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FAA Questions Northwest Replacement Worker Training, Practices

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SuperFLUF said:
I read that. I thought the subject of scab quality was being glossed over by NWA...there's no way you can just jump into an operation and make it hum. Over time, I would expect that scab labor quality to get better. hopefully, the mechanics and NWA can come to an agreement by then, but after looking at this Newco deal I don't think the mechanics are going to want to come back.

We received the company's term sheet late last week. Taken as a whole there are no real surprises. The aggregate pay cuts are deeper than they need, the work rule changes will save little, if any, money but will make our lives more difficult. All of this is standard behavior for a company as hostile to its employees as Northwest is.

The real surprise was their treatment of the DC9 fleet (that's me). They want to cut DC9 pay by more than half (as opposed to a 20 percent cut for 747 captains), eliminate all work rules, and spin us off into a separate company within a company (Newco). There apparently will be no opportunity for us to exercise our seniority to leave the airplane if this happens--we would just go with the equipment, and be allowed back when an opening occurs. The Union is not giving reassuring answers about preventing this.

So, specifically, what will it mean for DC9 pilots (me)? A paycheck equal to what I made in 1989 as a 727 flight engineer, 1 year after being hired. 23 days of work on the road per month. No pension. No 401K. Loss of all accrued sick leave. 50-50 medical with very high deductible. In short, I won't be doing this job for much longer if the company gets its way. The pay scale and working conditions of "Newco" are suited to someone fresh out of school, with no family, no life and no expenses. Not me.

The Union appears to be willing to accept this if they can protect the jobs and minimize the pay cuts of the pilots on the other equipment. Negotiations will continue until the deadline set by the court. I would prefer the credible threat of a strike and the shutdown/possible liquidation of the company, but the Union doesn't seem to want to go there. I will be working to change that. Many things could change, and hopefully will.

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