So, what is the point of having a UNION?

CS-pro

Member
Oct 24, 2002
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>From www.cwa.net:
November 26, 2002: In addition to the January shut-down of MCO res, and the further downsizing of 239 ft and 80 pt airport agents, management today demanded further concessions from all unionized groups at US Airways. Management stated the concessions are required to get ATSB loan approval and also to fulfill the terms of the Retirement Systems of Alabama financing - both sources of funding, management said, are required for US Airways to come out of bankruptcy.
Managment said they want to know from each group, by close of business Monday, whether that group will participate in the concessions negotiations, and that they want a unanimous response. That information, according to management, will be presented to the US Airways Board of Directors on Tuesday, December 3, and the Board will determine a future course of action for US Airways.
The concessions demanded of passenger service include changes to benefit plans, and productivity increases which give management the right to contract out certain passenger service work. CWA Local Presidents, staff and advisors will be discussing these issues and we will attempt to coordinate our response with the other US Airways unions.
CWA Local Presidents and Staff
---------------------------------------------
NOTE THE SECTION ABOUT OUTSOURCING...
EMPLOYEES AGREE TO A CONTRACT, THEN A RESTRUCTRED CONCESSIONS AGREEMENT,AND NOW THE COMPANY WANTS OUT, SO THOUSANDS OF PASSENGER SERVICE AGENTS, PAST AND FUTURE ,ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS TO OUTSOURCING(and of course DOWNSIZING), DESPITE CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT TO THE CONTRARY.
SO I ASK AGAIN, WHAT IS THE POINT? THE COMPANY HOLDS ALL THE CARDS,AND MAKES ALL THE THREATS AND PROMISES TO CUT HEADS,WHETHER YOU ARE UNIONIZED OR NOT, AM I CORRECT?
SO ARE WE TO BE THANKFUL FOR PAY RATES TO DATE,VACATION BENEFITS TO DATE,GRIEVANCE POLICIES, SICK ACCRUAL TO DATE ETC ETC?? DO THESE ITEMS COUNTERBALANCE THE NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF HAVING A CONTRACT?
 

AOG-N-IT

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
1,132
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www.usaviation.com
CS-Pro, To be or Not be Unionized, that's the question?

All jokes aside...It is a difficult balancing act. Today's enviroment for us has rendered the unions almost powerless to combat what are being called the needs of the company.

Post 9-11-01....Force Majure was inacted by holes or "escape clauses in all the unions contracts....but it's understandable why the company needs such langauge included...but it's sad that they wasted little time or care in exercising those options

Then we have the Chapter 11 issues....that seem to allow the company "Carte Blanche" to close operations like TPA Heavy Maintenance without having to work within the guidlines of the 60 day WARN Act......here again , circumstance as allowed things legally to fall right into the companies lap. Sept 11 01 and the BK Filing has allowed Siegel and Crew to make moves that Wolf and Gangwhal could only dream of prior to these things taking place.

The company will of course express it's regrets....but it's still seeing a chance to whittle this place down in terms of staffing , salaries....and it's now seeking the added demension of elimenating many "Unionized Positions" within both the CWA and the IAM repectively. ALPA will lose more folks , like everyone will...so will the AFA , but niether will have to worry about seeing thier positions "Outsourced" like we will. This is not to knock our friends in the ALPA of AFA...it's just the nature of the beast due to FAA guidlines.

We are sadly in a position where our unions do not provide us much beyond "Senority Bumping Rights"....this in itself is nice....unless you aren't prepared to be a nomad? I myself am facing being relocated against my will , but the choice is at least there for me to make. Without a union....I would have been just fine based on my performance....but I would have had no recourse had my job been abolished? Regardless of my time with the company.

I'm not a union fan....and paying dues under the current company favoring enviroment kinda hurts....So when it's all said and done , you really have to wiegh the pluses and minuses for your own particular circumstance. There is no all encompassing awnser as I see it.
 

N513AU

Advanced
Aug 20, 2002
219
0
[blockquote]
----------------
On 11/30/2002 11:12:53 PM AOG-N-IT wrote:

CS-Pro, To be or Not be Unionized, that's the question?

All jokes aside...It is a difficult balancing act. Today's enviroment for us has rendered the unions almost powerless to combat what are being called the needs of the company.

Post 9-11-01....Force Majure was inacted by holes or "escape clauses in all the unions contracts....but it's understandable why the company needs such langauge included...but it's sad that they wasted little time or care in exercising those options

Then we have the Chapter 11 issues....that seem to allow the company "Carte Blanche" to close operations like TPA Heavy Maintenance without having to work within the guidlines of the 60 day WARN Act......here again , circumstance as allowed things legally to fall right into the companies lap. Sept 11 01 and the BK Filing has allowed Siegel and Crew to make moves that Wolf and Gangwhal could only dream of prior to these things taking place.

The company will of course express it's regrets....but it's still seeing a chance to whittle this place down in terms of staffing , salaries....and it's now seeking the added demension of elimenating many "Unionized Positions" within both the CWA and the IAM repectively. ALPA will lose more folks , like everyone will...so will the AFA , but niether will have to worry about seeing thier positions "Outsourced" like we will. This is not to knock our friends in the ALPA of AFA...it's just the nature of the beast due to FAA guidlines.

We are sadly in a position where our unions do not provide us much beyond "Senority Bumping Rights"....this in itself is nice....unless you aren't prepared to be a nomad? I myself am facing being relocated against my will , but the choice is at least there for me to make. Without a union....I would have been just fine based on my performance....but I would have had no recourse had my job been abolished? Regardless of my time with the company.

I'm not a union fan....and paying dues under the current company favoring enviroment kinda hurts....So when it's all said and done , you really have to wiegh the pluses and minuses for your own particular circumstance. There is no all encompassing awnser as I see it.

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[/blockquote]

As I often said in before, it's like paying the Mob protection money. The company will screw you if they have a chance.(Just ask all the good managers in TPA who showed up to work to be jostled and thrown out the door by the corporate KGB.) However, big unions that have been in power a long time (ie. IAM) have their own interests which are not yours. For example, the IAM is interested in keeping its large beaurocracy and leadership perks. Plus, it has had a long standing history of supporting any idea that keeps jobs in PIT. Any mech will tell you about the "Mecca Mentality." If the corporate lords had pulled the stunt they did in TPA in PIT, the IAM would have been out with all guns blazing. They were rather absent in TPA.

Yes, TPA mecs are suing them right now, for the revote, etc. But there has been a long standing dislike of the IAM down there, because the union pretty much ignored that base.
I've heard that when the IAM was doing information road shows in PIT and CLT, they would just send information to TPA rather than show up in person. I've also been told that getting your phone call returned from an IAM official was almost impossible down there.

So, you need to pay a union to protect the company from destroying your career, but it comes at a cost - which, yes, is essentially paying off a criminal racket.
 

wings396

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
3,672
1,122
In the case of the IAM and fleet service many of us have been left out in the cold. All of our voices and ideas have come from reps that work in the big stations PHL,CLT,PIT,LGA,& BOS. Needless to say they have no idea of our concerns in the smaller stations, nor do they care.
Most of the items they agree to have little effect on them or their station..MDA case in point, all small stations get to work for less (if MDA ever starts) and they keep what they have. At least the CWA had some voices that were heard when it came time to negotiate the changes,granted the $13 express class is not that great. All we can hope for is that some of these guys get bumped out by a high seniority agent that had to relocate due to their lack of concern for us.
 

Seatacus

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
3,036
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Puget Sound
www.usaviation.com
With the next round of layoffs by my count we will have approx. 1900 fulltime Cust. Serv. employees. Would any concessions from us make any difference? We could work for free and the cost savings would be peanuts.
 

Bear96

Veteran
Aug 20, 2002
2,926
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If y'all didn't have a union most functions would have been outsourced years ago, your defined benefitpensions would have disappeared weeks ago (like DL's-- except for their (unionized!) pilots, of course), and your pay rates would never have been as high as they are even now after the cuts.
 

AOG-N-IT

Veteran
Aug 19, 2002
1,132
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www.usaviation.com
[blockquote]
----------------
On 12/1/2002 2:29:46 PM tug_slug wrote:

Bears thank you!

Most people think that U pays us what they do because theyve got such a big heart and are truly concerened about their employees. NOT

I said this before and I'll say it again, it wouldnt matter what union is representing us at this point in time, theres very little they could do, it wouldnt matter if it was AMFA or the IAM.
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[/blockquote]
Gent's , I completely agree with your views on this!! In fact , AMFA would bid worse for many outside of the strictly "Mechanics Group" Utility,Stores, Planners and the IAM Fleet people would be some "At Will" hurting Son of a Guns right now. There is no cure-all for everyone.
 

tug_slug

Veteran
Sep 9, 2002
550
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www.usaviation.com
Bears thank you!

Most people think that U pays us what they do because theyve got such a big heart and are truly concerened about their employees. NOT

I said this before and I'll say it again, it wouldnt matter what union is representing us at this point in time, theres very little they could do, it wouldnt matter if it was AMFA or the IAM.
 

CPRich

Member
Aug 29, 2002
21
0
IMHO, the point of having a union would have been to understand the financial picture of the airlines, consider the alernatives of concessions and wage freezes/cuts vs. the reality of Chapter 11, which would mean the voiding of agreements and being at the whim of management.

I'm not close enough to know whether the unions in this case acted in their members best interest or not. But once Chapter 11 was filed, any contracts, agreements, etc. are pretty much out the window and unions are, to some extent, a non-factor.

That's the downside of taking a hard line and not giving in to demands driven by marketplace realities (again, no idea if that is the case with US, speaking in general)
 

CPRich

Member
Aug 29, 2002
21
0
IMHO, the point of having a union would have been to understand the financial picture of the airlines, consider the alernatives of concessions and wage freezes/cuts vs. the reality of Chapter 11, which would mean the voiding of agreements and being at the whim of management.

I'm not close enough to know whether the unions in this case acted in their members best interest or not. But once Chapter 11 was filed, any contracts, agreements, etc. are pretty much out the window and unions are, to some extent, a non-factor.

That's the downside of taking a hard line and not giving in to demands driven by marketplace realities (again, no idea if that is the case with US, speaking in general)
 

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