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Old 07-17-2007, 09:41 AM   #1  
Proponent of Hysteria
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Default FDX LOA Info, please read:

Please review these concerns and educate yourself before voting. Issues, are listed below for your reference. I wish I could spell out every detail of every issue but that’s not possible. I’m just hoping to get you thinking—if you want an in-depth analysis, I encourage you to do some digging for yourself (in some cases I have provided hyperlinks- if a link does not work please cut and paste the URL address in the browser as they should be valid addresses). Most of my references address the HKG domicile as I’m more familiar with Asia, but I think these issues are also applicable to CDG.

1) Precedent: In ratifying this LOA, we are setting a precedent. We will only get incremental benefits, if any, over time. We are determining the base line from which all future FDAs will be negotiated. In favor of voting the LOA in now, then addressing these issues next contract? We could be stuck with this LOA for several more years. If this contract goes two years past the amendable date, we’re looking at OCT 2012 before we revisit this FDA. For a guy with twenty years left, those five years represent 25% of his remaining career!! Also, during contract negotiations, the FDA will be one of thirty-one sections on the agenda; we need to fix this now, while it is the only item “on the table.”

2) Concessions: While there are benefits to this LOA (the “enhanced” option offers housing allowance, tax equalization, coach class tickets home after two years), there are also numerous concessions (see CBA Sect 6 - Relocation Expenses for more). Here is an incomplete list of things you will LOSE by choosing the "enhanced option":
--$10,000 or 79 CH (whichever is greater) relocation allowance
-2 round-trip tickets for the purpose of house hunting
-3 additional shipments of up to 1000 pounds
-Monthly personal shipments of up to 100 pounds
-Up to $1000.00 toward the cost of shipping pets
-90 days of temporary storage of household goods
-Shipment of household goods with a limit of 12,500 pounds plus 1500 pounds for each non-spousal dependent and one automobile (instead you will get 500 pounds—your clothes, your DVD player, big screen TV and bed. That’s about it)
-Reimbursement for payment of packing and storage of goods at permanent home at a reasonable rate (with this LOA, we concede to a $4000.00 annual cap and no mention of packing and transportation to storage facility)
-Insurance for replacement cost of household goods of up to $250.000
-Marketing assistance for home sale
-Reimbursement for cost associated with sale of current residence to include realtor's' commission, title search and title insurance fees, abstract continuation fees, reasonable attorneys' fees, escrow agent settlement fee, deed preparation fee, notary fee, legally required inspection fee, termite inspection fee, transfer tax, document stamps, and recording fees, one appraisal fee if legally required, loan transfer fees, up to $2500.00 discount points if required (VA loan)
-3rd party home purchase plan (basically a guaranteed buy of your house at a price based on multiple appraisals)
-Lease cancellation reimbursement for up to 6 months rent
-Reimbursement for reasonable expenses occasioned by a delayed shipment
-Relocation allowance for return from FDA shipment

3) STV: Short Term Vacancy (LOA para D). You can be “junior manned” into HKG or CDG for up to 3 months. Too senior to be affected by the STV? First, consider the other guy who might not be so senior and who may not want to leave his family for three months. Second, think of the number of guys who will be able to opt out of an STV award because of MIL leave or whatever. Not to mention the number of guys who will accept, and then click "sick" in VIPS the day before the deadhead leaves. This might go more senior than you think.

3) Housing: It’s been beat to death that $2700 is not near enough to cover rent and the MEC has admitted that this amount is only intended to “subsidize” your rent. Find a decent place for upwards of $4000 to $5000 and you’ll be THROWING AWAY about $2000/month in rent. No equity, just money in the trash. How many of us have not figured out that owning is better than renting? Want to be smart and buy your place? You’ll only get $1300/month if you do that. I'm not sure why the financially savvy are "punished."
I was in HK last week (08JUL) and found a place for about $2700. It was 35 minutes from downtown, on the 23rd floor of a high rise, and 1100 sq ft (in HK a portion of the hallway leading to the elevator is included in your total square footage). Can housing be found for $2700? Yes. Is it anything close to what we are “accustomed”? No. For that matter, cheap housing can be found in any city, but we all know that you usually get what you pay for.
For more: http://residential.savillsproperty.com/
http://www.statelyhome.com.hk/

4) Tuition assistance: None. Not only is tuition expensive in HK ($10,000 to $30,000 US per kid), it’s hard to get them enrolled.
For more: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/07/12/business/sxb4.php
What if the FDAs get staffed with new hires, like the guy who just can’t pass up widebody F/O in HKG his first year? Maybe our “family oriented” company could at least help this guy out. Remember, he'll be making first year widebody pay-- $59.77/hr (effective OCT 2008). What about the guy in Paris? $57.66 for narrowbody.

5) The financial improvements are worth approximately $40,000 a year to any pilot: (from the Communications Chairman email, 29JUL07). True? Yes. . . but it looks better than it is. You do get rent money, storage paid for and the "seed money", but most of this is transparent to the pilot. Keep in mind that the majority of this money ($2700/month x 12 month = $32,400) will be nothing more than a subsidy for your rent. Also remember that your rent will probably be close to $4000 and most places will ask for two months deposit. On move-in day, you’ll owe $12,000. There goes your "seed money" (which, by the way, was taxed). For grins, assume you find that $4000/month place and you cover the difference ($4000 - $2700 = $1300). In one year, you'll be shelling out $15,600 for rent. Again, that's RENT, you will own nothing. How many MEM guys actually RENT an apartment...?

6) Final Thoughts (some ideas are repeated for those who may not have read the full message)
a) Does the fact that DragonAir and Cathay Pacific pilots receive anywhere from $5500 to $8300/month for housing tell us nothing?
http://airlinepilotcentral.com/airlines/international/cathay_pacific.html
b) Here’s an article from the International Herald Tribune dated 23MAY07 titled “Hong Kong apartments most expensive to rent” http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/05/23/business/expat.php
c) Let’s also consider the dollar losing strength all over the world-- that $2700/month (which was also taxed) is losing value. What will $2700 US be worth in five years against the Euro?
**If we had been given $2700 five years ago to live in Paris, it would be worth about $1950 in today’s dollars.**
Take a look here to see what the euro has done over the last 12 months as compared to the USD:
http://www.exchange-rates.org/history/EUR/USD/G/M
The HK dollar is better, but still it trends against us:
http://www.exchange-rates.org/history/USD/HKD/G/180
d) This LOA keeps us protected under the RLA (FDA Attachment Paragraph 7), right? Does the recent ruling by the French courts affect that? I’m not sure.
http://sg.biz.yahoo.com/070711/1/49s4x.html
e) Have school aged kids of your own or care about fellow pilots who do? You have to see #4, "Tuition Assistance”, above.
f) Remember, a 24 hr layover in Hong Kong or Paris is a vacation for most of us. Living there will be a very different experience. Need some lumber for that shelving project in the den? There is no Home Depot and good luck hauling 10 foot shelving board home on the public bus. Enjoy trying to explain to the local plumber or mechanic (oh, never mind. . . you won't have a car) who speaks Cantonese or French the specifics of some problem you're having.

Now let’s take some time and consider negotiating tactics (aka the psychology of persuasion)
Here are some tactics for “persuading” (read: pressuring) someone to do what you want (this is Psych 101 stuff, folks). Do any of these this sound familiar?
i) Create a false sense of time pressure: Doing so impairs judgment. Remember your parents saying “I’m only going to count to three” to persuade you? This is a simple, effective tactic which is being used with this LOA. The pilots should be controlling the pace of this thing, and no one else! You think there's no rush to ratify this? How about “Management made it clear that they did not intend to open the next aircraft bid until after the ratification process is completed” (from MEC Message Line 27JUN07)? A "false sense of time pressure" in my own humble opinion. In an attempt to rush this, we are being pitted against ourselves, as we are our own worst enemies! Let's not lose sight of what we can accomplish collectively as opposed to what we may want individually. Do not let the “dangling carrot” of the next bid rush you into voting one way or the other—it is a ploy! Still don't think this thing is being rushed? It has not even been decided how the ground transportation will be arranged. The closest this LOA comes to resolving this issue is a waiving of 'the limitations contained within Section 8.B.1. of the basic agreement" (LOA section G). Will you be picked up at home? Will there be a central meeting point? (If so, be ready to add an hour to the planned two or three hour van ride to Guangzhou). Does public transportation run past midnight? Don’t worry, these are all issues that I’m sure will work themselves out, probably in our favor as the company has our best interests at heart. . .
Negotiating Tactics, continued. . .
ii) Instill fear of the unknown: Ask yourself: “Am I worried about the 'what if' or 'unknown alternative'?" If yes, then you are falling victim to this tactic. Again, you've seen this since you were a kid. Do you remember “You better do such-and-such. . . or else”? The threat of the unknown is an effective persuader. If we vote this thing down, they’ll just open FDAs under the current CBA, right? Maybe, maybe not-- this is something that you must consider when you place your vote; however, do not let these threats (idle or otherwise) affect your sound judgment!!
For more: "The effects of time pressure and completeness of information on decision making" is a study that would probably bore you to tears. Basically it says two things: "Time pressure usually, but not always, impair(s) performance" and ". . . [having] complete information usually improve(s) performance."
We feel the "time pressure" and we are lacking "complete information"-- both of these factors are working against us.

I encourage you to pass this email along to every FedEx pilot you know. Each pilot who votes should at least be exposed to these issues before deciding. No one is telling you how to vote here. The same way the "union" is not telling you how to vote. That would be illegal. All that's being asked is, use some common sense here.

Phew! That’s a lot. Need some fresh air? You won’t find it in Hong Kong.
http://www.hkoutdoors.com/hong-kong-news/hk-air-pollution.html

PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF BEFORE VOTING FOR THIS LOA. Take the few minutes out of your day and forward it to any/every FedEX pilot you know. Most of us do not read these message boards. The "senior captain" who "don't know what the Intra-Net is" needs to be reached...

Last edited by skypine27; 07-17-2007 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:24 AM   #2  
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skypine27, a very well written summation of many of our concerns about the LOA. Please consider sending it to Steve M**** at [email protected] for him to publish on his Jet Flyer E-mail list. This is a more widely read forum (about 1000 Fedex pilots the last time I heard) than is the airlinepilotforum website. Thanks for the time and the well written summary.
If you do send it to Steve, please tell all of us who read the airlinepilotforums so that we can write to him and encourage him to publish your letter.
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:28 AM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyperone View Post
skypine27, a very well written summation of many of our concerns about the LOA. Please consider sending it to Steve M**** at [email protected] for him to publish on his Jet Flyer E-mail list. This is a more widely read forum (about 1000 Fedex pilots the last time I heard) than is the airlinepilotforum website. Thanks for the time and the well written summary.
If you do send it to Steve, please tell all of us who read the airlinepilotforums so that we can write to him and encourage him to publish your letter.
I AGREE! I wish our MEC had done as good a job of looking at this...I KNOW the company did and this is what they gave us....IF WE VOTE FOR IT....VOTE NO.
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:32 AM   #4  
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Good idea, Hyperone.

NOTE TO ALL:

I can not take credit for the original author's work. The above post was not written by me, but simply edited and posted by me. The author is a smarter guy than I am and needs to be heard. The above letter was compiled by a sampling of many FedEX pilots' concerns regarding this LOA, and cut, pasted, and editited into "short" summary.

And yes, I sent it to Steve. The above post is in no way copyrighted and anyone who wants to should feel free to cut and paste it, and send it to Steve, and just as critical, to any other FedEX pilot he/she may know.

Last edited by skypine27; 07-17-2007 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:36 AM   #5  
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Very well written and very informative. Doesn't change my vote though....it's still "NO".

This email needs to be mass produced and distributed for it's educational value.

I'm loading my deskjet with some HP stock right now.
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Old 07-17-2007, 10:38 AM   #6  
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MAWK90:

Thank you very much for doing your part. Education never hurt anybody.
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:29 AM   #7  
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Nice job skypine.....I have copied and forwarded........
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:48 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skypine27 View Post
Good idea, Hyperone.

I can not take credit for the author's work. The above post was not written by me, but simply edited and posted by me. The author is a smarter guy than I am and needs to be heard. This post was compiled by a sampling of many FedEX pilots' concerns regarding this LOA, and crammed into one "short" summary.

And yes, I sent it to Steve. The above post is in no way copyrighted and anyone who wants to should feel free to cut and paste it, and send it to Steve, and just as critical, to any other FedEX pilot he/she may know.
Thanks for the post. It's been forwarded to alpa's webboard.
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Old 07-17-2007, 01:27 PM   #9  
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I hope all the uninformed see this post. (And that includes the MEC and the NC)


VOTE NO!
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Old 07-17-2007, 08:41 PM   #10  
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great letter, this letter needs to be required reading for entire crewforce. I will do my best to pass it along to the people in my address book.
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