CAL rumors......

CapnVegetto

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I'm hearing more recall before the summer rumors at CAL from folks I know there.

Latest is that there will be a recall bid issued sometime in the 1st half of May, with hiring to begin sometime in the fall. This is due to there being two hundred and twenty something vacancies in the company right now (as of the last bid) and extra early retirements.

I've been hearing this since January, as everybody I know says there is NO WAY they are going to get through the summer unscathed as short staffed as they are.

Just tossing a possible bone of hope....again this is just what I'm hearing from people I know there that are close to management. A loss will be shown this quarter, but methinks that there is no way in hell they are going to be able to show a loss for the summer if oil stays where it is unless they just cook the hell out of the books. They are just doing their damndest to paint a grim picture because of contract negotiations, but are running out of excuses. Oil is down, and if the economy recovers, they are going to be making money.

Any notes from anyone?
 

Dewey Oxberger

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I hope you're right but wouldn't hold my breath. Hopefully the nightmare that was IAH on Friday and Saturday will open some eyes on Smith Street but taking advantage of VJM w************************* to breed disunity in our ranks seems a lot more like their M.O. than actually correctly staffing this place.
 

Dewey Oxberger

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WTF, is the word prostitute banned on here too?
 

pianoman

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They'd have to recall them pretty soon to get them here and trained up again before the summer rush hits.

I would love to believe it, but I just can't see them doing it before next spring. Hope I'm wrong on this. I have a few friends on the street I know could use the work.
 

COpilot

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I hope you're right; but during my PC this weekend my IP had no word of this.
 

EWR_FO

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I hope you're right; but during my PC this weekend my IP had no word of this.
That means it's probably true, the training department guys are the worst source of info here, except for the Chief Pilots. They are both mouthpieces for management.
 

skywdriver

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i take a lot of personal interest in this topic, since i want my job back. however, honestly, i see only 2 possible ways that we get back before 2010, tons of retirements or as part of whatever the union negotiates with the management if they are able to provide us with a language change in the contract that will allow the JV with United while at the same time SOLIDLY protecting us from any of this mess that UAL is trying to do with Air Lingus. I know a lot of guys are freaked out about that, but all we need to do is cover our a$$es before we agree to anything. I think the JV could work out in our favor and be a good business opportunity, but we just have to be careful that we really protect ourselves before changing any scope language. CapnVegetto, I like your optimism, i am just not going to get excited about something that seems unlikely. assuming they don't put off the aircraft orders that are planned for 2010, hopefully that will get us back maybe with a little hiring. any other ideas???
 

ATRCA

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I don't see it happening. They will not have time to get guys trained and in seats soon enough to impact the summer. If they can make it this summer, they can make it to April 2010. Mark your calendars boys and girls. April 2010 all furloughs recalled in one big bid.
 

CapnVegetto

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I'd be lying if I didn't say there were selfish motives, LOL I'm trying to get on there, and want them to hire. Obviously before that can happen they have to recall, but I've been hearing for so long that this is going to happen by fall at the latest, and I believe it, because the company is already short now. The furloughs were done for nothing more than contract posturing, period, because just by pure logic, furloughing 150 guys on $30K first year pay then paying damn captains double time to cover the flying is just plain f-ing stupid. You're trading a $27 an hour employee for a $300 or more an hour employee for doing the SAME DAMN JOB, and this is not even counting the displacement costs, displacement training costs, and recall retraining costs. They're not saving a dime by doing this, and the only reason they're not back now is simply stupid, immature posturing. I see management's point of view, because they're doing their absolute damndest to paint a grim picture while they still can in a desperate attempt to shove another $hitty labor contract down the CAL pilots' throats before the new Democratic more pro-labor national mediation board can get involved. It's $hitty because it's nothing but a game, and these jerks are playing games with people's lives and livelyhood.

Things are going to get better there though, and most people I know are extremely optimistic about the future. I hope I get my shot there, but first things first, let's get the furloughees back.
 

ATRCA

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You don't even work for CAL??? Does you father, uncle, mother, aunt, grandfather, grandmother, best friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, sister, cousin, 2nd cousin........??

If not what is your source? I assumed you were hearing this stuff online and that perhaps there was a shred of reasonability but now I'm thinking not. Nothing personal, I just don't think you could have credible info.
 

CapnVegetto

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No I don't work at CAL. I live in Houston and my best friend works there along with about 5 other people I know, and they all tell me the same thing. My best friend has been spending a bunch of time at the corporate offices lately and hears things. I've known him many years, he lives next door to me in Houston, and is the primary guy that is going to be trying to get me on.

I believe him. Just by pure logic, all the gloom and doom, to me, is bull$hit. I'll bet you any amount of money that CAL is going to turn a nice profit this summer if oil stays where it is. Profit=no more excuses, which is all they've got for furloughing 150 guys. I mean, just use plain simple logic. Do you really think that furloughing 150 of the lowest paid pilots in the company is actually going to HELP? REALLY? In the big scheme of things? I mean let's be REALLY generous and say each of those guys is worth $50K a year including benefits. Do the math, that's a savings of $7.5 million bucks if they are gone for an entire year. Do you really think that a $7.5 million dollar savings over an entire year is going to make a dent in their balance sheet? That's 1.875 million a quarter. What are the operating revenues of the company? Is that $7.5 million dollars going to cover all the retraining costs, relocating costs, and extra overtime being paid to cover the flying by these furloughed guys, not to mention the costs of getting the guys current again? NO WAY!!

I've said repeatedly that this is what I've cosistently heard from the many people I know that work there, and it just makes sense. I expect everyone back by this fall and possible hiring by the end of the year. On top of that, once the age 65 rule catches up and the retirements start, CAL will be hiring like holy hell. That's still a couple to 3 years away, but anyone that gets hired before that will be standing in tall cotton watching their seniority go up fast. :)

CAL will be the place to be in a few years, I honestly believe that. That's why I'm crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.
 

skywdriver

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i certainly wish you the best of luck at getting hired here at the beginning of the next wave, whenever that might be. i hope you are right on recalls as well, but i will consider myself lucky (as pathetic as that sounds) to be recalled by spring of 2010. i think the airline is understaffed as it always has been, but i think as far as management goes we are currently properly staffed, there are plenty of guys who will stab the pilot group in the back to make a quick buck, and i hope Karma returns the favor to them. i agree with you that CAL SHOULD be a great place as far as movement goes over the next 5-7 years, but throw in a merger with UAL and there goes all of that. lets hope for anyone hoping to get on at CAL and for everyone already there that the merger never happens.
 

CapnVegetto

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yeah, that's true skywdriver, the merger will screw the hell out of everything if it happens, but take a look at past history....if it does happen, it's not going to happen fast. Looking at what happend with Delta/NWA and UsAir/America Worst, if a merger were announced tomorrow, it'd be 1.5 to 2 years at least, (probably) before the pilot groups were integrated and all the legal gobbeldygook and crap were worked out.

As far as the merger goes, my buddy doesn't know much about that. He hears 'no way in hell' from some people and 'maybe' from some people. Nobody is saying it's going to happen for sure. He doesn't think it's going to happen because United is in such piss poor shape that CAL would be idiots to take on the mess that they are. But that's just pure opinion. As for facts, I don't know and neither does he. Hell, we don't even have some substantiated rumors.

But as far as the recalls go, only time will tell. I just see them happening this year because it just makes plain ol' sense. You guys should never have been furloughed in the first place. A 150 person $7.5 million dollar saving furlough in the face of a $351 million dollar operating loss last year (and that is NOT including special items) is like pissing on a forest fire. It just makes no sense to even bother with the effort. If they had furloughed 3000 guys like United, then that might actually make a difference, but CAL management isn't THAT stupid. They still have to run an airline, and they're having enough trouble covering flights as it is. The furlough was for contract posturing, pure and simple. I mean hell, didn't they offer you guys a TA RIGHT AFTER THE FURLOUGH spewing some bull$hit about 'well if you guys accept this than we won't have to furlough."? The union didn't take the bait, so now the company is keeping you guys on the street simply to play negotiation games. If the company recalled you before they were absolutely desperate then they would have to admit it was bull$hit.

I think you'll be back by the end of fall at the latest. I hope like hell you are. It's already been confirmed that the 'new hire pool' letters WERE sent out. The company knows what they're doing, they're just trying to polish the turd that was this furlough as much as they can. I'd bet a cold beer on it any day.

EDIT: I smell a bet coming. LOL I'll bet anybody on this board a bottle of Crown Royal the CAL furloughees will be back by end of fall this year. :)
 
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Flopgut

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I heard yesterday that around 200 guys put in retirement paperwork. There's is a herd mentality in play here; If a bunch of them go they will all go, and if one of them then pulls paperwork most of them will do the same.

Recent Houston weather effects on the operation suggest to me this will be one of our worst summers ever. We have no margin for error in pilot staffing. VJM can't shore up the need here if 20 pilots retire before July, let alone 200. More pilots have learned how bad VJM is and I believe there will be less of it
 
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pianoman

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EDIT: I smell a bet coming. LOL I'll bet anybody on this board a bottle of Crown Royal the CAL furloughees will be back by end of fall this year. :)
I might take you up on that- if I win, I get a bottle of Crown. If I lose, my friends have their jobs back and I gain a lot of seniority.....not bad either way really.
 

Paul R. Smith

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Didn't they just ask for more COLAs (voluntary leaves)? That was last month I think. Monthly VRFs are still being offered for most all BES (base equipment seat) right? A couple of spring meltdowns really underline the staffing shortage but overall that kind of stuff would need to happen every week for about 6 months straight for CAL mgmt to bring anybody back. Unfortunately the bad summer thunderstorm season only lasts about 3 months in Newark.

Were CAL after all...

The smallest aircraft possible with the absolute minimum number of pilots with as little sim time as possible.
 
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COpilot

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Didn't they just ask for more COLAs (voluntary leaves)? That was last month I think. Monthly VRFs are still being offered for most all BES (base equipment seat) right?
Yep! and here we are in the slow season offering leaves; and in my BES you can't trip trade on any single day this month because of below coverage! "brilliant"

Next month ask me for VJM, "yeah right, go fly it yourself".

Who am I kidding there will be more than enough guys climbing over the sick and furloughed to snap up uncovered trips.
 

taxicabdriver

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Just finished a trip yesterday with a 3 yr sim instructor that was sent back to the line in Jan. He said more guys were getting sent back to the line in May....So, as much as I hate to say it...doesn't look like recalls will be happening any time soon
 

skywdriver

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they send instructors back to the line every summer if i am not mistaken, so i really don't think that means anything at all. the retirement rumors are interesting however. who knows, i am interested to see the "language" used in the quarterly earnings report tomorrow. hopefully no mention of slower growth for 2010!
 

ATRCA

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If schoolhouse knobs are being sent back to the line then thats then end of the rumor. The training center evacuations are indicative of an airline not expecting an increase in training or staffing. April 2010, no sooner, thats where my money is.
 
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