US Airways is struggling to hire baggage handlers

diogenes

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Aug 22, 2002
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What PitBull said!

For some reason, rampers making money seems to piss everybody off.

1. You try working weekends, holidays, out in all weather - rain, snow, hot, cold - and see if $8 covers it. Not to mention the damage the work does to your back, knees, shoulders and neck. 70 pounds is the max lifting limit. That limit assumes you are standing, and can use your legs and glutes to lift. Not happening in a cargo bin! We had a physician observe our work, and said due to the posture the cargo bin forces an agent in, 5 lbs should be the maximum lift. Mishandled baggage, anyone? And shame on the IAM for letting this stand. If union brothers and sisters are going to do this work, there needs to be top-notch insurance, therapy and attendance relief.

2. If rampers were just bag mashers, that'd be one thing. Over the years as a ramper, I've pushed your aircraft, air started it, de-iced it, been responsible for calculating your w&b, handled the ramp AND air freight end of shipping your valuables, pets and deceased loved ones. Cleaned the plane, catered the plane. I'd bet large no other work group on the property assumed more duties over the past ten years than ramp. $8 to do all that? Hah! For $8 I'll work in a climate controlled place with reasonable hours.

FWIW, the market forces over at WN pay rampers $25 TOS.

Personally, I don't think US rampers, current or former, will ever be restored - not even if other work groups are. The company and IAM went to too much trouble to get rid of them. Fleet is the ONLY group that lost recall rights. There has to be a reason for that.
 

PITbull

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Dec 29, 2002
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I can tell you the problem first hand, Usairways inflexability in hiring.My situation was I'm a former mainline employee and express ramp supervisor. I moved to phl and was interested in working part time on the ramp. Went to the interview and was told that you had to be available any 5 days a week for all shifts, that if anyone had another job it wouldn't work.(All this for $9.50 an hour.)Also I might add, looking around the room the quality of the applicants left a little to be desired. So how many good applicants does Usairways loose because of not having a flexible part time program?

Case in point.
 

N924PS

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May 9, 2004
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USAirways refuses to increase the wages for ramp. Why? Because for some assinine, detached mentally, they don't buy the fact that its 'ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, HONEY"!

They really, really need to go back and renegotiate the wages to increase across the board, and provide a min. of FULL TIME employment for the ramp agents...these folks need to be able to support their families and affford medical. Otherwise, these folks will include other jobs that they must maintain in order to support their families' needs.

Mismanagement of the PHL operation WILL CONTINUE TO PISS OFF THE PUBLIC , and by the end of the year say "bye-bye" to any profits...and be back in the RED.

The situation will NEVER improve until managment recognizes how very vital and important the job duties of the ramp agents are to the overall operation, apecifically customer service delivery.


Maybe so, but most of the problems that are endemic to PHL operations existed when the work force was well compensated.

How do you fix that?
 

aafsc

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Oct 29, 2004
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In the article it mentions retirement benefits for part timers. What benefits? Didn't all US employees lose their pensions and retiree medical? Well, they finally got what they wanted, crap wages; they made their bed now let them lie in it.
 

PITbull

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Dec 29, 2002
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Maybe so, but most of the problems that are endemic to PHL operations existed when the work force was well compensated.

How do you fix that?

I believe you are making a conjecture and based on what?

I was with U for 25 years. I flew every airport in U's existence and flying in and out of PHL probably more than PIT. PHL didn't have these kinds of issues in operation that it has had the past 3 years. PHL has been operating inefficiently and notably since major furloughing occured in the years 2002, 2003, 2004 and more specifically in Oct. 2004 when PIT was no longer used as a major connecting HUB for the East traffic, as evidenced by the Dec. 2004 PHL Christmas meltdown, and PHL never recovered. It just doesn't get the media play today that it deserves :down: During those years, there was no hiring in any group, just more furloughing.

PHL hasn't recovered since, because now, added to the equation is the new contracts that have severely impacted the wage and health care costs by not qualifying as full-time agent.

The job is physically difficult and now undesirable because of the wage issue and part-time status.

When the company insists that the job is an entry level position without considering the physical lifting risk,repetitive nature of the job...making part-time qualification as being available any five days a week, weekends and holidays, paying substandard wages and UNaffordable health benefits with that status...well...

Houston, there's a problem.
 

N924PS

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May 9, 2004
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I believe you are making a conjecture. PHL has been operating inefficiently and notably since major furloughing occured in the years 2002, 2003, 2004 and more specifically in Oct. 2004 when PIT was no longer used as a major connecting HUB for the East traffic, as evidenced by the Dec. 2004 PHL Christmas meltdown.

PHL hasn't recovered since, because now, added to the equation is the new contracts that have severely impacted the wage and health care costs by not qualifying as full-time agent.

The job is physically difficult and now undesirable because of the wage issue and part-time status.

When the company insists that the job is an entry level position without considering the physical lifting risk,repetitive nature of the job...making part-time qualification as being available any five days a week, weekends and holidays, paying substandard wages and UNaffordable health benefits with that status...well...

Houston, there's a problem.

The first time I flew into PHL on USAir was back in 1989. I remember my co workers remarking how screwed up things could get up there with ATC and USAir itself.

I know co workers who would bid their schedules to avoid PHL if at all possible so as not to be sucked in by the Philly Phactor. And not just in the years you cited.

Conjecture? I think not.
 

PITbull

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Dec 29, 2002
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N924PS,

I'm not referring to the PHL factor and ATC issues and on-time performance rankings with regard to sitting on the runway.. LGA and EWR, JFK have those issues as well.

Just notably U operational issues with regard to customer service delivery, specifically baggage loading and retrieval, which is a major complaint for the past 3 years.
 

diogenes

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Aug 22, 2002
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IIRC, the Philly problem became magnified when Wolf decided to hub it and fly international. I believe PHL was a focus city prior to that.

It's been said PHL generates the most revenue of any US station. I'd love to know if that's true when you net it out - I have my doubts.

I remember PHL being a pisser operationally all the way back to the PI days - ATC, lousy lay out, etc.

PIT and PHL never made any sense to me - you're competing with yourself.

IMO, PIT should have remained the hub and PHL a focus city.

Or, given the current configuration, CLT and PHX.