The Comair strike, another perspective..

RJFlyer

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SDD-

I said the Comair pilots are "costing me the advancement you are now enjoying," not "taking it away." A subtle difference, but different nonetheless. This is a fact, due to the "all or nothing," "whatever it takes" strike you undertook. Delta is making **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED**ed sure it doesn't happen again - giving our routes, and expansion that should be ours, to you so Delta is not hamstrung again by a strike. You (the Comair pilots - and Delta management as well) caused this, all for what amounted to industry parity, not an industry standard.

Re: customer service at ASA vs. Comair, rjcap is right - the demographic (read 'work ethic') in ATL sucks. The area around the airport is nasty. If you're ever there, go to a fast food restaurant. The people working there are the same hiring pool that ASA has to draw from.

As an example, I went into the McDonalds near the ASA GO one day. There was one other person there waiting for their food. There were about 14 people "working" there that day, most of whom were grab-assing and laying on the counters. I ordered my food, and 15 minutes later was able to sit down and eat it. "Fast" food? And does the manager care that the service sucked? No, because they promoted from within.
 

rjcap

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RJ Flyer,

One thing I wanted to mention was the difference in the operations at DFW (ASA) and ATL (ASA). It is a completely different expereince to fly from DFW than it is from ATL. The ramp in ATL is an absolute mess where as the DFW operation is typically top notch.

Is this a dempgraphic question or is ASA better managed in DFW than ATL ???

You tell me.
 

Broke in CVG

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First of all, as a pilot, you are well aware that we don't get to pick our routes.

You said, "Comair pilots are costing me the advancement you are now enjoying."

Comair received its first two planes this month since Feb 00. How many of our CRJs did ASA take???? Did we ever get them back? No. How many planes did Skywest take? Skywest has taken routes from ASA and Comair. As well, ACA is running Dork jets out of CVG. Although, I heard last night that we are having to take over some of the routes as they can't keep up.

Secondly, ASA has had a dismal record just handling what they have.... Flight completions consistently at the bottom of the list of DCI carriers and last weeks on-time performance was a whopping 63.6% for ASA. (Comair - 90.3%).

Delta is desperately trying to milk the RJ cash cow. Even with the ASA contract next year, they will use their assets in every way possible to make money.

Are they doubling up the carriers to prevent a strike by ASA, that is probably only a small part of the reason. After all, we all know that the ASA pilots don't have the cajones to strike. As well, if you walk from ASA there is no place for you to go now..... the Comair strike wouldn't have happened post 9-11 and Delta knows that an ASA strike won't happen either.

I'll be the first to admit that we (the Comair pilots group) lost way more that we ever received in the new contract. My retro check is almost exactly equal to the taxes I am going to have to pay on the 1099 from the strike benefit check.

It amazes me the immaturity displayed by pilots that think it's a "turf war", especially when Delta is in control of the routes. Go to work and do your job with a smile. At least the engines stop whining when they get to the gate.
 

RJFlyer

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"At least the engines stop whining..." That's a good one. And you are right on a lot of issues. Sorry, had to jump on the whining bandwagon when skydiverdriver started this.

Not having the 'cajones' to strike has nothing to do with it - you said it yourself, post-911 economics and the state of the industry will probably nip that in the bud.

As for on-time performance, obviously the largest part of our operations flies from our weakest link - the ATL hub and its attendant shortcomings. And don't think that now that CMR flies in/out of ATL, that that stellar on-time performance won't suffer.

That's it. Done whining now.
 
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FL000

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Hey Broke,

We really don't need the Comair/ASA bond coming apart at the seams. To take cheap shots with our on-time performance (or lack thereof) and for SDD to say that we didn't help during the strike (I personally wrote out 3 checks) is not only out of line but plays right into management hands. So zip it, both of you.

Plus, RJ flyer is right. As soon as you start flying significant blocks of time out of Atlanta, your on-time performance will go the way of the blue water.
 

Morning Wood

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ifly4food said:
SDD,
I have to say I'm not very impressed with your logic and a little hurt by your acccusations.
You know that ASA and Delta have no strike clauses. It would have been illegal for us to strike along side you or take any other job action against our company.
Ask the APA what can happen when you violate the RLA... didn't they get fined/sued for a total of $40mil? That worked out to about $40,000 per pilot. Ouch.
And with "Dubbya the Unionbuster" in the White house now, all bets are off.


"Dubbya the Unionbuster"? I wonder if you remember who
was in the White House when the American/APA showdown
happened? I don't recall ANY unions being busted since
George W. took office. All I've seen are unions (with the
exception of the Comair pilots) receving "industry leading"
raises.
 

Broke in CVG

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All I am trying to say is that Comair is about to undertake it's largest expansion to date and for that the pilots are excited.

Contract negotiation or not, ASA is more than likely to do the same. Be patient, come spring time ASA will probably have many, many new anouncements! Everything I have read from Airline analysts have stated that the "real money" is in North/South routes on the East Coast. Salt Lake has been a losing proposition since they opened the hub there. Salt Lake isn't large enough to support it's own traffic and East/West traffic has not been a money maker. Apparently Delta is to receive a large amount of business in the form of charters for the Olympics this Feb, and the fate of Salt Lake will be determined after the Winter Games.

It seems that Delta has begun to clean house here at Comair.

Nov 14th - David Siebenburgen, CEO of Delta Connection Inc., is retiring from his post, effective immediately

David Siebenburgen and several VP old timers at Comair have been put out to pasture (acutally "retired, effective immediately" -- you have to love how Delta worded it in their press releases). Seibs was the ego for Comair --- he still thought it was his "baby" and is probably the first step in Delta's ability to do what they please with Comair, possibly even a first step towards a single DCI.

Be nice to each other... for we may very well be DCI together, perhaps sooner than we might think. It gets cold up here in CVG, you guys will love it! :)
 

TWA Dude

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If I may add a little outside perspective. Delta owns Comair/ASA, USAir owns Piedmont/Allegheny/PSA, AMR owns AA/AE/TWA. As an ALPA member I supported the Comair strike financially, and as a former commuter dog I supported them in spirit as well. I think it's unrealistic for a wholly-owned carrier to expect the mainline pilots to support them just because management bought them. The pilots of Delta had nothing to with the Comair purchase, so why should they be expected to go out of their way to help?

We're all one big happy ALPA family, right? Wrong. ALPA National supports it's money flow, and that means the regionals aren't getting full representation. For those unaware, the TWA pilots have been treated like the lame-ducks that we are. ALPA National has been stingy with money and practically non-existent with support for our integration needs. Of course they have their eye on wooing the APA back, and they've spent over $50,000 this year towards that goal. Very few AA pilots are interested in ALPA.

Let's face it: we only have ourselves to count on.
 

skydiverdriver

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TWAdude, I totally agree with you. Delta mainline pilots did not have to help us in any way, and we are grateful for the things they did do. However, they complain that we take away their routes, and are a low-cost alternative to their jets. I don't understand why they complain about us, when they had a chance to help much more than they did.

FL000, thank you very much for the three checks, and when and if you ever strike, that will be the extent of any help you will receive from me. I just hope it will be enough, as it was not in our case. Thanks for trying.

I looked up union in my dictionary, and it said "something formed by combining parts or members" and a confederation of independent parts or individuals for some common purpose. I believe that Delta, ASA and Comair pilots all have a common purpose, and we could do a lot more by working together than we ever will accomplish separately. We tried to make that happen, but mainline pilots only seem to care about money.

I also like the arguement that ALPA spent more on the Comair strike than we paid in dues. I know this is obvious, but don't you think our dues would go up if we were paid a reasonable wage? It's not just about money. It's about doing the right thing for the right reasons.
 

TWA Dude

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skydiverdriver said:
However, they complain that we take away their routes, and are a low-cost alternative to their jets. I don't understand why they complain about us, when they had a chance to help much more than they did.
It's Delta management that's shifting flying to small jets, mainline pilots feel threatened, and regional pilots are a much easier target to pick on. You and I both know that small jets have caused a paradigm shift at the regionals, but most mainline guys still see them purely as stepping stones. Adding to the problem is that for many pilots, if not most, the regionals ARE a stepping stone. A divided workgroup is easy prey for management.

Call it stingyness, selfishness, arrogance, short-sightedness, or whatever. But until recently most majors haved enjoyed massive growth and pilots have gotten used to it. No one wants to give up anything. In the end management always wins. Like many I forsee further blurring of the distinction between majors and regionals. If USAir starts fying small jets that'll mark the beginning. The One List advocates have time on their side.
 

Sarguy

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In my opinion, SDD has many valid points. I have read his posts for months and they are usually pretty darn accurate (IMHO). Seems he may have had a bad weekend or perhaps some of us are getting a bit thin-skinned.
I do agree that it seemed rather lonely out on the picket line. I walked the line for over 90 hrs throughout the strike and I thank the few ASA and Lufthansa guys who occasionally walked with us. Oh and the NWA Flight Attendants who made us lunch on two days. What an outstanding show of support. Unfortunately, the only DAL pilots I saw were on the day Duane the ALPA photographer were there.
No doubt, it was our strike and our problem but I thought Union meant something different. That's all water over the **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** now and unfortunately an ASA strike will not have nearly the power we had because of all of the cross-pollenation that has occured since then.
Do I feel compelled to send a furloughed Mainline pilot monetary assisitance? Nope, heck your own pilot group won't even agree to help them out. Besides, you make much more on unemployment than my airline pays me anyway.

To all CMR/ASA pilots, thank God we don't have flowback, er, I meant flowthrough.
 

Huck

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Not really my business, but I must say - the circular firing squad exhibited here is precisely why I left ASA a few years back.

To steal a W. F. Buckley quote - what Delta has to fear is a solid, unified, combined voice from all its mainline and connection pilots. Which means they have little to fear.

"Everybody knows ASA won't strike"? I don't know that. We got a 96% strike vote in 1998, and I was at strike center meetings where 200 ATL guys were shouting, ready to shut the mother down. Comair is not the only repository of pilot unity, you know....
 

1900laker

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SARGUY,

I am sure you were just being facicious, but since you brought it up.

For two states I know about, the MAXIMUM weekly benefit from unemployment is as follows:

Maryland: $280/week
Iowa: $283/week

I am sure that you are getting paid more at your airline than a DAL pilot on furlough. I had this false impression of unemployment (as many have I am sure) until I tried to collect it after my furlough. Doesn't matter if you made $30K a year or $250K a year, the MAXIMUM weekly benefit is the same. So it will obviosly hurt those more who have become accustomed to higher pay, or committed their money elsewhere (house, car, college, etc.)

Good luck to ALL furloughees on a speedy return to your airlines
 

Sarguy

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1900 Laker,
Sorry, I didn't mean it literally. And just to clarify, I do, indeed, have pity for those on furlough. Lack of income is no laughing matter. Thanks for bringing that out for me. Happy Holidays to all.
 

FlyingSig

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Re: to rjflyer,

skydiverdriver said:

And the reason Delta pilots are being furloughed is their own greed. We tried to help you with that, and you refused to even talk about it. Your senior pilots also turned down a reduction in hours to help the junior guys. I guess you don't take care of your own either, do you?
I was going to respond to your post to me, but this post has made you lose all credibility as a poster on this board in my mind. Just how is it that pilot's getting furloughed is a pilot groups fault?
Never mind.... I'm sure it's because we were keeping the Comair pilots down...

For the rest of the board, to set the facts straight from skydiverdrivers outright lies:

Your senior pilots also turned down a reduction in hours to help the junior guys

Lie. Our cap got contractually reduced to 75 hours for regular lineholders and 70 hours for reserves across the board on November 1, the day the first furloughee hit the street. We can no longer make bank deposits. There are also 55 hour no fly lines available for overmanned categories.

I guess you don't take care of your own either, do you?

Again, this is not for skydiverdrivers benifit...but the benifit for others that read this board.

DALPA has set the industry standard for "taking care of their own". They were the first to vote to pay for full medical benifits for furloughees and their families (paid for by assesments). They are the only airline to negotiate pass benifits for the full length of a furlough (unless the pilot elects to bypass recall) so that they may commute to another job. They have an emergency fund with millions available for no interest loans for furloughees that need to make a mortgage payment, etc.. Christmas cards were sent out with a check in each one to every furloughed family courtesy of DALPA pilots. Websites have been set up for networking, furloughees are sponsored by pilots to keep them in the informational loop and DALPA filed a grievance contesting the improper use of force majour. These are just small tokens and cannot replace losing your job but the above statement is just insulting in what it implies.
 

FlyingSig

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Morning Wood said:
"Dubbya the Unionbuster"? I wonder if you remember who
was in the White House when the American/APA showdown
happened? I don't recall ANY unions being busted since
George W. took office. All I've seen are unions (with the
exception of the Comair pilots) receving "industry leading"
raises.
APA is not affilitated with AFL-CIO hense the differace between how Clinton the Democrat treated the American strike and the Northwest strike which both happened during his tenure.

And yes, GW has had his hand in airline/union politics since he's been in office. NWA mechanics got a PEB, Delta pilots were threatened with one that had a LARGE part of the resulting contract, American's flight attendants got the same guarenteed PEB if you don't settle speech, and now the United mechanics are going through the same deal. GW has singlehandedly taken away unions main leverage - the right to strike.

With that being said, I think otherwise he's a great president and I can't image anyone else leading our country right now. I voted for GW (I'm a Texan, how could I not?) but at the same time I make sure I give a little of each paycheck to ALPA-PAC to help level the playing field.
 

~~~^~~~

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Flying Sig:

Actually, Skydiverdriver said just about exactly what one of Delta's former Chief Pilots told me, that DALPA reached too far with the last contract. Fact is that niether Delta, or United, have posted a profit, or could post a profit with pre 9-11 revenues under the new contracts.

As pilots, you and I are tied to our employers in ways that no other high level labor, or managers are. The future of our carriers is the future of our careers since a move to another airline requires a start from the bottom. If given the choice between rediculous pay rates ($275+ an hour on the smallest equipment DL operates @ 12 years - 737 Capt) or job security - I will take job security.

As my 767-400 Capt. friend explained, "Braniff, Eastern and Pan Am all paid more than we made at Delta. However, we felt that some of that money guaranteed our job security and now I have more money than I ever dreamed I would make."

Then there is also the onelist issue. There is no way you can look at what DALPA did and say this was good for you at Delta, or good for your union brothers at Connection. "All Delta flying performed by Delta pilots" is a worthy goal. Instead of furloughs and scope we could be writing about CRJ900's and growth - I'd be sitting in the right seat, you would be in the left.

However, Bill Buergey, your MEC Chairman says he is against any type of Onelist because there would be no place for his squadron mates to go - they certainly could not be expected to fly RJ's at Connection. As an ALPA member I find this offensive, that your ALPA MEC Chairman is more concerned about future Air Force pilots than he is ALPA members currently employed flying Delta passengers.

And then there is scope. In ALPA pilots have the right to vote on contracts that affect their pay and working conditions. Thanks to scope I will be a First Officer for a long, long, time. However, I never was given the opportunity vote on the contract ALPA negotiated with my employer that wrecked my upgrade opportunities.

For these reasons I feel Skydiverdriver's has valid reasons for feeling the way he does. As individuals I like many Delta pilots and consider them friends; as a group within ALPA I feel you guys are predatory, completely egocentric, arrogant without justification and presently are sucking the life blood out of the company that I enjoy working for.

Right now your MEC is trying to negotiate furlough protection - using my equipment without my participation - if your furlough protection comes at the expense of Connection pilots you have no idea how ugly this will be. There are many folks like me who are quietly seething over what your union has done to us.
 
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rufus

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being a former comair captain and now loving life at EJA I have to say Delta pilots I told you so. Your job is gone and going to be replaced by a low paying Comair job. Better get a new job for those who are furloughed, cause your support duing the strike lead to this. I am sad it had to come to this, but really when you walked trough my picket line, I do not feel bad for all of you. I am glad for my former comair brothers that they have your job security. I wish every other airline pilot that is forlouged much success, but not delta's ,as they did this to themselves. You even cancelled my interview during the strike, thank god. Good luck to all my former Comair pilots. P.S. You should have voted NO like me, but oh well
 

snowback

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Sunshine, Rainbows and Sandy Beaches

Kinder and Gentler.



The thread "The Comair strike, another perspective.. " has got to be one of the most ridiculous and juvenille things I've seen on this board. With the excpetion of a few valid posts, the whole thread sounds like a bunch of 6th graders placing blame and shunning responsibility.

Guess what? The Comair strike happened, just like they've been happening since the airline business started. No one crossed anyone's picket line, and the strike was greatly supported by every pilot group in the country. The recent furloughs have happened...just like they've been happening since the airline business began. Any airline that's still around will recall their pilots...just like they've been doing since the airline business started. Airlines that rely on business travellers for their main income source are cyclical, just like they always have been. Their profits will once again rise into the billions. Airlines that rely primarily on leisure travellers will make money through the good times and bad. Mainlines and feeders will continue to grow, just like they've been doing for the last 2 decades.

Things are all out of whack right now because of a combination of a soft economy and the Sept. 11 attacks. No one's at fault for holding an individual back...only that individual. Things will cycle back to normal, aircraft orders will resume at the majors, pilots will retire and regional pilots will move up the ranks if the desire.

It's an important time for all of us. Set aside your contempt for one another and enjoy the jobs you've got.

Merry Christmas
 
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~~~^~~~

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Snowback - Like you said, all of this has happened before. DALPA screwed the Pan Am pilots and got sued, former MEC members screwed their secretaries, ALPA got sued, DALPA screwed the ASA and Comair pilots and again, is getting sued. The cost of these settlements is greater than the cost of any strike in the union's history. We are talking in excess of 20 million and counting. Heck the ALPA building in DC was mortgaged to pay for what your union did to the Pan Am pilots.

Guess who pays the cost of settling these claims? Every ALPA member gets the opportunity to pay DALPA's legal judgements and claims settlements. My dues go to pay for the malfeasance of your union.

DALPA has got to stop acting like they are entitled to whatever they want, regardless of the law, ethical obligation, or the Constitution and Bylaws of our union.

Why does DALPA have the reputation they do? - they earned it!

Just to illustrate your arrogance, you started your own thread because you thought your opinions were just too important to participate on the other thread.

With regard to pilots who distain DALPA getting interviewed, or hired at Delta - it is management that hires pilots, not DALPA. Your union is so radical that questioning their actions is just good common sense.
 
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