The New Deal----

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Oliver Twist

Aug 20, 2002
Raleigh, NC
I feel that I must say a few things about the CWA TA. First of all I will vote yes. I feel I have no choice but to vote that way. It is the lesser of 2 evils, and I do mean EVILS.
The result of my “figuring†is as follows. I will take a 11.3% cash pay cut when all losses/reductions are counted (except the new medical rates yet to be determined), NOT solely the 8.03% hourly cut stated in the proposal. I will go from a baseline of $45,864 to a new rate of $40,680/year. It will take 21.25 days of over time (8 hour shifts) for me to get back to what I currently make. In other words, I have to work an extra month this year just to stay where I’m at now. And in case someone forgets, I have to repeat this for the next 6 years.
Please make no mistake about the next few sentences. My pain is no worse than every other employee in this company who is forced to take such pay cuts. How did we land in this situation? I can place that blame on 2 sources. Management blunders dating back to Colodny and most especially our most recent two Chiefs, Wolf and Gangwal. The second reason is pure greed on the part of some of our unions insisting on padding contracts with junk and pork to the benefit of a small group at the expense of us all.
Management’s efforts to buy labor peace over the last 20 years at the expense of non union workers and corporate profits is tantamount to cannibalism and plays into the greed of the union leadership in a quest for ever higher dues and more power. It has kept us running from competition and giving up on prized routes with our tail between our legs. Restrictive contracts have kept pilots on the ground instead of flying, kept mechanics from working on fixing aircraft at peak efficiency and if I look even a little closer, more examples of inefficiency because of bloated contracts will smack me in the face. All for the sake of union power and union greed. NOT the greed of its members but its leadership. More people would be employed with an efficient contract leading to higher profits and MORE jobs, not fewer as has been the case.
Our managers have squandered what amounts to billions in cash and lost profits through a litany of failed ideas that cost us all jobs and precious cash and profits over the last 20 years. Remember Metrojet? High Ground? Business Select? BWI up and BWI down – I can’t remember how many times we have boosted and cut BWI. How about retreats from the West Coast and SAN/SYR/DAY/IND rez closings? Planes parked and mortgaged until there is nothing left to sell. Anyone remember going to Portland OREGON? Or Sacramento CA? Or the dozen other cities we got through PSA that we don’t serve anymore. How about DAY as a hub? How about retreating from FLA or the FLA Shuttle? I’m sure I forgot many things cut or junked because our management ran from competition and blamed us for their mistakes. I say this - The company didn’t have a gun to their heads when they signed these outrageous contracts years ago and set a precedent that has lead us to this path of dwindling size and backward movements in our personal financial lives. No one bothered to look at the long-term effects, instead shorted sighted cash grabs and “dues now†was and IS the mantra.
Dave seems to be willing to fix our problems, but the pain is enormous and long lasting. He is willing to fix a problem HE did not create and his predecessors didn’t have the guts to take on. Cut and run was their mantra - cut our salaries and run to blow the cash. Dave’s biggest headache is and will continue to be the 6 million bonus. Peanuts in the scheme of things but a true mountain to climb as it relates to employee morale. We are being asked to accept the pain and take the cut, they should as well. To even use the term “bonus†while in bankruptcy is the fastest way I can think of to turn the employees against a plan that can work.
I have so much more to say about this situation but I won’t bore you with it. Just know and understand my total disgust with what has happened to my company since 1988 and what will happen to me until 2009. I feel as though I have wasted half my working life on promises not fulfilled and flat out lies. I’m trapped now, but rest ***ured I will be looking for another job. I may never find one as good, and I may. School seems to be in my future. But I refuse to be hosed even more if I can change my situation.
To those of you who have read my past posts, this one is a shocker- I can not tell you how it pains me to be so negative- and it’s NOT directed at the CWA members or its leadership. I feel I am generally an optimistic guy and will stay that way, I just needed to let 20 years of pent up anger out somewhere. Thanks for your ear. And, now that we are to be the lowest paid employess in the industry soon- watch out world, we will kick you know what real soon!
Wow, My sentiments exactly.

How many times have we watched a program put in place knowing that it was a train wreck ready to happen.

Thanks for putting in words what many of us have been thinking.
Nice post Oliver...But I'll vote no.

They say there is a new management team in place. Why are there so many old faces at the Crystal Palace. In 2009, they would have you making less income than you do now. How about them..Management. I also will be looking to leave before the complete failure of USAir...ways. It's a shame, to have wasted a career in an industry thats on a downward slide. Oh well...Hindsight...
I too have spent alot of years watching bad management stay around's hoping maybe all the housecleaning will be done soon...have a little patience....these things take time.

I can't agree with you more. It is amazing the waste and lost opportunities. Having come from PSA, I can say it has been a long downhill slide as long as I have been ***ociated with US.

The major problem I have now is not the pay cut, its the lack of a change in the business model US Airways is using. Adding regional jets and more of the same is not going to be successful in the long run. As much as I hate to agree with Mr. Wolf, US Airways is going to be squeezed in the middle. Unable to compete with Southwest, Jet Blue and AirTrans on cost and unable to compete with American, Delta and the other Big Dogs in scope of service, US Airways will eventually retreat into a regional service carrier for one of the Big Dogs. And that is only if we are lucky.

US Airways is not going to make it even with pay cuts and lease reductions. The fundamentals must change if US Airways is going to survive in the future. The industry has changed and is continuing to change and the old methods of doing business are a detriment to sucess.

Of course, thats just my opinion.

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