The Fleecing of American Employees

j7915

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Sep 7, 2002
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Buck, of course I could figure out the color code, I could also ignore the postings. Which is what you want anyway.

There is still a question that has not been answered, how much do the SWA/NWA overhaul mechanics make? We all know what the line mechs make.
 

Bob Owens

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Sep 9, 2002
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On 6/12/2003 1:37:34 PM j7915 wrote:

Buck, of course I could figure out the color code, I could also ignore the postings. Which is what you want anyway.

There is still a question that has not been answered, how much do the SWA/NWA overhaul mechanics make? We all know what the line mechs make.



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And what benifit do line mechanics recieve from this relationship?

Should line mechanics be willing to work for less because Overhaul is afraid to fight?

If Overhaul was willing to fight I would have no problem walking the line to keep their jobs but is it reasonable to expect guys that live in high cost areas to accept being driven out of either the industry or where they live because of a bunch of cowards in low cost areas that figure they can get by on the concessions? Isnt it a little hypocritical when they say that we should accept this in the name of "Solidarity" because they have the majority? Where is the mutual concern that "Solidarity" requires?

At this point in the game, if the company should make us an offer that would split us away from Overhaul can you give me one tangible reason why we should not take it? Can you give me one good reason why Line maint should want to be associated with overhaul when that association puts line mechanics in a position where they can not defend themselves, where their livelihood is voted away from them with no way to fight back? An association that has proven to only be a liability ? I hear people talk about unity, but what do they mean? That we should be purely altruistic and make our families suffer for those that can afford more material comforts than we can? Should we just accept their majority rule and the negative impact it has on our families and careers? Isnt that a little too much to ask?

During concessions talks the company told the line stations over and over again "SWA does not have overhaul". They said this for a reason. What they wanted to do was drive a wedge between the two groups. They have been successful. In light of the vote, why should the line guys, many of whom have and will start to seek other employment, reject an offer from the company that would seperate them from overhaul?
 

Bob Owens

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Sep 9, 2002
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----------------
On 6/11/2003 2:15:10 PM j7915 wrote:

What do you propose? Walk out? Protest outsourcing by distributing fliers at the terminal? Demand a meeeting with the CEO? Call the FAA and demand a change to FAR 145?

Sure, lets do all of that!

Strength and unity only works in politics, in business you would have to boycott, do you want to drive customers away?

Oh really? So you are saying that really we dont need unions. We just need to all join a political party and that will fix everything? Strength and Unity should work in unions but first we would have to have a union that has its primary interest in the people that they are representing. That wont happen until there is accountability to those people.


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Buck

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On 6/12/2003 1:37:34 PM j7915 wrote:

Buck, of course I could figure out the color code, I could also ignore the postings. Which is what you want anyway.

There is still a question that has not been answered, how much do the SWA/NWA overhaul mechanics make? We all know what the line mechs make.



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I am researching an answer for you, however it really does not matter when there are more A&P mechanics topped out at NWA and SWA than at AA.
 

j7915

Senior
Sep 7, 2002
423
0
----------------
On 6/13/2003 12:33:59 AM Buck wrote:

----------------

On 6/12/2003 1:37:34 PM j7915 wrote:


Buck, of course I could figure out the color code, I could also ignore the postings. Which is what you want anyway.


There is still a question that has not been answered, how much do the SWA/NWA overhaul mechanics make? We all know what the line mechs make.




----------------​

I am researching an answer for you, however it really does not matter when there are more A&P mechanics topped out at NWA and SWA than at AA.

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AA has fewer than 1500 topped out mechanics? Or whatever the number of mechanics left at NWA is?
 

j7915

Senior
Sep 7, 2002
423
0
Bob you are correct, the line stations have no reason not to split off if given the chance. The company is also correct, obviously stating that SWA has no overhaul. Is splintering into smaller and smaller groups an advantage? It may work for one carrier, but if everyone does it? Just like being a smart consumer gives you an edge, until everyone uses the same trick.

Maybe if the agitators at AA would just accept the fact that not all jobs are worth the same then we could move forward. As it is there will be one AMFA type push after the other, regardless if or when they succeed, the turmoil may inspire the industry to develop a contractor maintenance system to deal with line maintenance also. Look around your station, are all the jobs really worth the pay? Are all the carriers getting oil, tire pressure etc, etc done by mechanics with your pay, or even by mechanics? How about fuelers and de-icers? Could one panel truck making the rounds service everyone''s 737s for example?

I have posted this analogy several times before: how many people insist that a certified auto mechanic do the tire change on their car when they go to Tire Barn ? I expect the individual to be proficient in doing the tire replacement, but I see no reason to pay a premium because he might also be qualified to do an electronic analysis of the engine systems.

Do airlines support shops need a fully qualified A&P to break down tires and breaks, or overhaul seats, do composite repairs that are routine? The OEMs don''t employ A&Ps for those functions if they employ them at all for their license.

The fact is that it is economically feasible to have aircraft maintenance chase labor costs. US business is eager to chase lower costs. At some point labor will be so low that it can barely afford WalMart. WalMart and Tiffany''s and no in betwen. Then it will become interesting. Third world here we come? Or maybe the distraction of perpetual war on terrorism to keep everyone on edge, and distracted? Do we turn left or right at that point?
 

j7915

Senior
Sep 7, 2002
423
0
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On 6/12/2003 8:41:42 PM Bob Owens wrote:






----------------

On 6/11/2003 2:15:10 PM j7915 wrote:


What do you propose? Walk out? Protest outsourcing by distributing fliers at the terminal? Demand a meeeting with the CEO? Call the FAA and demand a change to FAR 145?


Sure, lets do all of that!


Strength and unity only works in politics, in business you would have to boycott, do you want to drive customers away?


Oh really? So you are saying that really we dont need unions. We just need to all join a political party and that will fix everything? Strength and Unity should work in unions but first we would have to have a union that has its primary interest in the people that they are representing. That wont happen until there is accountability to those people.




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Hello Bob, no I am not saying that we should all join a political party. The point I am trying to get across is that at least here in Tulsa, 60% of the TWU vote for political candidates for reasons far removed from their paycheck, and then they complain that the union''s support of politicians, that the membership will not vote for, is not getting us the pay or job security we want.

None of the GOP representatives in the Oklahoma congressional delegation, and the lone Democrat have to listen to the union''s position on anything. They know that the TWU membership does not speak with an overwhelming voice for issues that are really at the heart of unionism, and our jobs.

The suprise is that the AFL-CIO is doing even as well as they are. What with the Democrats intimidated into inactivity by all the propaganda and flag waving going on.
 

Buck

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Aug 20, 2002
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----------------
On 6/13/2003 3:07:11 AM j7915 wrote:

Bob you are correct, the line stations have no reason not to split off if given the chance. The company is also correct, obviously stating that SWA has no overhaul.
Is splintering into smaller and smaller groups an advantage? It may work for one carrier, but if everyone does it? Just like being a smart consumer gives you an edge, until everyone uses the same trick.

Maybe if the agitators at AA would just accept the fact that not all jobs are worth the same then we could move forward. As it is there will be one AMFA type push after the other, regardless if or when they succeed, the turmoil may inspire the industry to develop a contractor maintenance system to deal with line maintenance also. Look around your station, are all the jobs really worth the pay? Are all the carriers getting oil, tire pressure etc, etc done by mechanics with your pay, or even by mechanics? How about fuelers and de-icers? Could one panel truck making the rounds service everyone''s 737s for example?

I have posted this analogy several times before: how many people insist that a certified auto mechanic do the tire change on their car when they go to Tire Barn ? I expect the individual to be proficient in doing the tire replacement, but I see no reason to pay a premium because he might also be qualified to do an electronic analysis of the engine systems.

Do airlines support shops need a fully qualified A&P to break down tires and breaks, or overhaul seats, do composite repairs that are routine? The OEMs don''t employ A&Ps for those functions if they employ them at all for their license.

The fact is that it is economically feasible to have aircraft maintenance chase labor costs. US business is eager to chase lower costs. At some point labor will be so low that it can barely afford WalMart. WalMart and Tiffany''s and no in betwen. Then it will become interesting. Third world here we come? Or maybe the distraction of perpetual war on terrorism to keep everyone on edge, and distracted? Do we turn left or right at that point?

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The company is also correct, obviously stating that SWA has no overhaul.

Now Southwest has "No" overhaul?

Maybe if the agitators at AA would just accept the fact that not all jobs are worth the same then we could move forward.

This must include Fleet Service. So why does the TWU insist on including them in every negotiation concerning the mechanics?
 

Buck

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----------------
On 6/13/2003 2:40:16 AM j7915 wrote:

----------------
On 6/13/2003 12:33:59 AM Buck wrote:

----------------

On 6/12/2003 1:37:34 PM j7915 wrote:


Buck, of course I could figure out the color code, I could also ignore the postings. Which is what you want anyway.


There is still a question that has not been answered, how much do the SWA/NWA overhaul mechanics make? We all know what the line mechs make.




----------------​

I am researching an answer for you, however it really does not matter when there are more A&P mechanics topped out at NWA and SWA than at AA.

----------------​

AA has fewer than 1500 topped out mechanics? Or whatever the number of mechanics left at NWA is?


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Okay I stand corrected, as a percentage AA has less A&P mechanics topped out. AA still has the lowest average A&P compensation.
 

Bob Owens

Veteran
Sep 9, 2002
14,274
6,112
----------------
On 6/13/2003 3:07:11 AM j7915 wrote:

Bob you are correct, the line stations have no reason not to split off if given the chance. The company is also correct, obviously stating that SWA has no overhaul. Is splintering into smaller and smaller groups an advantage? It may work for one carrier, but if everyone does it? Just like being a smart consumer gives you an edge, until everyone uses the same trick.

Response;
Smallness has not hurt the mechanics at SWA or UPS. In the case of line mechanics it could prove to be advantageous. I still do not see any advantage that being in a large group, with overhaul, provides for line mechanics. The problem here is that we are really dealing with two different markets, line maint and overhaul. The consumer, the company, recieves a double bonus here by getting line maint for the price of overhaul. Maybe its the producer of line maint that needs to learn new tricks?

Maybe if the agitators at AA would just accept the fact that not all jobs are worth the same then we could move forward. As it is there will be one AMFA type push after the other, regardless if or when they succeed, the turmoil may inspire the industry to develop a contractor maintenance system to deal with line maintenance also. Look around your station, are all the jobs really worth the pay? Are all the carriers getting oil, tire pressure etc, etc done by mechanics with your pay, or even by mechanics? How about fuelers and de-icers? Could one panel truck making the rounds service everyone''s 737s for example?

Response;
I suppose they could. If those carriers had a maint program like that cleared with the FAA. In fact UPS could have done that and SWA does it in many stations. I''ve done plenty of contract maint and the pay is not that far from ours and the deals are there. Often jobs are "done and go" and still get paid. This enables a mechanic to earn a lot more per hour than the stated price. More than on his "regular" job.The fact is that airlines get the most bang for the buck with line maint. Thats not my opinion thats the opinion of many articles in trade magazines. Loads of carriers have line maint woithout overhaul but I know of no airline that has OH and no line maint.

I have posted this analogy several times before: how many people insist that a certified auto mechanic do the tire change on their car when they go to Tire Barn ? I expect the individual to be proficient in doing the tire replacement, but I see no reason to pay a premium because he might also be qualified to do an electronic analysis of the engine systems.

Response;
The problem with that, at least as Line maint goes is that you want enough qualified people around to handle what might come up. It makes more sense to have them do other things as well, even though such things could in theory be done by less qualified people.

Do airlines support shops need a fully qualified A&P to break down tires and breaks, or overhaul seats, do composite repairs that are routine? The OEMs don''t employ A&Ps for those functions if they employ them at all for their license.

The fact is that it is economically feasible to have aircraft maintenance chase labor costs. US business is eager to chase lower costs. At some point labor will be so low that it can barely afford WalMart. WalMart and Tiffany''s and no in betwen. Then it will become interesting. Third world here we come? Or maybe the distraction of perpetual war on terrorism to keep everyone on edge, and distracted? Do we turn left or right at that point?

Response;
I would hope that before that happens that we will get leadership that is willing to lead the fight, unfortuneately we have leadership that lacks any backbone whatsover and the members have no say as to who they are. Change must come. One way or another, it will.

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Bob Owens

Veteran
Sep 9, 2002
14,274
6,112
----------------
On 6/13/2003 2:37:58 AM j7915 wrote:






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Hello Bob, no I am not saying that we should all join a political party. The point I am trying to get across is that at least here in Tulsa, 60% of the TWU vote for political candidates for reasons far removed from their paycheck, and then they complain that the union''s support of politicians, that the membership will not vote for, is not getting us the pay or job security we want.

None of the GOP representatives in the Oklahoma congressional delegation, and the lone Democrat have to listen to the union''s position on anything. They know that the TWU membership does not speak with an overwhelming voice for issues that are really at the heart of unionism, and our jobs.

The suprise is that the AFL-CIO is doing even as well as they are. What with the Democrats intimidated into inactivity by all the propaganda and flag waving going on.



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I spoke with Roger Taus today about the FAR 145 Memo the he put out. He said that Inhone (however its spelled) a Republican was very helpful. The point is there are Republicans that are very hostile to labor and others that are not.

If the Democrats are that easily intimidated then they need to be replaced, like our union leadership.

If we have to count on friendly Republicans instead of our own union leaders for anything positive then we need new leaders.

While I agree that the political arena is important it is not the sole means to our getting what we need. Great leaders of the past did not rely solely on passive electoral politics to make change. They went out and made the effort to sell their message to the population or used civil disobedience to appeal to the average Americans sense of fair play. Unfortunately many of todays union leaders like to use difficulties or supposed difficulties in the political arena as an excuse for their lack of action. Its a handy excuse. In the meantime they really have no motivation to lead for change, they live a comfortable existance with six figure salaries, homes in exclusive areas, free cars etc. Its easy for them to sit back an accept the status quo while writing a few speeches about how the members are at fault for not voting how they tell them to. We are supposed to be a "labor union" not just a PAC. The fact is, even if every union member did vote exactly how their leaders told them to it would not change most electoral results. Even if it did the union leaders would simply think up another excuse for their lack of action.

If unions can not even get the "goodwill" of their own members how can they expect to get the goodwill of the general population? The lack of confidence that the members have in their unions is not half as disturbing as the lack of confidence that Union leaders have in their members.

This feeling is promoted by union leaders. When I went for training I remember being told what a thankless job we have all agreed to take instead of what a priviledge we have been given.

If being a union rep is thankless then you are not doing it right.

But this mantra has a purpose. It allows the International to isolate the elected representative from the membership. It draws them into their web with the temptation being that coveted "appointment". A job with no timeclock, weekends off, holidays off , vacation and all you have to do is repeat whatever the International tells you to. Believe what ever they tell you to. Sell what they tell you to.

Reinforcement is important between these people who for the most part started off with noble intentions. This reinforcement about how undeserving and ungrateful the members are helps to ease whatever guilt they may feel as they sell out those whose money they take every week. This lack of confidence often developes into a thinly vieled contempt as was revealed to me in a discusion I had with Mike Bakala who said that the problem with the labor movement was in the weakness of the members who only knew how to take and took everything for granted. When I explained that much of what he claimed that was taken for granted was just taken away from them with the full endorsement of the union he went on to talk about how bad bankruptcy was and how he had been through it and" believe me, you dont want to go through that". At the time I was sitting in his nice office on Broadway, looking at pictures on the wall of his luxruious home and boat. I said "Well you survived, so will we but I cant see giving everything away with out a fight". I said that in conversations I''d had with former Pan Am workers most said that they wish that they had never given any concessions as it just dragged out the inevitable, in the end costing them more in lost earnings. "I told him that the leaders have failed us and thanks to them I can no longer consider this my career, its just a job, until I find something else. They had destroyed the careers of thousands of other workers as well. We have all been through layoffs but this was worse, losing the money but still providing the labor. But what do they really care? They rarely face the members, collect their six figure salaries and other perks and get to sit and look down Broadway.
 
OP
R

RV4

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Whatever happened to negotiating outsource restrictions, wages, benefits, and work rules into the labor agreement?

Has the Union Leadership failed us so miserably that the emphasis on politics for gains is really nothing more than a scape goat excuse for such failed leadership and bargaining?

To hell with ALL (both parties) the politcians when it comes to workers issues! Let's go back to simple union basics or just get of the worthess unions period.!


Read This:

June 12, 2003

Dissension in the Ranks

""Now I don't who to trust and I don't know what I can believe

They say they want to help me with the stuff they keep on sayin'

But I think those guys just want to keep on playin'

Roulette, with my life""

- "Roulette" by Bruce Springsteen



The essence of America's labor unions -the principle on which they were founded- is direct participation by individual workers in the decisions that shape their occupation, their wages and their lives. That singular ability is what eventually drew so many of America's workers to unions. In many ways, labor unions were and are the only avenue of empowerment for the working class of this country.



When union workers are deprived of that ability of direct participation, when they are made to feel irrelevant, when decisions that affect the many are continually made by the few, then members will eventually question not only the quality of their leaders, but also the relevancy of their union.



For far too long, too many unions have been overbearing bureaucracies in which the individual member does not matter. One cannot take away the single, most important reason to be a union member and not expect rebellion or some form of galvanized dissent. Not only will individual members be concerned with the lack of influence they have on their union and jobs, they will also be concerned with their union's ability to deal with forces aimed at disintegrating organized labor.



As Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois said recently, "Just picture another four years of a Bush Administration unfettered by concerns of re-election. Unions are not in the 2008 picture.unions will be under siege, constant well-financed referenda will happen in state after state, legal assaults and investigations will take place at every level, and we'll always be the target of well-financed media campaigns."



The response of the rank and file is evident. Some TWU mechanics are seeking new representation. The "Pilots Defending the Profession" group is gaining more credence and support. APFA members have removed their union pins, are organizing lawsuits and petitions for the removal of union officers.



They are not taking action out of some whimsy to dissent or as "rebels without a clue". They act because, in some cases, they feel their union officials no longer represent them or their best interests. They act because they are tired of hearing their officers repeating management doublespeak that came straight from corporate headquarters. They act because they feel their voices have been silenced and their will undermined.



Of course, resistance to change is certain because so many fear change of any kind. And some want to preserve the status quo at any cost. In some cases, strong attempts will be made to stifle dissent within the rank and file. Yet, those who are dissatisfied with the direction and actions of their union probably feel as Robert Kennedy did when he said, "The future does not belong to those who are content with today."



Some actions may end up being futile. Some may not.



In the end, the motivation for change, the dissension within the ranks, perhaps comes from a desperate need for hope when so much has been taken away, so many lives terribly altered and so little hope is in the present.



And as St. Augustine said, "Hope has two beautiful children: anger and courage; anger at the way things are and courage to change them."





Steven Baumert
 

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