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UAL/CAL SLI hearings -- Cont'd from Day One:

Tail Gunner Joe

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UAL/CAL SLI hearings -- Day Two:
CAL MEC Chair Jay Pierce requested to open the second day of hearings with a prayer. He asked the assembled to close their eyes and bow their heads. Pierce began with, "Oh, Lord, provide us with the wisdom..." As he spoke, a gospel choir in full robes quietly shuffled into the room unseen by close-eyed audience.

Jay ended the prayer by launching into a heartbreaking rendition of Ave Maria backed by the choir. Although not a natural Mezzo-soprano, Pierce's falsetto was up to the challenge. For a moment UAL MEC Chair Jay Heppner appeared moved by the song, but quickly hid his eyes behind a pair of dark raybans. He would wear his sunglasses for the rest of the day.

After yesterday's opening statements, today the presentations would begin in earnest. But who would go first? And who would get the coveted go-second, rebuttal spot? Pulling a two headed coin from his pocket Heppner offered to flip for it. "Heads I win, tails you lose."

Pierce declined and offered "Rochambeau style" instead. He walked over and kicked Heppner square in the nuts. Then he declared to the doubled over Heppner, "I concede -- You win."
"We'll go first."

The CAL committee members held a hard cover book above their heads and loudly declared, "From THE Chairman." The word 'the' was emphasized and the choir sang out an "AHHHH" as if to signal THE chairman words were an unquestionable truth.

The book was cracked open and read, "Chapter One. Continental was going nowhere fast. Denver or Cleveland--or, in fact, if you wanted to get anywhere at all and get there on time--you were better off flying almost any other airline."
"And nowhere is where we could get you, though we probably would have lost your luggage on the way."

After an hour of verbatim reading, the arbitrators were beginning to squirm in their seats.
The reading continued: "... operations at the Boeing Company in Seattle. I moved to Houston and took over as president and chief operating officer of Continental. The job looked great--president of the fifth-largest airline in the country. I knew Continental had operating problems, but then, I'm an operations guy, and solving problems is the challenge any executive looks for."

Another hour went by. Continued:
"... me to leave Continental and take a similar position there, I looked at that offer as a parachute and was prepared to take it. I would have given anything to get out of Continental, which was, I had no doubt, about to crash and burn. I felt as though I had been handed the controls of an airplane that people admitted was having a little trouble. But nobody had told me both engines had failed. I could pull the yoke, push the rudders, and goose the throttle all I wanted--but, surprise! It turned out I didn't have all the controls, and the controls I had weren't connected to anything. Continental was headed for another financial and operational disaster. And all I could do was watch."

On and on:
"... protection twice in the preceding decade. It had emerged reorganized twice, but somehow in all that time in bankruptcy court it never found the secret to making a profit. Our stock had undergone a steady decline throughout the company's times of troubles, finally settling at around $3.25 a share, where it seemed unalterably stuck. In fact, in early 1995, during our darkest days of financial crisis, we issued a press release describing our tenth consecutive year of losses. We did our best to bury the news that we were in so much trouble that we weren't just trying to reorganize our debts--we were simply going to have to stop paying some of them (temporarily, we hoped). We weren't in bankruptcy, but we wouldn't have had to change planes to get there."
"We thought we had done a good job of hiding or softening the news, but then we figured it out. Our stockholders were just betting we'd survive. Our stock simply couldn't go any lower. It was at rock bottom."

At this point the Arbitration panel snuck away for lunch unnoticed by the CAL committee
"... as many different management schemes and new buzzwords, remaining employees had learned one survival strategy: Duck. No matter what management told employees they were supposed to do, it was a pretty fair guess that it was a lie. And even if direction was sincerely offered, chances were that long before anybody came around to check on whether employees were following it, some crisis would have caused yet another management change. So employees just did what they could and kept their heads down."

After lunch, the three arbitrators quietly returned to their chairs.
"... so our employees were paid far below industry average. Their repayment for their endurance and ability to hold on was regular layoffs, wage reductions, and broken promises on wage snapbacks and profit sharing. Our on-the-job injury numbers were astronomical; so were turnover and sick time. Employee groups fought each other for scarce resources and wages. When problems occurred, which of course they did almost constantly, covering your ass was a lot more important than solving the problem."

The afternoon wore down and the book reading continued.
"... In June, when the United offer came, Continental offered me a pile of money to stay instead of jumping. And for reasons I'll never quite understand, I stayed on. Some of it had to do with the fact that I had lured several colleagues whom I deeply trusted and respected to join me at Continental. I couldn't see abandoning them. Some of it had to do with the challenge of trying to save a company in such desperate straits. And some of it had to do with the Continental employees, a disgruntled, angry, mistrustful but straightforward lot. For every employee who would respond to me in an understandably surly, angry fashion--"You're just like all the rest, we've had 10 presidents and we'll have 10 more and I'm sick of promises"--there were a dozen who cut right to the chase: "Help us, Gordon," they said. "Do something." They sure needed me more than a successful company like United ever could."

At this point Jay Heppner sat bolt upright pulled off his raybans and yelled, "Wait! What?" He sat up so fast, his toupee flapped up and stood up on edge as he said, "Say that last part again."

Pierce commandeered the microphone and said, "Well it is 6 pm, Let's adjourn Please remove your hats for a closing prayer." The UAL committee answered, "We removed our hats years ago."
 

Shrek

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Haven't updated my info for awhile I guess - sry. I am on the CAL side on the guppy. Before my vacation from UAL in 2008 I was on the 320 at LAX.
 

RT8VA

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I'm not even sure whos side he is on but that was pretty creative.
 

ForgedBlade

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Relative seniority - the only way to go. The UAL proposal is way out there...
 

Jetjockey

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Tail Gunner Joe, that's some creative funny stuff.
 

ForgedBlade

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This arguement is much like your avatar.

Yeah whatever, so says another UAL guy thinking he deserves the world. It worked out so well for USAir...
 

Ex737Driver

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This arguement is much like your avatar.

Nothing like socialism to take from others the things you would never have own your own. Come on, share ths wealth, sorry, senority.
 

Dewey Oxberger

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Just curious, do you UAL guys really think non working pilots furloughed from a less financially healthy carrier should be integrated in front of junior captains and senior FOs at the more financially viable one? Or even that working reserve FOs on the most junior equipment at the first carrier should be integrated senior to captains at the other? Whatever the case it's out of our hands...
 

Shrek

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Just curious, do you UAL guys really think non working pilots furloughed from a less financially healthy carrier should be integrated in front of junior captains and senior FOs at the more financially viable one? Or even that working reserve FOs on the most junior equipment at the first carrier should be integrated senior to captains at the other? Whatever the case it's out of our hands...

Short answer - yup.
 

DontFeedTheBear

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We'll see in SEP - good luck to you as well.

Can you give me a reasonable explanation for this? Besides the longevity argument, what about status/category and career expectations? How can you honestly see a furlough coming off the street to a Captain or senior FO position? So, a furlough comes back ahead of an active pilot, and now the company furloughs, should the originally active pilot now be furloughed instead of the previously furloughed pilot? I am not throwing flamebait, just looking for an honest explanation.
 

Shrek

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Can you give me a reasonable explanation for this? Besides the longevity argument, what about status/category and career expectations? How can you honestly see a furlough coming off the street to a Captain or senior FO position? So, a furlough comes back ahead of an active pilot, and now the company furloughs, should the originally active pilot now be furloughed instead of the previously furloughed pilot? I am not throwing flamebait, just looking for an honest explanation.

Doesn't really matter what we think - 3 dudes behind a desk will huddle up and come up with the real Seniority List. In SEP we will see it and live with it for the rest of our careers.
I guarantee it will NOT look like anything like the CAL version. something a little more sane will be presented this week.
Good Luck to is all.
 

DontFeedTheBear

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Doesn't really matter what we think - 3 dudes behind a desk will huddle up and come up with the real Seniority List. In SEP we will see it and live with it for the rest of our careers.
I guarantee it will NOT look like anything like the CAL version. something a little more sane will be presented this week.
Good Luck to is all.

3 or 4 post ago, it seemed to matter to you! Another good bow out from a UAL guy who can't honestly come up with a reason for what they want or expect. Yes, it will be decided by three arbitrators, but the thought of UAL MEC putting out a sane list is purely in the eye of the beholder!
 

Shrek

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3 or 4 post ago, it seemed to matter to you! Another good bow out from a UAL guy who can't honestly come up with a reason for what they want or expect. Yes, it will be decided by three arbitrators, but the thought of UAL MEC putting out a sane list is purely in the eye of the beholder!

Sounds good - take care.
 
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