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SouthWest sues it’s mechanics

Discussion in 'Latest Airline News' started by Richard Wyeroski, Mar 6, 2019.

  1. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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  2. Exuma Guy

    Exuma Guy Hangar Silver Member V

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    "we will not stray from our focus on rewarding our mechanics"

    Is that why negotiations for a new contract have taken 6 years with no progress? The mechanics want what the pilots got- raises.
    Now that the airline industry has risen from the 'force majuer' hard times of the 2000's, pilots have seen big pay raises but the mechanics have not. I said it before- The days of Herb Kelleher are long gone.
     
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  3. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Too many airlines are using third world maintnenance facilities. Mechanics
    (if they are rate) in those countries make 5-10 dollars an hour or less with no benefits. They use laborers to take aircraft apart.

    BTW there is little or no government surveillance of these facilities!
     
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  4. Kevin

    Kevin Hangar Bronze Member III

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    Being responsible for the profitability of the branch I manage means I am responsible for maintenance costs of our vehicles. While this cost was at one time "pooled" among all locations in the zone it is now broken down to individual off airport locations versus the airport locations that are staffed with mechanics (they laid off the off airport mechanics 2 years ago) and can all send their vehicles to our Zone Maintenance Facility. I now have to vend out our vehicles to places like Jiffy Lube, Sears, or to local car dealers for routine maintenance and repairs. I can only send vehicles to our Zone Maintenance Facility when they can't be repaired by the dealer or their is a long wait for parts or there is a safety issue. What I have found is that there are many times I have to send the car back to the dealer because the repair wasn't done properly or not all the work was finished. With routine maintenance like oil changes often these facilities will leave the vehicle to the side while taking care of retail customers who pay a higher labor rate than we do with our "fleet agreements" this also applies to car dealers. The problem is these places is we have no dog in the fight. What we pay for "fleet rates" is about half of what retail customers pay. So who do you think is going to get the best service and quickest service. Yes laying off the mechanics saved my company money because many of these folks where doing it for 20-30 years and were unionized. On the flip side now without these experienced people who cared about what they did we sometimes have fleet shortages and customer service issues we wouldn't have if our own employees were doing the maintenance. I argued this when they laid off the mechanics but it fell on deaf ears. We still emphasize safety above all and any vehicle with a safety issue has to be sent to the Zone Maintenance Facility and usually towed there because my branch is about 70 miles away from its location. I question whether this is saving money? The reason I explained this is while the company saved money laying off probably in my zone some 20 people quality suffered. Now I feel this is folly on the part of my company even though their saving money. Why would a major airline or any airline for that matter where an aircraft is a multi million dollar investment vs. about $27,000 for one of my Nissan Altimas want to treat the people that take care of their multi million dollar investments poorly or worse yet send it out to a third world county maintenance facility with underpaid probably poorly trained workers with language issues when it comes to company materials with absolutely no oversight. No only will that affect quality and fleet reliability but the safety of their passengers as well. Look at the coverage of the Southwest uncontained engine failure and the tragic loss of the one life involved in that incident. That is one accident I still see a current story on the news about. Now what happens if that is hundreds of lives? It hasn't happened yet but these airlines that do outsource their maintenance are playing Russian Roulette and if that is found as one of the causes of the accident they will be in litigation for the next seven years. Plus bad press. But the public will quickly forget because their priority is also price, price, price and their business will go to the lowest bidder regardless of who is doing the maintenance on the aircraft they are flying on. They don't even think about it. Yes I'm in Management and no longer have a unionized staff because of corporate restructuring a few years ago. I hate to say it but I miss the unions because it was a two way street. The unionized worker had to live up to their part of the contract and we had to treat them well to keep them happy and productive. More structure than today. I'm sorry to say if there is a major airline accident caused by poor maintenance practices I doubt there will be any changes. I just pray one doesn't happen.
     
  5. Exuma Guy

    Exuma Guy Hangar Silver Member V

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    Yes, however, Southwest stopped using foreign MRO's over 2 years ago.
    The union has not acknowledged the good will in doing this.
    The union carries as much blame as the management in this fight.
     
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  6. Richard Wyeroski

    Richard Wyeroski Hangar Gold Member I

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    Bogus parts are an ever increasing problem.

    The paper work is good and the part is timed out.
     
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