America West Contract (interesting read)

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
First, I'd like to show you the America West corporate press release about the pilots voting down the contract. I'll highlight the important parts.

--------Management's Statement-----------
America West pilots reject tentative agreement
Tuesday March 18, 2:32 pm ET

PHOENIX, March 18 (Reuters) - Pilots for America West Airlines have rejected a tentative three-year contract but hope to resume negotiations quickly with the air carrier, the union representing pilots said on Tuesday.

However, America West, the No. 8 U.S. air carrier, said the December tentative deal would have given pilots immediate 11 percent wage hikes, and talks will be framed by the economic reality facing the airline and industry when they resume.

"While other airlines continue to seek concessionary contracts with their employees, our agreement included an immediate 11 percent wage rate increase and work rule enhancements," Chief Executive Douglas Parker said in a statement.

About 97 percent of America West's 1,476 eligible pilots voted on the contract, with 73 percent opting not to ratify the agreement, the Air Line Pilots Association (News - Websites) said.

Peter Blandino, acting chairman of the America West ALPA unit, said pilots chose not to accept a substandard agreement. Negotiations started in early 2000, were suspended after the Sept. 11 attacks, and resumed in March 2002.

Stiff fare competition and weak travel demand since the Sept. 11 attacks has pressured most major U.S. carriers. The airline's parent, America West Holdings Corp. (NYSE:AWA - News), reported losses of $430 million in 2002.

United Airlines parent UAL Corp. (NYSE:UAL - News) and US Airways Group Inc. (OTC BB:UAWGQ.OB - News) have been cutting labor costs through the bankruptcy process. Other major airlines are in various stages of asking workers to accept cuts outside court.

The National Mediation Board retains jurisdiction over the talks, and the pilots union said it would petition the board to resume negotiations as quickly as possible.
----------------------------------------------

Management wants the public to think that it's all about pay, but consider the America West pilot's response:

-----------America West Pilot's Response----------------
America West Pilots Nix Contract, Citing Job Security
Tuesday March 18, 2:50 pm ET
By Melanie Trottman, Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal

PHOENIX -- Pilots at America West Airlines overwhelmingly rejected a tentative labor contract reached in December between the company and the union, citing shortcomings in job security and retirement benefits.

Of the 1,476 pilots eligible to vote, 97% participated and 73% voted against the proposed three-year pact that offered an 11% pay raise at the date of signing and an additional 3% raise in January 2005.

"Given the state of the industry, pilots were not dissatisfied with that [pay raise]. They thought that was fair," said Captain Peter Blandino, acting chairman of the America West unit of the Air Line Pilots Association (News - Websites).

"The things that generated the 'no' vote were shortcomings in particularly job security and lack of retirement (benefits)," added Mr. Blandino, who said pilots unsuccessfully sought a defined benefit plan in addition to the 401(k) program they have now, and remain concerned that their job security is hurt by the level to which the airline can outsource flying to other carriers.

In their negotiations with the airline, a unit of America West Holdings Corp. (NYSE:AWA - News; AWA), pilots had sought increased pay, more flexible flight schedules, greater retirement benefits and better job security. The proposed contract had some improvements, including more flexible flight schedules, but "fell short of expectations," said Mr. Blandino.

America West said it was disappointed with the vote "particularly given the economic realities facing our industry and our company today," said W. Douglas Parker, chairman and chief executive. "While other airlines continue to seek concessionary contracts with their employees, our agreement included an immediate 11% wage rate increase and work-rule enhancements."

Keeping labor costs in check is critical at America West. In exchange for a government loan-guarantee in early 2002 from a Congress-formed board set up to assist ailing airlines, Mr. Parker promised in Washington to keep labor-cost increases in line with projections in the company's business plan or be forced to repay part of the loan early.

Mr. Blandino said he'll have a clearer idea of the 1,700 pilots' continuing contract-related concerns when the union polls the membership. The union will petition to the mediation board to resume negotiations as quickly as possible in hopes of reaching another agreement, he said.

America West made it clear that ongoing events will affect how it proceeds. " Whenever we eventually restart these negotiations, the discussions will necessarily be framed by the economic realities facing America West and the industry at that time," said the CEO.

America West's pilots began negotiating with management in February 2000 just prior to the May 2000 amendable date of their current, six-year-old contract. In May 2001, the airline filed for federal mediation amid strained negotiations. After the National Mediation Board assigned a federal mediator, talks were suspended after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and resumed in March of last year until the union and management reached a tentative pact in December.
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Just watch how the media cranks up the 'greedy pilot' PR machine over the next couple of weeks.
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
Yup, especially here in town. I swear we have the worst news stations in the country. Hell, "Hard Copy" would win a Edward J. Murrow award before these bufoons would.

I can't wait to see the 5p.m. news tonight ...
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
No doubt. Hard news is Rick D'Amico talking about the latest junk science finding, Ilona "Botox" Carson talking to the lady up in th parking lot in Flagstaff about "Snow flurries!! snow flurries in Flagstaff! It's january and we've got snow flurries" and Brad doing that stupid dance.

Actually I met Brad a few times down at "Aunt Chiladas" near Squaw Peak. Nice guy, and actually pretty quiet.

Anyhoo...
 

av8sean

New Member
It should be noted, even after the 29% wage cut, UA 737/A319/320 pilots still make more then the new America West contract, with vastly better work rules, and retirement.

In reality, America West pilots fly mainline equipment with regional work rules and pay. It makes me wonder though (perhaps you can help Doug) why the HP pilots are stressing a pension plan when other airlines are outrageously underfunding their pensions, or trying to nullify them like US Airways. I'd rather just make more cash and invest it myself.

-Sean
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
In reality, America West pilots fly mainline equipment with regional work rules and pay. It makes me wonder though (perhaps you can help Doug) why the HP pilots are stressing a pension plan when other airlines are outrageously underfunding their pensions, or trying to nullify them like US Airways. I'd rather just make more cash and invest it myself.

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm not really sure. Probably in part because the more you earn, the more the federal government takes away from you. If I showed you my gross and compared it to my net, it would shock you beyond belief.

The USAiways pilot pension is gone baby gone. The company was able to raid the fund, take managment bonuses and split the remaining funds amongst the remaining employees. The average retired pilot may have seen an (admittedly unconfirmed) 85% pension reduction and the average non-pilot may have experienced a slight increase.
 
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