Reflections from the unemployment line

x300Udriver

Newbie
Sep 10, 2002
8
0
Over the past few weeks, I''ve been following the rhetoric between ChipMunn/PitGuy/MasterMechanic/AGTN3/G4G5, just to name a few. As a furloughed 300 U driver who''s been on the street for going on 6 months, I felt that I might have something to add to the conversation. In a nutshell, standing in an unemployment line is a very demeaning, demoralizing, humbling experience. Seniority means nothing, 16,000+ hours means nothing, multiple advanced degrees means zip. I''ve since gained employment at my local Home Improvement Warehouse. Quite frankly, I''m enjoying the experience. If, however, through your decisions in the coming weeks, either through a no vote, refusal to take deep cuts or simply walking away, and the company folds, be prepared to start again at the bottom. Be prepared to sweep floors, MasterMechanic. Be prepared to unload 2000 boxes fom an 18-wheeler, Chip, for 2 1/2 hours, like I did yesterday, while someone harps on you for putting a box on the wrong pallet. Be prepared supporter of G4G5''s line of thinking, to work all weekends, all holidays and swing shifts. If you think you''re going to step right into another job, unless you know the owner of the company, be prepared for numerous job rejections. That''s part of starting over. PIT can only take so many new elevator repairmen and commercial air-conditioning technicians with an A&P background. Bottom line-This is not a great economic environment to go looking for a job. Don''t get me wrong; I''m not bemoaning my lot. I enjoy the camaraderie, the exercise, and the challenge to adapt to a radically different environment that comes with my new job. But not everyone can adapt. Vote your conscience, but be fully prepared for the consequences.
 

UAL777flyer

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
730
0
x300driver,

Thanks for raining a little reality down on this board. Here's hoping that you're back flying jets in the very near future. Unfortunately, many still believe the job market is robust enough to flood them with better offers. Just remember folks, the grass always looks greener on the other side.....until you're standing on the other side.
 

cavalier

Veteran
Aug 28, 2002
2,409
1
www.usaviation.com
My brother-in-law owns a industrial pump and machine shop doing business nation wide for twenty years now. The type of work they do requires mechanics for heavy equipment, and he has hired A&P mechanics. He told me that he is looking to cut back a few men due to the slow economy, which has been slowing down for months now with no end in sight, his words. I don't want to post his company information here, but can do so via of an email if requested for verification of my remarks. Not the best time to be gambling ones livelihood it seems.
 

apofurlough

Member
Aug 20, 2002
65
0
well said x300udriver I hope everyone at U thinks about this because like you reality set in for me when I lost my job at U last Oct. It has been 11 months and still nothing. We lost a house we had wanted to buy and my son has had to forego college for a year - you can't get a loan for anything with no income except unemployment. I hope everyone at U thinks about this as they vote. A no vote is not going to help anyone keep a job which they are very fortunate to have in this market. As painful as the cuts are at least there is hope for better things as the company grows stronger. I have seen what Dave has done with CO and I believe he wants to make U the same but he has to have the help of all employees. I am fortunate that I get to vote even though I am furloughed and although I know it is not popular I am voting yes to give U a chance to survive and hopefully let me come back to work I love in an industry I love.
 

us10

Advanced
Sep 11, 2002
138
0
X300 Driver,
Here's hoping that instead of going against each other, we all pull together to go against the real opposition, our competitors, and emerge strong so we can bring back all our furloughed employees.
 

countrygirl

Newbie
Sep 6, 2002
6
0
And for those of you who left school(without your degree)to work for the big airline and see the world (like me)you will be hard-pressed to find a job that pays over $13.00 per hr. So, unless you have a degree in a specific field, ie: medical,academic or law, think very hard,CWAers, before you register that no vote.
 

RODELU

Newbie
Sep 12, 2002
2
0
I agree,it is very difficult in this economy to make ends meet,I as an ex Braniff employee it was not easy then,now to find a job at any age making $20.00 an hour...only in our dreams......people think twice before casting your vote......mr.Siegel is not playing,he wants this company to survive and be the best......is only my opinion..thanks
 

AgMedallion

Advanced
Aug 31, 2002
220
0
Agreed. I also agree with all the above posts, many of which make one appreciate all the more what they have and how much worse it could be. Yet I must conclude that Siegel certainly makes it much harder for himself to get the necessary agreements by inflicting so much less pain on management. Let's face it, U's management has been p-poor for many years. They have made truly brain dead decisions on an ongoing basis. Yet Siegel proposes 6 million dollars worth of bonuses to keep these people! With their record of success, does he actually think other airlines are drooling at the prospect of being able to hire them away from U? There are cuts proposed for management, but they're much less severe than for the rank and file and don't last anywhere near as long, ESPECIALLY compared with the cuts for CS. Siegel proposes cuts for them as if he is totally oblivious to and/or unaware of the pain inflicted on them by previous CEO's. From a psychological standpoint, his operating style leaves something to be desired. Sure, he's an improvement over W&G, but they're almost in the same league as Chainsaw Dunlap or Frank Lorenzo, so that's not saying much. Lastly, the deal worked out with the CWA looks like something of a sellout in terms of adding many CWA dues-paying Express agents to the Union's membership. This whole thing stinks but so do employment prospects for many if they get furloughed. A true lose-lose situation.
 

av8orwife

Member
Aug 20, 2002
58
0
Pittsburgh
www.usaviation.com
I have a business degree. I have 16 years work experience as an underwriter in the insurance business. I was making about $50,000 in 1996 in the Los Angeles area (with a car and a cell phone). When we transferred to Pittsburgh I stopped working, partly to raise children and I also accepted the fact that unlike Philly, Pitssburgh is not the insurance capital of the world. We chose a quieter life.

However, I am now back at work. I managed to find a job, no benefits, no vacation pay (if I need a day off I can take it, but no pay) I get $10.00 an hour. I do have the opportunity to earn more, however, in order to do so I have about 20 hours of studing to do per week for the next six months. That is on top of working 20 - 30 hours a week, chasing kids, running the house (cooking,cleaning,bills,). Like many who work for the airline our spouses do not work 9 - 5, so mostly I am a single parent in a two parent home. I also know I am not special, we all have the same responsibilites when it comes to having a home and a family. There is just never enough hours in the day. I have an opportunity to earn more, but it certainly will not come easy.

The good part of the job is that it is close to home and I have hours that work nice with children in school and I like the people I work with. I try to focus on the positive.

The point is even with a college education and tons of work experience there are just not that many jobs out there. Bayer Corp here in Pit just announced another worldwide cut in its labor force. Unless you are a nurse or a teacher one is hard pressed to find real employement.
 
C

chipmunn

Guest
I agree. I believe people who will be hurt the most will be in the hubs because of the tens of thousands of layoffs and difficulty in selling your house. The competition for any job will be keen and there will not be enough homebuyers; therefore, we could see some foreclosures.

It's truly sad, but if the IAM-M comments on this message are the true sentiment of the rank and file, or the CWA does not ratify their agreement, the end could very near for US Airways.

In fact, it could be one or two paychecks away.

Chip
 

chelebell

Member
Aug 28, 2002
27
0
To CWA & IAM members,
I am not happy with the entire situation. I've been with U for 14 years and a member of CWA and proud to be. I was hoping to retire from U. I still am. However, because of the situation with the airline, I have been looking at websites like Monster.com and others to see what's out there. There isn't anything close to what we will have even with the new contract. Most customer service jobs start at $8.00-$10.00 per hour. And for the IAM, I've been looking at all job listings (because my husband is on unemployment now, too) and I haven't seen many opportunities for mechanics, sorry, but true. I'm in Pit and the job market right now isn't pretty. Not only that, but if President Bush attacks Iraq, that will change everything and fast. Think before you vote, please. I'm not saying it is all fair and right, it isn't. But consider the options, there aren't many.
 

mastermechanic

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
202
0
Look folks, I have nothing against you or your airline. I want nothing more than to work in the profession that I enjoy. I hope that things will work out in the end for everyone. Things ARE tough, both on the inside and especially on the outside. Is any of this more different than what our parents and grandparents faced? Losing what you have, relocating your home and family, it’s all tough. I’m not saying how you should vote or what you should do, that is up to each and every one of you. We are all struggling to stay in an industry that at the moment doesn’t have room for all of us. Yes, I am loud and headstrong, always have been. Hotshot military tech that landed straight on his face and was making $6/hr when I hired into the airlines. I’m scared along with the rest of everyone, but I am also coming to terms with the fact that forces well beyond me, or my control are at work here, and there is nothing I can do about it except stay sharp, focused, and ready to do whatever has to be done. I am already looking for work, preparing for the worst. That’s all anyone today can do.
 

mastermechanic

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
202
0
I am fortunate that I get to vote even though I am furloughed and although I know it is not popular I am voting yes to give U a chance to survive and hopefully let me come back to work I love in an industry I love.

EVEN WORSE..HOW THE HELL CAN THIS BE...I HAVEN'T SEEN JUNK LIKE THIS SINCE THEY IAM BUSED IN SEPARATED FOOD KITCHEN WORKERS TO FORCE THE ESOP ON THE MECHANICS....