Understanding sentiment and reaching the point of indifference

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chipmunn

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What I find interesting is how many people on this forum post personal comments and fail to address facts. This also gives pause to why most pilots do not participate in this forum, which maybe is best and from my perspective maybe I should join my colleagues and suspend all postings on USaviation.com as well.
Most of my posts on the pilot pension issue have been official comments by the MEC or facts. If I post an opinion it is always preceeded by the comments of I believe or in my opinion.
Regardless, here are just the facts, no spin, just the facts:
1. In testimony before the U.S. Senate ALPA testified the pilot cuts have averaged 46 percent or $138,000 per year.
2. During the formal restructuring, pension plan market values have declined and ALPA has been the only work group to take cuts to save their pension.
3.The January 16 ALPA code-a-phone said the distress termination of the pilots pension plan is a windfall to the Company in that it no longer has the ongoing responsibility of a defined benefit plan for pilots. The Company will retain responsibility, however, for managements’, AFA’s and the IAM’s current retirement plans.
4. The January 24 ALPA code-a-phone said the pilot concessions to the retirement benefits nullified the impact that lower market performance and interest rates had on the pilots’ pension plan. As a result, despite the reduced market value of assets and the reduced interest rate assumptions, the pilot pension plan contribution costs for US Airways only slightly increased by about $38 million over the seven-year period to about $1.69 billion (up from about $1.66 billion calculated in the summer of 2002).
However, the other employee pension plans’ combined contribution costs increased by about $582 million to about $1.44 billion (up from about $860 million) due to the market and interest rate changes. This cost increased because no other employee group agreed to benefit reductions to preserve their pension plans.
The effect was that the $500 million pilot cost reduction agreed to by ALPA was absorbed by the increased cost of the other employees’ pension plans, which to date suffer no benefit decrease.
5. On February 21 Reuters wrote US Airways pilots have already agreed to annual pay work rule and retirement concessions totaling $646 million, said Capt. Bill Pollock, a senior union official. By asking the court to approve termination of the plan, Pollock said, US Airways is attempting to force pilots to bear an unacceptable and unjust burden.
6. On January 21 Dow Jones wrote We have already sacrificed a lot, said Bob Lamborn of Kennett Square, Pa., a US Airways pilot for 17 years. To have them come after our pension now, it's a personal affront.
7. On January 21 Dow Jones wrote pilot Dave Ciabattoni of Wallingford, Pa., If the difference between solvency and liquidation is this issue, then the company is going to liquidate, he said. The pilots alone can't save this company.
I guess in summary, I believe many of us have reached the point of indifference because it's unfair for the pilots to shoulder excessive burden. Maybe if the other employee groups and management volunteered to help out...
Chip
 
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chipmunn

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Piney:

That's the point...we grasp it and fully understand what's happening. With people selling their homes, downsizing, liquidating assets, and some pilots looking at a $34,000 per year retirement, we fully understand it.

Nobody else has to take a pensin cut, only the pilots.

In fact, the January 29 ALPA code-a-phone said, "After reviewing Mr. Siegel’s letter and attached questions and answers on the pension issue your MEC representatives were amazed, to say the least, at the inaccurate and misleading statements made by Mr. Siegel to our pilots. The letter, combined with Mr, Siegel’s corporate announcements and personal emails to pilots, are desperately misrepresenting the MEC’s December 13 position on this issue and the retirement benefits being offered by the Company. We will be providing additional information on these issues shortly.

Mr. Siegel is also misleading employees in his letter by saying that ALPA took the position that the Company should "go after the pensions of others." In fact, however, it was and remains ALPA’s position that our pilots "should not be paying for" the full benefits of the other employee pensions, including managements, through our concessions, through our pension funding cuts, and through the sacrifice of our benefits. In addition, we are still waiting for management’s compensation package to be revealed in bankruptcy court in mid-February so that we can assess how much of our pension funding costs are being directly diverted to management’s personal compensation.

You should note Mr. Seigel is no longer saying in his January 28 letter that he is going to try to make pilots "whole" as he testified at the senate hearing only two weeks ago. Now it is about what the Company says is can afford to pay us in retirement benefits," ALPA said.

PineyBob, can you tell me what ALPA doesn't "seem to grasp"? Manny pilots have seen their pay and benefits cut more than in half and now the company wants to terminate their pension, for employees who have an average of 48. No other employees including the FSA and CSA's have had their pensions terminated, but now the company wants the pilots to according to MEC Chairman Bill Pollock the company "is attempting to force pilots to bear an unacceptable and unjust burden."


Chip
 

N786P

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Chip, tell us all. Why are you crying foul because some of us out here call it as it appears?? For months you have preached to us all on how need to help the company,take our contract offers, toe the line, or face the life support plug being pulled? Now when you and your peers feet are held to the same fire, you back track,and belly ache. Sure you guys are taking a hit on this, well so did we. But we work 40 plus a week you and your flock work maybe 75, or less when you fly the pond a month. I guess it comes down to what you ve said in the past, pack your grip and hit the bricks, if things are too much to take.
 

PITbull

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Gee Whiz Chip,

Again, it's in your delivery. Talk about sentiment. You think when ALPA MEC speaks it's FACT? You mean "collective" sentiment.

I am appauled that ALPA makes the contention and assumes that their cuts were made to subsidize Other groups pensions.

What was our cuts for...Charity for the company. Your ALPA MEC was not in our negotiations. Our Cuts were $7,000 to $12,000 per year (wages alone). Mediun income went from $35,000 to $28,000 on the short end. Difference between buying your groceries with cash or charging it on a Visa. Difference between going to visist the physician for sickness or waiting, and waiting for you to feel better. Difference between putting money away in your 401K or NOT AT ALL!
Difference in placing collision insurance on your used car or winging it and hope for no accident where your at fault. Difference between getting a speeding ticket and paying for it, but not purchasing your groceries that week.

Folks in our groups are in that position now. Those are the FACTS and you show no empathy, but demand empathy for your circumstances.

Again, I repeat this, if this management, who we all know are as greedy as can be thought for a second that our pensions were a concern to this co. they would snatch them away and terminate all. Ours our benign.

The truth to the matter is, eventually, the pilots pay snap back to levels before the summer, on top of the 20% stake in the co. would make the liability for pilots go up again the forwarding years. I am not saying I do not support the pilots group who have every right to protest this. But hell, stop ripping everybody's heart out to make your point. All our pensions are separate with separate liabilities. The Agents had their pensions frozen in 1991, should the co. have frozen all then to make the agents "feel good"? You win no support when your mantra is that the Pilots saved everyone's job and others pensions. Can't you see the God complex here? What is disturbing in most of your posts is that you DISMISS the major SACRIFICES that all the other Labor groups have conceded to. Can you conceptualize how insulting that is?
 

delldude

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your bottom line here maybe a rightous stand against the company over your pension issue.however,what starts rolling here is going to gain momentum and roll right through every other airline and maybe every other industry.so when we all go down together and you seek gainful employment hauling salmon up in tuktoyutok at the end of the day you and all your skyboy pals are still going to have LESS pension,LESS money and LESS bennies than you have now.so where do you draw the line and weigh the pluses and minuses?
this pension thing absolutely positively will not go away.this may be as good as it gets.
9.gif']
 

autofixer

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PineyBob, You are either not too smart or you are intentionally trying to deceive readers on these boards. I think you know that the $138,000 pay cut ALPA is taking is pay, benefits and a huge pension give back (NOT THE ONE THE COMPANY IS TRYING TO RAM ROD THROUGH AT THIS TIME, BUT A HUGE PENSION GIVE BACK IN THE PREVIOUS RA'S.). But as Chip has said, "most pilots are now indifferent." That is why I am saying enough is enough! How much more can one group give? Atlas Shrugged.
 

Zephyr

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[blockquote]
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On 2/22/2003 10:08:55 AM airlineorphan wrote:

[blockquote]
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On 2/22/2003 9:28:07 AM chipmunn wrote:

[snip]
I guess in summary, I believe many of us have reached the point of indifference because it's unfair for the pilots to shoulder excessive burden. Maybe if the other employee groups and management volunteered to help out...

Chip
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[/blockquote]

Chip,

I think you make some good points, however, you make a BIG mistake when you imply that other employee groups should help by offering more cuts themselves. Management is where your ire should focus. Not on your coworkers from other employee groups.

The pilots are getting ripped off on an unimaginable scale. This is a mugging of grand proportions. And in absolute $ amounts (and possibly in terms of proportionality) it is an even greater mugging than the company pulled off when they were warming up on the entire workforce.

But that is not the point. The entire workforce is being ripped off here. Management has taken advantage of a bad situation to get a massive grab bag of concessions. It is clear they are targetting y'all for the motherlode because y'all have historically successfully bargained good contracts (the destruction of which the entire airline industry's management covet).

I am glad that the pilots have found their Rock of Gibralter. I was troubled by the rhetoric of "take the cuts or quit" that you and some others resorted to in earlier rounds of this great ripoff, but I am not going to hold that against you as you make a stand.

But as you make this stand, I implore you to drop the jabs at other employee groups. The point is that YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE YOUR RETIREMENT RIPPED OFF, NOT THAT OTHER EMPLOYEE GROUPS SHOULD NOW GIVE MORE!

Many of us will stand up in support of your fight (even some of us who are out on the street already). Because enough is enough. Because it is wrong to make this grab at your retirement. And because if management can get away with this, it will open a floodgate throughout our economy, and defined benefit plans will soon be a thing of the past for everyone but the CEO's of this land (DeaCerte and others are RIGHT ON TARGET on this point!!!).

In solidarity,
-Airlineorphan
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[/blockquote]


Well done!

The issue from beginning to end is, “We have an agreement. We are not reneging. You do what you gotta do.â€￾

To entertain any other premise is a frivolous endeavor.
 
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chipmunn

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LavMan:

Nobody dismisses the severity of your cuts, but ALPA has those same issues. Everybody has fixed costs and many pilots are in a similar situation as you and other employees. In addition, I have never posted a falsehood, so with all due respect quit trying to twist my comments.

However, what we are talking about here is ALPA being asked to take a fourth cut and eliminate their pension.

Nobody else has and in fact the FSA and CSA employees had their pension frozen, which is much better than a termination.

In my opinion, Mr. Siegel better find an acceptable solution that ALPA will agree upon or none of us will have to worry about this debate much longer. Why?

As John Butler (US Airways lead bankruptcy attorney from Skadden & Arps) told Judge Mitchell yesterday, the company faces almost imminent liquidation if it isn't permitted to terminate the pension plan for its 6,000 pilots.

Chip
 

wings396

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Aug 20, 2002
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[blockquote]
----------------
On 2/22/2003 9:28:07 AM chipmunn wrote:

What I find interesting is how many people on this forum post personal comments and fail to address facts. This also gives pause to why most pilots do not participate in this forum, which maybe is best and from my perspective maybe I should join my colleagues and suspend all postings on USaviation.com as well.

This is the best idea that I have heard from you in months. None of the other groups could care less about your cuts that will still leave you with 4X what any of us will make. If you want to know what true suffering is, talk to some of the CWA & IAM people that will be busting to make 25k a year with $300 a month in medical costs taken from their checks with a sub-par pension if any. Take all of your strike talk as well as threats to leave for another job in a far off land and keep them to yourself. Youe told all of us to eat crow and do what is best for the well being of the company, now it is your turn. There is no money, and there will be no 3.5 billion to fund you pension plan EVER. Let's put it behind and move on already. You can't get blood from a stone and with all of your knowledge you should know that much. For the first time in months it looks like the loads are starting to pick up, at least in my station anyway. Let's not scare more passengers away with this crap about a strike now.
 

airlineorphan

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Aug 20, 2002
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[blockquote]
----------------
On 2/22/2003 9:28:07 AM chipmunn wrote:

[snip]
I guess in summary, I believe many of us have reached the point of indifference because it's unfair for the pilots to shoulder excessive burden. Maybe if the other employee groups and management volunteered to help out...

Chip
----------------
[/blockquote]

Chip,

I think you make some good points, however, you make a BIG mistake when you imply that other employee groups should help by offering more cuts themselves. Management is where your ire should focus. Not on your coworkers from other employee groups.

The pilots are getting ripped off on an unimaginable scale. This is a mugging of grand proportions. And in absolute $ amounts (and possibly in terms of proportionality) it is an even greater mugging than the company pulled off when they were warming up on the entire workforce.

But that is not the point. The entire workforce is being ripped off here. Management has taken advantage of a bad situation to get a massive grab bag of concessions. It is clear they are targetting y'all for the motherlode because y'all have historically successfully bargained good contracts (the destruction of which the entire airline industry's management covet).

I am glad that the pilots have found their Rock of Gibralter. I was troubled by the rhetoric of "take the cuts or quit" that you and some others resorted to in earlier rounds of this great ripoff, but I am not going to hold that against you as you make a stand.

But as you make this stand, I implore you to drop the jabs at other employee groups. The point is that YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE YOUR RETIREMENT RIPPED OFF, NOT THAT OTHER EMPLOYEE GROUPS SHOULD NOW GIVE MORE!

Many of us will stand up in support of your fight (even some of us who are out on the street already). Because enough is enough. Because it is wrong to make this grab at your retirement. And because if management can get away with this, it will open a floodgate throughout our economy, and defined benefit plans will soon be a thing of the past for everyone but the CEO's of this land (DeaCerte and others are RIGHT ON TARGET on this point!!!).

In solidarity,
-Airlineorphan
 

PITbull

Veteran
Dec 29, 2002
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Chip,

There is no doubt or hesitation that the pilots gave the biggest concessions even outside of BK ,than any group in Union airline history. I argued with Pollack, your good friend, in the summer at the Labor coalition that I believed the company was going after what they WANTED not what they NEEDED. I wrote about it all summer. Was called a "radical" by many in your group. The difference here is even though we are all union, there is a big difference in compensation and pay among the groups. Hence, the pilots did not reach their "threshold" in the summer or in round #2, but rather NOW. For many groups, the threshold was in the summer...CWA suffered horribly, and F/A. Round #2 was horrible for IAM, "threshold" was reached, as you could see by the votes.

The lower paid groups felt the sacrifice instantly. Jobs lost, wages reduced retroactively...(for what?). When we went into BK, this management shoulde have said, no retro, we can't qualify for the ATSB anyway until out of BK. But, they didn't. This is a mangement full of deceit.

You watch, every carrier will WANT the exact same thing as U. They will demand it; threaten liquidation, first born, the works.

I am grateful and encouraged by witnessing for the first time "UNION solidarity" among the pilots. It brings me tears, and my heart aches for all of you and for all of us, and what we will endeavor with these concessions as our company sores to the top and our execs receives their bonsuses for "job well done".

Go give management HELL!
 

T-bone

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Feb 15, 2003
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Chip, just because you heard it on the MEC code a phone doesn't make it fact as you try to intimate. It merely makes it the opinion of the MEC.

Just a little note a 35 year mechanic who retires at age 65 would recieve 25G a year. Thats before paying their medical etc. I shudder to think what a flight attendant would retire with. These are the picayune funds that suggestions are being made to raid in succor of the ALPA plan. Obviously the rest of the employee groups plans are niggardly in comparison to yours. No matter what you end up with it will be a vast inprovement over any of the other plans.

Last don't ask other employee groups for solidarity and to work nice, nice with you. When your solution is raiding their contracts.
 
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chipmunn

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I fully recognize the significance of the cuts on lower paid employees and I empathize with this grim reality. It's tough on families and I agreed with ALPA's cuts, which represented the majority of the concessions, up to the point where ALPA has to give a fourth cut and eliminate their pension, whereas no other group has provided more than one direct cut to fund their pension.

It's not fair to single out any group, whether it's the CWA, management, IAM, AFA, ALPA or anybody else.

Moreover, I do not want to see anybody lose their pension, but the facts are ALPA is the only group to provide three direct concessions to fund their pension, to lower the company's obligation, and no other employee group or management has made the same sacrifice.

The ALPA MEC believes the pilots are being singled out for more concessions and that is not fair. As my good friend Bill Pollock of 25 years said, "US Airways is attempting to force pilots to bear an unacceptable and unjust burden."

If US Airways liquidates, which is now more certain than ever, it will not be because the pilots did not participate in the restructuring process.

The facts are this pilot group has provided management with the largest concession in the history of commercial aviation.

The pilots represent 10 percent of the employees, 30 percent of the labor cost, and provided now greater than 60 percent of the cuts, whereas the other 30,000 employees represent 90 percent of the workforce, 70 percent of the labor expense, and have provided now less than 40 percent of the labor cuts.

Personally, I believe if any other employee group faced US Airways' attack on their pension, they would feel the same as ALPA.

It's unfair to say "Chip has argued that the IAM and AFA should grow up and save the airline for all employee's. Well the shoe's on the other foot what gives?"

ALPA's concessions are enormous and we have provided three direct cuts, two with W-2, whereas nobody else has provided more than one direct W-2 cut.

ALPA's cuts have been to preserve its pension and nobody else has made that sacrifice, which is o.k., but ALPA should not have to shoulder this burden itself.

To suggest the "shoe is on the other foot" is wrong because ALPA has played ball and according to the MEC "The effect was that the $500 million pilot cost reduction agreed to by ALPA was absorbed by the increased cost of the other employees’ pension plans, which to date suffer no benefit decrease."

Furthermore, it's unfair to say "when your (Chip's) solution is raiding their contracts." I have never made that statement and I challenge people to say I have. I have said something like maybe if all employee groups would share in the process the problem can be solved, but the solution offered above I have never directly suggested.

However, ALPA again has said "The effect was that the $500 million pilot cost reduction agreed to by ALPA was absorbed by the increased cost of the other employees’ pension plans, which to date suffer no benefit decrease."

To the majority of the ALPA rank-and-file, that's not fair. The pilots feel we have paid to keep our pension, but nobody else has.

In conclusion, if this airline fails, it will be because Mr. Siegel failed, not because the pilots did not play ball.

I do not want to see US Airways become another Braniff or Eastern Air Lines, but what is happening is not right and violates collective bargaining.

Chip
 
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