ATT UNION MECs: Why is Congress "STUNNED to learn" About Low Pilot Pay & Rest?

Voice Of Reason

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ATT UNION MECs: Why is Congress "STUNNED to learn" About Low Pilot Pay & Rest?

(take subject line as sarcastic (or not)... NOW, RIGHT NOW is the time to push the issue of pay, scope, etc!!!!! <--- The public has a VERY short attention span! "Airline industry changes raise safety issues

By JOAN LOWY, Associated Press Writer Joan Lowy, Associated Press Writer 13 mins ago
WASHINGTON – Revelations this week about pilot pay and working conditions at the regional airline involved in an air crash that killed 50 in upstate New York have raised broader concerns that long-term structural changes in the aviation industry may be undermining safety.
Members of Congress said they were stunned to learn how little the pilots of Continental Connection Flight 3407 were paid, that they may have tried to snatch sleep in an airport crew lounge against company policy, and that the first officer was living with her parents near Seattle and commuting cross country to work in New Jersey.
"All these things raise questions: Are they an aberration, or are FAA standards sufficient? Or are the standards not enforced?" said Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., chairman of the Senate's aviation subcommittee. House and Senate hearings are planned.
Aviation industry experts said conditions at regional carriers reflect a broad restructuring of the industry that took place post-Sept. 11, 2001, when air travel dropped sharply. It took the industry years to recover and triggered a wave of major airline bankruptcies, mergers, and management demands for dramatic wage and benefit concessions.
The role of regional airlines has also been transformed. Once considered industry runts alongside the powerful and glamorous major carriers, they are now joined at the hip with their big brothers so that passengers who buy a ticket on a major airline often find themselves on a regional carrier for some leg of a domestic trip. The transition is so seamless that passengers often don't even realized they're traveling on two airlines, rather than one.
Regional carriers account for half of all domestic departures and about a quarter of the passengers. They are also the only scheduled service to about 440 communities.
Witnesses at National Transportation Safety Board hearings this week said it's possible that many passengers flying on Flight 3407 the night of Feb. 12 didn't know the plane and its flight crew belonged not to Continental, but to Colgan Air Inc. of Manassas, Va.
The twin-engine turboprop experienced an aerodynamic stall as it neared Buffalo Niagara International Airport, plunging into a house below in a fiery crash. All 49 people aboard and a man in the house were killed. Testimony and documents indicate Captain Marvin Renslow and co-pilot Rebecca Shaw made a series a critical errors.
NTSB investigators calculated Shaw was paid just over $16,000. Colgan officials testified that captains like Renslow earn about $55,000 a year. The company later said Shaw's salary was $23,900 and that captains earn about $67,000.
While pilot pay is usually based on the size of the aircraft, the workload and flight schedules at regional airlines are often more demanding than at a major airline, where the planes are larger, said Scott Johns, a former Northwest Airlines pilot and air crash investigator.
"Regional airline pilots do the bulk of the hard work of the airlines, feeding passengers to the more traditional routes, like the nonstops between Los Angeles and Boston or the overseas routes," Johns said. "I'm not sure how you fix this pay system discrepancy."
Roger Cohen, president of the Regional Airline Association, said lower salaries are an industrywide problem. He predicted airlines generally will suffer a shortage of pilots once the economy improves. He denied, however, that safety has been affected.
"Compensation has nothing to do with safety," Cohen said. "We're going to defend the quality of our people."
William Swelbar of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's airline data project noted that until the Buffalo crash, major and regional U.S. air carriers hadn't experienced a fatal crash in more than two years.
The vice president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Paul Rice, said salaries vary between companies, but major airline captains typically earn about $120,000 to $125,000. He said senior captains who fly internationally can earn about $180,000.
US Airways Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who was widely credited with averting a catastrophe on Jan. 15 after a collision with a flock of Canada geese knocked out thrust in both of Flight 1549's engines, told a House panel in February that airlines today are less able to attract "the best and the brightest." He said his pay had been cut 40 percent.
Jeffrey Skiles, Flight 1549's first officer, said some US Airways affiliates hire pilots with as few as 300 hours flying time.
"When I was hired, it required 3,000 hours even to be consider for an interview," Skiles, a 30-year veteran, testified.
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. "
 

CatfishVT9

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Why are they stunned? The same reason Nancy Pelosi was stunned to hear about waterboarding. Because they are lying!!!!!

Nancy knew, and Congress knows about this too.
 

sktwstdfrk

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As long as it's "low pay" in an industry then why care. It's only when you start having too much success and making too much money (i.e. CEO's) that alerts the gov't before they will get really involved.
 

Cobra

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Why are they stunned? The same reason Nancy Pelosi was stunned to hear about waterboarding. Because they are lying!!!!!

Nancy knew, and Congress knows about this too.
The sooner that you and the likes of you get your collective heads wrapped around the fact that it's no longer a dem or a repug thing the better the chances will be the entire bus doesn't get driven off the cliff.

The politicians (all of them) plus malevolent corporistic interests are destroying this country.
 

sktwstdfrk

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The sooner that our politicians grow a set of rocks (except for Pelosi, I'm sure she is sporting a pair already...at least physically) and answer to their constituents instead of siding up to their own party, then we will be better off. We only see it as a Dem v. Republican thing because we see it from them.
 

Colonel Savage

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It's just another dog and pony show, just like after the "Miracle on the Hudson", where "pilot experience" and "people leaving the industry" due to loss of pay and benefits were talked about for a few days and....nothing happened or will happen.

This degredation of industry and compensation for workers has been going on for 30 years, it's just finally caught up with ours. We were holding our own until 9/11, but the mainline downsizing and explosion in outsourcing since then has decimated our profession and industry.

Even if the economy picks up, the price of oil will go up with it, and will strangle our industry like it did last year. Unless the speculators are driven out of commoditiy pricing by requiring them to take delivery of whatever they are "buying" (read: trading), we are going to see an exponential increase in the prices of everything we pay for that will go down in the history books.
 

donkeykong

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The sooner that you and the likes of you get your collective heads wrapped around the fact that it's no longer a dem or a repug thing the better the chances will be the entire bus doesn't get driven off the cliff.

The politicians (all of them) plus malevolent corporistic interests are destroying this country.

Cobra,
You're the one that inferred a partisan issue. Would you have been happy if he said "Speaker of the House," instead of "Nancy Pelosi"?

As I read the initial thread, I started thinking the same thing about politicians. Pelosi is just the most recent and blatantly obvious.
 

Voice Of Reason

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It's just another dog and pony show, just like after the "Miracle on the Hudson", where "pilot experience" and "people leaving the industry" due to loss of pay and benefits were talked about for a few days and....nothing happened or will happen.
If everyone has that attitude, it is no wonder. In other countries they bust down the doors of corporate if workers get hosed, here...apathy. ccepting the status quo is not acceptable. Paying union dues and still allowing this to happen is not.

Do you want to be a professional or not?

Maybe an organized industry wide informational program to SATURATE the public with info is in order?
 

Voice Of Reason

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Maybe if we stop with the RED HERRINGS that divert from the issue (politics, blame) something could be accomplished!

How about focusing on the fact that the F/O in the BUF crash had to live at home with her PARENTS across the country from her base and hold a second job as a BARISTA to get by?

Let's focus on the fact that PILOTS are being paid this way and can't even afford a CRASH PAD, nevermind an acceptable living situation.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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VOR- the same pilots wanting pay to be increased are also unfettered free market capitialist....

The market will decide how much we are paid...
 

bluefin

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There is nothing left as "professional" in this country except for Lawyers, politicians, and CEO's. As long as someone out there has the "making more money than me , thats BS!" mentality, nothing will change. This country is losing touch with personal success: work hard, earn more money type of thing. If you raise pilot pay, you have to raise ticket prices. That big idea of cheap, affordable tickets will show up again, just like everyone needs to own a home. Nothing will change except some new FAR stating you cannot commute to work.
By the way, did any one mention the fact that United is parking 100 airplanes and furloughing over 1000 experienced pilots, so they can replace them with outsourced cheap, inexperienced labor? Any one hear that statement, no...... nothing is going to change.
 

labbats

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United, the very same airline that dumped Air Wisconsin for the likes of GoJet and Mesa. Now Air Wisconsin is a shell of its former self, much like United.

This crash could just as likely happened at one of those places as it did at Colgan. Having heard stories of fellow pilots taking the controls from captains at Mesa for doing the exact thing that crashed Colgan brings it mighty close to home.
 
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Voice Of Reason

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The market will decide how much we are paid...
Funny upper mgt doesn't feel that way about THEIR pay!

Funny Lawyers DON'T DO THE WORK if their asking price is not met!

I guess the ones that get hosed are the ones that don't care to DO ANYTHING ABOUT it!
 

jonjuan

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Maybe if we stop with the RED HERRINGS that divert from the issue (politics, blame) something could be accomplished!

How about focusing on the fact that the F/O in the BUF crash had to live at home with her PARENTS across the country from her base and hold a second job as a BARISTA to get by?

Let's focus on the fact that PILOTS are being paid this way and can't even afford a CRASH PAD, nevermind an acceptable living situation.
No reason to focus on this this because throwing money at it won't make it safer. Let's double her pay. Would she have still gone skiing all day, commuted in on a red-eye the night before and slept in the crew room when she arrived knowing that she would be flying into icing conditions (which she has never been into) later that night? Probably. Why not wait until a Horizon/Eagle/Expressjet started to hire? I agree the pay is low, but then this is no surprise. Why on earth would anyone GLADLY accept a job which pays $18K for two years before their pay jumps to $60K upon upgrade? Because it is the quickest way to Alaska, et al with its rock-star pay even if it means medical resident type pay and working conditions. No one wants to go to Eagle or Horizon or Expressjet with 6-year + upgrade times. They want a quick upgrade so they can quickly move on even if it means sleeping in the crew room. Heck, you would still have a line out the door if the pay was ZERO.
Should major airlines start getting WN/UPS/FDX type contracts in the next couple of years, the supply of applicants at regionals, especially those with quick upgrades will increase exponentially. Upgrade times at these regionals is driven by growth. Where does the growth come from? That's right-the major airline parent moving planes from a high cost provider to one willing to do it for a much lower cost.
 
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tomgoodman

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It wasn't convenient for them to know

Members of Congress said they were stunned to learn ...... "
"I'm shocked, shocked to discover that gambling is taking place here!"

--Inspector Louis in "Casablanca"
 

jonjuan

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VOR- the same pilots wanting pay to be increased are also unfettered free market capitialist....

The market will decide how much we are paid...
Exactly. Airline A) $35,000 first year pay with good schedules/QOL, but you can't upgrade for 5 years. Airline B) $18,000 first year pay, but upgrades are expected to remain at less than 2 years due to growth and you work 18-days a month.
Which line is longer? Which company is more attractive to major airline management?
 

Voice Of Reason

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The question to all is...
Do you prefer simply accepting/perpetuating the status quo? How do you --->(AND YOUR *UNION LEADERS*) <--- plan to promote change for the better, rather than just whining about how things will never change?

Do your union leaders promote PILOT interests, or are they simply a vehicle for management's interests (via Ford & Harrison tactics)?

If there is exorbitant $ to pay mgt and F&H there is $ to pay pilots as PROFESSIONALS and NO OTHER EXCUSES can be made!

Apathy helps NO pilot!

DEMAND your union leaders earn their EXTRAORDINARILY FUNDED keep!
 
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Rez O. Lewshun

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The question to all is...
Do you prefer simply accepting/perpetuating the status quo? How do you --->(AND YOUR *UNION LEADERS*) <--- plan to promote change for the better, rather than just whining about how things will never change?

Do your union leaders promote PILOT interests, or are they simply a vehicle for management's interests (via Ford & Harrison tactics)?

If there is exorbitant $ to pay mgt and F&H there is $ to pay pilots as PROFESSIONALS and NO OTHER EXCUSES can be made!

Apathy helps NO pilot!

DEMAND your union leaders earn their EXTRAORDINARILY FUNDED keep!

Union leaders are empty guns. Union members are ammo.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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Exactly my point! Members use your AMMO on your leaders and FORCE them to act in your interests! As groups you are paying INSANE amounts of $ for this!

Well, I wouldn't put it like that but all right....

How about working together as well
 
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