AVSC 1030 Lesson 9 - Lesson 9 Introduction Airline Labor...

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Lesson 9 Introduction Airline Labor Relations are an integral part of customer service. Poor relationships between the labor force and management often translates to poor customer experiences and overall underachievement throughout the company. Management continually strives to make their airline marketable, competitive, and profitable. The primary way this objective is achieved is through cutting costs. At the heart of these costs is labor. Salary cuts, furloughs, pension elimination, and labor concessions are common tactics of most airline managements. The ramifications of these actions are largely felt throughout the company and definitely felt by the customer. The loss of trust between management and labor often takes years to repair and some airlines never truly recover. This lecture is comprised of several interviews with airline pilots at three major U.S. airlines. The interviewees have requested to remain anonymous. The interviews were conducted with the following pilots: Northwest Airlines DC-9 First Officer (Furloughed) Delta Airlines 767/757 First Officer Delta Airlines 737 First Officer (recently recalled from furlough) Delta Airlines MD-88 First Officer Southwest Airlines 737 Captain Each of these interviewees has different experiences with their respective airlines. The attitudes they have towards management, fellow employees, and the company varies, yet each has a perspective that will increase your understanding of the importance of Airline Labor Relationships. These interviews were conducted in 2007, as time goes by the airlines financial positions of these airlines may change, but the labor issues will always be present in any airline. Relationship Strains Any company or organization will have strains between employees and employers. Often these points of friction are attributed to a difference in expectations and performance. The airlines represent a cyclical industry with phases of incredible growth and profitability followed by downturns with revenue loss and cutbacks. When employees at airlines feel management are not taking them seriously a strike is sometimes the course of action. There are various levels of strikes. Employees can all purposely show up late and force all flights to run late all day long. If the decision is made to go to a full walkout or strike the ramifications for the company can be catastrophic. If the strike continues for a long enough time the company may never be able to recover. One concern of any employee who is on strike is that some of their peers will cross the picket line and break the impact of the strike. People who cross the picket lines are called scabs. The airline industry is particularly ruthless to scabs. Scabs are closely watched by coworkers and those who didn’t cross the picket line once the strike is over do all they can to make their lives miserable at the airline. In the United States when a particular airline is on strike other airline employees will not fly the
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This note was uploaded on 09/04/2011 for the course AVSC 1030 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '11 term at Utah Valley University.

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AVSC 1030 Lesson 9 - Lesson 9 Introduction Airline Labor...

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