Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Discontinued Programs/Partners > America West FlightFund (Pre-2005 US Airways merger)
Reload this Page >

HP FA's to protest merger vote shareholder meeting today, seek feds help on contract

HP FA's to protest merger vote shareholder meeting today, seek feds help on contract

Old Sep 13, 05, 9:05 am
  #1  
Moderator: American AAdvantage & Marriott Bonvoy
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: PHX
Programs: American ExPlat; Marriott/SPG Lifetime Plat; Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 8,037
HP FA's to protest merger vote shareholder meeting today, seek feds help on contract

In today's Arizona Republic.
AmWest union turns to feds
Flight attendants seek help, plan protest today in Tempe

BY Dawn Gilbertson
The Arizona Republic
Sept. 13, 2005 12:00 AM

America West Airlines flight attendants on Monday asked a federal mediator to oversee their contract talks, saying company officials are not making reasonable offers on pay increases, job protection and other key issues.

They plan to protest the stalled contract negotiations at a special America West shareholders meeting today in Tempe, turning what was expected to be a routine vote on the proposed merger with US Airways into a labor rally.

Other labor groups are expected to attend in support of the flight attendants. The shareholder vote, expected to be in favor of the deal, is one of the last hurdles the merger needs to clear.

The brewing labor battle with the Association of Flight Attendants-Communication Workers of America comes at a bad time for the airline. Smooth labor relations will be critical to the success of the merged airline in the competitive customer service business. If the talks are prolonged and ugly, flight attendants could become disgruntled and turn off travelers. Management attention would be diverted from the airline's operations.

"What we're trying to impress upon the company is they need to get on board," union spokeswoman Mimi Rodriguez said, playing off the airline's advertising slogan. "They need to give us wage increases, and they need to ensure job protection for our flight attendants here."

The two sides have been in talks for 18 months and last negotiated on Thursday. Rodriguez said America West "came back to the table with nothing."

America West spokeswoman Elise Eberwein would not comment on contract specifics but said industry conditions and the merger dictate that costs be kept low.

Rodriguez said the company proposed a five-year wage freeze and a "drastic" increase in health care costs. The union has not detailed its proposal beyond saying it wants a pay increase and job security for the airline's 2,700 flight attendants after the merger. Their last raise was in 2002, Rodriguez said. She said a raise for flight attendants was built into the company's projections when it negotiated for federal loan guarantees after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"There's a certain amount of money set aside. Now the company's telling us it's not there," Rodriguez said. . . (more here)
AZ Travels the World is offline  
Old Sep 13, 05, 10:22 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Frisco, TX
Programs: The Airline Run by Doug P
Posts: 17,758
Dollar to dollar do US FA's make that much more than a HP FA? I really can't see this merger getting all this far only to be stalled at the nth hour b/c HP flight attendants are complaining they aren't paid enough

Then again the flip side to that argument is that if US FA's were being paid that much more it lead or could have lead to exorbiant labor costs that could have sunk the company (among other things of course)
enviroian is offline  
Old Sep 13, 05, 11:12 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: DCA
Programs: AA Executive Platinum
Posts: 2,063
The fact that HP FAs want wage increases will probably be big problem that HP should solve before the actual merge takes place. In US's most recent round of pay concessions, it was negotiated that employee raises were put on hold until 2007. If HP FAs are required to go from 2002-2007 without a pay increase, I can see how they may have a little bit of a problem in joining with the US work force if they must adopt US's newest contracts?
GotCalcio4 is offline  
Old Sep 13, 05, 11:39 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: PHX/SFO/LAX
Programs: AA-EXP (1.7MM), BA-Slvr, HH-Diamond
Posts: 7,784
When I first saw this threads title, I thought their focus was on job protection. It seems their focusing on the wrong battle at this point.
ByrdluvsAWACO is offline  
Old Sep 13, 05, 12:07 pm
  #5  
Moderator: American AAdvantage & Marriott Bonvoy
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: PHX
Programs: American ExPlat; Marriott/SPG Lifetime Plat; Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 8,037
Originally Posted by enviroian
Dollar to dollar do US FA's make that much more than a HP FA? I really can't see this merger getting all this far only to be stalled at the nth hour b/c HP flight attendants are complaining they aren't paid enough

Then again the flip side to that argument is that if US FA's were being paid that much more it lead or could have lead to exorbiant labor costs that could have sunk the company (among other things of course)
It seems to me that the biggest issue, and the reason this 18-month-old issue is now of panic proportion, is the lack of security the FA's have in this merger. We have some HP FA's who occasionally post here on FT, so hopefully they can chime in as to whether that's true.

HP FA's, understandably in my opinion, want some level of protection related to their seniority, given that the vast majority of US FA's have been with US much longer, and have much more seniority than HP FA's. This is natural given that US has been around so much longer and has been through so many reductions-in-force over the past several years that the vast majority of the surviving FA's are quite senior.

As the airlines are combined and the FA's get integrated into a single group, this becomes a very big issue, given that virtually everything of significance is determined by seniority. It's easy to imagine what will happen if the two lists are merged based solely upon start-date with the company. US FA's will overwhelmingly top the list and even senior HP FA's will be way down on the list.

The HP and US FA's are represented by the same union. The union controls how this combination of workforces will occur. Management has little to say about it, so as much as Parker might wish for a win-win approach for both sides, it appears his hands are largely tied. From the article:
America West's flight attendants are proposing a change in the policy of the national union regarding seniority policies in a merger, a move US Airways' union says it will vigorously fight. The current policy of the AFA integrates the two workforces based on the date they were hired.

America West says that will push its flight attendants way down on the seniority list since it is so much younger than US Airways. Seniority is critical to flight attendants and pilots as it dictates their flight schedules, home base and more.

Rodriguez said seniority issues make a new contract with job protection imperative.
So, it appears the current union rules overwhelmingly favor US FA's, given that they will have so much seniority over HP FA's. HP FA's want some protection, which US FA's will "vigorously fight."

If I'm understanding this correctly, it appears HP is taking the stance that, at this point, this contract negotiation has been going on for a year-and-a-half so it can be worked out after the merger is done (which is scheduled for 2-3 weeks from now) and FA's have realized that it is quite possible that their greatest hope for some level of security is via a new labor contract that provides it. The FA's have requested a federal mediator to broker an agreement but it would seem that time is likely to run out, at least on the seniority issue, before that could be addressed.

What a way to start a "happy" marriage, huh?
AZ Travels the World is offline  
Old Sep 13, 05, 12:47 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Lehighton, PA, USA,HH Gold, US Plat
Posts: 467
95% of Shareholders Approved Merger

Vote taken and 95% of shareholders approved merger
abeflyer is offline  
Old Sep 13, 05, 12:48 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: PHX/SFO/LAX
Programs: AA-EXP (1.7MM), BA-Slvr, HH-Diamond
Posts: 7,784
Perhaps I don't know enough about unions, but can't the HP FA's vote to drop their union membership and vote in another one? Again, it may seem a overly simplistic view, but it appears to me to be the only one they have that would give them leverage and keep the layoff/seniority issues in the hands of HP mgmt instead of the AFA.
ByrdluvsAWACO is offline  
Old Sep 14, 05, 5:57 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Johnstown, PA
Programs: UA P, Delta SL, US SL, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Diamond, IHG PL AMB, Marriott Plat, SPG Plat
Posts: 928
Call me a fool and start the flames, but if Union employees really want a voice in the decisions of their company(s), why don't they become shareholders and vote accordingly?
kanerf is offline  
Old Sep 14, 05, 9:06 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: East Coast
Programs: AA CONCIERGE KEY, HILTON DIAMOND
Posts: 8,282
This is an excellent opportunity for Parker to see who are the parasites working for his company. When the merger goes through, those HP FA's who protested will not like their fate. Either way, who needs those unexperienced HP FA's who are going to bring down the service of international Envoy Class even further...
fly747first is offline  
Old Sep 14, 05, 11:51 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arizona USA
Programs: NetJets Marquis, Southwest Moo, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,652
Originally Posted by fly747first
Either way, who needs those unexperienced HP FA's who are going to bring down the service of international Envoy Class even further...
Why do you insist on either flaming people or being a low life troll? Out of the thousands of posts on FlyerTalk, yours are the most consistent for being contemptible.

Unfortunately FlyerTalk doesn't offer an ignore function. If it did, you'd be on my ignore list in a millisecond.
KevAZ is offline  
Old Sep 14, 05, 12:14 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Lakeside, AZ, USA, in the beautiful White Mountains of Eastern Arizona (Home airport SOW; Major airports PHX/ABQ)
Programs: UA, MR
Posts: 2,680
Originally Posted by KevAZ
Why do you insist on either flaming people or being a low life troll? Out of the thousands of posts on FlyerTalk, yours are the most consistent for being contemptible.

Unfortunately FlyerTalk doesn't offer an ignore function. If it did, you'd be on my ignore list in a millisecond.
Actually, FT does offer ignore.
Click on the username
Select View public profile
Click on Add to Ignore list
AZ_MISMAN is offline  
Old Sep 14, 05, 12:19 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arizona USA
Programs: NetJets Marquis, Southwest Moo, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,652
Thumbs up Thanks Bob!

Bob,
Thank you very much! You just made my day a lot brighter!
I have a feeling that my ignore list will remain at one ID, but it will make FlyerTalk so much more valuable.

Last edited by KevAZ; Sep 14, 05 at 12:22 pm
KevAZ is offline  
Old Sep 14, 05, 4:38 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: ATL
Programs: AA, AGR, DL, MR, WoH, UA
Posts: 953
They're up the creek and asking the feds to give them a paddle?

There are plenty of US flight attendents who will be happy to take their jobs... and may be senior enough to do it anyway.
sechs is offline  
Old Sep 14, 05, 8:31 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: PHX
Programs: HP/US
Posts: 250
Originally Posted by KevAZ
Bob,
Thank you very much! You just made my day a lot brighter!
I have a feeling that my ignore list will remain at one ID, but it will make FlyerTalk so much more valuable.
I thank you as well. This guy does NOTHING but flame people and adds very little to any conversation. Ignored.
snokums925 is offline  
Old Sep 14, 05, 8:57 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Mesa, AZ
Programs: AA Ex Plat, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Silver
Posts: 638
Originally Posted by snokums925
I thank you as well. This guy does NOTHING but flame people and adds very little to any conversation. Ignored.
Many Many thanks...his drivel is starting to really get under my skin.

Lance
Robertsonland is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread