Pilots - Here we go!

Discussion in 'UPS Airline / Gateway' started by racerx, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. racerx

    racerx New Member

    UPS pilots' union to make 'major announcement' Thursday
    Tuesday November 15, 11:06 am ET


    Independent Pilots Association, the union that represents United Parcel Service Inc. pilots, will have a "major announcement regarding the impasse in UPS/IPA negotiations" on Thursday, Nov. 17, according to a news release.

    Last month, the IPA entered its fourth year of contract talks with UPS. In August, the pilots authorized the union to call a strike if an agreement isn't reached.

    Mark Giuffre, the local public relations manager for UPS, said there is "absolutely no chance of a pilots strike at this point."

    Giuffre said that Thursday's announcement could be a request to be released from mediation, but the union cannot strike while in the mediation process, according to the Railway Labor Act.

    The union must ask for a release from mediation and then enter a 30-day "cooling off" period before a strike could legally occur.

    "We continue to make progress at the table," said Giuffre. "We believe that the mediation process will result in a contract."

    Atlanta-based UPS (NYSE: UPS - News) provides package delivery services to more than 200 countries and territories. The company bases its UPS Airlines division in Louisville at the Louisville International Airport.
     
  2. trickpony1

    trickpony1 Well-Known Member

    Before you say "...here we go", you might read the third line of your post where it mentions "...fourth year of contract talks".
    Why does it take four years to negotiate a contract? Is it becasue the company has the ability to string this out so they will do just that to show all who is boss?
    I detected a condescending tone in your "here we go" jab so can I safely assume you are in management?
    If the union were to string out negotiations for four years the company would have their shorts in a wad.
     
  3. racerx

    racerx New Member

    Wow, Trickpony.. That has got to be a record!!! You can jump to a conclusion after reading a post of only 3 words!!! You didnt hurt yourself moving that fast, did you? LOL!

    Actually, my comment here we go meant that this was finally heating up. Nothing more, nothing less.
     
  4. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    either way, the price per share is DOWN because of the damn pilot announcement of a statement that will be made on Thursday.
    GGGGGeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzz!!!
     
  5. ok2bclever

    ok2bclever I Re Member

    more, Probably part of the reason, but the market in general is having a bad day and the part related to the pilot issue is a given.

    The market loathes uncertainty, but will bounce back on positive news.
     
  6. susiedriver

    susiedriver New Member

    OK2b,

    The stock tanked soley because of the press release put out by the IPA. Today should have been a neutral, at worse, day. FDX was downgraded (didn't help us), but UPS entered into the S&P100. Transportations as a whole were down, but not as badly as UPS & FDX.

    I have been following the pilot's negotiations as best as possible. From the conversations on the pilot's board, and some of the usual assine comments made by management there, I can't say as I blame them. Four years is a long time. Perhaps you remember the debacle in the air operations last peak? Decisions made by management cost the company (and the share price) big time. The pilots went the extra mile to help bail the company out, I wouldn't look for that this year.

    I would anticipate the pilots asking to br released from mediation, and entering the 30 cooling off period. That would put a possible work stopage a week before Christmas. It's a pretty gutsy move on their part, but I've never seen a group so united before. It will be interesting to see how the Teamsters react, not only the drivers, but the mechanics. Personally I see the drivers not standing by the pilots, which is a shame, but the Teamster airline mechanics giving them full backing.

    As I stated in a prior post, I think UPS would be wise to pony up and give them the contract they deserve. I know that attitude is not shared by many, especially in management, however the pilots are by far the safest, most profitable arm of the company, and deserve a contract that reflects that.
     
  7. ok2bclever

    ok2bclever I Re Member

    Wow, the timing of that is a dangerous move in my opinion, but they should know what they are doing and hence the potential consequences.

    I guess it gives them a chance to be home for Christmas if they actually end up striking.

    I don't really agree with a Christmas timing as they engender animosity from the general public more than put pressure on UPS in my opinion as the majority of potential "damage" this would cause would be to sporadic air shippers (late divorced dads, etc), rather than day to day shippers.

    A "threat" of unhappy day to day shippers would put more pressure on UPS, if that is their goal.

    I also don't see any significant driver support coming from this.

    I reitterate what I have said before, there is no good reason to ever strike.

    Errr, no that was someone else. :D

    I do not think they are in a great position to strike with a very republican president and legistlative branch in control, a relatively small group and a comparatively large, skilled workforce waiting and eager to fly for a company not threatening to go out of business at any moment.

    I agree four years is ridiculous, regardless of the reason or "who is at fault".
     
  8. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    As a driver, I would hope Hoffa would back a pilot strike 100%. If he doesn't, I would hope that would be nails in his coffin. Your average rank and file driver wants to honor any pilots job action. We can't do it without Leadership from the International. Is there Leadership at the top?
     
  9. susiedriver

    susiedriver New Member

    ok2b,

    I agree that a strike is never a 'good' alternative, but sometimes it is the only weapon left in a union's arsenal, and what better time than the most profitable period the company has? Leverage is a term that comes to mind. I wouldn't look for any crossing the picket line on the pilot's part, and management pilots would be out of hours in short order. I don't know if you know any pilots personally, but they are a very close knit bunch. Most are ex-military, and few pilots would risk their future by scabbing, even those out of work Delta pilots. On top of that, one cannot just jump behind the controls of a jet airplane without certification, even if they've flown the same plane before.

    Like I said, pony up and give them what they deserve, the best contract in the industry. That's what the Teamster drivers have, that's what the everyone at UPS has, except the pilots.
     
  10. worldwide

    worldwide Active Member

    Not as impactful as you may think...

    susiedriver said "The stock tanked soley because of the press release put out by the IPA."

    Yeah, I'm sure it had nothing to do with the overall market declines today:

    The Dow industrials finished 10.73 points lower 10686.44. On the Big Board, where 1.7 billion shares traded, 1,057 stocks rose and 2,260 fell. On the Nasdaq Stock Market, where 1.7 billion shares traded, 914 stocks advanced and 2,116 declined.

    The Nasdaq 100 index of financial stocks, which has gained nearly 9% since mid-October, fell 1.1%, with only seven components in the green.

    U.S. stocks slipped on Tuesday after a sales warning from discount chain Target Corp. dimmed hopes for a strong holiday sales season, pushing the retail sector lower.

    The biggest negative pull on the Dow was General Motors Corp., down 4.8 percent.

    susiedriver said "I would anticipate the pilots asking to br released from mediation, and entering the 30 cooling off period."

    They can ask but the NMB can say no and therefore no 30-day cooling off period. What incentive is there for the NMB to release either party?

    susiedriver also said "As I stated in a prior post, I think UPS would be wise to pony up and give them the contract they deserve. I know that attitude is not shared by many, especially in management, however the pilots are by far the safest, most profitable arm of the company, and deserve a contract that reflects that."

    Should a company pay one group disproportionately more at the expense of others? How are the "pilots" the "most profitable arm of the company?" I understand they fly packages from point A to point B but do't a whole lot of other UPSers have to do something to get the packages on and off the plane? Is it just the pilots that make the profit for the company? Can you explain exactly what portion of the profit of UPS is directly attributable to what the pilots do?

    I'm not trying to diminish their role, but I think they are simply one part of many that makes UPS succesful and they are no more important than the driver that picks up and delivers packages, the sorter that sorts the packages, the sales people that sign on new business or the management that develops operating plans and sales initiatives. Is one group really more important than all the others that the company must "pony up" to their demands? Will you take a pay cut and give it to the pilots?
     
  11. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

  12. susiedriver

    susiedriver New Member

    As I stated before, we *should* have had at least a neutral day, with being admitted into the S&P100, and were holding on until the press release came out, then fell steadily. Coincidence? I think not. We were down almost 2%, since the stock gained a bit after hours. The Dow was only off .1%, in spite of GM, which has nothing to do with us. If Target, which is a B&M business slows, it would stand to reason that catalog/internet sales would be up. Once again, Target has nothing to do with UPS.

    UPS has always prided itself as being an industry leader in all aspects, including wages, how does that translate as "disproportionately more at the expense of others?" UPS pilots have not lost one airframe, ever. They haul the packages that I was told were 10 times more profitable that ground packages I used to haul. Now either I was lied to by management, or they are the line haulers for the highest profit margin portion of the core business. I realize, that as management, you probably feel all hourly are overpaid, and you are entitled to your opinions. That doesn't make it a fact, though. On top of that, four years is a long time to be in the amendable phase of a contract.

    You are correct, there is no guarantee that they will be released from mediation, there's also no guarantee they wont.
     
  13. worldwide

    worldwide Active Member

    "..spite of GM, which has nothing to do with us. If Target, which is a B&M business slows, it would stand to reason that catalog/internet sales would be up. Once again, Target has nothing to do with UPS."

    UPS does not handle any package or logistics business for Target or GM? You better check your facts as UPS handles quite a bit of business for GM and both B2B and B2C from Target. Wal-Mart also down. I never said that the IPA announcement had nothing to do with the share price drop, but it was a small factor when looking at the whole of Wall St. today.

    Again, how are the "pilots" the "most profitable arm of the company?"

    What specific action do the pilots do to bring new air business in to UPS?

    Again, not discounting their role, but they are one group out of many that make UPS successful. Air packages may be more profitable than ground packages but does that mean the pilots are solely responsible for their profit? How did the air packages get to the airport? How did they get from the airport to the customer? How did the pilot sell the Fedex account on switching to UPS?

    Are feeder drivers solely responsible for the profit on ground packages?

    What about the vast majority of 2nd day "air" that is shipped onthe ground? What about the Next Day "Air" that is ground fed?

    "you probably feel all hourly are overpaid, and you are entitled to your opinions. That doesn't make it a fact, though."

    I don't feel hourly employees are overpaid? Where did I state that? You are making assumptions and you know what they say about assumptions...
     
  14. susiedriver

    susiedriver New Member

    worldwide,
    If GM fails, someone will take their palce, likewise with Target. We will haul the frieght for whomever is out there. I don't see how you can equate the DOW being off one-tenth of one percent with our being off nearly a full two percent, and most of that loss coming on the heels of the IPA announcement.

    As far as the pilots working as line haulers in our most profitable division, I would say they are a bit different than feeder drivers or package drivers. Not so easily replaced and a bit more highly trained.

    All I'm saying is that they should be the highest paid in their field, just as feeder drivers and package car drivers are. Everyone knows that it is a team effort to grow the business, but the pilots shouldn't have to work at a discount.

    PS- I never said that you said all hourly are over paid. I quite clearly put in the qualifier of 'probably'. You evidently don't feel as if the pilots are due an increase in compensation, in spite of having a severely outdated contract, and sacrificing compensation during the growth period of the airline. Don't you think that if the IPA had announced an agreement today we would have seen 2% on the upside instead of in the red?
     
  15. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    "As a driver, I would hope Hoffa would back a pilot strike 100%. If he doesn't, I would hope that would be nails in his coffin. Your average rank and file driver wants to honor any pilots job action. "

    I'm not sure your average rank and file driver would support the strike. I think you would have a turnout similar to the over 70 action where some walked and some did not. I hope I don't get a chance to find out. I still don't have a good feel for what they are fighting over. I think we short change the process by assuming the company is dragging this thing out. When two sides don't agree on an issue you can't blame one side just because they did not concede all points of the negotiations.
     
  16. racerx

    racerx New Member

    Exactly, Tieguy! I have asked that at least twice in this forum: WHAT ARE THE PILOTS ASKING FOR?!?!? Surely, it does not mainly focus on money. I can have sympathy for pilots who are gone for the whole week and would like to spend more time with their family. As a matter of fact, I would consider myself on their side in that case, although I would not support a strike. But if they are saying that Big Brown is not paying them enough with salaries averaging well over $150,000 per year
     
  17. racerx

    racerx New Member

    Also. Suzie, do you have the address to the pilots forum? I would like to read what they are saying so that I can understand, from their point, what the issues are.
     
  18. Unregistered

    Unregistered Guest

    Liz Fedor, Star Tribune
    Last update: November 14, 2005 at 7:56 PM
    Against a bankruptcy backdrop, Northwest Airlines pilots on Monday agreed to take a 23.9 percent temporary pay cut. That comes on top of a 15 percent reduction the pilots approved a year ago.

    "Taking that magnitude of pay cut voluntarily is not something that comes easily," said Hal Myers, a spokesman for the Northwest branch of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).

    The displeasure with the short-term agreement was reflected in the vote totals. The carrier's pilots voted 2,563 to 1,465 to ratify the interim agreement.

    That 64 percent approval vote was substantially below the 89 percent ratification that pilots gave a year ago when they agreed to 15 percent cuts.

    At that time, the pilots hoped that other labor unions would accept cuts and that Northwest management would take steps necessary to avoid a bankruptcy.

    But Northwest pilots and other union workers now are facing tough negotiations with the airline on multiyear contracts. The carrier, which filed its Chapter 11 petition Sept. 14, is looking for sweeping changes in wages, benefits and work rules. Also on the table is a Northwest proposal to shift small-jet flying to a new subsidiary.

    Myers said the interim pact buys the union an extra two months to negotiate a new long-term contract.

    Union leaders will now focus on key issues, such as job protection and retaining operating the smaller jets within the Northwest pilot contract.

    The 23.9 percent temporary pay cuts will be applied to pilot annual salaries that range from $35,000 to $206,000. There were 5,040 Northwest pilots eligible to vote in the latest ratification election; about 20 percent did not cast ballots.

    In December, salaried and management employees took compensation cuts of as much as 20 percent. "They will see a second round of pay cuts next month," Northwest spokesman Bill Mellon said. "Top executives will receive cuts of 10 percent."

    Gee, why not give the pilot group evrything they want so UPS can make headlines too.
     
  19. susiedriver

    susiedriver New Member

    racerx,

    Yes I have the address to the Pilot's forum. You would be better served to actually talk to a pilot. Surely you must know at least one. If not, go to the major airport nearest you, they fly in early in the morning nearly every day.
     
  20. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    racerx:
    Here's an excerpt from a San Diego paper.....it also mentioned "outsourcing" as a point of contention, but didn't go on to explain. I'm guessing it's about China and the new routes and expansion in that part of the world.

    "Pilots object to the pace of pay increases, which they say start low then show a "severe slope" in the fourth and fifth year of service, before flattening out.

    "We don't think that's fair to our first officers, or to our young captains," IPA's Gaudet said.

    At the other end of a pilot's career, Gaudet said, pensions do not reflect a pilot's years of service. "Our guys are retiring after careers at the airline, getting checks of $1,500 or $1,600 a month," he said.

    UPS said it has offered increases in pay, pensions and other benefits to pilots that are already among the highest paid in the industry.

    "If you look at what's happening throughout the airline industry, you'd be hard pressed to find a pilot group that's not losing their pension or giving back pay or concessions," UPS's Giuffre said.