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Old 02-23-2008, 07:09 AM   #1  
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Default NW/DAL merger: Has this idea ever been entertained?

Hello all, I've been brainstorming since this merger mania started with Delta/NWA, and I had an idea which I wonder has ever been entertained.

From what I understand, there are many NWA guys who believe that DOH should be the general rule for a merged list, mainly because there are a large number of older guys at NWA who are near retirement age and the average NWA pilot is older than the avg DL pilot.

On the other hand, it sounds like most DL pilots are more in favor of a "relative seniority" integration since there are not as many retirements in the near term at Delta.

NWA guys think relative seniority wouldn't be fair since after 5-8 years, the top part of the NWA list will be forced to retire at 65. Thus, at that point, DL would own the top of the list and will stay there since they are much younger.

Here's an idea I thought about that seems to be pretty fair, to me at least as an outsider from either NWA or DL: Here goes...

1) Merge initially due to relative seniority. If you are 1% at DL or NWA, you retain ~1% at the merged carrier; if 50% prior to merger, you retain ~50% at the merged carrier, etc, etc.

2) Compare the two lists and determine the point at which the disparity exists between DL and NWA. (since NWA is top heavy with ppl close to retirement). Lets say that number is ~500 in the NWA list. If those top 500 weren't there, basically the DL and NWA lists would be easy to combine since they would have similar age pilots with similar time in service.

3) Once you have this number (500), once this 500th pilot retires or more fairly, say 90% of the 500 pilots retire (just in case #500 is real young), then you re-calculate everyone's relative seniority(ie: repeat step #1) at the day that threshold passes and do another relative seniority integration (with only those on property when the merger happens; no newhires hired AFTER the merger would participate in the re-integration)

This idea would FIX 2 problems in my opinion:

1) There would be no need for an expensive buyout of older NWA guys who may or may not take the buyout anyway.

2) The people at NWA would get the relative seniority they think they deserve once that retirement threshold is crossed. It would also make DL pilots happy since the top of their list won't be put after the NWA guys just because they are older at the time of the merger.

The re-integration would effectivly push NWA guys hired before the merger up a number of spots putting them back in line where they would have been at NWA. Thus, at this point, some NWA would jump in front of DL guys, but rightly so.

Once this threshold is crossed, the pilot groups will line up much more effectively, thus a relative seniority merger would be pretty fair.

What do you guys think?

I think this idea could work. What am I missing?
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Old 02-23-2008, 07:34 AM   #2  
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Looks good on paper. Problem is that relative seniority is just that: it's relative. There is something going on in the 747 bid status at NWA, and I can't quite put my finger on it. There are a lot of NWA guys that covet the 747 job and they protect it fiercely. I think that will play a big part in all of this. JMHO.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:17 PM   #3  
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What ever it is, I hope it works for everyone.
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Old 02-26-2008, 07:00 AM   #4  
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Brilliant, I am ok with this.

I like the Idea of taking the list of guys you talked about, for sake of argument lets say top ~1000 are NW guys, and fence them from any Delta aircraft or base until they retire. Open up the relative seniority to everyone else.

The guys on the top of the NW scale stay there. They get better pay and work rules and can bid anything they presently could. Great deal for them.

For the rest of us, we get a fair intergration now. Maybe put a seat lock inplace starting in the fall for a year or two so the company can get past all the training mess.

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Old 02-26-2008, 12:06 PM   #5  
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I think the differences in the current fleet are missing. 10% at Delta gets you a FO block line flying a widebody out of NY and high reserve, maybe a block line out of ATL, as well as LA and I think CVG on this latest bid. Going from 767ER line holder to reserve A320 is concessionary for the Delta pilot.

I like the "Fair Plan" from the other site, did you see that? Opportunity for everyone when they choose.
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:07 PM   #6  
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Career Protection & Progression

  • “Cross-Bidding” System
  1. All pilots at DAL-NWA are provided with two seniority numbers.
  2. The first number is their current seniority number used for bidding purposes within their current airline fleet.
  3. The second number is an ALPA-issued “system” number used to bid vacancies at the combined carrier. Method for assigning the system number T.B.D. (“W2”, D.O.H., etc.)
  4. Future new-hires would have two identical numbers.
  1. The current DAL and NWA fleets are identified by ship number and/or distinct aircraft types (the only aircraft common to both companies is the 757.)
  2. When bidding vacancies within their original fleet , a pilot’s original airline seniority number would take precedence.
  3. “New” aircraft, in terms of either quantity or type, would be open to bids based upon the pilot’s system number.
  4. In the event of furloughs, a pilot to have the option of exercising cross-bid rights, using their system number, or accepting furlough pursuant to the PWA.
  • A senior NWA B-747 captain, SN 200, would perhaps receive the numbers 200/325 while a senior DAL 767 captain, SN 200, might have the number 200/400.
  • A new-hire, hired after the merger, would have two identical numbers, say 10,000/10,000.
  • Future 747/A330 vacancies would be first filed by the current NWA pilots.
  • 767 vacancies would be first filled by the current DAL pilots.
  • A-320 vacancies would be NWA, B-737 vacancies would be DAL.
  1. Creates the benefits of a merged list without many of the problems associated with outright merger of diverse seniority lists.
  2. Creates credible career protections and advancement opportunities for all pilots.
  3. The order of precedence between the two numbers effectively creates seat and base protections.
  4. Over time, the seniority lists become effectively merged as a greater percentage of pilots, hired after the merger, have identical seniority and system numbers.
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:03 PM   #7  
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No offense BB, but how long have you been at DL? Management would want us to give up way too much negotiating capital to run a system like that. Plus, never, ever enter any agreement with management with a TBD in it.
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