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Don Carty's comments ...

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May 13, 2002
Aviation Daily: Reforms Needed In Labor Negotiations, Carty Says

By Steve Lott/Aviation Daily

21-May-2002 9:01 AM U.S. EDT

U.S. airlines and their unions should consider reforming the current negotiation process to avoid almost inevitable disruptions in the future, according to American CEO Don Carty. Speaking yesterday at the American Association of Airport Executives conference in Dallas, Carty addressed a number of current "taboos" in aviation, from what he thinks is an unreasonable ban against foreign ownership of U.S. airlines to a variety of security problems.

"I can't accept the notion that is impossible to improve a process that was developed for railroads in 1926 and has remained virtually unchanged since then," Carty said of the Railway Labor Act. The solution must be "one that respects the collective bargaining process," but keeps passengers and everyone in the industry "from being held hostage in the process."

Carty believes that carriers seem to be "coalescing" around some form of mandatory arbitration, which could include the "last best offer approach." He said that method forces both sides to the center and avoids a scenario in which all the bargaining leverage goes to unions that can impose a strike.

"This is not a secret plan to destroy the collective bargaining in the airline industry," he said. "It is simply a way of bringing negotiations to a prompt conclusion." Under current law and practice, the U.S. president has had to get involved in labor negotiations. "This is not evidence of a system that is working," he noted.

End of Excerpt from http://www.aviationnow.com
I'm curious what the leaders of APA have to say about Mr. Carty's remarks.

It appears as if Mr. Carty wants it both ways ... he is uncomfortable with the deck not being stacked in his favor.

Give me a break !!!

The overwhelming majority of airline pilots don't advocate 'burning the house down' during contract negotiations. To assume that mindset on our part or put 'it' forth as an underlying justification for a rewrite of the RLA is insane and hints as to Mr. Carty's true motives.

The right to deny service (strike) is a great motivator to provide a fair and timely agreement.

Mr. Carty realizes, just as all pilots do, there are two additional safeguards built in to deal with his ill-termed 'hostage taking' during Section 6 Negotiations ... the Executive and Legislative Branches of the US Government.

I can't remember Congress yet imposing a settlement during a RLA dispute. If I'm wrong, please set me straight.

I'd be willing to discuss Mr. Carty's idea in an open forum if the senior management of every major airline would also submit to arbitration to determine their compensation packages.

Any thoughts ?
Good post. It would be interesting to see what the "last best offer" from management would be if pilots didn't have the authority to strike.
I think reform is on the way...like it or not...and we have mostly baseball and a public growing tired of hearing about this stuff to thank for that.
Given the Bush Administration's record of leaning toward management on these issues, don't you think the chances of a successful strike are lower now than ever before?

Not trying to ignite a flame war, just asking the question...
It was Clinton that pissed on the APA last time, so Bush is not the only one guilty of being pro-management. However, I agree with one thing that Carty said, and that is there is too much unionization in general in this industry. I for one wish there were no flight attendant unions or ground worker unions, these should be straight forward jobs without career incentive. One of the biggest reasons that customer service is nill at these airlines these days in the union standing behind the flight attendant or gate agent, keeping the manatement from demanding proper customer service from them, the kind that you would get at Nordsroms or your local restaurant.

I think that the highly skilled workers, like the mechanics and pilots need career protections in the form of ALPA,APA or Machineists unions, but the others are replaceable in a week or two training. Give me a brake! $27/hr for a gate agent or ramp worker is a bit much, and certainly if flight attendants are so important to safety, why is it that they don't have a retirement age like we do? Seems like they want it both ways!

Flame away, I don't give a Sheyat!

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