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Old 05-03-2008, 06:38 AM   #1  
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Default NWA/DELTA Roadshows

Looks to me like most of us have been to a road show. We're all fired up and pointing fingers at each other again.

Well, here's a thought as I read through the posts. We both have MEC guys with egos. Wow, imagine a guy wanting to run for some kind of elected office with an ego. Shoot, airline pilots have famously big egos and then put one in an elected position of power?

So, here is my point. We both got spun to a certain amount. I'm willing to bet a beer both our briefings included all the reasons the other side is being ____________ (you fill in the blank). To me the bottom line is the deal didn't get done, which is a failure on both sides. Assuming you want the deal in the first place or it's going to happen anyway, like it or not.

I freely admit that this isn't going to go as great for me as I'd like, I'm the smaller carrier and the math won't be on my side (or the name change/paint job). Size wise, I'd have prefered no merger or Contential but thank god it's not AA. For the Delta guys, were 5/7th your size and the PAA/Western models won't work, we're too big. But, isn't that the reason you wanted us? Economy of scale, world wide a$$ kicker or some MBA speak like that.

Someone needs to step up and "get'er done". I trust my merger committee more now than before the road show, but maybe we all need to quit nodding our heads and screaming "right on, those ba$terds" and actually talk to a rep.

Ferd (showing once again, a firm grasp of the obvious)
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Old 05-03-2008, 06:44 AM   #2  
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Ferd,
I agree with what you say and after reading this NW MEC information I can see why. Is it just me, or are they going a little overboard with the "Hey we didn't do anything wrong, the DAL guys are trying to screw us , and Lee Moak is the Devil."
Scoop

From the NWA MEC Communications Committee 28 April 2008:

"The announcement of the Northwest-Delta merger has created speculation about the events that led up to the decision of the two Boards of Directors to go ahead with the merger without the agreement of the Northwest pilots. Much of the information found in the news media and on the web boards is incorrect and does not accurately represent the current situation or the path leading to our position today.
Your MEC will begin a series of road shows starting this week that will give our pilots considerable detail and factual information in regard to the process. In an effort to reduce some of the misinformation and speculation, we are providing the following series of Q & A focusing on the most frequently discussed issues about the exploratory process with Delta Management and DAL pilots.
Q: Is it true that Delta ALPA tried to get in touch with NWA ALPA the week prior to the announced merger and was unable to reach our representatives?
A: Absolutely not. At least two MEC Officers were in the office the entire week and all three were available and in touch with each other via email, text messaging and cell phone. In addition, the two Negotiating Committee Chairmen exchanged emails and spoke to each other during that period.
Q: The Delta MEC Chairman has stated that the Delta Team started in the middle with their seniority list integration presentations. Does our Merger Committee agree with this assessment?
A: No, the NWA MEC Merger Committee believes that the initial relative seniority proposal from the Delta team was overly simplistic and substantially advantaged the Delta pilot group. The goal of the process is to create a “fair and equitable” solution to the problem of integrating two seniority lists. A relative seniority list that looks great graphically on the day after the merger begs some questions: are the pilot demographics so perfectly matched that, as future attrition occurs, the list will continue to look great? Are the jobs of the two airlines so relatively equal that the awarding of positions will be equitable? If Delta had decided to merge with a smaller airline like Alaska Airlines, does anyone really believe that they would be advocating a relative seniority methodology? The NWA Merger Committee has sought to address these and other issues to achieve a list which is fair to both groups.
NWA MEC Just The Facts April 28, 2008
Q: It has been reported that the proposed Delta seniority list protected the future of all pilots at both Northwest and Delta. Does the NWA merger committee agree with this assessment?
A: The NWA Merger Committee does not agree with this assessment. We will not short any pilot, Northwest or Delta, on his career expectations. The Delta Merger Committee presented a “sound-bite” proposal stating that the combined seniority list has to look good on day one and on day two. With no apparent analysis or justification beyond that, they tried to convince us that the results would be fair into the future. The most elementary consideration of the underlying facts led us to a different conclusion; that the operation of their proposal would quickly create a job transfer to the Delta pilots. Perfection may not be an attainable goal, but simplicity, with no regard to how the result distributes the jobs among the pilots in the future, will not achieve a fair result.
Q: I heard that the Delta pilot group received more information during the merger exploratory process. Is this correct?
A: No. The Delta MEC has operated under the same confidentiality restrictions as we have. Our efforts to keep you informed are detailed below. Thirty-eight Hotlines have been put out from the beginning of 2008 to the announced merger date on April 14, 2008 and two additional ones have followed. Four press releases have gone out since January 2008 to the media along with many other prepared statements to the press. Eight Ziplines have been emailed to the pilot group, along with more than three memos, from the beginning of the year. In addition, a press conference was held which answered many questions and was put on the NWA MEC website and links were given in a Hotline for easy access. Due to confidentiality agreements and regulations, information was generated as quickly as possible without hampering the exploratory process.
Q: Were the negotiations terminated by the Northwest team or the Delta Team?
A: Negotiations between Delta management, the Delta MEC, and the Northwest MEC had produced a new joint contract in February. Negotiations between the two pilot groups over a joint seniority list were broken off in March when the DAL pilots walked away. The Delta MEC then negotiated their new interim Letter #19 with Delta management. Negotiations on a joint contract and seniority list are expected to resume in the near future.
Q: Were deadlines established with respect to the merger announcement date?
A: Since we started this process, Delta management and Delta ALPA have controlled the timeline. They set numerous deadlines beginning in January, all of which were false. They then negotiated interim Letter #19 in advance of the merger announcement date without ever involving Northwest ALPA in those negotiations.
NWA MEC Just The Facts April 28, 2008
Q: Was the Northwest Exploratory Team told that if we did not want to join the negotiations the Delta MEC would act alone?
A: No. We were not offered the opportunity to join the negotiations in April which led to interim LOA #19. We were involved in negotiations for a joint contract in January and February. The Delta MEC Chairman told the NWA ALPA leadership in January that for Delta pilots to support a merger, a pre-merged joint contract and negotiated seniority list had to be accomplished. This position was reversed on April 2 when we were informed that the Delta MEC was going to negotiate a separate contract for the Delta pilots only and they would not oppose the merger. On April 13, the day before the merger announcement, Delta management informed us that they had decided to deal only with the Delta pilots because there was not enough time to also involve us.
Q: Was there time for Northwest ALPA to join a negotiation for a joint contract?
A: Yes. Remember, we had already negotiated one in February. There were some changes in economics the Delta management wanted to make; hard decisions perhaps, but not complicated. Delta management spent nearly two weeks negotiating with Delta ALPA over interim LOA #19, but never tried to engage with Northwest ALPA.
Q: What was our role in the bilateral negotiations between Delta ALPA and Delta management?
A: Virtually none. On April 8, the Delta MEC Chairman called to propose a three year harmonization for Northwest pilots to Delta pay rates. We rejected the concept. On April 13 we suggested to Delta management, in our only meeting with them since February that we conduct joint contract negotiations to begin immediately. This suggestion was rejected.
Q: Had the situation been reversed, would the NWA MEC leadership have done the same thing as the Delta MEC?
A: Absolutely not. Maximum leverage to obtain the best possible contract comes from a united effort by the two pilot groups. For their own reasons, the Delta MEC chose to make a deal only for themselves, a lesser agreement than the previously negotiated joint contract.
Q: What is the position of the Delta MEC on seniority list arbitration?
A: After we negotiated a joint contract in February, it became clear that the seniority issues would be difficult to resolve. We suggested that an agreement be reached on an expedited negotiation/arbitration process so that the list could be finished by the merger effective date. The merger could then be announced immediately. The Delta MEC refused. After further seniority list negotiations in March, we again made this suggestion. Again, the Delta MEC refused.
NWA MEC Just The Facts April 28, 2008
In April, the Delta MEC and Delta management agreed to LOA #19 and the merger was announced. The Delta MEC is now in favor of expedited arbitration of the seniority list if further negotiations are not productive. This agreement leaves the Northwest pilots working under a lesser economic contract. It appears that Delta management and the Delta MEC continue to think that by denying Northwest pilots the economic benefits of the merger, the Delta pilots will get a better seniority list.
Q: Why has the NWA MEC opposed the merger as it currently stands and would you consider this to be perceived as a confrontational position?
A: The MEC opposes the current merger for two reasons: 1) the merged company will not achieve all the available synergies from the merger without a joint contract and a joint list, 2) the Northwest pilots will be disadvantaged in obtaining a joint contract and potentially in the seniority list integration process. The current process is highly likely to recreate the USAirways-America West merger environment and if Northwest pilots are not brought to immediate parity with Delta pilots, our pilot group may be put on a “B-Scale” for years. Your leadership does not view this opposition as confrontational, but rather as a stand for a joint contract that will enhance the careers of NWA pilots.
Q: What has been the Northwest MEC approach to this process?
A: We have taken a positive approach from the beginning of the exploratory merger phase and have worked cooperatively with the Delta MEC and Delta management. We accomplished a complete joint contract in February and were also making progress on the seniority list integration. We are disappointed that an agreement was not made on a seniority list, but we have taken the high road, the positive approach, at every turn – including offering an expedited arbitration to handle unresolved issues.
Q: Has there been any discussion about resuming negotiations for a single joint contract with full parity and a joint seniority list?
A: Yes, but dates have not yet been set."
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Old 05-03-2008, 06:53 AM   #3  
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Yup that "could be an example".

Oh no what the congressman ment to say is that publication is "Just the Facts".

Care to post your's now <wink>
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:10 AM   #4  
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Hey scoop, are you missing the point of Ferd's post? Don't you think posting that entire NWA ALPA article is exactly what he was referring to? He said / She said???

There has been a lot of negativity toward us NWA guys, I think that article is "our" version of the spin. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

This is going to happen, so what's happened is irrelevant, going forward is all that matters. If we can work together - we could actually get pay, work rule, and other contract enhancements....

It's going to have some negative effects on everyone, so let's try to get as much as we can, while we can, together!
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:48 AM   #5  
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[quote=Scoop;378452]Ferd,
I agree with what you say and after reading this NW MEC information I can see why. Is it just me, or are they going a little overboard with the "Hey we didn't do anything wrong, the DAL guys are trying to screw us , and Lee Moak is the Devil."
Scoop

Scoop,

Went to brunch, and had a thought about what you said.

I know it will never happen, actually can't happen with arbritration hanging over us, but wouldn't it be cool to have a joint road show? We could make it a political style debate between Stevens and Moak or the two merger committee chairmen. Think we could get John Stewart to moderate? Maybe have it in a cage just in case the debators started throwing stuff at each other.

Ferd
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Old 05-03-2008, 03:24 PM   #6  
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Originally Posted by Pitts S2B View Post
Hey scoop, are you missing the point of Ferd's post? Don't you think posting that entire NWA ALPA article is exactly what he was referring to? He said / She said???

There has been a lot of negativity toward us NWA guys, I think that article is "our" version of the spin. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

This is going to happen, so what's happened is irrelevant, going forward is all that matters. If we can work together - we could actually get pay, work rule, and other contract enhancements....

It's going to have some negative effects on everyone, so let's try to get as much as we can, while we can, together!
Pitts,
I agree that posting the article probably proves Ferds point, guilty as charged, but I came across it right after reading his post and thought it was just a little "too much" or as Shakespeare would say "methinks the NW MEC doth protest too much."
As far as negativity toward the NW guys I don’t think there should be any. I personally think the NW pilots are pretty much like the DAL pilot group, a good bunch of guys. I think the NW MEC might be the product of its history - a divided group with different cliques and different primary constituents. That being said the DAL MEC is not perfect either, has its share of critics on our side, but all in all is probably a more cohesive unit.
As far as a joint road show - I think that is a great idea and maybe before its all over we will do that. As far as the cage thingy goes I prefer Thunderdome style "Two MEC Charimen Enter, one MEC chariman leaves."

Scoop
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Old 05-03-2008, 03:56 PM   #7  
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Originally Posted by Scoop View Post
I think the NW MEC might be the product of its history - a divided group with different cliques and different primary constituents. That being said the DAL MEC is not perfect either, has its share of critics on our side, but all in all is probably a more cohesive unit.
Before the merger entered the picture, I would have agreed with you. That may have been true in the past, but right now I think the NWA MEC is extremely cohesive and we have the impending merger to thank for that. Call it a united front against a common enemy or whatever you want, right now they are galvanized. I think it is like a dysfunctional family...they will be at each other throats until an outside force threatens one of the members, then its Katy bar the door! They rally, put all of their petty squabbles aside and unite to face the threat with a common front. I've never seen them so united before.
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Old 05-03-2008, 06:51 PM   #8  
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Default Straight from the devil's den...

Labor Issues

1. Why would we want SLI arbitration? Isnít that a change from our previous position?(added 04/22/08)

There has not been change in the position of the MEC with regard to SLI. Our position on SLI has always been the fair and equitable integration of the two seniority list. Prior to an announced merger, both involved parties must agree to arbitration. The Delta MEC did not, and would not agree to arbitration in advance of a merger announcement because we feel a negotiated list will always yield a better result (unity) and would be the quickest path to a "complete package" deal including a joint contract. Following the announcement of a merger and the ensuing PID, EITHER party can force the SLI to arbitration via ALPA merger policy simply by dragging out negotiations until mandatory arbitration is triggered. Given the fact that the NW merger committee has always preferred arbitration and absent a negotiated (consensual) list either party can force arbitration, it is possible and perhaps even probable that the SLI will be conducted via

arbitration. We still strongly prefer a negotiated list but we must recognize that we may not be able to stop arbitration.


2. Why expedited SLI arbitration?(added 04/22/08)

Let us be clear: Our position has not changed and our goal remains a negotiated seniority list. What have changed are the conditions under which we are operating. Our goal before the merger announcement of a "complete package" provided the quickest path to a profitable company. We still want the integration to occur as quickly as possible. The sooner the company can access all the benefits of the merged company the sooner we can enjoy our profit sharing and the negotiation leverage of 12000+ unified pilots working for a profitable company.

All that expedited SLI arbitration means is reaching the arbitration phase of ALPA merger policy prior to the timeline trigger for arbitration contained in that policy. If both sides agree, the timelines in the merger policy can be reduced. Remember, however, following a PID under ALPA merger policy EITHER party can ultimately force arbitration of the seniority list. If it appears we are likely headed for arbitration anyway, getting it done as soon as possible will be in our best interest so as to access the benefits of a profitable strong company.


3. Didnít we just leave the Northwest pilots behind?

Absolutely not. For the last several months, the goal of the Delta MEC was to achieve a comprehensive agreement which would have included a transition agreement, a joint pilot contract and an integrated seniority list. Unfortunately, we were unable to reach an agreement on seniority list integration with the Northwest MEC, which was a crucial part of the overall package.

Instead, we were able to negotiate Letter 19 which sets a "higher bar" for an eventual joint contract than would have otherwise existed without Letter 19. That is good for all pilots of the merged corporation. We still are actively encouraging three way talks between Delta and both pilot groups to achieve many of the same goals, including harmonization of our contracts to include these critical improvements.


4. This agreement will allow for a period of time where two different pay rates will exist for the same or similar aircraft for Delta and Northwest pilots. Isnít that something we would like to avoid?
In both the Western and Pan Am mergers, the acquired pilot groups operated under their old contracts for a period of time. In each case, there was a harmonization schedule established to step each group up to our higher pay rates. Achieving this type of parity will be one of our top priorities as we move toward a joint contract and a SLI. Northwestís contract specifies that if their carrier is acquired by another carrier, then their PWA remains in full effect for them until the Northwest MEC negotiates changes. We have to respect the independence of the Northwest pilots and their MEC to establish their own strategic plan.

5. Will there be backlash from the Northwest pilots since they were not included in this agreement?
The Delta MEC considers the combined Northwest and Delta pilot groups to be one group now and our every action will reflect that belief. We chose a course of action that we felt provided the most value to ALL Delta pilots including our brothers and sisters from Northwest. We will put the full power of the Delta MEC and the Delta pilots behind our efforts to achieve contract harmonization for Northwest pilots in a short period of time, and make will every effort to achieve a mutually agreeable solution on seniority list integration.

6. Will there be lost jobs in this merger?

Northwest and Delta have very little route overlap and there is little expectation of any major cuts in most markets. The combined carrier will also create the need to "up-gauge" many markets which could result in less DCI flying and more mainline flying.

The Northwest Pacific operation is a tremendous asset, but Northwest cannot adequately capitalize on that asset due to their smaller domestic feed. Many Delta hubs, especially Atlanta, are capable of fully feeding that asset. This will create even more long range international flying opportunities for the combined pilot group. Our improved scope protections will ensure that the pilot groups do not get "whipsawed" against each other, but will share in those opportunities. Furthermore, this agreement provides merger related furlough protection for the 24 months from the Date of Corporate Closing (DCC) and merger related furlough protection during the regulatory review period prior to the DCC.


Industry Issues

1. I thought Deltaís standalone plan was sound. Why do we "need" to merge now?
Delta does have a standalone plan that will leave better positioned than most carriers in the industry. However, this plan will most likely be unable to generate the cash flow that Delta will need to repay the secured debt leftover from the post-9/11 borrowing binge, fund their fleet growth for international expansion, and still continue to fund the improvements in pay, working conditions, and retirement that we will expect into the future. This merger will allow Delta to complete their plans for international expansion much sooner than a standalone plan will. This international expansion, along with our Joint Venture with Air France/KLM will give Delta the revenue diversification and the global reach that will ensure our company becomes a dominant player in a rapidly changing industry.

2. Delta has to absorb the cost of fuel. Shouldnít they just have to absorb the cost of labor as well? We should be demanding much more from this merger.
Oil prices generally affect each carrier to the same degree. We know that some carriers, most notably Southwest, established a successful fuel hedging program that extends out into the future, but it is doubtful that any carrier will be able to copy that success anytime soon. Therefore, as oil rises and falls into the future, it will have equal effects on all airlines. For a carrier to afford differential labor costs, they must be able to generate sufficient revenue to absorb that differential with their competitors. FedEx and UPS are examples of companies that can pay pilots at above average rates due to their enviable bottom line. Our support of the NW/DL merger is in part, an attempt to establish a global carrier that generates revenue capable of providing contract improvements that Delta pilots deserve.

Whatís next?

1. How will the Northwest pilots and the Delta pilots achieve a joint contract?
The two MECs have the option to form a joint negotiating committee at any time and ask the company to negotiate a joint contract. We have already worked through many of the items necessary to bring the Northwest pilots over to our working agreement, so we anticipate that much of the negotiation will focus on the economics of the deal. Both our PWA and the Northwest pilotís PWA, stipulate that there can not be an integrated seniority list and full operational integration until we have a new joint contract. The economic benefits of this integration is are an incentive to Delta to achieve a joint contract.

2. Since we were unable to achieve a seniority list integration, what happens next?

We will aggressively pursue an SLI and this can be achieved at any time. As we have said, there are economic benefits to Delta and both pilot groups to have this happen as soon as possible. Our desire is to work together with the Northwest pilots to achieve these benefits as soon as possible.

If we are unable to achieve a consensual SLI, the ALPA Executive Council may declare a Policy Initiation Date (PID) which will start the clock on the ALPA Merger Policy. There will be a more detailed discussion of the mechanics of this policy in the future, but the basic process is Seniority List Verification, Negotiation, Mediated Negotiation, and finally, Arbitration.


3. When will the membership ratification vote take place?
The ratification window will be announced soon.
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Old 05-04-2008, 03:33 AM   #9  
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I've never seen them so united before.
They're "united" now and throwing spears to distract folks from the issue at hand: they dropped the ball. They're playing defense...trying to come up with some sort of rationale as to why they squandered their influence at the table with the grown-ups. Why are you guys letting them off the hook? Have you any idea how much money they cost you? (and all of us.)

This "backed into a corner" mentality is completely counterproductive. The merger's going to happen. Contrary to what they say, NWALPA can't stop it. Let's get the most money/best rules possible out of it (and ditch the hats)...and put it behind us.

Last edited by Spaceman Spliff; 05-04-2008 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 05-04-2008, 01:30 PM   #10  
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Originally Posted by Spaceman Spliff View Post
They're "united" now and throwing spears to distract folks from the issue at hand: they dropped the ball. They're playing defense...trying to come up with some sort of rationale as to why they squandered their influence at the table with the grown-ups. Why are you guys letting them off the hook? Have you any idea how much money they cost you? (and all of us.)

This "backed into a corner" mentality is completely counterproductive. The merger's going to happen. Contrary to what they say, NWALPA can't stop it. Let's get the most money/best rules possible out of it (and ditch the hats)...and put it behind us.
I hope you understand that posts like yours contribute nothing. I know you have an opinion and you're entitled to it, but it's just your opinion. I'm pleased to see that most posts have moved beyond name calling and insults. The DALPA MEC has not engaged in that type of stuff either. You could take a lesson from it.

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