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The Early News on Obama and Aviation

JonnyKnoxville

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Obama May Mean Higher Airline Labor Costs, Fewer Route Auctions

Bloomberg, Nov. 5, 2008

Delta Air Lines Inc. and U.S. carriers may face higher labor costs while finding it easier to protect New York flights with Barack Obama as president.

Obama also has pledged to keep current limits on foreign ownership of U.S. airlines' stock, and may accelerate air- traffic control upgrades and improve controllers' working conditions, according to industry groups and unions.

The Democratic senator from Illinois comes to the White House with home-state ties to the industry. Chicago's O'Hare airport is the world's second-biggest by passengers and United Airlines, the third-largest U.S. carrier, is based in the city.

``We would expect an Obama administration would live up to its strong commitment to not only support, but strengthen, the collective bargaining right of workers,'' said Ed Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO's transportation trades department.

After industry losses the Air Transport Association trade group projects at more than $5 billion this year, airlines may post a collective 2009 profit, thanks to fare increases and fuel prices that have tumbled about 50 percent since a July peak.

Delta, the world's largest airline, is also the U.S. industry's least unionized, with only pilots represented. Unions including the Association of Flight Attendants will try organizing drives next year at the Atlanta-based carrier.

Labor Mediation

A National Mediation Board under Obama appointees may make decisions different from one on Sept. 30 that found Delta hadn't interfered in a union organizing campaign, Wytkind said. The board rules on airline labor disputes.

Obama's mediation board may take steps such as granting quicker releases from mediation, which would let unions start countdowns to possible strikes sooner, said Andrew Steinberg, former transportation assistant secretary under President George W. Bush.

Those actions might prove ``significant'' in giving unions leverage in talks over wage increases and work rules, said Steinberg, a partner at the Jones Day law firm in Washington.

Carriers with contract talks pending include AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, now in a third year of negotiations with its 12,000-member pilots union.

Under Obama, American, Continental Airlines Inc. and other carriers have a better chance of protecting their flights in New York, the nation's largest air-travel market, said Roger Cohen, president of the Regional Airline Association.

New York Auctions

A Bush transportation priority this year has been to auction off as many as 10 percent of airlines' takeoff and landing rights at the three major New York airports, where flights are capped to curb delays. The Bush administration says the auctions will boost competition.

With a congressional majority opposed to the sales, Obama won't fight lawmakers and won't be ``driven by ideology'' on the issue as Bush is, said Cohen, whose trade group members include carriers that serve the airports.

The first sales of rights for 30 round-trip flights, set for Jan. 12 before Bush leaves office, are being challenged in court. It will be up to Obama to decide whether to continue sales called for over the next five years under rules that Bush's Federal Aviation Administration approved Oct. 9.

Obama will ``get on'' with modernizing the air-traffic control system, which would reduce airline delays that were the second-worst on record last year, said Mortimer Downey, an Obama adviser and former U.S. transportation deputy secretary.

Air Traffic Control

``Some incremental improvements make a lot of sense,'' said Downey, chairman of PB Consult Inc. in New York. That involves finding out what works, what the government and air carriers can afford, and getting it in place quickly, he said. Planned upgrades include using satellites to guide airplanes.

Obama also has pledged to ``work cooperatively'' with air controllers, who had starting pay reduced 30 percent under a contract imposed on their union in 2006. Better pay or working conditions may be the result, said David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association in Potomac, Maryland.

The workers ``had a very favorable relationship with the last Democratic administration,'' Stempler said. ``One wouldn't be surprised to see that continue.''

Obama may strengthen airline regulation, including steps to discourage airlines from sending maintenance work overseas to save costs, said Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travel Coalition in Radnor, Pennsylvania.

Foreign Ownership

Mitchell, who has worked with the Teamsters in calling for greater oversight of so-called outsourcing, advocates a public database so consumers could see records of where maintenance was performed on specific planes.

Obama has pledged to maintain the status quo on limiting foreign ownership of U.S. airlines to 25 percent of voting stock and 49 percent overall, said Downey, the adviser. Bush failed in a bid to raise the voting-stock ownership limit to 49 percent. Labor groups opposed raising the cap, citing possible job losses.

There are other ways foreign-ownership provisions might be loosened, such as allowing a single transaction to go forward with no other change in the underlying law, said Dorothy Robyn, a former senior aviation adviser to President Bill Clinton.

``A Democratic White House can have a conversation with labor,'' said Robyn, a principal with the Washington consulting firm Brattle Group. ``That issue becomes more flexible, ironically, in a Democratic White House.''
 

JonnyKnoxville

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So our new Air Traffic Controllers might be put on the same pay-scale as the rest of the controllers have had for years?

So our Airlines are not going to be allowed to be sold out to foreign investors?

So our airlines will not be able to drag a five year labor agreement out to ten years as we settle for mediocracy because we are not released to strike?

So our ATC system might actually be updated?

So my airline's routes in New York might not be auctioned off to another airline?

Yeah, Obama really scares me. Should have voted for the Maverick [sarcasm].
 

waveflyer

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c'mon johnny-- who's going to pay for all that? I mean that will be passed on to the taxpayer and then noone will be flying our planes-- which means we'll have no job at all-- ie: a paycut is actually very 'good' for your career.....

(by all means, detect the sarcasm... ;) )
 

GogglesPisano

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enough
Much better to be "trickled on" by the CEO's. Who needs collective bargaining in this business anyway? :rolleyes:
 

milky

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You guys are so funny. You are right. America will happily pay more for all of those services. Everybody says that Americans will stop flying if the airfares go up. Who do you think is going to pay for your pay raises that your 'collective bargaining' will bring? If ATC gets paid more, money has to come from somewhere to pay that. More fees to your airlines for using them and more taxes. Who pays for all of those costs? YOU DO! The value of your new, shiny, bigger paycheck will be the same or less than it was before.

I know I'm wasting my breath because Obama will save you. He has magical or god-like powers. The stuff he is claiming he will do has been done with great success from other mystical creatures like Jimmy Carter.
 

waveflyer

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You guys are so funny. You are right. America will happily pay more for all of those services. Everybody says that Americans will stop flying if the airfares go up. Who do you think is going to pay for your pay raises that your 'collective bargaining' will bring? If ATC gets paid more, money has to come from somewhere to pay that. More fees to your airlines for using them and more taxes. Who pays for all of those costs? YOU DO! The value of your new, shiny, bigger paycheck will be the same or less than it was before.

I know I'm wasting my breath because Obama will save you. He has magical or god-like powers. The stuff he is claiming he will do has been done with great success from other mystical creatures like Jimmy Carter.

I told you-- there it is- almost word for word-- your paycut is actually good for you... they heard your argument from me first- don't try to pretend your original w/ that.... :)
don't you get tired of that-- tell you what- if you think getting paid is so detrimental to your career and the whole economy- why don't you volunteer to do your job for free. Then, you'll have all the business you could ever want- passengers will be lining up! We'll run ads- "Free pilot special"
It's ridiculous- there's a balance to it all.

So maybe we need to keep finding the right balance between gov't, big business, and small business. Personal responsibility, AND gov't/big business responsibility.
 
Last edited:

Speedbird34

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I told you-- there it is- almost word for word-- your paycut is actually good for you... they heard your argument from me first- don't try to pretend your original w/ that.... :)
don't you get tired of that-- tell you what- if you think getting paid is so detrimental to your career and the whole economy- why don't you volunteer to do your job for free. Then, you'll have all the business you could ever want- passengers will be lining up! We'll run ads- "Free pilot special"
It's ridiculous- there's a balance to it all.

So maybe we need to keep finding the right balance between gov't, big business, and small business. Personal responsibility, AND gov't/big business responsibility.

Smart man
 

Smarta$$

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I reject the idea that my pay cut is good for me. I will take a raise please!
 

spitfire1500

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Enough
Fellow Business Executives:

As the CFO of this business that employees 140 people, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barrack Obama will be our next President, and that our taxes and government fees will increase in a BIG way.


To compensate for these increases, I figure that the Clients will have to see an increase in our fees to them of about 8%. But since we cannot increase our fees right now due to the dismal state of our economy, we will have to lay off six of our employees instead. This has really been eating at me for a while, as we believe we are family here and I didn't know how to choose who will have to go.


So, this is what I did. I strolled through our parking lot and found 8 Obama bumper stickers on our employees' cars and have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off. I can't think of a more fair way to approach this problem. These folks wanted change; I gave it to them.


If you have a better idea, let me know.

 

jonjuan

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Fellow Business Executives:

As the CFO of this business that employees 140 people, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barrack Obama will be our next President, and that our taxes and government fees will increase in a BIG way.

To compensate for these increases, I figure that the Clients will have to see an increase in our fees to them of about 8%. But since we cannot increase our fees right now due to the dismal state of our economy, we will have to lay off six of our employees instead. This has really been eating at me for a while, as we believe we are family here and I didn't know how to choose who will have to go.


So, this is what I did. I strolled through our parking lot and found 8 Obama bumper stickers on our employees' cars and have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off. I can't think of a more fair way to approach this problem. These folks wanted change; I gave it to them.


If you have a better idea, let me know.

LOL......
 

Smarta$$

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Fellow Business Executives:

As the CFO of this business that employees 140 people, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barrack Obama will be our next President, and that our taxes and government fees will increase in a BIG way.

To compensate for these increases, I figure that the Clients will have to see an increase in our fees to them of about 8%. But since we cannot increase our fees right now due to the dismal state of our economy, we will have to lay off six of our employees instead. This has really been eating at me for a while, as we believe we are family here and I didn't know how to choose who will have to go.


So, this is what I did. I strolled through our parking lot and found 8 Obama bumper stickers on our employees' cars and have decided these folks will be the first to be laid off. I can't think of a more fair way to approach this problem. These folks wanted change; I gave it to them.


If you have a better idea, let me know.

Your situation is impossible. Under the current republicans, those eight people already had their jobs outsourced to china!
 

milky

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I told you-- there it is- almost word for word-- your paycut is actually good for you... they heard your argument from me first- don't try to pretend your original w/ that.... :)
don't you get tired of that-- tell you what- if you think getting paid is so detrimental to your career and the whole economy- why don't you volunteer to do your job for free. Then, you'll have all the business you could ever want- passengers will be lining up! We'll run ads- "Free pilot special"
It's ridiculous- there's a balance to it all.

So maybe we need to keep finding the right balance between gov't, big business, and small business. Personal responsibility, AND gov't/big business responsibility.

You are twisting my words. I did not say that you getting a raise is bad for your career. I said that you getting paid more than the value you bring to your company is bad for your company and the country.
 

olympus593

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You are twisting my words. I did not say that you getting a raise is bad for your career. I said that you getting paid more than the value you bring to your company is bad for your company and the country.

Idiot
 

Papps

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You are twisting my words. I did not say that you getting a raise is bad for your career. I said that you getting paid more than the value you bring to your company is bad for your company and the country.

Awesome! Google Stockholm Syndrome. If i had 100 guys just like you, I would start a business, pay you sweatshop wages, and watch my bank account pile up as I sat on a beach in Cabo drinking beer and blowing the money that you broke your back to make for me. Then I would ask you to take a pay cut, just because I would kind of get a kick out of it.
 

milky

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Awesome! Google Stockholm Syndrome. If i had 100 guys just like you, I would start a business, pay you sweatshop wages, and watch my bank account pile up as I sat on a beach in Cabo drinking beer and blowing the money that you broke your back to make for me. Then I would ask you to take a pay cut, just because I would kind of get a kick out of it.

Negative. If my efforts are bringing the company a certain amount of money each year, then I would expect to get a pretty good share of that. Let's say that you can attribute $80,000 of revenue for the job you do. Then, getting a salary about $60,000-70,000 would seem pretty fair to you. Would it make sense to pay you $90,000? No. You would be costing the company more than you bring the company. That is my point. Right now, the market says that pilots are not worth as much as you guys seem to want it to. Whether it is because people won't pay more for a ticket or because there is so much cheap labor in the pool. Either way, the market is not very favorable for airline pilots. Striking for more money than you are worth will cause the same thing that happened with detroit. The cost to make a car by an american auto company is significantly higher than that of a foreign company that makes cars in the United States. Therefore, the UAW has priced itself out of a job because the American people will pay only a certain amount for a vehicle. Last year was the first year that a foreign company outsold a domestic company. Almost all of the vehicles that Toyota sold to take the lead were manufactured in the US.
 

lindsaya99

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Striking for more money than you are worth will cause the same thing that happened with detroit. The cost to make a car by an american auto company is significantly higher than that of a foreign company that makes cars in the United States. Therefore, the UAW has priced itself out of a job because the American people will pay only a certain amount for a vehicle. Last year was the first year that a foreign company outsold a domestic company. Almost all of the vehicles that Toyota sold to take the lead were manufactured in the US.

I don't deny that figure. Quite frankly I haven't done the research to refute it. I have done a lot of car shopping and the one thing I have found is that domestic cars are generally cheaper than foreign cars in the same class. The reason I (and many others) don't buy domestic cars anymore is quality. The Japanese just build better cars. If I am going to pay thousands of dollars for a vehicle I want it to work!
 

CharterDog

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I know I'm wasting my breath because Obama will save you. He has magical or god-like powers. The stuff he is claiming he will do has been done with great success from other mystical creatures like Jimmy Carter.

Completely correct. But take it easy on Johnny, I have to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with him. Aside from politics, he's ok. :)
 

Sluggo_63

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Negative. If my efforts are bringing the company a certain amount of money each year, then I would expect to get a pretty good share of that. Let's say that you can attribute $80,000 of revenue for the job you do. Then, getting a salary about $60,000-70,000 would seem pretty fair to you. Would it make sense to pay you $90,000? No. You would be costing the company more than you bring the company. That is my point.
I wish some CEOs would read your post, and adjust their salaries accordingly.
 
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