Airline pay and Obama

greaper007

Well-Known Member
So, what's everyones thoughts on pay now that Obama is president elect? I read both his books and in general he was very labor/union friendly. Unfortunately, in other politicians this attitude doesn't always extend to "overpaid" airline pilots.

I don't think any of the Legacies have had their pay raised to pre-9-11 rates. It seems like a large part of that was Bush's NMB appointees. Over here at Colgan we haven't had a pay raise in about 8 years. I'm hoping a collision of ALPA and Obama will change that eventually.

So, what are your predictions? Will we be reduced to truck driver wages (majors that is, I'm already below truck driver wages)? Or will we once again be payed based on our responsibility and skill?
 

Goonie

Never say die
I dont think airline pilot pay is on Obamas radar at all!

He has a war and crashing economy he needs to tackle first.
 

greaper007

Well-Known Member
Well he will appoint the members of the NMB, which will decide whether groups can strike or not. The last 8 years has seen a very unfriendly NMB. Just the threat of strike can occasionally force a company to accept a contract.
 

CaptChris

New Member
I dont think airline pilot pay is on Obamas radar at all!

He has a war and crashing economy he needs to tackle first.
There was an article in ALPA mag. about this in the Oct 2008 issue. He seems to be pretty proactive with airline labor/unions.
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
Doesn't matter. Obama won't be setting the pay rates only determining if airline labor groups are allowed to strike or not, which he seems inclined to let happen based on reading his books. He shouldn't say "You make too much, so you can't strike." That's not his decision.
 

PeanuckleCRJ

Poodle Wrangler
There were as many strikes during the Bush admin as the Clinton admin. The highest pay rates ever in the airlines? Bush admin.

I don't agree with alot of what Bush did, but facts are a good thing and Obama certainly isn't going to be the saviour of this country.
 

greaper007

Well-Known Member
I'm inclined to think a more labor friendly atmosphere is bound to help us, as long as we as a country can get the economy under control.
 

PeanuckleCRJ

Poodle Wrangler
Any additionally labor friendliness likely won't be noticable on the pilot profession side of things.

Maybe some outsourced jobs will come back over here....thats about it.
 

JoelT

Well-Known Member
There were as many strikes during the Bush admin as the Clinton admin. The highest pay rates ever in the airlines? Bush admin.

I don't agree with alot of what Bush did, but facts are a good thing and Obama certainly isn't going to be the saviour of this country.
Are we talking pilot strikes or strikes in general? If we are talking pilot strikes there was only one under the Bush admin, Comair. That was because they were still operating under the Clinton NMB. The only other strike I can think of off the top of my head in the airline industry during the Bush years was the NWA Mx one. That was because NWA management wanted it to happen so they could bust the Union.

But, strikes are not a good thing and should not be used as a measure as to whether or not the enviroment was condusive to labor negotiations. As an example, when we (XJT) started our negotiations we had the Clinton NMB. a few months later came the Bush NMB. There was a marked difference in the styles of the two. All of a sudden the mediators were telling us that we were asking for too much money and I quote, "come back when you have stopped smoking crack".

All of the highest payscales in the industry were negotiated under the Clinton NMB including Delta and United's. They both started negotiations when Clinton was still in office. Fact: all of our pensions were stolen under the Bush admin. Fact: Delta took a 47% paycut under the Bush admin. Ask around about that Bush appointed BK judge and her opinions of labor and pilots.

I wish we could have talked more about this last night. I was there on the front lines during most of that as well as my dad. We started out as good republicans then quickly found out that we had been lied to. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

One more fact: Prater and Obama have already had meetings. Take that for what it is worth.
 

Toonces

Well-Known Member
Well he will appoint the members of the NMB, which will decide whether groups can strike or not. The last 8 years has seen a very unfriendly NMB. Just the threat of strike can occasionally force a company to accept a contract.
You would have to have a pilot group that has the sack to strike before you need to worry about weather or not you could strike. Pilot groups keep giving in for more pay cuts.
 

BajtheJino

I'm looking at you.
Obama will come to office and we will all make more money. Not only that but he will put gas in our cars and pay our mortgages.

People need to realize Obama is not a god and the last thing he cares about is how much money you make (well thats not true, he wants to take from the haves and give to the won'ts) since I'm sure in his mind, if you asked him we are nothing but over priced button pushers.
 

skydog

New Member
Who is in the White House, what the Railway Labor Act says, or which labor group is allowed to strike have no long-term affect on airline wages. A "labor friendly" president might allow you to strike; you may even get what you want as a result. But your already unprofitable employer will just lose even more money, declare bankruptcy, and/or go out of business.

Profits, on the other hand, DO have a positive effect on wages. A profitable company has no great need or urgency to cut wages. Keep costs under control? Yes. Cut wages? No. This industry has to struggle to just barely eke out a marginal profit, hence the downward pressure on wages. It's one of the few costs that management has control of. Until your employer and the industry finds a way to make a profit; a long-term sustainable profit, wages will not increase.

In my opinion, a "labor friendly" president actually does his constituents a disservice. By not allowing market forces to prevail, wages are artificially propped up above a sustainable level. Sooner or later something gives. Wages come crashing back down like they did at United and Delta, or the company goes out of business like Eastern or Pan Am. Now the employees, who have gotten used to those artificially high wages, are more than likely unable to adjust, and they lose everything

That said, I still wish government would keep out of these matters, and let management and labor fight it out; last man standing wins.
 

JoelT

Well-Known Member
Who is in the White House, what the Railway Labor Act says, or which labor group is allowed to strike have no long-term affect on airline wages. A "labor friendly" president might allow you to strike; you may even get what you want as a result. But your already unprofitable employer will just lose even more money, declare bankruptcy, and/or go out of business.

Profits, on the other hand, DO have a positive effect on wages. A profitable company has no great need or urgency to cut wages. Keep costs under control? Yes. Cut wages? No. This industry has to struggle to just barely eke out a marginal profit, hence the downward pressure on wages. It's one of the few costs that management has control of. Until your employer and the industry finds a way to make a profit; a long-term sustainable profit, wages will not increase.

In my opinion, a "labor friendly" president actually does his constituents a disservice. By not allowing market forces to prevail, wages are artificially propped up above a sustainable level. Sooner or later something gives. Wages come crashing back down like they did at United and Delta, or the company goes out of business like Eastern or Pan Am. Now the employees, who have gotten used to those artificially high wages, are more than likely unable to adjust, and they lose everything

That said, I still wish government would keep out of these matters, and let management and labor fight it out; last man standing wins.
So, you are saying it is all labor's fault that managements can't manage themselves out of a paper bag?

Why does exec compensation go up when airlines loose money?
 

Cruise

Well-Known Member
You would have to have a pilot group that has the sack to strike before you need to worry about weather or not you could strike. Pilot groups keep giving in for more pay cuts.

That pilot group is Pinnacle. They voted overwhelmingly to strike.....however, they're unable to because of the current administration and it's policies.

Care to try again?
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
'the sack to strike before you need to worry about weather

You would have to have a pilot group that has the sack to strike before you need to worry about weather or not you could strike. Pilot groups keep giving in for more pay cuts.
In addition to what Cruise just said, I'll prove you wrong with a separate example.

ATI pilots just voted in favor of a strike with 100% in favor.
 
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