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Old 06-11-2010, 08:49 AM
 
11,924 posts, read 21,508,334 times
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Spirit Airlines, a discount carrier based in Miramar is facing a strike deadline with its pilots.

After midnight, the pilots have promised to go on strike if no agreement can be reached on a new contract with the airline. Spirit employs about 450 pilots who are represented by the Air Line Pilots Association. The union and Spirit are continuing talks at the National Mediation Board headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The pilots want more pay and benefits. Spirit captains earn $125 per hour and first officers earn $56 an hour. Captains are other discount airlines earn $168 an hour and first officers earn $90 per hour.

Spirit pilots will picket in front of Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport just before the strike deadline.

"At the end of the day, this isn't about going on strike," said Paul Hopkins, strike manager for the Spirit union unit. "We don't want flights cancelled."

Spirit is the largest carrier at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport with 20 percent of the traffic. It serves mainly the northeast and the Carribean. About 300 people work at the Miramar headquarters.

Spirit has achieved success through very low prices and large add on fees. Spirit has some of the airline industry's lowest labor costs and this has helped the airline earn a profit during the last three years. Most of its competitors have lost money. Last year Spirit carried 6.1 million passengers, about one percent of air travelers.

Officials at Spirit have said that the airline still hopes to avoid a strike but will work with other carriers if necessary. The airline is owned by private equity firms Indigo Partners LLC and Oaktree Capital Management LLC.

The National Mediation Board, which oversees airline labor issues released the pilots from federally mediated talks in May causing a 30-day cooling off period that expires at midnight, June 11. The pilots would be allowed to go on strike at that time unless President Barack Obama orders them back to work.

The last stike at a U.S. passenger airline was in January 2006, at World Airways Inc., charter and cargo airline.
Spirit Airlines and its pilots near strike deadline
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:12 PM
 
563 posts, read 457,398 times
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$125 per hour is not enough to live on? Will their lives really change that much if they get the pay other airlines are paying? I am sure there are many out of work pilots that would love to make $125 per hour.

In this economy, you need to walk on egg shells.....in a great economy, great, you are in demand, go and strike.....what happened to air traffic controllers when they striked? Ronnie gave them a deadline and then were all fired and many were so happy to get that job.

Obama needs to have a set and do the same thing. In this economy, be lucky you are making what you are.

I used to swear by Spirit and the only airline I would fly. I think I am done with them if this strike is not finished within one week or these pilots are fired and rehired. After that, there are many other airlines to be loyal to.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:26 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,123 posts, read 17,125,688 times
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$125 is Flying hours, call'ed Block time, from the time the plane push's back till the blocks are in at the gate. They can fly 100 hours a month, To 'fly' 100 hours (most airline pilot fly around 70-80hr a month, they send 2-3x that number of hours getting ready for the fight, checking the plane, do Post flight paperwork.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:29 PM
 
11,924 posts, read 21,508,334 times
Reputation: 11704
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Storm View Post
$125 per hour is not enough to live on? Will their lives really change that much if they get the pay other airlines are paying? I am sure there are many out of work pilots that would love to make $125 per hour.

In this economy, you need to walk on egg shells.....in a great economy, great, you are in demand, go and strike.....what happened to air traffic controllers when they striked? Ronnie gave them a deadline and then were all fired and many were so happy to get that job.

Obama needs to have a set and do the same thing. In this economy, be lucky you are making what you are.

I used to swear by Spirit and the only airline I would fly. I think I am done with them if this strike is not finished within one week or these pilots are fired and rehired. After that, there are many other airlines to be loyal to.
The media plays to the publics heart.

$125/hr is for Captains. There are 50% of their pilots making less than half of that (starting pay is ~$40/hr).

And $125/hr isn't really $125/hr. With their contract it is around $100,000-$120,000 per year and the F/O's make around $50,000/year. This is well below industry average for the aircraft they fly. That pay reflects commuter level pay with aircraft 1/3 the size.

In contrast SWA pilots, flying similarly sized aircraft, make $250k as Captains and around $150k as a First Officer and enjoy much more QOL. So Spirit pay is around 1/2 to 1/3.

Their pay lags pretty much all other carriers. But it's not just the pay issues, they are much more concerned with quality of life issues.

Sure there are out of work pilots willing to work for less but that is not the point of a union. We as labor are our own worst enemy. The RLA restricts pilots' ability to strike and they can only strike when released by the NMB. You can't just "go on strike". That is against Federal law.
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:29 AM
 
14,256 posts, read 23,974,521 times
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Here is some independent coverage of the dispute:

Spirit cancels flights through Tuesday, June 15, 2010

47% increase over the five years of the contract may be a little more than most people are receiving in this economy.
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Houston, Tx
3,644 posts, read 5,559,073 times
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I've hated my experiences with Spirit enough that I've sworn never to fly with them again so this strike won't affect me in the least.
$125 per hour seems really high. I know electrical engineers, stuctural engineers, software engineers all with 10+ years of experience and they only make $40 to $45 an hour. Flying an airplane is not THAT hard. There is no reason why $125 an hour should not be more than enough. If I owned a company there is no way I would ever let unions slither their way in to it. Iould hire individuals and negotiate individual salaries with them. If these pilots strike there are lots of qualified pilots out there that are woring as instructors for $25 to $30 an hour that would be more than happy to fly for Spirit.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:14 AM
 
563 posts, read 457,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
The media plays to the publics heart.

$125/hr is for Captains. There are 50% of their pilots making less than half of that (starting pay is ~$40/hr).

And $125/hr isn't really $125/hr. With their contract it is around $100,000-$120,000 per year and the F/O's make around $50,000/year. This is well below industry average for the aircraft they fly. That pay reflects commuter level pay with aircraft 1/3 the size.

In contrast SWA pilots, flying similarly sized aircraft, make $250k as Captains and around $150k as a First Officer and enjoy much more QOL. So Spirit pay is around 1/2 to 1/3.

Their pay lags pretty much all other carriers. But it's not just the pay issues, they are much more concerned with quality of life issues.

Sure there are out of work pilots willing to work for less but that is not the point of a union. We as labor are our own worst enemy. The RLA restricts pilots' ability to strike and they can only strike when released by the NMB. You can't just "go on strike". That is against Federal law.
I never once said I was against Unions, for some industries. When I was in school and worked in a supermarket, I was made to join a union. As a 16 year old cashier, there was no need for it in my opinion.

But, my point is in this economy, the way jobs are, if you strike, you are taking a lot of risks. Even if Spirit pays well below the average of other airlines, they also charge a lot less.

If they want to make more money, then go work for those airlines....if they are hiring. Just like the did for the air trafic controllers, give them a deadline and then they should be let go and hire pilots that would love to earn what these guys and girls are.

Even if the media plays it up and it is flight time or this and that, the bottom line is they are earning a decent living. In my industry, other works in other companies are making much more than me for doing the same type of work. I do more than some of my counterparts in other companies and make considerable less. Do I like it? No. Am I free to leave here if I don't like it? Yes. Are there open positions where I am? No, so you keep what you have until you can get something better.

I sent Spirit an email, not that it will be read by someone who matters or even cares about me, but if this is not taken care of in one weeks time, either by giving into the pilots or the pilots going back to work, that I will not fly with them anymore. More fish in the sea as they say.

Bottom line....in this economy, you can not demand too much.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:19 AM
 
11,924 posts, read 21,508,334 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Here is some independent coverage of the dispute:

Spirit cancels flights through Tuesday, June 15, 2010

47% increase over the five years of the contract may be a little more than most people are receiving in this economy.
FO pay is still way too low.

And pay doesn't equal QOL.

Plus that was a press release put out by the company, definitely not an independent source.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:23 AM
 
11,924 posts, read 21,508,334 times
Reputation: 11704
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Storm View Post
I never once said I was against Unions, for some industries. When I was in school and worked in a supermarket, I was made to join a union. As a 16 year old cashier, there was no need for it in my opinion.

But, my point is in this economy, the way jobs are, if you strike, you are taking a lot of risks. Even if Spirit pays well below the average of other airlines, they also charge a lot less.

If they want to make more money, then go work for those airlines....if they are hiring. Just like the did for the air trafic controllers, give them a deadline and then they should be let go and hire pilots that would love to earn what these guys and girls are.

Even if the media plays it up and it is flight time or this and that, the bottom line is they are earning a decent living. In my industry, other works in other companies are making much more than me for doing the same type of work. I do more than some of my counterparts in other companies and make considerable less. Do I like it? No. Am I free to leave here if I don't like it? Yes. Are there open positions where I am? No, so you keep what you have until you can get something better.

I sent Spirit an email, not that it will be read by someone who matters or even cares about me, but if this is not taken care of in one weeks time, either by giving into the pilots or the pilots going back to work, that I will not fly with them anymore. More fish in the sea as they say.

Bottom line....in this economy, you can not demand too much.
Good points. Unfortunately pilots can not just change their contract at any time. They have to stand their ground when they get the chance.

The company can lock out its pilots and hire new ones. However it's doubtful many, if any, will apply.

"Earning a decent living" sure, as a Captain. As a First Officer, no.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:31 AM
 
11,924 posts, read 21,508,334 times
Reputation: 11704
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbacon View Post
I've hated my experiences with Spirit enough that I've sworn never to fly with them again so this strike won't affect me in the least.
$125 per hour seems really high. I know electrical engineers, stuctural engineers, software engineers all with 10+ years of experience and they only make $40 to $45 an hour. Flying an airplane is not THAT hard. There is no reason why $125 an hour should not be more than enough. If I owned a company there is no way I would ever let unions slither their way in to it. Iould hire individuals and negotiate individual salaries with them. If these pilots strike there are lots of qualified pilots out there that are woring as instructors for $25 to $30 an hour that would be more than happy to fly for Spirit.
Its funny you talk about engineers and flying not being hard. Every single engineer I had as a flight instructor teaching them to fly had quite honestly the worst flying skills I had ever seen. So flying might not be hard but only a limited number of people posses the skills and qualifications for it at the airline level.

Doctors can be pilots but there is a reason they call the Bonanza the "doctor killer". I have 700 hours in the Bonanza teaching.

$125/hr is not the same as the engineer making $45/hr. Please see my post above.

And no those pilots making $25-$30/hr would not be more than happy to work for your airline. $25/hr is around mid-$20's for pay (dependent on contract language). I'm not sure how smart it would be to trust a $50 million dollar piece of equipment to a guy making $25,000/yr.
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