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Guest Lupin

I would like your perspective on this airline problem.....

The american Carriers are all struggling... ,one of them (or two)closing doors (ie liquidation)would greatly reduce capacity and more then likely at that point the other carriers could survive with the market's reduced capacity.

Is renegociation of the contracts,reduction of employee salaries in the bankrupt carrier going to help the industry??The remaining carriers that are not in bankrupcy then pay the price and have to lower the salaries for their employees.... its a vicious cycle... you never get ahead.The healthier companies become the sick ones after the bankrupt one restructures.Its a never ending circle!!

I am a Mechanic so I will use a Mechanic for my example... At united airlines,the mechanics had wage concessions in 1992-1993 after that they had a wage freeze of 8 years.In 2000-2001 they finally renegociated a contract and got in the neiborhood of a 30% raise.Now that United is bankrupt,they lost all the retro pay that the company owed them and they were imposed a 16%pay cut putting them approximatly 8 % ahead of where they were 10 years ago.

I am shure you will agree that with the increase in the cost of living,inflation etc, 8% for 10 years is ridiculous.

Now why don't we let these companies go bankrupt and let the market decide what happens instead of destabilising an entire industry??

A pilot will get what the market is willing to pay....a mechanic will get what the market pays...Instead of lowering the bar for the whole industry.Let the companies find efficiencies,business srategies etc instead of cutting on employees.Should the employee salaries be excessively high they can go for reductions,but with the responsibility we mechanics have,we don't make anymore then a car mechanic.Why should we give out our services... to finance bad management decision??

My earlier post reflected this... lets let Air Canada flop!! With a 13 billion $$$ debt and zero assets what are our chances of emerging a stronger company??If they can't manage their business its their doing,wheither its bad collective agreements,bad direction or bad employees!!!(if the problem is bad employees what good will pay cuts do...if you dont change the mentality??...the only way to get rid of bad workers would be a fesh start.).I will not have any problem finding a job that will give me an equivalent lifestyle then what I have now!! and I don't want to be part of an industry wide wage roll back!!What happens to all the other ame's in canada when air canada lowers the bar??everyone will end up paying the price through out the industry!!

Lupin

that is where the full pay till the last day came from.

I'm not talking about taking a 2.5% wage reduction as that is insignificant in the big picture.But Lets not lose 10 years of wage increases to help a company that put itself in the present position.If air canada want to reduce costs they can lay us off.

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If it's so easy for you to get equivalent employment, why not just leave and put the uncertainty behind you?

Or maybe it isn't so easy to get the same pay at the same city, with similar benefits. Maybe the thought of 10,000 of you looking for work at the same time - at a time Bombardier is laying off 1,500 people, some of whom would have competitive skills - is not that enticing.

Maybe the aircraft mechanic isn't quite as transportable as you would like us to think. Certainly, if I were in your situation and could walk across the street to a more secure employer - without loss of pay or benefits - I would do it in a heartbeat.

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If it's so easy for you to get equivalent employment, why not just leave and put the uncertainty behind you?

Or maybe it isn't so easy to get the same pay at the same city, with similar benefits. Maybe the thought of 10,000 of you looking for work at the same time - at a time Bombardier is laying off 1,500 people, some of whom would have competitive skills - is not that enticing.

Maybe the aircraft mechanic isn't quite as transportable as you would like us to think. Certainly, if I were in your situation and could walk across the street to a more secure employer - without loss of pay or benefits - I would do it in a heartbeat.
---------------------------------------------

Those of us in maintenance got into this industry by being fascinated by aircraft and enjoy the work we have chosen.
Now when Lupin states that our skills are portable, he is correct,it may not be the airline industry we end up in if AC does fold, but this is the advantage we have, we can go into ther technical industries.
Now as to you advising Lupin to up and leave Air Canada is very irresponsible, only he and he alone should make that decision, some one who does not have the slightest concept as to where we can go with our skills should not make comments as antagonistic as yours.
Lupin, you are correct sir

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Lupin if your concern that concessions would lower the wage level than consider the alternative. Start up companies shall enter the market place with far lower salaries than your reduced salary. In the mean time as Dagger mentioned you shall be looking for work along with numerous other highly qualified mech's. I understand your line of thinking but request that you sit back and consider the big picture as your solution could be a lot worse for your's and mine families.

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Guest Labtec

Dagger: Lupin is correct. Engineers have transportable skills. They do not have to fix Aircraft they can fix cars, heavy trucks, turbine engines in oil fields, become technical writers etc etc etc. There is a huge shortage of qualified mechanics right now. In Canada the engineers have done a great thing for their profession; they have made it very difficult to get qualified. It used to be easy not anymore. There is a 4 year educational requirement, apprenticeship, and a series of 12 examinations. All of which gets you a basic M licence. An experienced engineer with management experience can command a premium. These guys have education, experience and talent and they can get paid well for it.


Labtec

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Guest Lupin

why give up a job??....no concessions have been accepted yet.I still have a vote in a concession vote and i'm having fun in my present position.

Should the work conditions deteriorate to the point where i don't enjoy my job and I see change being required I will make a move.

lupin

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But you have it from the CAW now. They have completed their due diligence and concluded that the situation is bad? Why wait to go out job hunting with thousands of others. Logic dictates that you go looking now and beat the crowd.

Whether AC liquidates, restructures under bankruptcy protection, or avoids bankruptcy with concessions, the future will be as lower cost than today. You - meaning all groups - have to work cheaper or more productively, or both.

So why wait?

You're only fooling yourself if you think the status quo can be maintained.

With Bombardier and others cutting jobs, you had better get in line for the good ones now. Don't wait for 10,000 Air Canada workers to get in line with you.

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Guest Lupin

for your info ab34,Westjet mechanics make roughly as much as air canada mechanics make if you factor in profit sharing.And if you ask them.... they all seem happy and enjoy their work.It was even mentioned to us by a/c management that their is a AME shortage.. and that even with the wages they offered they could not steal employees from westjet!!

So I don't really fear unemployment...look it up on the net.. the shortage is substancial and forcasted to become bigger.One of the problems this industry has is the fact that salaries are low in relation to the responsability.I'll get more fact for you on that.

Lupin

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Guest Lupin

lol

you make me laugh dagger.Its always good to bring humour to a conversation lol :]

First off i'm curious to know what you do in the wonderful airline industry.Secondly I don't think you know very much about aircraft maintenance so I will try to give you a brief lesson.

You could lay off bombardier people by the thousands without affecting my getting a job.I am a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer and that license sets me apart from the bombardier people.I would be suprised if more then 300 people working full time for bombardier have licenses... Bombardier being a manufacturer, doesn't need people with licenses to build their airplanes.

Secondly added on to the ame license are endorsements on various types of aircraft.They open the job market for specific type of airplanes.(a company will always try to hire endorsed ame because they won't have to spend tens of thousands $$ for endorsement courses)

Third... Air Canada probably has between 700-1500 licensed ame working for them so i don't have to worry about 10000 people flooding the market.

That my poor dagger is why I see things the way I do.My job is essentiel to anyone who flies airplanes,and although airplanes are getting more and more automated they still require tons of maintenance!!Which is what i love doing. :]

So regardless of what happens you will find me fixing airplanes,having fun doing what I love.If its at air canada then so be it, but who knows what the future holds...maybe i will go out west in the prairies,maybe bc?maybe even europe or asia... but i'm shure i will find work doing what i like!And I will keep fighting to get proper appreciation and compensation for all aircraft mechanics

Lupin

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Guest Lupin

lol

you make me laugh dagger.Its always good to bring humour to a conversation lol :]

First off i'm curious to know what you do in the wonderful airline industry.Secondly I don't think you know very much about aircraft maintenance so I will try to give you a brief lesson.

You could lay off bombardier people by the thousands without affecting my getting a job.I am a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer and that license sets me apart from the bombardier people.I would be suprised if more then 300 people working full time for bombardier have licenses... Bombardier being a manufacturer, doesn't need people with licenses to build their airplanes.

Secondly added on to the ame license are endorsements on various types of aircraft.They open the job market for specific type of airplanes.(a company will always try to hire endorsed ame because they won't have to spend tens of thousands $$ for endorsement courses)

Third... Air Canada probably has between 700-1500 licensed ame working for them so i don't have to worry about 10000 people flooding the market.

That my poor dagger is why I see things the way I do.My job is essentiel to anyone who flies airplanes,and although airplanes are getting more and more automated they still require tons of maintenance!!Which is what i love doing. :]

So regardless of what happens you will find me fixing airplanes,having fun doing what I love.If its at air canada then so be it, but who knows what the future holds...maybe i will go out west in the prairies,maybe bc?maybe even europe or asia... but i'm shure i will find work doing what i like!And I will keep fighting to get proper appreciation and compensation for all aircraft mechanics

Lupin

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Guest Lupin

lol

you make me laugh dagger.Its always good to bring humour to a conversation lol :]

First off i'm curious to know what you do in the wonderful airline industry.Secondly I don't think you know very much about aircraft maintenance so I will try to give you a brief lesson.

You could lay off bombardier people by the thousands without affecting my getting a job.I am a licensed aircraft maintenance engineer and that license sets me apart from the bombardier people.I would be suprised if more then 300 people working full time for bombardier have licenses... Bombardier being a manufacturer, doesn't need people with licenses to build their airplanes.

Secondly added on to the ame license are endorsements on various types of aircraft.They open the job market for specific type of airplanes.(a company will always try to hire endorsed ame because they won't have to spend tens of thousands $$ for endorsement courses)

Third... Air Canada probably has between 700-1500 licensed ame working for them so i don't have to worry about 10000 people flooding the market.

That my poor dagger is why I see things the way I do.My job is essentiel to anyone who flies airplanes,and although airplanes are getting more and more automated they still require tons of maintenance!!Which is what i love doing. :]

So regardless of what happens you will find me fixing airplanes,having fun doing what I love.If its at air canada then so be it, but who knows what the future holds...maybe i will go out west in the prairies,maybe bc?maybe even europe or asia... but i'm shure i will find work doing what i like!And I will keep fighting to get proper appreciation and compensation for all aircraft mechanics

Lupin

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One at a time, airline ame's are readily employable. So is a pilot and a cabin cleaner. The question is, do they want to do something else, or work for less, or move to another city?

If Air Canada liquidates, thousands of ame's are going to fall on the job market at one time. And I don't care how robust you think the market is. Only one in five of you are going to get work at another airline and none are going to get paid what you are paid today - or even at 85% of what you are paid today - and none are going to have their seniority intact or have international travel benefits.

Remember, the heavy checks are as transportable as you and can end up being done in non-union shops in Ireland or Timbukto so long as they are properly certified!!!!!! Carriers have been shipping a lot of work to Ireland for years. Boeing can do heavy checks. (Who is doing Jetsgo checks???? Check it out!) A large number of AC ame jobs is tied to foreign third party work. The amount of pickup of your jobs by other Canadian carriers - even carriers that expand twofold or threefold if Air Canada liquidates - will be only a fraction of those now employed by AC.

And do you think Jetsgo or Canjet is going to pay you AC wages or even close!!!!!!!!!

Yes, you can go to Fort McMurray and make top dollar fixing equipment in the oil sands. Does your family want to live in Fort McMurray? Most families would reject the idea, and most men or women would not want to leave families behind for many months so they can pursue those jobs. They presumably pay more than AC even now, so why haven't you moved there yet?

Maybe you really don't want to live in Fort McMurray. Maybe you don't want to fix transmissions for Speedy Muffler for a lot less pay than you get today. Maybe you don't want to work at Jetsgo for HALF!!!!

I would suggest to all of you mechanics that if you really truly accept not only that you can find other work in your field, but that you would be HAPPY working elsewhere for a lot less money and perhaps satisfaction, then you ahould really be doing it NOW. The status quo at AC is untenable.



Otherwise, all you are saying is that you have some fallbacks that aren't nearly as desirable (and may not be available if thousands of you hit the job market at the same time.)

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Guest Lupin

Salary survey results
AMT’s 2001 Salary Survey results offers data represented in 1,087 surveys returned by the deadline. There were 125 surveys received after the deadline as well as 35 incomplete surveys that could not be incorporated in the charts and graphs, but a review of those responses showed similar trends in wages, benefits, and titles. Thank you to those who took extra time to include letters and comments with your surveys.
AMT also wishes to thank our readers from overseas as well as Canada for their participation, but there weren’t enough of these surveys to properly tabulate the results to give an accurate picture.
The largest sector of respondents (42%) came from Air Carriers; and, overall, pay did improve as predicted due to this year’s contract settlements. A closer look reveals that Air Carrier Line Mechanics’ pay improved everywhere except in the Northwest Mountain and Western Pacific regions.
The second largest group of respondents came from Corporate Aviation with 16.4%, followed closely by General Aviation with 15.2%. Some notable statistics for these two groups revealed that pay for the Corporate sector in the Great Lakes, Southern, Southwest, and Western Pacific regions have decreased every year since 1997. Pay for A&P’s in GA in the Southern region also has decreased every year since 1997, while the Eastern region’s GA A&P’s pay has increased each year. Helicopter A&P’s did not escape this trend either. New England helicopter A&P’s pay has decreased each year since 1997, but those of this sector in the Southwest, Western Pacific, and Great Lakes regions all show pay increases over four years.
SADLY, the results again this year showed that more of you, 58%, an increase over last year’s 55%, would NOT RECOMMEND Aircraft Maintenance as a career option to a child or friend. Reasons stated most often were LACK OF RESPECT AND PAY COMMENSURATE WITH AMOUNT OF RESPONSABILITY AND TRAINING NECESSARY TO DO THE JOB, which were exactly the same reasons given last year, and the year before that.
On the positive side, many of the respondents, 42 percent, love what they do and are happy to recommend aircraft maintenance as a career to others.
Some of the responses to the question: Would you recommend Aircraft Maintenance as a career for your children or to a friend? can be found in Tech Forum on page 8.

If you need more info have a look at these sites....

http://www.nvlt.nl/archief/Mechanic_Shortage_Raises_Growth.htm

http://www.amfadelta.com/articles/shortage/PAMA_AMT_Shortage.pdf

http://www.amfadelta.com/articles/shortage/PAMA_AMT_Shortage.pdf

Hope that I have somehow educated you or made you understand my point of vue.I fully respect your decision should you choose to get a head start and start looking for a job before "everyone floods the market"

regards

Lupin

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Well said dagger.A lot of people here think that the only people who are replacable are ramp rats..or at least they feel make way to much money for what they are responsible far.Did you guys catch that.RESPONSIBLE.The last time i checked my garbage man made more then i,but hey a dash 8 driver making over a hundred grand sounds nutty to me also.
See you all at the U.I. office,at least that way we'll be all together finally.

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Small problem.

All of your surveys were pre-Sept 11. Now the airline industry is going into a period of SHRINKAGE. Boeing is shrinking. The industry hit its peak in the late 1990s. It may hit another peak in 2006 or later. That's the best guess.

Meanwhile, all of your surveys had better be adjusted to reflect people at other airlines going onto the market, or taking big pay cuts.

Perhaps more so than for pilots, however, denial is not just a river in Egypt

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Guest Nigol

The average wage for a DH8 driver at JAZZ is $80701.92 gross , based on working 78 hrs of stick time.(the blocks have been trimmed so that overtime is non-exixtant now and 50% of those DH8 pilots are sitting on Reserve - VERY UNPRODUCTIVE). The flying has been cut back to save on wages. However, we are probably going to be taking a 20% wage rollback in the not too distant future and more consessions on other aspects of our contract.

It is kind of nutty I agree but I just thought you wanted to know.

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Dagger....

I wish this conversation could have happened in a different climate, but what the hell, it's a changing world, isn't it?... I've tried hard to stay away from these sorts of debates for a long time, but my tongue can only take so much pain.

We know the status quo can't continue at AC. We're still underpaid and we're not about to forget that fact. Though we certainly can find it in our hearts to continue taking some hit and perhaps even find something else to throw in the pot -- who knows? -- we're in a very different set of circumstances than any other group.

"If Air Canada liquidates, thousands of ame's are going to fall on the job market at one time"

Think about that now... First of all, "thousands" is quite inaccurate. You're suggesting that all of the flying that AC does... all the folks who have to get here there and everywhere... will suddenly just go away? You couldn't mean that, I think... So you know, someone will fly them... which means someone will fix those airplanes...
Same number of people flying = same number of people fixing... right? Simple enough. So we might change shirts and coats, but we'll probably still even work in the same airports as we are now... no need to move.

If it hurts to pay us a wage that fits our level of training, skills and responsibilities, then they can just bloody well nick the passengers for a few more bucks. We've woken up to the great cheat that's been our fortune for the past eon, and we've had enough. No more the suckers...

I think you need to look at how we deal with what's happening now from that vantage point. You, like others, say We all need to take a hit, well, we are taking a hit already. If that isn't even acknowledged, someone isn't dealing straight.

In my world (did I just hear you snort? ;) ), it's a fact that I don't get a fair wage, and it's a fact that people don't pay enough to fly.

Cheers,

Mitch

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Guest jet dude

Dagger, Maybe you should take your own advice and leave,I find it amamzing that you feel it is your duty to tell people your view of the future, I think Mr. Lupin may very well be correct, his skills are portable,I beleive that in a post a little firther down this thread, Robert states that the AME skills are not restricked to just aviation, and he is correct, I recall reading an advertisement by Disney corp looking for people to maintain their amuzement park rides, it stated in the add that preference would be given to holders of Canadian AME's.
It is we pilots that are in for a real change.

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No, same number of people flying does not equal same number of people fixing planes.

1. Part of AC's workload is foreign third party work that probably won't stay in Canada.

2. Air Canada's collective agreements being more efficient, chances are very good that the productivity at other carriers is higher, ergo they won't need to add as many AMEs as they grow as AC maintains for comparable amounts of flying.

3. The market won't necessarily be as big as you think. If there is too much capacity today, the removal of some of that capacity is likely in the event of liquidation.

4. If some of AC's transborder and international clientele migrates to US or other foreign carriers, there is a loss of work for AMEs (and other airline workers).

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So no, I think a lot of you won't just don another carrier's uni at the same airport. I'm sure your colleagues in Winnipeg would almost all be out of luck, forced to move cross continent perhaps to do airline work ifd they're lucky, and if not, forced to working for even less than you think you deserve for your skills and professional training

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And one more thing: This hard done by attitude about how we are underpaid. I suggest you look at the marketplace today. Not six months ago or 18 months ago. Things are changing for a lot of aviation related trades and professions, including pilots and licensed mechanics. The market isn't about what you think you should be paid - everyone thinks their labor should be properly valued. It's what the market will pay. If you think your wages should be 15% or 20% higher, go find such jobs. But saying threat the public should pay more- usually an argument from a pilot - is a useless argument. Okay, full pay to the last day? Then what? Answer=A paycut. Because Air Canada is the highest paying airline in Canada. Anyone else who follows will pay you LESS. A lot less.

And if you had wanted to work at Disney World for the great pay, I submit that you would be doing so now. The fact that all of you AMEs posting here claim to be so underpaid relative to the market - yet continue to work at Air Canada "and not walk across the tarmac" to work for all of those higher paying airlines offering all of those higher paying jobs - suggests that you are either inertial to an extreme or giving us a bit of the Blarney two days after St Patricks Day :)

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Guest Lupin

Lol...
I'm still confused by your logic dagger. lol its a strange perspective but i'm shure the future will tell.

I'm shure you have heard Milton say the model was broken,?You want another glimpse at what that can inply?

Everyone will get hit somehow.If you look at the request for the IAM the only thing that affects pay for AME's is the forgoing of the midnight premiums and the 2.5% increase.

On the other hand air canada asks that station take 35% pay cuts or the work will be farmed out. Thats a pretty firm stand from the company don't you think??Air Canada knows it can get the work done for cheaper by companies such as globe,hudson,ogden etc.We have even heard that when t-new opens in yyz ,gtaa could be taking care of luggage for that airport.

I have been following the news and what i see is very scary!Air Canada's new agenda seems to be to cut and do it quick!!!The res agents are getting attacked now.You saw what bell did with their res agents didn't you?All the call centers you see in new brunswick... they can operate a reservation system and only pay the employees 7 or 8$/hour. Does quality suffer? Probably but last i saw air canada was paying up to 22$/hour and wanted to reduce that to 16$/hr as well as automating alot of the fonctions therefore decreasing cost and increasing efficiency.Quality more then likely will go down but the company is only looking at money for the time being.


So if you see the trend,you will notice that everyone who's job can be outsource has to fear.That puts the pilot in a very good situation.We AME's would still have to do line maintenance with the possibility of outsourcing all our heavy check.That of course would hurt alot but I'm shure the company will not take that route if they are trying to sell techops to a third party.Who would buy techops without a work garantee??Ac wants in the neighbourhood of 500 million for 49% of techops... you think someone will buy that without some sort of assurance that the work is going to be there??

The new business model seems to be to outsource everything!!It will not be a good year to be an AC employee but i'm shure you see the trend that was started.Everything that can be outsource for cheaper will be affected.How will that affect the various groups?Who knows yet but you can bank on large layoffs in the near futur for many people.We have but seen the edge of the iceberg....the worst is still to come.

Look at the daily today.... the IAM and aircanada are going to arbitration for the negots.We will see what can be acheived with a mediator.

Most people in maintenance are trying to get a seperate barganing unit for techops... leaving the ramp to negociate for itself.It has been a long time coming but i'm shure if techops splits
(or gets sold) you will see a change in local or maybe even union ;]

Our interest will be represented better at that point.

Lupin

Good luck to all AirCanada employees

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Don't forget for a minute that the maintenance base and hangar are a product of the Trudeau Liberals - an election gimme. It wasn't needed or wanted by the company then and it certainly isn't needed now.

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