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AQ update?

HA pilot

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Aloha update?

In general terms, whats the mood at AQ? From the outside it seems that survival is not the big issue. Any update?
 
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Sleepyhead

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Well if you didn't see the papers yet, the company said they plan to send our pensions to the PBGC. No word what the PBGC says about that. I heard the retirees already have a group together and are going to fight it. The pilot's pension fund is well funded so it will be intersting to see what the judge and the PBGC have to say.

The company also said it needs more concessions to be able to exit BK. We are currently in negotiations. and like HAL they have threaten to file 1113C.

The judge granted the company exclusivity so any other bidders are shut out.
 

HA pilot

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I wonder if the HA and AQ MEC's are talking to each other being we just went through all of this. It seems that HAL could maybe help as to not reinvent the wheel. Timing is everything.
 

mdanno808

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The PBGC is in serious debt (23.3 Billion to be exact). Do they have the authority to tell Aloha to go to hell, or do they have to take over the pensions if AQ get's it's way?

Best of luck guys. A neighbor of mine is an AQ captain that retires soon.
 

Dan Roman

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HA pilot said:
I wonder if the HA and AQ MEC's are talking to each other being we just went through all of this. It seems that HAL could maybe help as to not reinvent the wheel. Timing is everything.

I hope so, I'm certain our MEC stands ready willing and able if the AQ MEC ask's.
It's my understanding their pension was pretty well funded. That would be criminal to dump it on the PBGC and use their pension to fund their screw-ups.


http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051008/BUSINESS03/510080329

I bet the Chings and Ings will have their okole's covered via holding companies and they won't be feeling much pain. They will lose equity in the airline, but my guess is that dumping THEIR obligation on the PBGC will be done to save themselves cash.
Hang in there guys.
 
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AQ PILOT

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Thanks you HAL guys! We appreciate the support. The feeling over here is that we have a couple options to look at. The worst would be Chapter 7. The next worst would be a full on judge imposed contract. The good thing about that is we do get to look at what happened in your situation. So that could be a good thing and a bad thing. If he doesn't adjust our wages to match yours, it's ugly. If he does, well we have set a new bar. Our two managements will have then lowered the 'standards' of living for a pilot in Hawaii.

Funniest thing of all is that this Yucaipa is coming into this saying that they are labor friendly. They have Bill Clinton and Jesse Jackson on their board of directors. I can just see Slick Willy saying, "what does 'friendly' really mean?.....I mean, what is, 'is'...truthfully now, I never had relations....." oh you get the picture. Labor friendly to them is not friendly to you and I. Their opening line was, "we are here to save you, we are labor friendly, and we aint paying for your pensions you blue collar schmucks!"

The Republican in me says way to go guys! The blue collar laborer in me says, damn....I wonder what kinda handouts the liberals are giving in the People's Republic of Hawaii nowadays....

And yeah, our A fund was FULLY funded until the end of Sept. Good luck getting the PGBC to roll over on that one...idiots...(management I mean)
 

HA pilot

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AQ pilot, would it be a good thing or a bad thing if Judge Farris adjusted AQ pay to match HA pay? I'm not sure I understood you post. Our pay is not that bad, at least for today anyway.
 

XOXO

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Thanks for the support HAL guys. Having a judge impose your pay would truly be a wet dream for us. Latest rumor is a special committee has found a dress shared by both the Chings and Ings with a very large stain on it.
 

Dan Roman

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StrangeBrew said:
Thanks for the support HAL guys. Having a judge impose your pay would truly be a wet dream for us. Latest rumor is a special committee has found a dress shared by both the Chings and Ings with a very large stain on it.

Hope the rumor is true. Your strong point was your well funded retirement, to allow the Chings/Ings to work whatever deal they can at the expense of the retirement savings of the employee's and the PBGC is almost unbelivable.
It's one thing to take concessions to "live to fight another day" it's a whole neither deal to use your retirement savings to benefit the Chings and Ings.
 

AQ PILOT

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HA pilot said:
AQ pilot, would it be a good thing or a bad thing if Judge Farris adjusted AQ pay to match HA pay? I'm not sure I understood you post. Our pay is not that bad, at least for today anyway.

That's the problem with us now..."our pay is not THAT bad, at least for TODAY anyway." We all sound like beat dogs around here you know that....(and I know what you meant!)

I was in no way trying to be insulting towards the HAL contract at all. The way the AQ contract is now (and I say now as in not for long) is a thing of beauty for labor. I don't think anyone could argue that. What I wast trying to say is that if we got stuck with a lessor contract (as we undoubtably will) that we would like to have wages as nice as Hawaiian's. Does that sound any better?

Before you jump on me, yeah, I mean to say that our current contract is better than your current contract. But your pay is better than our pay hands down. When you combine the two they kinda even out, sorta, in a way, maybe, uh so-so.....

Flicker, behave...I'm not saying anything here! Be nice now! ;-)
 

Freight Dog

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Our contract is beautiful! Great work rules, but I can't afford to live in Hawaii on our wages.
 

Heavy Set

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I'm sure Mesa's entry into the market won't help matters either... Watch the fares drop...
 

Erndogg

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Until I see Mr. O's RJ's sittin on the inter-island ramp-I'll worry about that. Besides where is he going to park and what terminal will he operate out of?? I dont see the state building them anything (hell they dont even build for AQ and HA).

Add that to this other so called airline-FlyHI and I see atleast one of them dropping out before they even start. While I'm at that maybe even both of them.
 

mdanno808

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Is the funding from Yau..whatever dependent upon AQ dumping the pension plans?
 

AQ PILOT

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mdanno808 said:
Is the funding from Yau..whatever dependent upon AQ dumping the pension plans?

Can you find girls in glass slippers on Kuhio?
 

mdanno808

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AQ PILOT said:
Can you find girls in glass slippers on Kuhio?

By glass slippers do you mean 6 inch stripper heels?
 

AQ PILOT

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If 6" stripper heels means, something that you can see thru and holds up a mighty fine calf or two walking on Kuhio, then yes, that is exactly what I mean....

So the answer to the original question is yes....the funding requires we roll over and take it up the Yucaipa. Or so they say. Personally, I believes 'em. Then again, we may be able to negotiate something in return...but who knows... "Labor friendly" my Yucaipa....
 

RJP

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Aloha workers 'tired' of bad news


By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Staff Writer

For many Aloha Airlines employees, the company's proposal to terminate pensions for about 3,000 employees and retirees was just the latest in a string of bad news.

"There's a lot of 'when is this going to stop' kind of attitude," said reservations agent Clareen Gaddis. "They're just tired of it already. A lot of us stayed on because of the pension.

"It's just heartbreaking. Everybody's just so down," said Gaddis, who is a union shop steward. "It's a down kind of feeling right now, especially for the old-timers. Some of our old-timers that were at the union meeting, they're just tired; you could see it on their faces. It's like, 'Oh, man, we have to go back and tell the members this now?' "

Aloha Airlines, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last December, said last week it wants to terminate its defined-benefit plans on Dec. 31 and turn them over to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the federal agency that insures basic pension benefits. Aloha said it also wants employees to pay a share of their health insurance premiums, which are currently fully funded by the company.

These steps are part of the company's plan to emerge from bankruptcy this year and require U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval.


"Our goal is to keep Aloha operating and to preserve the jobs of 3,500 employees," Aloha said in a written statement yesterday.

"With regard to health benefits, we believe Aloha is unique as a company that continues to pay 100 percent of medical and dental health plans for its employees and their dependents. The escalating cost of medical and dental coverage requires that we share these costs."


Hawai'i's No. 2 carrier also said businesses across America — not only airlines — are terminating defined-benefit pension programs.


"In contrast to many companies that have terminated their pension plans, Aloha's defined-benefits plans, if turned over to the PBGC, should adequately protect most of our employees," Aloha said. "According to the PBGC, more than 90 percent of participants in plans taken over by the PBGC face no reduction in benefits."

Still, some employee unions are pushing for other alternatives to the PBGC and are negotiating with Aloha this week.


"The pension is the major issue for us," said Gaddis, who has worked for Aloha for 13 years. "That's what everybody works for. All the people who gave 20, 30 years, that's what they worked for so ... they'll be taken care of. ... It's just sad. It's just really, really sad what it's come to."


Aloha's management and unionized workers took a 10 percent pay reduction this year, which is on top of 10 percent pay cuts that employees had accepted in January 2003.


"Some guys are still in a state of shock," said airline mechanic Randy Gomes. "Everybody is kind of numb already. Everything's been bad news; there hasn't been any good news lately. You just show up at your job and hope that that job is there next year and the year after."


When the government takes over an airline's pension plan, highly compensated employees such as pilots and executives could see a dramatic drop in benefits.


The maximum paid by PBGC for workers retiring this year at age 65 is about $45,614 per year. U.S. aviation rules require pilots to retire at age 60. The maximum payout to workers retiring at age 60 is about $29,650 annually.

"As a pilot, at age 60, no matter what, you're out," said Michael Feeney, an Aloha Airlines pilot and spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association. "Let's be honest, you're qualified to land a jet plane in a snowstorm with an engine on fire and not a lot else. So it's a huge, huge concern. Some people may consider the pensions over generous, but there's a real reason for it because you're out of work."


Feeney, who has been working for Aloha for 15 years, said the pilots' union is meeting with Aloha this week and has been discussing pension matters for more than a year, with negotiations being more active in the past month. The union has been pushing for the company to convert pilots' pensions to a defined contribution plan similar to a 401(k) "because we don't want to rely on the government or the airline staying in business," he said.


"It's not the stable industry it was 20 years ago," Feeney said.


"We made a commitment to work for them for life, and they made a commitment to take care of us and they're reneging on it," he said. "And if they have to because of the way the world has changed, that's fine but we need to replace that pension with something else. And that's what we're working on with them. So hopefully we come to an agreement."


Last month, Aloha announced that California billionaire Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Cos. and former football star Willie Gault's Aloha Aviation Group LLC agreed to buy the airline. The $100 million-plus deal, which requires court approval, would allow the state's second-largest carrier to exit bankruptcy by the end of the year.

AGENCY PROTECTING BENEFITS SINCE 1974


Aloha Airlines proposes to turn over its defined-benefit plan to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. at the end of the year. The transfer would require U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval and may result in some highly paid workers having their retirement benefits cut by as much as 50 percent.


Q. What is the agency?


A. The PBGC has been around since 1974 to protect workers' pension benefits. It insures the retirement benefits of 44.4 million Americans in 31,200 pension plans. Last year it paid more than $3 billion of benefits to retirees of terminated plans.


Q. How does it work?

A. The agency takes responsibility for paying benefits to current and future retirees when a plan ends without money to pay participants. The agency, funded by insurance premiums paid by plan sponsors, is limited by law in what it pays to plan participants.


Q. Who is eligible?

A. Participants in defined-benefit plans, or those that promise to pay a specific monthly amount during retirement. Defined-contribution plans such as 401(k) plans aren't eligible. Employees can ask their employers if their plan is covered.

Q. What warning will I get that a plan is ending?

A. Your employer is required to notify you in writing at least 60 days before it ends.


Q. What happens if the plan is turned over to the agency?

A. Employee records are reviewed to determine benefits. Participants also will be asked to provide information. If someone is already receiving payments they will continue to do so while the information is reviewed.


Q. What does the PBGC pay?

A. Most participants of plans taken over by PBGC receive the full benefit they would have received under their company's plan. In some cases, the benefits promised by an employer exceed the PBGC's limits, and the employees do not receive all their benefits.


Q. What's the maximum paid?


A. For pension plans ending this year, the maximum amount is $3,801 per month, or $45,614 per year for workers retiring at age 65. U.S. aviation rules require pilots to retire at age 60. The maximum payout to workers retiring at age 60 is about $2,471 a month, or $29,650 annually.


Q. What isn't covered by the PBGC?

A. There are no guarantees for healthcare, vacation pay or severance pay. Lump-sum payments for a death that occurs after the date the plan ended and disability payments for disabilities after its termination aren't guaranteed.


Q. Where can I go for more information?
A. The PBGC Web site is www.pbgc.gov.

— Greg Wiles, Advertiser Staff Writer
Source: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., USA Today
 
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