collective bargaining Agreement (Article 22) is gone from this written contract proposal. This is a big blow for not only our current workers but also those who will soon retire on fixed incomes.
4. The company should settle the Pilots Big Pension problems before coming to us. Although some say that concessions by rampers or ticket counter workers are unrelated to the Pilots pensions, the truth is that you can't separate the company's current situation, our concessions, and the Pilot pension problem without doing harm to justice.
I could go on, but at any rate, I do not believe any ramper should entertain the 'gloom and doomers' and negativists that are trying to stir your emotions into voting 'yes'. After all, if you remove the illusion that a ramper can somehow cause this airline to shut its doors, there is nothing desirable to vote 'yes' on in this concessionary contract.
Just because we work the ramp doesn't mean we are stupid.
Tim Nelson
Local Chairman, 1487, Chicago O'hare
you can call me at: 215-440-6392
Unfortunately, TIM, if all labor groups do as you suggest, US Airways will, AT BEST, teeter on the edge of liquidation for years to come.

If each labor group slices just a little bit extra of the revenue pie, guess what happens? Bye bye US Airways.

After reading your post Tim I have to admit that you are right and we should vote no! I voted yes the last time and I feel like hey my back was in a corner but now the company is just plain out to get rid of us and force us out.

Fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me!

Well put Tim
I agree with you....i work in a class two station...we all know class two stations as well as some class one stations can be reclassified as MDA and Express, mainline workers will be put on MDA and Express pay scales.
..WE must secure protections for the Jobs we have left.....we have lost everything else. I wish more IAM leaders would take a stand for the workers like you and James have.
On top of all the issues listed above, my main issue is the Express and MDA payscale. As I stated in another post, CO Express tops out at $16.75 after 11 years of service. If we opt to stay with the company, we lose the severence pay along with unemployment and will only make the $13-$14 rate. And this is all on top of the added medical costs as well. If the company could have done better to match the CO rates, it would be a bit easier to survive instead of heading for financial disaster. We already lost in the area of $400 a month and can't afford to lose another $900 with the Express and MDA rates. I realize that this is not an issue to those in the hubs and large stations, but for the rest of us it is our #1 issue.
Voting 'no' will bring your issues to the front. You already know a 'no' vote by rampers won't liquidate this company. Vote 'yes' and your issues will not have to be heard for 6 years plus another 3-4 for negotiations.
On 1/6/2003 4:25:56 AM Biffeman wrote:

Tim Nelson
Can you gaurantee that if fleet votes no that the company won't shut its doors?

Ditto, sounds like a major crap shoot to me.

A320 Driver
Wings it is an issues in the hubs. Many senior employees will be transferring to the hubs to keep their mainline jobs. Mainline aircraft will be moved to long range flying, in steady of passing through the hubs 5 times a day they will only pass twice. RJ's will take over. Many layoffs coming to JR employees at the hubs as the RJ's come online. This is why it's important to keep mainline employees work mainline flights in the Med sized cities. Another alternative is to create a fair pay scale for MDA that will allow those employees to remain at home and not transfer. It has to be a great pay scale for me to vote yes on MDA working mainlines though.

a320driver, this company has been a crap shoot for close to 15 years! Whats new?
Hey biff and 320 If you want a gaurantee from this airline
you must not know its history they break gaurantees all the time. The issue is about trust I cannot trust this company anymore they have lied and misled its workers.

I have some 20 yrs with this company I have bled for it but
I will not die for it. The company has turned its focus to fire, layoff, force and do what ever it can to get rid of senior workers. To me there is no other option .

What part of NO dont you understand?
We in the smaller stations have voiced our concerns to the IAM when and if they come to visit us. For the most part it falls on deaf ears. The last time that the IAM rep came to see us, all he did was cram MDA down our throats. We now have less than 20 fleet workers in my station and I can't believe that cutting us to poverty level will save the company millions of dollars. The productivity can get no higher as we do everything possible already. The people in the hubs have just as much if not more downtime as we do,yet they still are worthy of $19 and we are not.....WHY....most in the small stations have well over 20 years of service and are the first to be dumped upon.