I haven't stopped laughing yet!!

Rottweiller

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I thought I had just about heard it all when today our MEC advised us that they turned down an offer (in about a micro second I should think) from USAir.

It appears, not just us I might add, that USAir approached us to use some of our RJ's to do regional flying for them. The kicker? Use our aircraft but staff them with THIER furloughed crews which equals us furloughing as we don't have equipment for some to fly!! They then revamped this to ask if they could put direct Captains in so they could have current PIC.

They say this is a way for them to stay viable and compete with other airlines as they are having difficulties getting RJ's on the property.

Now I tend to believe and support our MEC whole heartedly but has anyone else heard of this? If you ask me this takes some guall even to ask in the first place :cool:
 
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reepicheep

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Rottweiller:

I fly for US Airways, and yes our MEC is exploring this concept. Intel. varies widely on how likely it is we'll see it. The general idea is US Airways makes a deal with the regional for X number of SJ's and then our furloughees fly half the new jets. and the regionals' pilots fly the other half. It's known, somewhat cynically, as J4J aka "Jets For Jobs". It is not meeting with much enthusiasm among our furloughees, or the wholly-owned who understandably are hesitant to hitch their star to a fading airline.
 

gns2005

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They've approached several airlines...

The biggest issue is just as you've stated, they want to forget all about the seniority system and jump right into a CPT slot. If the USAir MEC would approach the regionals with some semblence of respect it might have a fighting chance, but they go in thinking they are doing us a favor by letting us give the USAir furloughees a job until they go back to mainline.

Would the USAir pilots agree to go to the bottom of the seniority list as new hires as long as they can hold their current USAir numbers? That would be the best way to do this, give respect to the current employees without trying to climb over them to get into the left seat, the furloughees have paying flying jobs and are still on the USAir seniority list. What's wrong with that? Why would ANYONE hire a street captin, pay for his type then say "it's OK to leave when they call you back and we'll train more of our guys at our own expense".

That's just me, but I'd sire like to hear what current furloughees or line pilots for USAir think about all this hubub.

Thanks,
gns2005
 

LearLove

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now you see

Now do you guys see what the Wholly Owned guys have been dealing with for the past 8 or more years. Sure you guys can come here take my job and number while your at it why don't feel up my girlfriend and kick my dog - whatever. Bebe doesn't have a clue.
 

typhoonpilot

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The jets for jobs deal that is being talked about is a win-win situation for the regionals in question and the furloughed pilots of USAirways. Why ?

See reepicheep's post where he mentions that the USAirways furloughees only fly(staff) half of the new jets at the regional. So who will fly the other half?, the current regional pilots. In this scenario the regional pilots will move up faster and the USAirways furloughees will get jobs until they are recalled. That recall, by the way, could be as long as ten years for the most junior furloughee. ( If USAirways even survives that long ).

Lets take Mesa as an example. Right now they can't get any more code share RJs for use with USAirways because of the 70 aircraft limit. If the deal is signed, lets say they get 40 more over the next few years. 20 of those would be staffed by current/new Mesa pilots and the other 20 by USAirways furloughees. It would seem an aweful lot of Mesa pilots would upgrade because of that deal while captains on the property would get better schedules, bases, etc. When USAirways recalls those furloughees the aircraft remain and there is even more upwards movement by the Mesa pilots.

As for the seniority issue, the majority of the furloughees were hired early 1999 through mid 2000. I imagine that most of the regional captains were hired before that.

I am sorry a deal couldn't be made to have these aircraft flown by the wholly owned subsidiaries, but Wolf just isn't willing to front the money for the airplanes.

Yes, I am a USAirways pilot. At least until I can find a good job elsewhere.
 

gns2005

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Fine for the company, but it still tries to side step the tried and true seniority issue and there is no provisions for the Express carriers to receive any sort of help should the situation reverse itself or should USAir ever get in a position to begin hiring again.

The situation would still be win-win if the USAir pilots started from the beginning like every other pilot. You guys chose to work for a failing company and many of our guys choose to stay at a functioning regional. Why should one, or many of you, come in as Captain before many of our qualified guys. You start as new hire F/O's like everyone else and this thing flies through everytime and everyone is happy.

I am sorry you guys got furloughed, but honestly, it doesn't make you higher and mightier than any current pilot at another airline, even the regionals. This whole thing would be moot if the USAir pilots agreed to become new hire F/O's and stopped trying to weasle Captain's slots out of the regional. If you'll be there for ten years, you'll be a Captain in turn anyway so what's the problem with waiting your turn?

BTW- I understand that USAir will subsidise your pay to match your current USAir payscale, so who cares if you're F/O at the regional, you're making more than any of our Captain's anyway.

gns2005
 

typhoonpilot

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GNS 2005

Wow, where do I begin. First you have been given some serious misinformation. "BTW- I understand that USAir will subsidise your pay to match your current USAir payscale, so who cares if you're F/O at the regional, you're making more than any of our Captain's anyway. " That isn't going to happen and as far as I know hasn't even been talked about. The pilots would be paid based on their USAirways date of hire at the Regional pay scale. I.E. a three year USAirways pilot gets 3rd year Mesa pay for whatever position he holds.

About the seniority issue, I know this is a touchy subject. Seniority is everything in our careers. The USAirways pilots are giving up routes and airplanes at the expense of the junior pilots and to the advantage of the Regional airlines. This has been going on for over a decade. During the early 1990s when USAir parked all their F-28s and gave those routes to Henson/Piedmont and other regional carriers there certainly was no uproar from the regional pilots who were upgrading/getting hired while no jobs were given to furloughed USAir pilots. It is the same thing this time, but this time the USAirways MEC is trying to help the junior ( furloughed ) pilots by getting some job guarantees.

How you can view this as " sidestepping seniority " is very one sided. The USAirways pilots are giving up seniority by allowing the regionals to fly these aircraft ! Remember, the purpose of regionals was to be a stepping stone to the major airline career. The more aircarft that are flown at the regional level the fewer major airline jobs will be available. This is an attack against our profession by greedy corporate officers. But I digress. These protocols that are being discussed are in effect a quasi flowthrough. So the seniority is very fair.

Further, as part of the deals being discussed I have heard that if and when USAirways hires again the regionals that sign on to the plan will have a very good preferential hiring deal. Not that I am saying that is worth much, I certainly wouldn't want to get hired by USAirways again, but things could change.

Finally, no one here said that USAirways pilots feel " higher and mightier " than the Regional pilots. The USAirways pilots are just trying to get jobs for their ALPA brothers and sisters who are getting furloughed. It is the first time in a long time that they have acted like a real union.

Typhoonpilot
 

dondk

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typhoonpilot

I understand both points, but I want to add my .02 here...

Specifically..
"The USAirways pilots are just trying to get jobs for their ALPA brothers and sisters who are getting furloughed. It is the first time in a long time that they have acted like a real union. "

ALPA is for the BIG guys not us regionals. If you look at most scope clause's it is to prevent the growth of a regional. To use Mesa as an example, they now have code share with 3 carriers for RJ's, and that does NOT include there own colors OR Freedom Air. Why is that? Could it be due to the restrictions the Scope clause has on them? They grow by going around the system or clause.

These Scope clauses were put there by ALPA to "protect" the SAME people who now want to come back and take the jobs or aircraft from the same regionals they wanted protection from. Where is the ALPA protection for the regional guys who may get furloughed? This it too one sided, I agree that I would like to see all of the ALPA brothers and sisters gainfully employed, but I am not too sure I would be willing to see that at my expense. or my regional brothers and sisters expense.

To use and adage, they made thier bed and now they must sleep in it...
 

gns2005

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You make good points typhoon. I understand both sides of the situation and the business side as well. I guess the biggest issue is now the industry is changing and the regionals are becoming a large player in thousands of markets, unfortunately at the expense of the large national and major airlines in some cases. We're slave labor comparitively and businesses enjoy cheap labor and higher yields as long as they can get it.

Anyway, most of us weren't even in the game back when the F28's were retired and that was a USAir decision, not the regionals, even though they benefitted, the major partners drive the market and the flying, so we kind of just do what we're told.

As far as ALPA, I agree that they are trying to help, but I think they are shooting the moon too much and it would be a little more well received should they ask for more traditional job terms. I also agree that at this point the regionals should man up and make their own union with regional interests in mind. Again, another discussion.

Thanks for clarifying the pay issue, we've been having this discussion internally and after a while facts are definitely convaluted.

I guess in final analysis, if USAir MEC wasn't put in a position to try to arrange jobs for their pilots based on poor management decisions from USAir, then things might be different. I respect that they are fighting for you guys, I just think that interests would be better served by approaching the regional partners with a more traditional seniority based solution, such as keeping your numbers at USAir, getting your pay for longevity at the major and going into new hire status like all other new hires.

You would obviously be shown your way towards East Coast RJ ops seeing as most of you will be very well qualified in jet ops ;)

Another option would be to arrange a separate airline operation with the regional partners and staff the planes only with USAir furloughees. Everyone would be in the same boat, seniority would allow you guys to sit as F/O's and CPT's and fly together, then as things progress, begin to merge that operation into current regional operations at the parent regional. Smoother transition and less of a shock to the system. Just a thought.

Again, thanks for the info and good luck on the job hunt.

gns2005
 

reepicheep

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There has been no mention of making pilot whole at US Airways wages if they fly for the regional.

Most of the furloughees I talk to don't think they're ever going to be recalled by US Airways; the talk is more like when are they filing Ch.11 and how is the inevitable fragmentation going to play out?
 

typhoonpilot

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You're right about ALPA being for the big guys and more accurately for the senior pilots at the big guys. The reason that ALPA/APA has tried to have limits on the number of RJs at the regionals is to help the profession. The more jets flown at the major level the more jobs there will be at higher pay/better working conditions for all professional pilots. Unfortunately the economics of the marketplace are not allowing that to happen. In the end we all lose.

Nobody at a major wants to take jobs from the regional pilots, more accurately they would prefer that the regional pilots get an opportunity, if they so desire, to get to the major airlines. In the
end that is what the scope clauses are about. Remember, that is wasn't that long ago that the so called major/national airlines had lots of 100 seat and fewer jets. At one time USAirways had 45 FK-28s and 20 something BAe 146s.

In this particular situation no pilots at the regional would get furloughed, quite to the contrary. The respective regionals would be getting more RJs to fly with only half the aircraft manned by USAirways pilots. So the regionals would almost definitely have to hire more pilots. I agree though, that the agreement should specify a method of furloughing, should that happen. Certainly no regional pilot on the property the day the agreement is signed should be furloughed as a result of a USAirways furloughee coming to work at that regional.

GNS2005

Thank you for maintaining a level headed discussion. When seniority is discussed tempers flare very easily.

"Another option would be to arrange a separate airline operation with the regional partners and staff the planes only with USAir furloughees. Everyone would be in the same boat, seniority would allow you guys to sit as F/O's and CPT's and fly together, then as things progress, begin to merge that operation into current regional operations at the parent regional. Smoother transition and less of a shock to the system. Just a thought. "

That is a great thought and it occured to us as well. USAirways group owns a non-operational certificate that this idea could easliy be implemented under. Unfortunately, management isn't willing to go that route. When this all started three years ago we had hoped to get the regional jets either on the mainline under group 4 pay rates ( FK-28 ) or at the wholly owneds. Then your idea came up and as with the other two it wasn't what management wanted to do. Again, they don't want to front the money for the aircraft.

Now all we are left with is the current scenario. Again, in regards to the seniority issue, think of it this way. What if your airline bought another airline that included 40 aircraft but only enough pilots to staff 20 of those aircraft ? There would be a fair and equitable seniority integration in which the lists were merged. The pilots at your airline would benefit from the additional flying the 20 aircraft represented and the merged pilots would continue on under the new company. If I was working at your airline, I would really like a deal like that.

"I respect that they are fighting for you guys, I just think that interests would be better served by approaching the regional partners with a more traditional seniority based solution, such as keeping your numbers at USAir, getting your pay for longevity at the major and going into new hire status like all other new hires. "

In the end, that may be the agreement.


typhoonpilot
 

dondk

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typhoonpilot

Well put...


Again only adding my .02...

Recently I spoke with a TSA pilot who was considering this SJ/RJ offer by the MEC. His take on it was very similar to your take with a few exceptions... Yes, the regionals will get more equipment and hence more opportunities, the cost according to this pilot was 15% of current TSA pilots who would have to be furloughed UNTIL the equipment met the staffing. Is 15% worthy? according to this individual, yes as the growth and opportunities for the group as a whole would outweigh the 15% on the street...

No one has many SJ/RJ's just sitting around, so there would have to be some concessions on both sides, even at the good rate of 4 a month it would take months to make a dent for the Airways furloughee's. Those contract operators who do have orders, some are for the 700/900 RJ's, not the 40-50 seaters that are the current issue.

When you mention that no one at the majors want to take jobs from the regionals I do not completely agree. Just look at flow-through and flow back agreements. Most flow-through agreements are limited, while the flow back are not as limiting. Granted this is BOTH the regional and major management pulling some of the strings.

I just find it difficult to swallow when Airways has treated there respective regionals both wholly owned and contract carriers with disdain. Now with the chips down so to speak it is a different atmosphere. For the regionals, they do need Airways for survival, the question though will be at what cost.

Again my .02, I feel for all parties as I really do not see a clear winner here, not that there has to be one either.
 

eddie

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This deal doesn't seem to make sense for anyone but usairways pilots.

Here's what I've gotten from reading this thread.

1) A contract carrier will put up the cash that wolf is unwilling or unable to come up with, to buy jets with usairways paint.

2) To have the privilege of flying under those colors, that carrier will be required to hire furloughed usairways pilots instead of using the normal means of hiring pilots.

3) This company will be paying the new pilots longevity at their old company instead of 1st year new hire pay they should be getting.

4) There may be a hollow if not laughable offer of preferential hiring of pilots from this contract carrier into usairways in the future.

Please let me know if I have misunderstood something here.

I was furloughed last fall, now I'm a new hire at a new company and I would have loved to walk in to a captain slot. I guess since I didn't work for usairways I'll have to wait my turn.
 

Andy Neill

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What you are missing is the 50% growth (or lack of furlough) opportunity for the company pilots, and faster upgrade opportunities. The existing pilots would also have a stack of USAir pilots under them to take the reserve lines. The price (corruption of the seniority system) for these bennies, however, is too great for most pilot groups.
 

BoredToDeath

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Too Little Too Late

The US AIRWAYS MEC should have never been as short sighted in the first place to restrict RJ/SJ flying to a mere 70 planes. When the CRJ first came out the turboprop started it's slow retirement. It seems that every airline except for Airways was smart enough to start replacing turboprops. Now look at us screaming for jets. Its like trying to put a Band-Aid on a shark bit. The WOs should have had as many RJs by now that at least Comair has, that might have at least saved this company from losing the customers that it had.

Jets for Jobs is a farse! Don't think for a minute that these guys won't try to keep their positions at the top of your seniority list and at a better pay rate at your contract carrier once this Titanic finally sinks to the bottom. That BS about how they don't want super senoirity is just that, BS. When they want to upgrade their furloughees to Capt. before your FOs there something wrong.

Do what the WOs (PDT, ALG, PSA) did. Tell them to POUND SAND!

:) Have A Nice Day.
 

typhoonpilot

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Dondk

I don't know the situation at TSA, but I don't understand how this agreement would result in the furlough of 15% of their pilots. The additional jets should provide more jobs both in the short term and the long term, not fewer jobs . You are right about the rate of delivery and the time for jobs to be available for all the USAirways furloughees it is quite a few years from the projections I have seen. In the meantime the respective regional should have a net growth. The only way TSA would have to furlough is if they are replacing two turboprops for one jet. Again, I would say that an agreement shouldn't allow the furlough of any active regional pilot on the day the deal is signed and no USAirways furloughee should be hired until all of that regionals furloughees have been recalled.

Eddie

Your summation is pretty good but I don't agree with saying it doesn't make sense for anyone but USAirways pilots. It makes a lot of sense for the regionals. They get more jets to fly which should be good for everybody on their list. In the case of Skywest, which is one of the possible regionals they get a new codeshare partner and a place for their ordered RJs to be flown. As I am told that the ones targeted for the United codeshare are in jeopardy. When and if all the USAirways furloughees are recalled the jets remain and the remaining regional pilots move up again.

Andy Neill

I don't see how this corrupts the seniority system. It is just like I said in my last response. Think of it as the regional buying another airline and having to take the pilots with the deal and giving them a fair and equitable seniority integration. No corruption there.

Bored to Death

The wholly owneds were where the majority of USAirways pilots would like to have seen the RJs go, barring them going on the mainline. A flowthrough should have been done years ago, but we can't cry over spilt milk. I sure don't cry about not being offered a job at Henson when they took over the FK-28 routes. Unfortunately this whole thing will be the death of the wholly owneds as they won't be able to compete without jets.
 
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Marko Ramius

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gns2005 said:

Another option would be to arrange a separate airline operation with the regional partners and staff the planes only with USAir furloughees. Everyone would be in the same boat, seniority would allow you guys to sit as F/O's and CPT's and fly together, then as things progress, begin to merge that operation into current regional operations at the parent regional. Smoother transition and less of a shock to the system. Just a thought.
gns2005
gns2005,

While I'm not involved in any of this, I see this as the potential wild card. If people think that the only upside exists that exists to this deal is for the UsAirways furloughees, wait and see how they'll feel if another carrier is started. Ostensibly, Wolf doesn't have the money to buy the aircraft, so doing something like putting the aircraft on the old Potomic Air or one of the WO's certificate doesn't work for him. With all of the subsidiaries, I assume Mesa's pilot contract is liberal at best when it comes to alter ego operations. What's to stop Ornstein from using the Freedom Air certificate and staffing with UsAirways furloughees? I'm sure that a side letter could be signed with USALPA to deal with CRJ700/900 issues in that case. When the UA/UsAirways merger was still going strong, there was talk of UsAirways giving on of the WO's (PSA I think) DOT certificate to Johnson so that he could start up DcAir without going through the app process. What's to stop Wolf from selling one of the WO's certificates to an airline like TSA with an agreement that they will use it to fly RJ's staffed completely by UsAirways furloughees? Any such deal, will ultimately cause more heartache than the current J4J deal, because every USX carrier will ultimately suffer a big loss of flying due to it. Obviously this doesn't apply to Skywest. They aren't
a USX carrier, and at present don't have much concrete to worry about until they see the outcome of the UA/UALALPA scope clause grievances.

Management doesn't care about any seniority arguments. They will typically give the two parties a chance to work it out amicably, after that they just do what it takes to get their revenue. Look at AA/TWA. Painful as it is, the best thing to do is probably keep negotiating and try to find a common ground. The management at US and USX are out to get their SJ's one way or another. I don't think anyonewants to see "plan B," come into play.
 

Caveman

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The absolute gall of mainline pilots never ceases to amaze me. They mistakenly believe that the rest of the industry exists soley to improve the conditions at mainline. Every other pilot working anywhere else must abrogate their own careers on the off chance some mainline might throw them a bone and give them a job, someday, maybe. BS. I have a job and it's a good one. Sorry about your furloughs but it isn't my fault you picked a lousy company. I will welcome you at my comnpany after you apply, after you interview, and after you go to the bottom of our seniority list. Anything else is unacceptable.
 
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