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(CNN)   U.S. Airways asks non-union employees to work for free over the holidays   (money.cnn.com) divider line 343
    More: Unlikely  
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15317 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Dec 2004 at 4:41 PM (9 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2004-12-29 11:23:05 AM
Yes... to help offset the union guys that are trying to finish killing the airline. I hope the just go under and get it over with. That will help all the other airlines.
 
2004-12-29 11:30:19 AM
if you're on salary, how do you work for free? i know the article didn't specify it, but i gotta think executive types ain't punchin' no clock.
 
2004-12-29 11:30:49 AM
How about the law starts breaking down on the Unioners who circled e-mails that said to start taking part in illegal strikes to hurt the airline and its customers to get what they want.

Oh? It won't? That's right, because unions are essentially mafias, rarely standing for the justice they once did.
 
2004-12-29 11:32:11 AM
Yes, treating workers as demonstrated in a book like The Jungle would be great.
 
2004-12-29 11:36:19 AM
Just hang around for another 45 days USAir...my vacation is CRUCIAL to my menatl health this year.
 
2004-12-29 11:41:48 AM
dsmo: Yes, treating workers as demonstrated in a book like The Jungle would be great.

Yes, realizing that its 2004/5 and 1904/5 would be great as well. I highly doubt any worker today is treated as demonstrated in The Jungle.

Unions had their place but that era is long over. Unions are gasping for survival in this post-industrial age.
 
2004-12-29 11:43:48 AM
Big_Bad_Dad - I think I heard of a new law recently that said that if an airline company went belly up - they had to make sure your tickets went through - within 60 days or something like that. In other words - they would give you money (from god knows where) to help you get where you were going through another airline.

So you should be ok.
 
2004-12-29 11:44:54 AM
Yes, realizing that its 2004/5 and 1904/5 would be great as well. I highly doubt any worker today is treated as demonstrated in The Jungle.

Get rid of the unions, and call me in 50 years.
 
2004-12-29 11:44:57 AM
Seth_J: I highly doubt any worker today is treated as demonstrated in The Jungle.

Are you kidding? I'm just waiting for unions to go away so I can start beating my employees, farking the women folk, and hiring 3 year olds to clean my dangerous steel fabrication machinery.

/wait... what pathetically small percentage of the work force do unions represent? And baggage handlers? Christ on a stick.
 
2004-12-29 11:46:51 AM
US Air is in serious doodoo - even the union types should be considering the work for free idea or they're gonna be righteously smug as their full time job.

It's not so easy to get a union airline job these days, esp. in a market where the only airlines making $$ are the ones without unions. Where are they going to go? United (bzzzz) Delta (bzzzz). How about what is unemployment, Alex? (ding ding).

And yes, management should give some back too but that's not enough to save them.
 
2004-12-29 11:49:14 AM
2004-12-29 11:46:51 AM flucto

US Air is in serious doodoo


Hey, let's watch the language here.
 
2004-12-29 11:49:35 AM
brazil: what pathetically small percentage of the work force do unions represent?

That would be very interesting to know. Unions seem to be killing off all the jobs they 'represent' anyway.
 
2004-12-29 11:49:44 AM
US Air is in that final downward spiral. They will be liquidating in the spring, use your frequent flier miles now. They have key loans coming due in 15 days. I blame the goverment, they should not of bailed out this sinking ship the first or second times and kept USAir on lifesupport.

To be fair to the unions, this was a wildcat strike. But it won't make a diffrence as even by airline standards, this was a poorly managed firm.
 
2004-12-29 11:50:07 AM
The disparity in the value of wages paid to professionals and to labor already underscores the fact that it's the administration that is placing value on work. The unions are the only voice that labor has to actually participate in the value assessment of their own labor.
 
2004-12-29 11:52:15 AM
sweet! my link got the green light!
 
2004-12-29 11:53:27 AM
mutilato: The disparity in the value...

Dude, were you reading that off a talking points card? Or indoctrination to the left 101?
 
2004-12-29 11:53:38 AM
USAir executives and management have repeatedly shafted their Union workers (with the help of the courts).

USAir filed with the courts and had their current collective bargaining agreements with the unions voided. This was after years of picking away at the pilot's unions salaries in 3 or 4 restructuring negotiations designed to save money (great results, huh?) They threw massive paycuts at the unions (unilaterally with the court's help), while the executives took no pay cuts to show support.


The workers are enduring these paycuts, and many are now earning less then what they need to live in their current conditions.

Meanwhile there's a revolving door at the top executive positions, with people getting pushed up, taking nice severance packages and escaping the sinking ship.
 
2004-12-29 11:53:58 AM
Personally, I would be ashamed to admit that I were part of a union.
 
2004-12-29 12:05:30 PM
lunchinlewis:

and many are now earning less then what they need to live in their current conditions.

Three choices:
1) Get a better job.
2) Get another job (two jobs)
3) Stop living outside you're means.

No simpathy from me and I'm not a top executive.

They are moving suit cases for a living... not brain surgery. A high middle school kid could do that job.
 
2004-12-29 12:08:28 PM
Seth_J: A high middle school kid could do that job.

properly trained chimps could do that job.
 
2004-12-29 12:12:01 PM
Seth_J
1) Get a better job.

that's so easy! why doesn't everybody do that?
 
2004-12-29 12:15:51 PM
EatHam: properly trained chimps could do that job.

I learned a long time ago if a properly trained chimp could do your job - its time to move on. Its one of the main reasons I'm not working in the feild I have a degree in (recording). This includes sewing, moving boxes, and yes, sadly, working in IT. IT certainly had its glory days - now we are just mechanics, trained in the same building where others get their ASE certification.

I'm not knocking any of these industries (maybe sewing) - hell I love music, computers, and cars - but if there's a <=two year degree program in your field, its time to move on. Better yourself.
 
2004-12-29 12:21:37 PM
I'm a rightwing nutjob, but even I think unions still have a vital role to play. Everyone has the obligation to make the best deal they can for themselves. Keeping in mind, however, that the best deal is the one that works best for all sides.

The trouble with many unions is that they've turned into parasites whose main function is to perpetuate their own existence rather than to serve the interests of their members.

US Air is a perfect case in point. The unions are going to kill US Air as a lesson to the other airlines. They're going to sacrifice their members to keep their own stupid asses fat and happy. It's too late to argue that they're somehow taking a tough line, defending their membership. US Air is dead in March barring a miracle.

It's also too late for blame, it won't help anyone. The only thing that can possibly save them is for the unionized employees to swallow hard, de-certify the union and keep their jobs. Otherwise most of them are in for a bad 4-5 years of waiting for the economy to absorb them all.

Whats NOT going to farking help is to have little vindictive wildcat strikes. Get a clue, US Air FAs and baggage chimps, you're going to be unemployed, possibly forever cause sure as hell the non-union airlines aren't putting up with you.

Five years from now, long after US Air is a dim memory, there will still be guys with picket signs at airports still protesting their unfair treatment. Remember Eastern?
 
2004-12-29 12:27:46 PM
Dude, were you reading that off a talking points card? Or indoctrination to the left 101?

Actually, it's what I believe. administrators decide the value of labor. Because of that, the value of administrative labor is high, while the value of other labor falls short. Labor unions are the only tool that enable labor to have any realistic say in the assessment of value for their own labor.

There is a massive gap in this country and jobs that might scream out to be of higher value- due to the importance of the task performed- such as teaching, policework, garbage collection, etc- are valued very low.
 
2004-12-29 12:30:24 PM
mutilato: teaching, policework, garbage collection, etc- are valued very low.

bs. As an hourly wage, teachers get paid relatively well. Tack on coaching something, drama, or whatever, and they get paid even better. Policemen (out here at least) can make 70k after a couple of years of experience. Garbagemen as well get paid very well.
 
2004-12-29 12:33:22 PM
There is a massive gap in this country and jobs that might scream out to be of higher value- due to the importance of the task performed- such as teaching, policework, garbage collection, etc- are valued very low.

exactly- teaching and policework are the two most egregious examples of jobs that are absolutely vital to be done correctly, but get paid shiat.
 
2004-12-29 12:33:23 PM
mutilato:

There is a massive gap in this country and jobs that might scream out to be of higher value- due to the importance of the task performed- such as teaching, policework, garbage collection, etc- are valued very low.

In my experience the people further up the chain are smarter and more educated than those below them in the company structure.

The value difference has nothing is not due to the fact that the "administrators" control the capital and means of production. That Marxist feed corn and bull.

There are bad people at all levels of every endeavor, no matter how smart or educated they are. So don't come back with the there are bad people in management line.

And teaching, police work, and garbage collection pay pretty well for what they require.

Stop trying to centrally control the economy, and let people set the value of what things are worth to them.
 
2004-12-29 12:36:28 PM
I don't think many people really know what's gone on to get us to this point. The unions aren't going to kill USAir. USAir executives are killing the airline. After the 2003 restructuring, they claimed to have a comprehensive plan worked out to save the airline. They identified depressed domestic travel and fuel costs and the most significant factors that caused the first chapter 11. Not a word about labor costs. So the two idiots who came up with that plan walk with $7 million in severance while they watch their plan fail, terribly fail. Then the new executives go after labor costs, while they and management hold their disproportionately high salaries. They're claiming they need to get labor costs down to be competitive with the new budget airlines, but the executives are still being paid at the "big carrier" levels, and you know what, they suck bad at their jobs.

What's wrong with that picture?
 
2004-12-29 12:38:12 PM
I was a teacher and I stopped because of the completely inadequate pay. A comparison of teachers' wages to those of workers with comparable skill requirements, including accountants, reporters, registered nurses, computer programmers, clergy, personnel officers, and vocational counselors and inspectors, shows that teachers earned $116 less per week in 2002, a wage disadvantage of 12.2%. Because teachers worked more hours per week, the hourly wage disadvantage was an even larger 14.1%.

Policemen and garbagemen rely on unions for the advances they actually have made, but over and over again, we find that there are problems in the inner cities created by a sort of pay scale elitism. People assume that the more educated they are and the more non-menial their task, the more they should be paid for it. That assumption is held by people who are in position to assess wages overall.

The consideration of what is necessary to our environment does not end up coming into the wage conversation. It should.
 
2004-12-29 12:39:43 PM
In my experience the people further up the chain are smarter and more educated than those below them in the company structure.

My exact point. What you are saying here is that PERSON should be paid, not the POSITION. You believe that educated and smart people should be paid more, so it blinds you to the value of the position performed. That same elitism is visible in the people who create wage rates.
 
2004-12-29 12:40:24 PM
I'm sorry, but the skill requirements to be an RN or computer programmer is not comparable to the skill requirements to be a teacher.
 
2004-12-29 12:42:32 PM
lunchinlewis: while they and management hold their disproportionately high salaries.

Getting paid to manage a billion dollar airline is disproportionate to throwing boxes around. You do either one bad and you should get fired.
 
2004-12-29 12:46:01 PM
Seth_J, we just have different criteria for what should be paid for. I don't believe we should let the education of the individual trump the value of the job performed. The major problem with Objectivism is that those people never recognize that their environment collapses without the people whose work makes their lives possible on a daily basis. Unions actually permit those people to have some say in the value of their work.
 
2004-12-29 12:46:26 PM
mutilato:

You believe that educated and smart people should be paid more, so it blinds you to the value of the position performed.

That makes no sense. I am a capitalist. I am for free markets. If the government did not have its political fingers in the business of schools, there would be some serious big money for teachers and seriously damn fine schools. There would be a hierarchy of competition instead of enforced mediocrity.

Education is the most important thing one can give their children, and yet the government has turned it into just another social program that has Marxist foolishness instead of those of merit.
 
2004-12-29 12:46:42 PM
Seth_J

Nobody said the ramp workers, machinists, ticket agents are doing their job bad. Nobody is saying to fire them.

They're just being forced to give up pay, pensions and health benefits because management will not participate in the cost savings for the problems that they themselves created.
 
2004-12-29 12:49:16 PM
I'm about to argue two opposite things simultaneously:

1. the skills required to run a company WELL far exceed those required to perform most jobs you could mention. No disrespect to nurses, police, etc. but it's just not the same ballpark. That's not to say that they don't deserve great pay, just that in a world driven by supply and demand, good exectives deserve huge salaries because there are so few people who can do the job.

2. The morons who run US Air should take a big cut and lead by example. They owe it to the shareholders to do whatever they can to save the airline.
 
2004-12-29 12:50:11 PM
Wow, brazil, well said.
 
2004-12-29 12:54:10 PM
That makes no sense. I am a capitalist. I am for free markets.

So am I. The Unions are decidedly part of that system. This prevents the means of valuing labor from being completely in the hands of administrators and permits EVERYONE to have a say in the value of labor.
 
2004-12-29 12:54:31 PM
it is true that the skill set required to teach isn't nearly as much as an RN or programmer.

but does that mean that we should let any damfool try to teach our kids? because those who would do a good job won't take a $25k/year position?

doesn't it make more sense, since education is the one common denominator of successful people, to attract better teachers with higher salaries?

the free market will eventually erode the value of education, since it doesn't take a lot of specific skills to teach, and many people are willing to try for little money.

sometimes, the free market isn't what is best for our society. sometimes, what is absolutely required isn't good enough. do you want your kids taught by the lowest bidder?
 
2004-12-29 12:56:38 PM
the skills required to run a company WELL far exceed those required to perform most jobs you could mention.

Who cares? It's time we dispensed with educational elitism and started valuing work for what it was worth. I am an advertising creative director. I am very good at what I do and I am paid really well. is my job really so much more important than the a police officer's that I should be paid 5 times more than he is?
 
2004-12-29 12:57:37 PM
hillbillypharmacist:

sometimes, the free market isn't what is best for our society. sometimes, what is absolutely required isn't good enough. do you want your kids taught by the lowest bidder?

The free market has kept Harvard around for a few years now, and they are far from the lowest bidder.

One of the problems with public schools is the certification requirement. Case in point - my father is a Ph. D metallurgical engineer with many patents with his name on them and over 30 years of research experience. He's retiring soon. Wants to be a teacher to keep himself busy. Know what? He's not qualified.
 
2004-12-29 12:58:38 PM
mutilato:

is my job really so much more important than the a police officer's that I should be paid 5 times more than he is?

To your company? Absolutely it is. The function of the police department is paid for out of your company's (and your) property taxes. The policeman is not directly paid by your company.
 
2004-12-29 01:00:16 PM
EatHam

you also have to pay to attend Harvard.

certification requirement is indeed a problem. i would very much like to have a fast track for PhDs and other professionals to teach.
 
2004-12-29 01:00:47 PM
hillbillypharmacist: you also have to pay to attend Harvard.

Are you telling me that I don't have to pay to attend other public schools?
 
2004-12-29 01:00:52 PM
We should try to remember that the free market is not the desired result but just a tool we use to get there. The desired result is the dignity and security, safety and prosperity of man. Let's stop putting the free market on some kind of pedestal as though it were never capable of creating injustice. It is. It is just another tool we have.
 
2004-12-29 01:02:03 PM
mutilato:

The major problem with Objectivism is that those people never recognize that their environment collapses without the people whose work makes their lives possible on a daily basis. Unions actually permit those people to have some say in the value of their work.

Or maybe they relize there are 1,000,000 more monkeys out there who could move boxes just as well? Economics 101 teaches us that the jobs do not belong to the employee, they belong the the employer - its just how (logically) things work.

I also understand that people (naturally) want to be doing something they feel good about - a job that returns merits and praise in one form or another. But you simply cannot rely on every leg of management to do that for you. You are always an underling (for the lack of a better term) to your supervisor and your supervisor is an underling to his, etc. I guess all this is boiling down to is how you like to feel about your job - and in the long run thats really not important.

The important issue is that the job get done. Not how special you feel about it, not how much time you spent in college learning the skill, not how many hours you spent on the weekends, etc.

I do understand the value of having a union. People who are specialists in their field (ie the only ones who can do the job) need that type of representation. I don't agree with is how unions use that power to exploit the company. What isn't said much is that people educated in, for instance, box lifting, really don't know what is best to keep the company going like the people educated in management.

Of course this is where the views clash and have always clashed, and continue to clash.
 
2004-12-29 01:02:38 PM
no, I didn't pay to go to my school.
 
2004-12-29 01:03:43 PM
To your company? Absolutely it is. The function of the police department is paid for out of your company's (and your) property taxes. The policeman is not directly paid by your company.

What if my company is wrong? (I believe they are) What if the people responsible for valuing my work, part of the same skillset and background, class and work structure as I am, are biased in favor of that type of labor? Wouldn't removing policework from the system for a period of time provide an indicator to how skewed their assessment is? Wouldn't it give the policeman a voice he otherwise wouldn't have in that room as to the value of his labor? That's the birth of the union.
 
2004-12-29 01:04:26 PM
mutilato:

We should try to remember that the free market is not the desired result but just a tool we use to get there.

I disagree. For me, capitalism is a moral issue. It is the system of a free people and individual liberty.
 
2004-12-29 01:05:34 PM
Or maybe they relize there are 1,000,000 more monkeys out there who could move boxes just as well?

And there is the bias right there. You just called the people who do the jobs that make it possible for you to do yours without thinking about them monkeys. Take a look at your bias for a second and notice that this bias is prevalent in the very class that is responsible for valuing labor at all. That is the inequity that unions are meant to address.
 
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