US Airways' marketing ploy crashes

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Nov 11, 2003
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US Airways' marketing ploy crashes
Tom Fontaine, Times Staff
08/09/2006

US Airways Group Inc. recently launched an internal marketing campaign called "I Make US Fly" that tries to unify employees from the merged company's two former airlines under a set of new corporate philosophies.

The response of many employees to "I Make US Fly," union leaders say, has been "You Make Me Sick."

The colorful campaign literature, which is being distributed to the airline's 35,000 employees, fashions the new US Airways as a worker-driven low-cost carrier with a "business casual" approach.

That approach meets somewhere in the middle of the two former airlines. The old US Airways, which had been based in the eastern United States, was a more formal airline that catered largely to business travelers, while America West, based in Tempe, Ariz., was geared more toward vacation travelers, said company spokesman Morgan Durrant.

"We'll cater to our important business and leisure customers, but not in an overly formal way. ... We're concentrating on what our customers want most, without a lot of fluff," the campaign literature says.

The literature includes customer-service flashcards for each of the airline's employee groups. The No. 1 rule for each of them, from reservation agents and ramp workers to corporate employees: "Being friendly and helpful ... all the time."

Union reps panned the campaign.

"It's birdcage material. It paints everything as a rosy picture, and it's not," Mike Flores, spokesman for the US Airways flight attendants union, said of the literature.

The flight attendants are among a handful of union groups from the former US Airways and America West in the process of negotiating joint contracts with the airline.

After the new US Airways announced it posted a $305 million second-quarter profit, union leaders said they wanted their workers to be rewarded for sacrifices made in the past, including billions in concessions during the former US Airways' two bankruptcies. However, US Airways Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker has said he wants to reach joint contracts without increasing labor costs.

Further riling the rank-and-file, union leaders said, were recent announcements that Parker made roughly $9 million selling company stock last week and that management employees are in line to receive 3 percent pay increases this fall.

"If anyone thinks for one minute that whitewashing serious labor unrest with cosmetics will cover up deep-rooted problems, this airline is in serious trouble," said Capt. Jack Stephan, spokesman for the US Airways pilots group.

"The campaign is nice window-dressing, but if they want to increase morale, they need to do that at the bargaining table," added Capt. Tania Bziukiewicz, spokeswoman for the America West pilots group.

Coca-Cola, which beat out Pepsi to sell its products on the new US Airways' flights, paid to produce the literature and a related video. The cost could not be determined Tuesday.

Tom Fontaine can be reached online at [email protected].
 
One sided union opinions. Too bad the non union people aren't asked. But then it probably wouldn't be as dramatic. :shock:
 
There is no doubt employees made a ton of sacrifices. Some paid with their jobs (myslef included). I find it difficult to swallow that they have one remarkable quarter and the unions want more and more money. Can't you wait to see what the full year has to bring before harping for a raise?
 
One sided union opinions. Too bad the non union people aren't asked. But then it probably wouldn't be as dramatic. :shock:

Yeah, non-union folks, without an outlet or defense, tend to express themselves in a bland manner.

So, you defend stupidity?

There is no doubt employees made a ton of sacrifices. Some paid with their jobs (myslef included). I find it difficult to swallow that they have one remarkable quarter and the unions want more and more money. Can't you wait to see what the full year has to bring before harping for a raise?

Harping?

You should never have been furloughed.

The only reason you were furloughed is because the pilot group was so naive as to allow a "DC-9" replacement, the RJ, to be introduced outside of regular operations.

As the lowest paid pilot group in the entire world, why would not they "harp" for a raise?
 
One sided union opinions. Too bad the non union people aren't asked. But then it probably wouldn't be as dramatic. :shock:
Why don't you start a poll and see how many union versus nonunion employees like the "I make US fly" campaign instead of throwing accusations from the git go?
 
Didn't the marketing guy 2 months ago get 6 million in bonuses?

Gotta love executives. :down:
 
One sided union opinions. Too bad the non union people aren't asked. But then it probably wouldn't be as dramatic. :shock:
The company, i.e. non union gave their side what is wrong with hearing the majorities side?

Care to tell us what percent of the employees are union?


There is no doubt employees made a ton of sacrifices. Some paid with their jobs (myslef included). I find it difficult to swallow that they have one remarkable quarter and the unions want more and more money. Can't you wait to see what the full year has to bring before harping for a raise?


Care to remark on the windfalls the executives got and the 3% mamagement raises?
 
"It's birdcage material."

Now that was a good one-liner by Mr. Flores
 
The company, i.e. non union gave their side what is wrong with hearing the majorities side?

Care to tell us what percent of the employees are union?
Care to remark on the windfalls the executives got and the 3% mamagement raises?
First of all, when the stock options were exercised, no cash is spent by the comapny. Second, the 3% raises given to non-union folks is a simple annual increase--just like pilots, FA's, etc get a raise from year 1 of the contract, to year 2 of the contract, etc. Yes, people that have been in that same job for several years "top out", but that's the same for ALL positions. Maybe the annual increases weren't as high for some union positions--but that's what's in the contract.

And just because raises were given, that doesn't mean the total payroll costs will increase bye the same 3%--remember a lot of duplicate jobs were consolidated after the merger. When jobs are cut, more than just the salary for that employee is saved--the company also saves on payroll taxes, insurance premiums, etc.

The 3% raises weren't given to just management--they were also given to non-union, non-management people---all who work just as hard as union people.
 
Yes, people that have been in that same job for several years "top out", but that's the same for ALL positions.
So you're saying that NO non-union employee will get the 3% raise if they've been with the company over a certain number of years?

And just because raises were given, that doesn't mean the total payroll costs will increase bye the same 3%--remember a lot of duplicate jobs were consolidated after the merger.
So since attrition is reducing ... oh, say the East pilot ranks, then we can look forward to a raise. After all, the total East pilot payroll cost would stay the same....

Jim
 
First of all, when the stock options were exercised, no cash is spent by the comapny. Second, the 3% raises given to non-union folks is a simple annual increase--just like pilots, FA's, etc get a raise from year 1 of the contract, to year 2 of the contract, etc. Yes, people that have been in that same job for several years "top out", but that's the same for ALL positions. Maybe the annual increases weren't as high for some union positions--but that's what's in the contract.

And just because raises were given, that doesn't mean the total payroll costs will increase bye the same 3%--remember a lot of duplicate jobs were consolidated after the merger. When jobs are cut, more than just the salary for that employee is saved--the company also saves on payroll taxes, insurance premiums, etc.

The 3% raises weren't given to just management--they were also given to non-union, non-management people---all who work just as hard as union people.
And, unlike union folks, these non-union, non-management people are not even GUARANTEED this 3% -- if they haven't performed -- on an individual basis -- they could see less, even 0%. Also, do the union folks realize that if these non-union, non-management types get laid-off that it has nothing to do with seniority (they'll probably lay-off the high-paid, high-timer in favor of keeping 2 low-paid, newbies) and they have ZERO recall rights or anything of that sort? Even if they wanted to commute they wouldn't be able to transfer to a different base.

Everyone (or most everyone, anyways) are talented, resourceful people. If you don't like your job and/or your pay for the job you do, move on. Comparing yourself to others -- especially those in different job categories with different risks and benefits -- does absolutely nothing for either group. If you want what the other group gets, do what you need to do to join the other group. The grass is not always greener. And, nobody wins these types of comparisons.

Cost neutral? So many easties did not come west that the non-union payroll for the number of employees employed in these functions is much lower than ever.

Oh, and it wouldn't be fair to the bird to paper the cage with that propaganda (sp?) !!!!!
 
The 3% raises weren't given to just management--they were also given to non-union, non-management people---all who work just as hard as union people.
[/quote]


I think I would have prefered a boxfull of stock options like Doug and his exec's received. The 3% raise doesnt even cover a grocery shopping trip to Walmart.
 

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