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American Eagle, union discuss hiring incentives

Old 08-31-2007, 02:22 PM
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Default American Eagle, union discuss hiring incentives

American Eagle, pilots discuss hiring incentives

04:12 PM CDT on Friday, August 31, 2007
Bloomberg News

American Eagle, the commuter carrier for American Airlines, and its pilots union are in talks about incentives to attract more job candidates in a “highly competitive” market.

American Eagle is hiring as many as 700 pilots this year to fill vacancies due to attrition and recalls to American Airlines. Commuter carriers are facing a shortage of applicants as major airlines recall furloughed pilots or add new hires. American Eagle and American are units of Fort Worth-based AMR Corp.

“We’re definitely looking at financial incentives,” Dave Ryter, vice chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association at American Eagle, said in an interview today. “It’s highly competitive for candidates right now.”

The carrier, which has about 3,000 pilots, is interested in tailoring what it offers to applicants’ qualifications, Jim Winkley, American Eagle’s vice president of flight operations, said in an interview. Ryter and Winkley declined to discuss specific proposals because the talks are ongoing.

“There are different incentives to look at,” Winkley said. “We are not offering any incentives now.”

American Eagle has reduced to 800 from 1,000 the hours of total flying experience required for new applicants. The carrier offset that change by modifying its training program to make sure pilots meet the same standards, Winkley said.

The carrier and its union also are in discussions with the Allied Pilots Association, the union at American Airlines, about possible changes to an existing agreement governing the movement of pilots between the two airlines, Ryter said.

The so-called “flow-through, flow-back” agreement in recent years has delayed promotions for American Eagle pilots and could work against the carrier in recruiting, Ryter said. About 600 furloughed American Airlines pilots went to American Eagle after the 2001 terrorist attacks, with about 150 of those remaining at the commuter carrier, he said.

American Eagle is holding job fairs across the country to attract applicants. About 20 pilots a month are moving from the commuter carrier to American Airlines as the larger airline brings back furloughed workers.

“We’d like to see more” applicants for pilot jobs, Winkley said. “We’re not seeing as many off-the-street candidates as we used to see.”

American Eagle already lets new pilots pick from among its eight operating bases. The union is offering job-placement help for employees who decide to move to another airline, to help open up more senior positions.

The American Eagle pilots’ union is “confident that within the next month or two we will have agreements in place” to provide incentives and resolve issues with the Allied Pilots Association accord, Ryter said.\
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Old 08-31-2007, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by CRJammin View Post
The American Eagle pilots’ union is “confident that within the next month or two we will have agreements in place” to provide incentives and resolve issues with the Allied Pilots Association accord, Ryter said.\
Listen up everybody!

These "agreements" had better consist of one simple premise...

If any single pilot gets any bonus for any reason (including new-hires), then ALL PILOTS ON THE PROPERTY WILL GET THE SAME BONUS (or a bonus pro-rated to their hourly scale)!

Management would love to have the ability to unilaterally compensate certain pilots as needed in order to ensure staffing (new-hires, or retention of certain seats and/or equipment). This allows them to keep YOUR compensation at Rock-bottom levels 90% of the time while giving management the flexibility to selectively share the wealth only when ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY in order to ensure THEIR best interests!

If 300-hour wonders get a nice fat bonus just for coming to work, why do those of us who suffered the consequences of 9/11, paid our dues, and put in years of service at depressed compensation levels not deserve the same bonus for coming to work? The answer should be obvious...

Spread the word on this issue, eagle is not the only one trying this tactic, contact your MEC and union national to make your feelings known.

Thanks
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:46 PM
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So I take it you are against negotiating an increase in New Hire (and FO pay in general) unless that same increase is applied to everyone retroactively?

You are guranteeing that regional FO's will never see above poverty wages. While I understand the principle of collective baragaining and I agree that any such deal should be mutually agreed to by all parties, there is a huge disparity between what a new hire FO makes and what the rest of the pay scale is. The concept of "paying your dues" at poverty level wages isn't going to help. Why not improve the situation and attract more motivated candidates? In long run, you will benefit by having a higher quality pilot group.
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:15 PM
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Nice reply 880.

Life isn't always fair and not everyone 'suffers' equally. Ask pilots who had to work their tails off just to get their ratings versus simply making a call to mom and dad asking to deposit more money in their flight training account. I don't think airline management can control supply and demand (in a broad sense) otherwise this industry might be unusually stable.

Ask the 6 & 7 year FO's who can't upgrade yet because of an FO shortage if they mind financial incentives? A delayed upgrade due to a lack of new hire FO's costs them $$$'s and more importantly, a chance to pursue other opportunities.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
If 300-hour wonders get a nice fat bonus just for coming to work, why do those of us who suffered the consequences of 9/11, paid our dues, and put in years of service at depressed compensation levels not deserve the same bonus for coming to work? The answer should be obvious...
I agree that the labor force should share in the spoils of the recovery that was largely made on their backs. With that said, those spoils are a completely separate issue from the current problems in recruiting. Everyone who hired in at the current pay scales knew what they were getting into, myself included. If our companies cannot recruit quality pilots (or any staff for that matter), we will all pay a heavy price in the long run.

There is a major staffing issue in our face. Potential pilots have gotten the memo that this career isn't the dream that it has been made out to be. Management will find a way to staff their operation (or go out of business). Would you rather have well paid quality new hires with possible recruiting bonuses or ab initio candidates who work off their debt to the company for peanuts?

It doesn't sit well with me when we cross the two issues of total pilot compensation and retention with recruiting problems. You need the best people coming into the door to fight for better compensation in the long run. We lose a lot of quality pilots who simply can't swallow the cost of entry with respect to the reward.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:16 PM
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I believe signing bonuses would be an excellent idea. It would attract quality candidates; however, I do not feel it is the only solution. Something needs to be done to get these old captains to move on to the majors so upgrades can occur. Many people choose not to go with Eagle due to the lack of advancement opportunities.
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Old 08-31-2007, 10:33 PM
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Managment types love the bonus idea. It allows them to simply meet thier staffing shortage for as little as possible. If they need 700 pilots and can only get 400 then they offer a bonus to get the rest. Those 300 get a bonus and the rest do not. They are paying a relativly small price for staff rather to raise the pay for all first year FOs. Its only helping you in the short term if your one getting a bonus, which only as few as possible will. Unions need to fight this.
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Old 09-01-2007, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by trunk junk View Post
Managment types love the bonus idea. It allows them to simply meet thier staffing shortage for as little as possible. If they need 700 pilots and can only get 400 then they offer a bonus to get the rest. Those 300 get a bonus and the rest do not. They are paying a relativly small price for staff rather to raise the pay for all first year FOs. Its only helping you in the short term if your one getting a bonus, which only as few as possible will. Unions need to fight this.

I would gladly take a pay raise over a signing bonus. Unfortunately with union negotiating, that is a lot harder to get than a simple bonus. Everyone will want a raise if you pay the new hires more despite the gross disparity between first year pay and everyone else.
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Old 09-01-2007, 08:57 AM
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I do strongly agree to a pay increase. Who wouldn't? However, as far as the bonus is concerned, I do not feel that everyone should expect it. The military offers sign on bonuses to new recruits. The Dallas police force is doing the same thing. Many corporations across the country do this to attract new hires as well. It is a tool. No one that is a current employee gets the bonus. If they want a bonus, they can leave and go to a competing company that is offering a sign on bonus. This is nothing new. Companies have been doing this for many years, why the fuss now?



Originally Posted by trunk junk View Post
Managment types love the bonus idea. It allows them to simply meet thier staffing shortage for as little as possible. If they need 700 pilots and can only get 400 then they offer a bonus to get the rest. Those 300 get a bonus and the rest do not. They are paying a relativly small price for staff rather to raise the pay for all first year FOs. Its only helping you in the short term if your one getting a bonus, which only as few as possible will. Unions need to fight this.
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Old 09-01-2007, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by cbire880 View Post
So I take it you are against negotiating an increase in New Hire (and FO pay in general) unless that same increase is applied to everyone retroactively?

You are guranteeing that regional FO's will never see above poverty wages. While I understand the principle of collective baragaining and I agree that any such deal should be mutually agreed to by all parties, there is a huge disparity between what a new hire FO makes and what the rest of the pay scale is. The concept of "paying your dues" at poverty level wages isn't going to help. Why not improve the situation and attract more motivated candidates? In long run, you will benefit by having a higher quality pilot group.

You REALLY don't understand the situation here...read my post again.

I'm absolutely not opposed to increasing FO pay. I'm all for increasing FO pay, ESPECIALLY first year pay...that would attract quality applicants.

What I am proposing is that any incentive paid to pilots is negotiated by the pilot group and applied in some equitable manner to the entire pilot group. This does two things:

1) Locks in the incentive.
2) Rewards ALL the pilots for sticking around.


Why do you think management doesn't offer $5K bonuses to senior FO's or CA's who agree to stick around for a year? Because those pilots are more expensive than year one FO's and the company would far rather that they just LEAVE. All well and good unless you have a family, mortgage, bills, and can't get an interview at a suitable major.

Eagle is OPENLY encouraging their senior pilots to quit while they are offering bonuses to first-year FO's. To their credit they are taking some positive steps by assisting their senior pilots with placement at major airlines.
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