"no Sale, Mr. Baldanza"...

deltawatch

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
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INT Reservations Sales Res reps say, "No sale, Mr. Baldanza"...
By Becky Gerald, CWA Local 3640 President

INT Reservations Sales Reps who went into the employee breakroom last Thursday said it looked like a tea-party: fifteen or so managers and supervisors were milling around, and muffins, donuts, and coffee were laid out for the guest of honor, Ben Baldanza, Sr. VP for Marketing.

Mr. Baldanza was one of the executives dispatched from Crystal City to the various airports and work locations last week to put the correct spin on Dave Siegel's Webcast.

As reps poured into the breakroom the discussion was respectful, but the reps were very skeptical. Mr. Baldanza met a room full of well-informed and fed-up employees who were having none of Dave Siegel's new business plan for concessions.

Mr. Baldanza gamely presented the Crystal City view of things: "The company's doing poorly, not because of poor management, but because of high employee costs." He gave an example that went something like this, "It's like if there was a big boulder balancing on top of the hill, and now it's falling our way and rolling faster and faster down the hill right at us - we've got to act fast or we're crushed."
The reps guessed that Mr. Baldanza must have thought they would understand the corporate financial status better if he expressed it in RoadRunner Cartoon terms.

The reps responded with pointed questions and statements, at times getting a little emotional as they pointed out the sacrifices employees have already made, the lack of an effective business strategy, and the big cost advantage US Airways has over Southwest because of US Airways' lower salaries - thanks to our concessions.

There was no indication they had any confidence management was on the right track, or that they were willing to take any further cuts in their standard of living. "Do you know how much a gallon of gas costs these days?" was one question asked.

Another question that was repeated several times during the meeting: "What have you done with the $1.5 billion in concessions employees gave you already - nothing!"

The discussion continued like that for some time, with the agents clearly getting the best of it and Mr. Baldanza doing his duty, but looking like he didn't really have his heart in it. He's a salesman and he knew this was a no-sale.

In the end everyone gave a respectful, "Thanks for coming," and the reps went back to the phones and Mr. Baldanza went back to Crystal City. At this point the gap between the employees and the executives is very wide, and the more the execs explain their business plan the wider it gets.
 

olivia

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Aug 19, 2002
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If now we are to be compared to a low cost carrier such as JetBlue or HP,
perhaps we could eliminate our multi layered management staff and in particular, a very large VP staff. I would be interested in our ratio of employees to
management and number of planes...as compared to JetBlue, their management and their planes.

Here is another scenario that I have seen discussed here...let Dave get
his two cent operational costs down first and if that is accomplished, then
perhaps the labor groups would have more faith and be willing to discuss
the second two cent reduction that is needed.

Also perhaps it is time to give up expensive office rental in DC, along with
sports boxes and executive perks.

Just a few things that would improve morale a bit.
 

TheWatcher

Senior
Aug 26, 2002
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Move the offices out of Washington. Having the headquaters there is too expensive and it doesn't do any politcal goodness. Try putting the headquaters in an airport hanger in CLT or PIT, that way, you can really begin to compare yourselves to SWA.
 

usflyman

Newbie
Mar 30, 2004
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The concession stand is closed for CWA. As stated before, we have given until there is nothing more to give. If i'm not mistaken, the last concessions only were voted in by 5 votes... if other concessions are agreed to by CWA, it probably would not get more then 5 votes for passage... just my opinion
 

airport

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Aug 22, 2002
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Try putting the headquaters in an airport hanger in CLT or PIT, that way, you can really begin to compare yourselves to SWA.

Actually, Southwest's corporate offices are very nice......big, modern, beautiful building at Love Field. Howver, I'm sure US is paying a lot more to lease the Crystal Palace than WN is paying to operate their GO.
 

mweiss

Veteran
Aug 28, 2002
3,440
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Though I suspect being anywhere in AL would put them even more out of touch than they are today. About the only time a US aircraft sees Alabama is when it's an Airbus down there for maintenance.

CLT would be fine, as would PIT. Both relatively inexpensive cities in which to live.
 

700UW

Corn Field
Nov 11, 2003
37,637
19,488
NC
Years back, at the time, Nationsbank offered room in their building, rent free for a long time period if US would move it HDQ, they said no because it would cost them too much to relocate everything.

I know the leases at CCY were renegotiated in chapter 11.
 

700UW

Corn Field
Nov 11, 2003
37,637
19,488
NC
Well Bob, maybe because US only has RJ service in and out of MOB, that dave and his executives would not have first class seats to sit in?
 

PITbull

Veteran
Dec 29, 2002
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700UW said:
Years back, at the time, Nationsbank offered room in their building, rent free for a long time period if US would move it HDQ, they said no because it would cost them too much to relocate everything.

I know the leases at CCY were renegotiated in chapter 11.
They were negotiated at a reduction of $5m per year.
 

KMOB

Newbie
Feb 19, 2004
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PineyBob said:
I know that 700UW, I also happen to know that a huge office complex in Mobile would love to have a tenet, ANY Tenet as the company that owns it now utilizes less than half of the space. With Bronner's connections he could put together a real "sweetheart" deal for US & most likely RSA. Someone tell me why it hasn't even been considered?

Relocations can be ungodly cost wise. But the payout in savings can also be relatively quick. It is not impossible to do.
Well... my first post...

Correction: there WILL be a huge office complex that needs a big tenant. Guess what the building will be called??? The RSA Battle House Tower. I have already heard specific rumors around Mobile about their potential headquarters move. The building will be completed by the beginning of 2006.

Yes, I am from Mobile... thus KMOB.
 

Iflyem

Member
Mar 15, 2004
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Watch out all you loyal and hardworking Res. agents. I heard that U is very strongly thinking of closing ALL of the Res offices, and going strictly as an online etkt company. All you have to do is see the US Airways.com aircraft flying around. The handwriting is on the wall, or should I say, the airplane. :(
 

mweiss

Veteran
Aug 28, 2002
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The technology isn't there yet. Especially at usairways.com. Maybe someday, but not anytime soon.
 

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