Think your vote doesn't count?

Eagle

New Member
Think your vote doesn\'t count?

America West pilots reject contract by 5 votes

Tuesday December 2, 5:03 PM EST

By Kathy Fieweger

CHICAGO, Dec 2 (Reuters) - America West Airlines pilot union on Tuesday rejected by just a few votes a tentative contract deal calling for an 11 percent pay increase.

Captain Terry Stadler, the head of the pilots union, said 1445 pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association voted on the tentative agreement, which was struck in October.

Of that number, 725 pilots rejected the contract and 720 approved it. Had it been approved, the pay increase would have been the first since 1995 for pilots of America West, which was operating in bankruptcy protection in the early 1990s.

America West is charging ahead with a low-fare strategy and has forecast a profit in 2004.

Stadler said no particular issue was cited as a stumbling block. The contract talks focused on issues of pay, retirement benefits, so-called scope clauses and scheduling matters.

"I think it goes across a wide spectrum of issues," said Stadler of the reason for the contract rejection.

The National Mediation Board has been arbitrating the contract talks between Phoenix-based America West, a unit of America West Holdings Corp. (AWA), and the union. Stadler said it would now be up to the NMB to decide what to do next.

"We have been told that we will not be released to a 30-day cooling off period," Stadler said, indicating a strike by pilots is not likely.

In March, the pilots rejected the first contract deal, which also called for an 11 percent wage hike, because of concerns over retirement and job security.

America West Chief Executive Doug Parker said in a statement the company was disappointed in the voting results.

"While we look forward to eventually reaching a new agreement with our pilots, in the meantime, we will continue to work together under the terms of our existing contract," Parker said.

THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM?

Jamie Baker, airline analyst at J.P. Morgan, said that given the reported closeness of the vote, he did not think the next tentative agreement will need major sweeteners to win approval.

According to Baker, the rejected deal called for an 11 percent wage hike and an additional 3 percent in 2007, along with one-time pension contributions of $12,000 per captain and $7,500 per first officer. That would put America West's pilot pay between that of rivals Frontier Airlines Inc. (FRNT) and JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU).

"We had previously estimated incremental $30 million in pretax pilot expense during year one (of the contract,) or $0.25 (per share) in full-taxed earnings," he said. "Final contract costs will likely be slightly higher.

Shares of America West fell $1.13, or 7.3 percent, to close at $14.35 on the New York Stock Exchange.
 

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
Re: Think your vote doesn\'t count?

I don't know the details of the contract, but I am sure there are a few pilots that did not vote for whatever reaosn. Now they are thinking, I should have voted. On the face of it, I find it somewhat hard to understand turning down a pay raise given the current state of the industry.
 

Flugmaschine

New Member
Re: Think your vote doesn\'t count?

It sounds like the dispute wasn't about the pay only, and if they were getting screwed in retirement or scheduling or something else, I can see why they'd turn it down. That 11%, though, I agree, does seem mighty hard to say no to. Me, I get a whoppin 4% this January to equal $150 or so.
Needless to say, I've got a long way to go.
 

FL270

New Member
Re: Think your vote doesn\'t count?

I haven't heard anything about it yet, but a lot of times in votes that close they'll have a second vote without changing it and it'll pass. From the sound of it, it will only take some cosmetic changes for this one to go through though. In this day and age, if the company is offering a contract with a decent raise instead of begging concessions, they ought to be pretty happy about it.

FL270
 

Mavmb

Well-Known Member
Re: Think your vote doesn\'t count?

[ QUOTE ]


In March, the pilots rejected the first contract deal, which also called for an 11 percent wage hike, because of concerns over retirement and job security.





[/ QUOTE ]

So the pilots were going to get an 11 % increase in pay but they rejected it? The airline was going to do something to their retirement plans and job security with an increase? Whatever the company was going to do; it must have been pretty bad for the employees to turn down an increase in pay????
 

Kristie

Mama Bear....
Staff member
Re: Think your vote doesn\'t count?

it's not always about the pay... there's a lot of little things that they stick in there and if there's any one thing that most of them don't agree with - it will be turned down... most of the time, it's not about the pay scale but the fringe benefits, health benefits, scheduling, hours of work, reserve time in etc etc...
 

pilot602

If specified, this will replace the title that
Re: Think your vote doesn\'t count?

Exactly. AmWest pilots have long since been fighting for a "real" penison. It's why they turned down the first contract. Of course the media hops on the simplified "pay increase."

It's not always about the paycheck - it's more commonly about quality of life/work rules.

But a vote this close won't take much to get it ratified next time around.

Not to mention - even if it were about the pay raise an 11% raise sounds good until you realize they are currently working "under" a contract ratified in 1995. 11% for almost 10 years is pretty pathetic especially considering most jobs that require equivalent training and responsibility give anywhere from a 2% to 5% "cost of living" increase per year.
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
Re: Think your vote doesn\'t count?

[ QUOTE ]
it's not always about the pay... there's a lot of little things that they stick in there and if there's any one thing that most of them don't agree with - it will be turned down... most of the time, it's not about the pay scale but the fringe benefits, health benefits, scheduling, hours of work, reserve time in etc etc...

[/ QUOTE ]

Yup! For example, the reason the folks in the grocery stores in California and Ohio and West Virginia and the guys who drive the buses in LA isn't the pay. They're happy with that.

It's that the companies they're working for want to make them pick up part of the tab for health insurance.
 

ERJ-135

New Member
Re: Think your vote doesn\'t count?

[ QUOTE ]
"In March, the pilots rejected the first contract deal, which also called for an 11 percent wage hike, because of concerns over retirement and job security."


[/ QUOTE ]
Must be the reason it was rejected, not enough changed so the pilots voted accordingly.

[ QUOTE ]
"I think it goes across a wide spectrum of issues," said Stadler of the reason for the contract rejection."

[/ QUOTE ]

Well, yea, retirement is a big issue according to this following quote.

[ QUOTE ]
Jamie Baker, airline analyst at J.P. Morgan, said that given the reported closeness of the vote, he did not think the next tentative agreement will need major sweeteners to win approval.

According to Baker, the rejected deal called for an 11 percent wage hike and an additional 3 percent in 2007, along with one-time pension contributions of $12,000 per captain and $7,500 per first officer. That would put America West's pilot pay between that of rivals Frontier Airlines Inc. (FRNT) and JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU).

[/ QUOTE ]

Well, will you look at this, the pilots are smart after all.




quotes fixed
 

Tired

New Member
Re: Think your vote doesn\'t count?

What about scope? Is that part of the current contract concerns?
 

MissedApproach

Well-Known Member
Re: Think your vote doesn\'t count?

[ QUOTE ]
What about scope? Is that part of the current contract concerns?

[/ QUOTE ] Scope is certainly one of AWA pilots concerns. When Mesa is flying 86-seat jets for them something is not right.
 
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