Orenstein and US Airways

bdejong

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Does anybody know what the U pilots scope clause says about their sub contractors flying airplanes larger than 70 seats? It was my understanding that the contract forbids U management from using a sub if they fly larger a/c, even if they fly them under their own name. That being the case, what does the U contract with Mesa say? If U management didn't get it in writing that Mesa agrees not to operate the 90 seat rj but they have a legally binding contract with their pilots to stop subbing with some one who operates them, are they going to have to break the Mesa contract and pay Mesa off? If they do have it in writing that Mesa won't fly bigger planes, then they can break the contract without paying but can they afford to lose the revenue and market share? Any thoughts? Publisher, you talked to all those guys at the RAA, speak to me, oh knowledgeable one!
Brian De Jong
 

Andy Neill

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While we're waiting for publisher's response, let me chime in with my understanding of the set up.

US Airways scope provisions disallow any code share from operating 70/90 seat jets. This is enforced whether or not those jets are used by the code share in US Airways Express operations or for operations in support of some other code share partner. Mesa had planned to get 70 seat CRJs to support America West Express oeprations but could not under the scope provisions.

Therefore, Mesa Air Group, the parent company for Mesa Airlines, is forming Freedom Air which will have the freedom to do the 70 seat America West Express operations presuming US Airways' agreement is with Mesa Airlines and not Mesa Air Group.

For others with better info, please correct anything I have misstated.
 

vja217

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I assume they'll set it up the same way they did with their Deutsche BA code share in Europe. They fly more than 70 seats, right?
 

surplus1

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Unless I'm mistaken, in addition to what Andy said, the new LOA81 recently negotiated at U, removes the previous restriction against 70/90 seat aircraft operated by U subcontractors as long as the aircraft at not used to code-share with U. Therefore, Mesa would now be free to make the deal with AW without having to create Freedom.

However, press reports indicate that JO will continue with the creation of Freedom. That allows him to bypass the Mesa pilot contract and avoid negotiations for the new jets. Another reduction in the compensation package (at Freedom and Mesa) is likely to be the result as this airline (Freedom) will be whipsawed against the the Mesa pilots (and also against the AW pilots).

ALPA objected to the creation of Freedom and called JO "another Lorenzo". However, weeks later ALPA sanctioned and fostered the rejuvenation of Potomac, a new subsidiary of USAir Group.

Potomac will do to the USAir subsidiaries pilots (Piedmont, Allegheny and PSA .... all represented by ALPA) the exact same thing that Freedom will do to Mesa pilots, i.e., undercut their compensation and remove their bargaining leverage. It has already begun with furloughs announced at all three and the company demanding contract concessions. Potomac has been renamed Mid Atlantic Airways and will get all or most of the new U regional jets. One or more of the present USAir subsidiaries may well go out of business when Potomac is up and running.

The only real difference between Freedom and Potomac is that all Potomac pilots will be furloughed USAir pilots and Potomac will recognize ALPA as the bargaining agent.

This is a classic case of ALPA selling out its members at PDT, ALG, PSA, in favor of USAir mainline pilots, while the "kettle calls the pot black". There is little doubt that ALPA could have arranged to place the new jets at the current USAir subsidiaries while protecting the mainline pilots and the regional pilots that it supposedly represents. Instead, ALPA chose to discard its "regional pilot" members in favor of mainline pilots, again.

ALPA's treachery and double dealing in this matter is hypocrisy at its finest. If JO is "another Lorenzo" what is ALPA ..... another Benedict Arnold?
 
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typhoonpilot

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Oh Boy - Here we go again

Surplus1 is right about LOA 81 changing the code share restriction. Mesa is free to operate 70/90 seat RJs for America West Express now. It is too bad the Ornstein is going ahead with Freedom Air though.

While I won't comment on the integrity of ALPA, I would have to disagree with Surplus1's comments in regards to Potomac/Mid-Atlantic. Being on the other side of the fence, I have watched PDT, ALG, PSA benefit enormously at the expense of the mainline over the last 12 years. They have taken our routes and not offered us jobs while on furlough. This isn't the fault of the pilots, it is the management of mainline that makes these decisions. So getting mad at one another serves no real purpose.

This time the mainline pilots have fought hard enough to ensure they they get some of the jobs that are going away from the mainline. Sorry that it will adversely affect pilots at the wholly owneds but there are 1070 furloughed USAirways pilots already and probably more to follow and since it is mainline routes that are being flown with these new jets it should be mainline pilots flying them.
 

JetProp

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"I have watched PDT, ALG, PSA benefit enormously at the expense of the mainline over the last 12 years."

How exactly have we benefitted at ML's expense? The WO's are flying 17 year old props while the contracters recieve new equipment. We are furloughing and probably will go out of business-how is this a benefit? I'm still in the right seat after two years and probably never will see the left seat at PDT-benefit-no.

"They have taken our routes and not offered us jobs while on furlough."

We were allocated thin markets. Short haul heavy lift operations. Markets where a 737-400 was operating with 30-40 pax each leg and losing money. Why not place a Dash-8 on the route IE: CLT-AVL and operate at a profit. The time difference between a Dash and a 737 is minimal; I timed it once-five minutes difference.

PDT, PSA, and ALG all hired furloughed ML pilots and let them retain full recall rights back to ML. In fact, ML furloughees were unjustly terminated from ALG as retaliation for not "playing nice" in reagrds to letter of extortion 81.
 

atpcliff

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Hi!

I agree that Freedom Air and MidAtlantic are the same. They are a new alter-ego airline started up by an owner to benefit themselves at the expense of a segment of their own pilots (Mesa/WOs).

Logically, ALPA should either be for both or against both. But, when $s are considered, ALPA's position makes sense. The U pilots contribute a vast amount of $ to ALPA, compared with Mesa. So, ALPA will do what is good for the U, at the expense of ALPA's own WO pilots, who don't matter $-wise nearly as much as the U pilots. At Mesa, ALPA supports the Mesa pilots, as there are no Freedom Air pilots to compete with Mesa for ALPA contributions, and, in fact, if Freedom goes (it's non-union) that will weaken ALPA.

This is why ALPA is being sued by Regional pilots. ALPA has supported actions at Delta, and now at the U that benefits ALPA's big-money pilots at the expense of small-money pilots.

If you think about it, it is hard for ALPA being the union of ALL carriers. If NWA moves into a market with more flights, that's good for NWA ALPA, while at the same time, UAL may lose a number of flights at the same location, which hurts UAL ALPA.

One way to solve this would be an ALPA seniority number. When you were first hired by an ALPA carrier, no matter who they were, you would get an ALPA number, that would stay with you until you retire. That way, if you were hired by PanAm, you would have a number, and if they went out of business because of actions by UAL, for instance, that PanAm pilot could apply at UAL, and, if hired, would start at pay/benefits of his master ALPA number. Your seniority would be portable, as long as you worked for an ALPA carrier.

If there were a furlough, you could go to a smaller carrier with your number, and later go back to a bigger airline with you number.

What do you guys think of this idea?????

Cliff
GB,WI
 

publisher

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Summoned

Did I hear my name being summoned.

I believe that the scoop is already posted here by others, except that JO probably goes ahead with Freedom anyway. Why? Not so much to have a non-unon airline, but rather to have an airline entity not tied to a major carrier.

In some of my other posts, I indicated that he was not in the best position as a contract carrier for two airlines that might not have made it through the slowdown that had started before the 11th.. As these are the weakest, he needs something that he can just go ahead and compete with.
 

JetProp

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"...and since it is mainline routes that are being flown with these new jets it should be mainline pilots flying them."

If am correct Gangwall offered ML 60 RJ's a few years back and the offer was rejected because U pilots didn't want to fly for "those pay rates."
 

bobbysamd

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ALPA seniority number

I've followed these "scope" discussions with interest because I want to learn and understand. I also enjoy pro-union v. anti-union discussions, as Pub will attest.

The ALPA seniority number is an interesting thought, but, given ALPA's fragmentation policy, would it be practical?

I only throw it out for thought because fragmentation didn't work so well for the many of the Eastern pilots of eleven years ago.
 

surplus1

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The idea of a "national seniority list" has been explored inside out for many years. IMO, it is a nice idea that is actually impossible to achieve at this point. We're about 70 years too late.

It would be like trying to make one State out of the 50 we now have or like giving back all of the Indian's land, because we did them wrong over 100 years ago.

It's just not doable.
 

surplus1

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Here's some insight into to what these startups like Freedom and other subcontractors can do to our already low compensation.

Freedom offers the following pay rates to Captains on jets with "more than 64 seats" [Note: since Freedom is brand new all Captains will be at 1st year longevity] Compare the rates to Comair rates for the CRJ-700

Freedom Captain Comair Captain

$55.50 $61.63

Freedom FO Comair FO

$20.47 $21.75

Perhaps you think "that's pretty close", but remember this.

1) At Freedom, those rates will also apply to the 90-seat RJ.

2) At Comair, no captain with less than 15 years can hold the CRJ-700. Therefore the Captain rate at Comair will actually be $96.13.

A Comair FO will not be able to hold this aircraft with less than 2 years seniority, so the Comair FO will earn $38.13.

3) If Comair had a 90-seat jet, the rate would be substantially higher than the 70-seat jet. Not the same.

Comair pay rates are NOT the world's greatest. Nevertheless, the difference is $40.63/hr for the Captain and $17.66/hr for FO. Tht could add up to as much as $58,290/yr for the flight crew.

That's a difference of $58.29/hr in base pay rates for a crew and does NOT take into consideration the burden of other contractual provisions and benefits that Comair pilots enjoy, which increase the "real" cost of a Comair pilot by another 45%.

If the time ever comes when we have to compete for flying with Freedom, guess who will get the contract?

At Potomac, we don't know what the rates will be as yet. We know that both CA and FO are supposed to be paid at Captain rates. Potomac will recognize the union, but the union has no contract with Potomac. They'll have to negotiate one. Will their rates (as a startup) be the same as Comairs 15 yr Captain rate or the same as Freedom's 1st year Captain rate? So much for the idea that when "mainline pilots" fly regional jets they'll be paid at "mainline rates". That's a pipe dream.

BTW the Freedom rate for the 70/90-seat jet is lower by $5.32/hr/crew that the rate Comair has to pay its most junior Captain and FO for a 40-seat jet.

Just thought you might find that interesting. Comments?
 

I.P. Freley

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Target selection

My comment is that I don't know why you are comparing first-year captain rates at Freedom against 15-year captain rates at ComAir. I understand your point, but the reality is that companies with single-aircraft fleets (of jets in this case) allow someone with less than 15 years longevity to get the left seat, and will of course make less money than the person with over a decade in the company.

I didn't quite catch onto what your personal spin is on the matter. I presume, and tell me if I am wrong, that anyone that works for a USAirways Express contract carrier is somehow responsible for the suffering of the W/O's. I don't buy into this argument at all. If you want to blame someone, blame ALPA, blame mainline, but don't dare blame me or anyone else who is flying under your colors and getting paid less than you are for the same work.

Many of us out there are or were furloughed by someone else, in some cases (mine included) from yet ANOTHER contract carrier for USAir. This writer even made the attempt to get on with a W/O, and ended up turning down an interview with another when a better offer came along. Thank GOD I didn't get either one of those jobs, because I'd be on the street. Again.

If I had you wrong, no offense intended... but even if I have YOU wrong, there's someone else out there who thinks a pilot with Chautauqua/Shuttle America/TransStates/Colgan etc. is now the enemy (or always has been from some stuff I've read). Reevaluate who your enemy REALLY is and don't hold it against some other schlub out there just flying and trying to pay the bills.
 

TWA69

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I think there is a real demise becoming on our profession. We are the one's letting it happen, Ornestein starts freedom air and pays S__T to the pilots, but will have no problem finding them. Then on the other side of the country you have Siegal starting up this BULLS__T airline Midatlantic., why do we put up with this S__T, DON'T FLY FOR THEM!!!!!!!!!!!! If you do your a SCAB!!!!!
 

everyonedoa360

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typhoonpilot pilot,

YOU are totally wrong!

And to TWA69 the pilots who go work for these companies are NOT scabs! And in a way you are calling USAir main line pilots scabs. I guess now that you're insulting your own kind you might want to rethink that comment. And you should be nothing but happy since AMR saved your ass.
 

TWA69

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How did AMR save my ASS if I am sitting at home on my ASS Unemployed?

You are a DUMBASS!!!!
 

skydiverdriver

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IP,
There are times when we might be upset at an individual pilot for his actions, and other times when it is the fault of the company he works for. I think we all understand the difference, and this discussion is about the companys. Don't take things personally that do not apply to you, and perhaps you will get into a lot fewer arguements.
 

I.P. Freley

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Ummm...

I am not IN an argument. Looks like TWA69 is in an argument, and not one that I am involved with.

What I had to say was evenly worded, didn't insult anyone, and didn't degenerate into name-calling.

>>>There are times when we might be upset at an individual pilot for his actions, and other times when it is the fault of the company he works for. <<<

With the above statement you make my argument FOR me. I don't know who you work for, but if it's a W/O, you have no reason to be upset with MY company. The woes of the W/O USAirways carriers are not caused by contract carriers... Who signed these agreements? USAirways? ALPA? If you are pissed at what's happening at Airways, look in your own back yard, not across the street at another company. THAT is my point.
 

Guam360

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Ornstein is related to Lorenzo.
Lorenzo strated "New York Air" didn't he? Yes.


way to go Brian!!
 

surplus1

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Since ALPA is creating the start-up Potomac (MidAtlantic Airways), which is just like Freedom and which will do pretty much the same thing that NY Air did, does that mean that Woerth and Beebe are related to Lorenzo also?
 
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