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Old Feb 3, 05, 5:47 am   #1
 
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US Airways Orders Overtime: Airline Short of Help For 50 New Flights

By Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 3, 2005; Page E01

After several rounds of job cuts, US Airways is severely understaffed for the launch of 50 additional flights from Reagan National Airport on Sunday and has demanded that baggage handlers work overtime to prevent service disruptions like those that angered customers in Philadelphia on Christmas weekend.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...-2005Feb2.html
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Old Feb 3, 05, 6:59 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alysia
By Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 3, 2005; Page E01

After several rounds of job cuts, US Airways is severely understaffed for the launch of 50 additional flights from Reagan National Airport on Sunday and has demanded that baggage handlers work overtime to prevent service disruptions like those that angered customers in Philadelphia on Christmas weekend.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...-2005Feb2.html
This airline couldn't manage its way out of a paper bag
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Old Feb 3, 05, 7:08 am   #3
 
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A friend of mine from the Baltimore area was just recalled to BWI (ramp) part time ( he was furloughed Oct 01), he was told he could take immediate fulltime at DCA, but declined because of the instability. As a side note he was top of payscale, hired in 1989 originally, and the recall pay was about $6 lower. Any recalls after a certain date will only be offered $9/hr which is the new hire pay rate. If the airline can hire hundreds at this rate, things will definitely turn around. jmtcw
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Old Feb 3, 05, 10:29 am   #4
 
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For those of you who do not subscribe to the Washington Post. Here is the full article. The link is still above:

US Airways Orders Overtime
Airline Short of Help For 50 New Flights

By Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 3, 2005; Page E01

After several rounds of job cuts, US Airways is severely understaffed for the launch of 50 additional flights from Reagan National Airport on Sunday and has demanded that baggage handlers work overtime to prevent service disruptions like those that angered customers in Philadelphia on Christmas weekend.

In a memo to workers Friday, the airline said it was short 95 baggage handlers. Full-time baggage handlers must work an additional 16 hours and part-time staff 12 additional hours over the next two weeks, it said.

"Failure to sign up for these hours will result in hours being assigned to the employee," the memo said.

US Airways announced in October that it would begin nonstop flights from National to several cities, including Atlanta, Detroit and Cleveland, and is now hurrying to fill positions to service the flights.

US Airways spokesman David A. Castelveter said the airline would be "adequately" staffed at Reagan National for the new flights. Most employees are required by contract to work overtime when the airline orders it, he said. "We're taking precautions to make sure we are fully staffed for our routine operations," he said.

Some employees criticized the airline for moving slowly to fill the jobs. "I am not going to cover their inadequacies because they've failed to do what they were supposed to do," said Paul Brickell, who has worked at the airline for 27 years.

Brickell, who was a baggage handler until two months ago when he moved to the catering department, said some flights will have only two workers to handle 120 pieces of luggage, delaying the time it takes for passengers to collect their bags. Normally, three workers are assigned to each aircraft, Brickell said. US Airways said there were various reasons for its staffing policies in baggage handling but declined to be specific.

Jerrold A. Glass, US Airways senior vice president of employee relations, said the airline had been focused heavily on new agreements with its unions and debt holders before turning its attention fully to hiring new employees. "We weren't sitting on our hands without doing anything. Because of circumstances we've been in, there was not much we could do," he said.

Glass said the "cloud of uncertainty" about US Airways' survival is lifting and more people are applying for jobs. He said 50 new baggage handlers were being trained at National.

Last summer, US Airways had 162 baggage handlers at Reagan National, down from 230 in November 2001, according to Joseph Tiberi, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists, which represents those employees.

Tiberi said two baggage handlers applied to transfer from Dulles International Airport, but have been put on hold to avoid further staffing problems at Dulles. US Airways has 20 baggage handlers at Dulles, down from 120 in 2001, Tiberi said. The airline has reduced service at Dulles.

The nation's seventh-largest airline and its customers learned how severely an airline's operation could suffer without enough baggage handlers. On Christmas weekend, the airline canceled hundreds of flights and misplaced hundreds of bags because it was short of workers in Philadelphia.

_____Background_____

A Tough Quarter for US Airways (The Washington Post, Feb 1, 2005)
US Airways Must Win Over Wary Customers (The Washington Post, Jan 25, 2005)
US Airways, Mechanics Agree On Concessions (The Washington Post, Jan 22, 2005)
Last Stand Could Fell US Airways (The Washington Post, Jan 18, 2005)
Government Gives US Airways Room to Operate (The Washington Post, Jan 14, 2005)



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To fill its positions at National, US Airways said it will hold a job fair today and Friday for potential baggage handlers, customer service agents and customer assistance representatives (workers who drive passenger carts through the airport and who push passengers in wheelchairs).

Glass said US Airways offered more than 400 baggage-handling and customer service jobs at a job fair in Philadelphia last month.

Baggage handlers and service jobs start at $9.59 an hour. The customer assistance jobs start at $7.52 an hour.

The Arlington-based airline said the jobs include health benefits, a 401(k)-type retirement plan and free travel on US Airways flights -- one of the biggest perks used to attract workers to the airline industry.

Since US Airways filed for bankruptcy protection in September, the airline has cut at least 1,600 jobs and reduced employee pay and benefits in an effort to save more than $1 billion.

Yesterday, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. agreed to assume the pensions of the airline's 51,000 current and retired flight attendants, machinists and other workers. US Airways sought the agreement as part of its restructuring.
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Old Feb 3, 05, 11:44 am   #5
 
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No one wants $9.59/hour crap jobs!

.....

Last edited by Absinthe; Jul 21, 07 at 3:36 pm.
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Old Feb 3, 05, 2:21 pm   #6
 
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At least they are planning ahead for an expected need. That is progress.
Quote:
Originally Posted by otralot
This airline couldn't manage its way out of a paper bag
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Old Feb 3, 05, 10:04 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by US AIRWAYS FAN
Glass said US Airways offered more than 400 baggage-handling and customer service jobs at a job fair in Philadelphia last month.

Baggage handlers and service jobs start at $9.59 an hour. The customer assistance jobs start at $7.52 an hour.
makes you wonder whether they did any research to see if people were willing to work for the company at such low rates. its one thing to convince the union to agree to it - another to fill the spots.
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Old Feb 3, 05, 10:47 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hscottm
makes you wonder whether they did any research to see if people were willing to work for the company at such low rates. its one thing to convince the union to agree to it - another to fill the spots.
I'm sure the wage is comparable to southwest. And I'm sure the benefits are better (health benefits, a 401(k)-type retirement plan and free travel on US Airways flights).
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Old Feb 3, 05, 11:16 pm   #9
 
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http://www.southwest.com/careers/benefits.html

LUV rampers start at $8.75, and rise to $10.18 by the second year.

Which would you rather have right now--LUV's 401k and the ability to purchase their shares at %90 of the street value and be enrolled in a profit sharing program, or some of US' stock?
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Old Feb 4, 05, 10:21 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClueByFour
http://www.southwest.com/careers/benefits.html


Which would you rather have right now--LUV's 401k and the ability to purchase their shares at %90 of the street value and be enrolled in a profit sharing program, or some of US' stock?

OUCH!

Keith Alexander usually is more than fair to US in his reporting. His numbers are somewhat off, however, in the staffing figures; the basic idea of the article is accurate.

(Mr Alexander has even been seen having doughnuts with some of the posters on this forum)
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Last edited by Dont call me Shirley; Feb 4, 05 at 10:29 pm.
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Old Feb 5, 05, 6:08 am   #11
 
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Apparently, some do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Absinthe
No one wants $9.59/hour crap jobs! ...
From the Wall Street Journal Electronic Edition:

Low Pay Doesn't Scare Off US Airways Job Seekers

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
February 3, 2005 4:43 p.m.

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP)--Despite hourly pay as low as $7.52, hundreds of job seekers applied for work Thursday at bankrupt US Airways Group Inc. (UAIRQ) as the airline seeks to expand operations at Reagan National Airport near Washington.

About 300 applicants crowded into a job fair eager to work as baggage handlers and customer representatives. ...

Full article is here
but requires a subscription.

Reasons why: "Applicants at the job fair said the pay scales did not bother them because of the airline's benefits plan, which includes medical and dental insurance and free travel." The article did mention difficulties in hiring people in some cities (PHL/WAS) at the old sub-$8/hour rate as well as an uncertain future for US.
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Old Feb 5, 05, 1:21 pm   #12
 
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All wise travelers should avoid PHL Sunday night during the Super Bowl. There may be nobody working PHL at all regardless of overtime!
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Old Feb 5, 05, 5:27 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1kBill
Reasons why: "Applicants at the job fair said the pay scales did not bother them because of the airline's benefits plan, which includes medical and dental insurance and free travel." The article did mention difficulties in hiring people in some cities (PHL/WAS) at the old sub-$8/hour rate as well as an uncertain future for US.
I must be psychic
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Old Feb 6, 05, 6:07 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HPTunco
All wise travelers should avoid PHL Sunday night during the Super Bowl. There may be nobody working PHL at all regardless of overtime!
The company offered several incentives for people in PHL to show up for work during the Super Bowl, as well as BOS and PVD. Unfortunately, people at all other stations aren't able to benefit for the perks, but then again, most of the other stations run a little bit smoother.
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Old Feb 6, 05, 11:15 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalleyWench
The company offered several incentives for people in PHL to show up for work during the Super Bowl, as well as BOS and PVD. Unfortunately, people at all other stations aren't able to benefit for the perks, but then again, most of the other stations run a little bit smoother.
My jaw literally dropped when I read that. US is actually planning forward and taking some initiative????
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