Union''s Fault

Hopeful

Veteran
Dec 21, 2002
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Union tactics cost jobs
Stephen Moore
The latest statistics released this month from the U.S. Department of Labor indicate 2002 was another dismal year for labor unions. Private sector unions lost more than 400,000 jobs. Only the public sector gained union jobs. At no time in the last 50 years have unions represented a smaller percentage of the American work force than today.
To understand the sad demise of the unions, consider the case of the unions spat with United and American Airlines. United and American both lost roughly $3 billion last year, or almost $5 million a day. Both these once great and profitable airlines are perilously close to being grounded permanently — as were Eastern and TWA in the 1990s. One factor behind the sudden fall of these airlines is extravagant unionized salaries that have risen to in some cases 50 percent above the industry average.
The machinists, pilots and flight attendant unions have refused to budge in renegotiating contracts with these companies that are bleeding cash. Meanwhile, discount airlines that are much less hamstrung by unions, like Jet Blue and Southwest, are whipping United in every category of service and efficiency.
One can only wonder whether the union bosses fighting United and American have lost all sense of economic reality. With salaries that can exceed $100,000 per worker, if labor costs are not cut in the next several months, there will be no jobs at all for the union to fight for. Federal officials cited out-of-control salaries as a primary cause for turning down United''s recent $1.5 billion bailout request.
The purpose of unions is to negotiate favorable salaries for their workers — but certainly not at the expense of extinguishing jobs. The union movement in America is losing hundreds of thousands of card-carrying members every year precisely because new 21st-century industries refuse to deal with militant unions.
The airlines case is not the only one where unions have engaged in self-destructive behavior of late. Last year, Transit workers went on strike demanding massive pay increases from an all-but-bankrupt municipal agency.
The transit workers already receive salaries 30 percent to 40 percent above comparable skilled private sector jobs.
The dockworker work stoppage in California this past October involved union complaints against the evils of technological progress.
Before President Bush invoked the Taft-Hartley Act to suspend the work stoppage, the American economy was losing an estimated $1 billion a day in output and throughout the economy.
Most recently, the Communications Workers of America launched a $2 million ad campaign against Verizon, the Baby Bell of the Northeast. As even the most casual investor knows, the last three years have been brutally unkind to the telecom industry. In 2000, the telecom sector contracted by 28 percent and bled almost $1.7 trillion in lost share values. More than half-a-million telecom workers have lost their jobs.
The CWA strategy of blasting Verizon for laying off 3,500 workers makes as much sense as Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson running TV ads encouraging fans not to go to anymore NBA games.
Union membership as a share of the work force has fallen by half over the past 30 years or so, according to the Public Service Research Foundation. Today only roughly 1 in 6 workers is a dues-paying union member and the percentage of private sector union workers is much lower than that. Only public sector unionism is growing. Pollster Scott Rasmussen has pointed out that on Election Day, 3 times as many voters were stockowners than union members. These workers understand that their 401(k) plans and their individuaol retirement account nest eggs depend on the profitability of American industry.
As a United Airlines frequent flyer traveler, I sure hope the unions come to their senses and allow new management to make the reforms necessary to cut costs. There is no law of economics that says airlines have to lose money. Southwest has proven that.
Saving United and American airlines will save union jobs. But only when union officials realize that in this industry, as with telecom, and so many others, when they destroy the companies that hire their workers, they destroy themselves
 

Bob Owens

Veteran
Sep 9, 2002
14,274
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[blockquote]
----------------
On 3/14/2003 7:52:13 AM Hopeful wrote:

Union tactics cost jobs



Stephen Moore

The latest statistics released this month from the U.S. Department of Labor indicate 2002 was another dismal year for labor unions. Private sector unions lost more than 400,000 jobs. Only the public sector gained union jobs. At no time in the last 50 years have unions represented a smaller percentage of the American work force than today.
To understand the sad demise of the unions, consider the case of the unions spat with United and American Airlines. United and American both lost roughly $3 billion last year, or almost $5 million a day. Both these once great and profitable airlines are perilously close to being grounded permanently — as were Eastern and TWA in the 1990s. One factor behind the sudden fall of these airlines is extravagant unionized salaries that have risen to in some cases 50 percent above the industry average.
The machinists, pilots and flight attendant unions have refused to budge in renegotiating contracts with these companies that are bleeding cash. Meanwhile, discount airlines that are much less hamstrung by unions, like Jet Blue and Southwest, are whipping United in every category of service and efficiency.

(Southwest is the most heavily unionized company in the industry.)

One can only wonder whether the union bosses fighting United and American have lost all sense of economic reality. With salaries that can exceed $100,000 per worker, if labor costs are not cut in the next several months, there will be no jobs at all for the union to fight for. Federal officials cited out-of-control salaries as a primary cause for turning down United's recent $1.5 billion bailout request.
The purpose of unions is to negotiate favorable salaries for their workers — but certainly not at the expense of extinguishing jobs. The union movement in America is losing hundreds of thousands of card-carrying members every year precisely because new 21st-century industries refuse to deal with militant unions.

(Unions are losing jobs because American politicians have legislated in policies that actually encourage US based companies to move facilities overseas, in some cases underwriting the investment)

The airlines case is not the only one where unions have engaged in self-destructive behavior of late. Last year, Transit workers went on strike demanding massive pay increases from an all-but-bankrupt municipal agency.
The transit workers already receive salaries 30 percent to 40 percent above comparable skilled private sector jobs.
The dockworker work stoppage in California this past October involved union complaints against the evils of technological progress.
(Misleading though omision, the stoppage was a lockout initiated by the companies. The unions were not against the introduction of the technology, they just wanted to ensure that the displaced workers got the new work that the technology created.)
Before President Bush invoked the Taft-Hartley Act to suspend the work stoppage, the American economy was losing an estimated $1 billion a day in output and throughout the economy.
( Yes the President forced the companies, after two weeks to reopen the docks. While these handful of employers were allowed to inflict harm on the economy for two weeks workers have repeatedly been denied the right to withold their labor completely by Bush II.)
Most recently, the Communications Workers of America launched a $2 million ad campaign against Verizon, the Baby Bell of the Northeast. As even the most casual investor knows, the last three years have been brutally unkind to the telecom industry. In 2000, the telecom sector contracted by 28 percent and bled almost $1.7 trillion in lost share values. More than half-a-million telecom workers have lost their jobs.
The CWA strategy of blasting Verizon for laying off 3,500 workers makes as much sense as Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson running TV ads encouraging fans not to go to anymore NBA games.
Union membership as a share of the work force has fallen by half over the past 30 years or so, according to the Public Service Research Foundation. Today only roughly 1 in 6 workers is a dues-paying union member and the percentage of private sector union workers is much lower than that. Only public sector unionism is growing. Pollster Scott Rasmussen has pointed out that on Election Day, 3 times as many voters were stockowners than union members. These workers understand that their 401(k) plans and their individuaol retirement account nest eggs depend on the profitability of American industry.

( Many have come to realize that they may have to rely on Social Security instead. As you cited the percentage of unionized workers is very low. That means that most of the companies that are in trouble are non-union. Unlike unionized workers, non-union workers, like those at ENRON have very little control over their fates.)

As a United Airlines frequent flyer traveler, I sure hope the unions come to their senses and allow new management to make the reforms necessary to cut costs. There is no law of economics that says airlines have to lose money. Southwest has proven that.

( Southwests unionized mechanics make the same or more than United or Americans)

Saving United and American airlines will save union jobs. But only when union officials realize that in this industry, as with telecom, and so many others, when they destroy the companies that hire their workers, they destroy themselves

( Unions do not destroy companies, managements destroy companies)
 

RV4

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Aug 20, 2002
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I believe it is a known fact AA has the lowest average waged maintenace workers in the industry.

25% OSM @$10.00 per hour plus many mechanics were witheld pay due to weight and thrust limit restrictions on experience.
 

RV4

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Aug 20, 2002
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[blockquote]
----------------
On 3/17/2003 2:00:20 PM eolesen wrote:

Bob says "Southwest is the most heavily unionized company in the industry."

Yes, they are. But WN isn't as hamstrung by their union contracts as other companies are because the unions at WN recognize featherbedding for what it is...
----------------
[/blockquote]

How many Vice Presidents does WN have in their management ranks compared to AMR?
 

RV4

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Aug 20, 2002
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Care to provide documented proof of these numbers?

Care to provide "non-airline" ratios, since management seems content to go there for "industry wage" structures?

Welders are smart enough not believe everything spewed on an interent bulletin board.

And, how about American Eagle...Ratio?
 
If you say so, Dave. Did they teach corporate organizational structure at welding school?

WN is a company half the size of AMR in terms of employees and aircraft. Even a first-year MBA would realise a smaller organizational structure is needed with half as many employees.

Care to see how AA stacks up against everyone else at the officers:employee ratio?

UA: 1 to 2,210
AA: 1 to 2,175
WN: 1 to 1,250
DL: 1 to 1,132
CO: 1 to 1,070
NW: 1 to 978
US: 1 to 956
HP: 1 to 443

Yes, you read correctly -- AA and UA have the best ratio of VP's per employee, followed by WN.

Find a new axe to grind, OK?
 
B

bagsmasher

Guest
Yes, they are. But WN isn't as hamstrung by their union contracts as other companies are because the unions at WN recognize featherbedding for what it is...



The union representing the ramp at both AA and WN is the TWU. Also I don't see how the TWU Fleet Service contract "hamstrings" the company. For one, at AA we have part-time jobs. WN doesn't have any part-time. AA wants to have unlimited part-time on their recent proposal. WN doesn't contract out their ramp at any of their stations. AA would like to contract out everything but their hubs. One thing WN does, that AA doesn't is contract out their overnight cleaning when their stations get a certain size. On the flip side, WN has it's ramp provision the aircraft between flights. WN's ramp tops out at $24.00 per hour, whereas AA wants us to top out at about $19.50 per hour, with unlimited part-time.
AA mechanics point to WN's mechanic pay, but fail to mention WN contracts out ALL of their overhaul work which is the bulk of the mechanics jobs. WN has 1400 mechanic positions, where AA has something like 17,000. No apples to apples comparison here.
Also, about the OSM's. They top out at $24.76 per hour, so don't give me that crap about $10.00 per hour.
 
[blockquote]
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On 3/17/2003 5:22:01 PM RV4 wrote:

Care to provide documented proof of these numbers?

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

You can request that from Investor Relations. Or, you can subscribe to Plane Business and read it for yourself in last week's Banter.

You want numbers for other industries, Dave?

Great. Do your own legwork, and let the rest of us know what you find.

I gave you stats, you didn't believe them. You want documented proof, I've now told you where you can independently verify it for yourself.

I'll say it again -- find a new axe to grind. Or to put it in terms even one of your beloved SRPs and OSMs would understand, "that dog don't hunt no more"....

Continuing to harp about the number of VP's or executive compensation is only diverting attention away from the other 99% of the issue that need fixing at AMR.
 
The TWU might have negotiated both agreements, but the workrules are vastly different. It is the workrules which hamstring the company at times. Having had to maintain StaffAdmin for the past year has made me more than intimate with the blue book...

Slight correction to the "no contracting out/no part-time" statement from Bags.

WN's contract does allow for contracting out the ramp at new stations with less than 12 flights per day. AA's allows for contracting out ramp at stations with fewer than 2550 annual departures (approx 7 per day). Cabin service is contracted out at the largest stations, just in case there was any confusion...

There are also some big differences in [a href=http://southwest.com/careers/benefits.html] health coverage and retirement[/a]:

no POS (managed care) plan like AA -- just a choice of an 80/20 PPO plan and/or a HMO

no retiree health/prescription coverage

no pension -- just a 401K match and separate profit sharing account.
 

AAviator

Veteran
Nov 12, 2002
1,385
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So RV4 is a welder not a mechanic?

Haaaha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

No wonder he was beating the AMFA drum so hard. Talk about a walking talking contradiction.

Nobody is worthy but DAVE! Screw cabin service! They're pillow fluffers! Screw pilots! they're expensive!

How much could AA save if ALL welding was outsourced? OR All heavy maintainence vis-a-vis Southwest. The other employee groups should know what they're subsidizing before they agree to concessions, ya know....
 

Guest
ouch RV4 that hurts olsen put you in your place twice. If you cant stand the heat stay out of the kitchen. You really should not start a battle of knowledge with olsen you will lose every time. Where you post crap and rumors he provides fact, and you can not compete with that
 

RV4

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Aug 20, 2002
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www.usaviation.com
And, how about an American Eagle...Ratio?

VP to employee that is?

BTW, isn't planebusiness that site that pulled their public bulletin board due to claims of Holley having strong ties to AA. You were even a moderator on that site, chastised by AA management for using company time and property to perform that function.

And you call that the gospel?
 

RV4

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Aug 20, 2002
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www.usaviation.com
[blockquote]
----------------
On 3/18/2003 8:31:51 AM AAviator wrote:

So RV4 is a welder not a mechanic?

Haaaha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

No wonder he was beating the AMFA drum so hard. Talk about a walking talking contradiction.

Nobody is worthy but DAVE! Screw cabin service! They're pillow fluffers! Screw pilots! they're expensive!

How much could AA save if ALL welding was outsourced? OR All heavy maintainence vis-a-vis Southwest. The other employee groups should know what they're subsidizing before they agree to concessions, ya know....

disclaimer: I have the highest respect for the true professionals at AA maintenance. I know every bunch has a few bad apples, pilots included. The above was a poke at an individual who epitomizes human natures: greed, envy, bitterness, and hate.


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


Fact is there are less than 150 welders left in overhaul due to outsource of work already. And I believe outsource of ALL overhaul is not a dead issue.

I have never said anything with regards to cabin service, or pillow fluffers, but I do contend that a Pilot's lump sum pension option is exhuberant.

It is most interesting that you only consider someone a professional if they agree and support your views.

Can you say DICTATOR?
 

j7915

Senior
Sep 7, 2002
423
0
[blockquote]----------------On 3/18/2003 12:08:28 PM RV4 wrote: And, how about an American Eagle...Ratio?

VP to employee that is?

BTW, isn't planebusiness that site that pulled their public bulletin board due to claims of Holley having strong ties to AA. You were even a moderator on that site, chastised by AA management for using company time and propety to preform that function.

And you call that the gospel? ----------------[/blockquote]

RV4, what is it with your obsession with "VPs". Go to any bank, you will talk to some vp or other, they are dime dozen.

How many VPs does AA have in Tulsa? I can think of only two: Carmine and Huffman, and Huffman properly belongs in Dallas with the others, as TULE is not the only overhaul base.

Actually as I recall Holly was getting tired of a certain AMFADave and his (very)small claque.