Union-busters bust jetliner

An Alaska Airlines MD-80 was forced to make an emergency landing Monday when a hole in the fuselage blew out at 26,000 feet.

An investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said baggage handlers had bumped the plane’s fuselage with loading equipment and caused “a crease” in the side of the aircraft. The handlers are contract workers hired to replace unionized workers in May.

Hmmm. I suppose there can be consequences when a company cheaps out, replacing experienced, loyal, unionized employees with the lowest bidder.

About 20 minutes after takeoff, the crease blew into a 1-foot-by-6-inch hole, said Jim Struhsaker, an NTSB senior air-safety investigator.

Port of Seattle police weren’t notified about the incident until Tuesday, when operations staffers for Alaska contacted them, airport spokesman Bob Parker said. The airline asked police to fill out a “hit-and-run report” because an employee struck the aircraft with a baggage tug, he added.

Alaska saw an increase in ground-damage incidents at Sea-Tac after it replaced 472 unionized workers in May with workers from Menzies Aviation, based near London, the airline said. The switch contributed to a sharp increase in delayed departures from Sea-Tac.

I know that organized labor is a favorite Republican whipping boy, but I’m wondering whether even the righties amongst you can enjoy the same peace of mind flying Alaska, knowing that the airline’s “Always Low Prices” approach to maintenance and ground crews almost brought down yet another jetliner?

Are well-paid, well-trained union employees more expensive? It depends on how much you value human life.

Comments

  1. 1

    Robert spews:

    I like Alaska Airline but busting the baggage handler union was just stupid. Employees “care” more than contractors – it’s just the way it is.

  2. 3

    Mom spews:

    Yeah, It takes a genius to load those bags. As far as bad
    driving goes, probably a democrat. They cause most accidents
    according to the insurance co, they just can’t do anything
    about it for fear of lawsuits.

  3. 4

    Seeking the truth spews:

    While on the surface your comments make sense, the problem is much more complex. Unions operate on the premiss that companies are a bottomless pitt of money. I feel that Alaska was wrong in outsourcing to the lowest bidder, but the union left them little choice. The union priced themselves right into unemployment.

  4. 5

    Janet S spews:

    I agree with seeking. Look at the recent transit strike in NY. The union workers had absolutely no regard for anyone but themselves. Fortunately, the public was in no mood, and it ended quickly.

    I think the union folks out there need to realize that they are just a commodity. A commodity can be replaced. If you are doing the same job now that you were doing 10 years ago, but being paid a lot more for it, something is wrong. So don’t be surprised when you wake up one day and find yourself on the street, because your employer figured it all out.

  5. 6

    Robert spews:

    Seeking the truth,

    Looking a CEO pay in the past 20 years, I could also say CEO’s think companies are a bottomless pit of money. For the most part, CEO pay is completely irrational compared to the performance of public companies.

  6. 7

    Nindid spews:

    I have never understood why some people want to treat unions – and employees in general – to a much higher standard than the companies.

    It is a rather simple negotiation… the corporation wants the work done at the highest level for the least cost. The employees/unions want the highest possible wage.

    Why should the union have to play by some imagined sense of martyrdom by sacrificing for the greater good of the corporate bottom line while the corporation itself can enrich itself and the CEO’s at the expense of the workers?

    I don’t blame the corporation/CEO’s for trying to screw their workers and get money out of their hides, but it is rather stupid and unfair to blame the employees/unions for wanting a better deal for themselves too.

  7. 8

    Nindid spews:

    As for Goldy’s larger point about what is actually good for the corporate bottom line, perhaps companies will begin to look to models that don’t put their workers as the lowest common denominator.

    Costco is one good example of how successful a corporation can be while treating their workers well. They have the best pay and benefits in the sector and are kicking Wal-Mart’s ass all over the place with their low-pay, low-skill, high-turn-over model.

    In something like the airline industry where ontime performance and passenger safety are such high concerns, I think Alaska Air made a pretty big mistake by going for the lowest paid employees.
    Running a business under high-stress and tight time commitments does take some skill and anyone who has ever worked in aviation –as I have – can tell you that it is a lot more complicated then simply throwing bags into a cargo hold.

    Personally, I haven’t flown Alaska Air since they fired all their skilled workers.

    Unlike Goldy, I don’t expect corporations to care much about our lives and safety. But unlike Alaska Air, I think this was a horrible business decision and will likely cost them in the long run.

  8. 9

    Libertarian spews:

    Unions are a mixed blessing. For every good point the left comes up with, the right has a negative point.

  9. 10

    Nindid spews:

    Lib@ 9 Everything in life is a mixed blessing – perhaps with the exception of certain forms of beer. Is there a point to this?

  10. 11

    spews:

    I too am always amazed that the righties don’t want to pay ANYBODY (except themselves, of course) for doing ANYTHING.

    Further…I don’t understand how they expect an economy to sustain itself…must be that “invisible hand” that MtR the moron (and his fellow travellers) keeps prattling about…when nobody has any money. It’s a fact that this economy does WAAAAY better when there is a “bubble up” economic policy put in place by folks who believe in Democratic AND democratic economic values.

    A REAL discussion of the value of individuals and the meaning and value of work and what and why and how much people get paid in contemporary society is going to be key in the next two (or three) election cycles.

  11. 12

    Heath spews:

    Janet@5

    Your criticism of the NY Transit workers is completely wrong. The transit agency had illegally inserted an unnegotiated pension change at the last minute. They were breaking the laws on negotiations (which includes the law against strikes) just as much as the union, and they moved first.

    The union was right to strike, they got the illegal pension change taken out.

    But, as usual, the right has spun their special version of the non-reality they call ‘truth’ and the sheepies believe that the union was acting illegally. The leaders of the right conjured up a “misbehaving child” analogy in the defectively-stern minds of people like Janet S.

  12. 13

    Poster Child spews:

    The baggage handler (no doubt a democrat; you’re SO insightful, Mom) didn’t crease the skin of the airplane. God did it to thank Alaska Airlines for its policy of arrogantly imposing its christian values by means of the little prayer cards it includes with the in-flight meals.

    When the airplane depressurizes and the flimsy little oxygen mask drops down do you curse the union-busting corporation, as some of those here apparently might? Or do you pray to the God you were just conveniently reminded of and give the corporation a pass?

  13. 14

    Disgruntled spews:

    From the NTSB report on Alaska 261: “Alaska had no way of knowing that Flight 261’s jackscrew was wearing more quickly than normal as a result of inadequate lubrication.”

    Was it a union worker or a non-union worked who failed to lubricate the jackscrew? (And yes I know there were others to blame in turns of inspection intervals, but with proper lubrication, there would have been 88 people spared).

    Taking a single incident and making a general case out of it is just plain stupid and dishonest. I expect that from Shark, but not from you Goldy. Or maybe you are just as bad as the rest of them.

  14. 15

    spews:

    Unions in the private sector – YEAH! In fact, I consider Wal-Mart my shop of absolute last resort and have told people that because Wal-Mart employed illegal aliens (a pro-terrorist policy), I am strongly for watchdogging Wal-Mart.

    As much as I abhor unions in the public sector, I am also for boycotting Alaska Airlines. Hopefully Goldy will lead the bayonet charge… and we can fly El Al (Israel’s airline).

  15. 16

    Libertarian spews:

    Nindid @ 10:

    No, there’s no point to anything written here. It’s just people voicing their opinions.

  16. 17

    RP spews:

    While we are at it, let’s take a look at our own travel policies. Do we pick the carrier that has the best safety record and treats its employees well, or do we just go for the rock-bottom price?

    I think it was the former president of American Airlines that once complained: “There are passengers who would tickets to standing room only sections of the wing if it save them a couple of bucks!”

    Is it any surprise that a carrier like Alaska, that is caught in between the “major carriers” and the “discount carriers”, ends up cutting corners somewhere?

  17. 18

    Rae spews:

    You might be surprised how many union members (think health care and aviation here) vote Republican, or mostly so. As part of an aviation family, with many friends in aviation, I can tell you that few had any respect for the decision Alaska made to fire their rampworkers. The company’s management deserves this. The rest of the employees do not, because it’s the folks still on the line who will have to put up with all the crap from the public, who now rightly distrusts them. Airline management teams work like this: rather than cut their own pay also, they go back time and time and time again, asking for concessions from their employees. In our case, this has happened at least 8 times in the past 20 years. In addition, they will take any opportunity to re-interpret the contract, then deny every grievance that is filed. And when those airlines fail to fund their own pensions (and remember the big-wigs are getting their raises and bonuses on a regular basis), it’s kicked over to you, the tax payers, to make it good.

  18. 20

    Left Turn spews:

    I just heard that baby-raping piece of shit Michael Medved say Angelina Jole’s adoption “from the humane society” doesn’t qualify her to be admired. Humane society? Where the fuck does this moron get off? He’s so obviously and blatantly making a racist comment that he should be fired. This is over the top for even the righties. Just because the actress adopts a baby of color, doesn’t give garbage like Medved the right to spout off the republican racist line! Man this turd needs to be dealt with!

  19. 21

    Seeking the truth spews:

    Karl, I agree it was an accident, but the employee that caused the accident failed to do anything about it. That is a sign of not only lack of training, but apathy.

    He may also been afraid of reprisals. A union does offer protection from arbitrary firing, but also tends to keep incompetent employees.

    I think unions need to take a hard look at what they offer an employer. If the benefit is only to union employees then they have failed. The employer must have a benefit of using union employees. In the case of trade unions like welders, carpenters, machinists etc.. the benefit is consistant performance. A union machinist offers an employer a skill set that is a known commodity. In the case of a baggage handler I can’t see them making same scale as a tradesman. The problem is that the union pay for one is the same and sometimes greater. That does not make sense.

    Don’t EVEN get me started on overpaid CEOs.

  20. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    3

    Mom — make sure you fly on airlines that break their unions and contract out to cheap immigrant labor. Good riddance.

  21. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    4

    “While on the surface your comments make sense, the problem is much more complex. Unions operate on the premiss that companies are a bottomless pitt of money. I feel that Alaska was wrong in outsourcing to the lowest bidder, but the union left them little choice. The union priced themselves right into unemployment.”

    What’s wrong with that? If Mark the Redneck’s “invisible hand” can be trusted to lower prices and eliminate uncompetitive companies, why shouldn’t it be trusted to constrain wage demands and eliminate stupid unions? Why should the “invisible hand” only apply to companies? Why should Republicans have a monopoly on the “invisible hand?” Republicans want a monopoly on every fucking thing. Unions have a right to get eliminated by the “invisible hand,” too!

  22. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    4 (continued)

    By the way, I think you are generalizing about unions. If all unions really thought the companies they work for are a “bottomless pit” and never took their companies’ financial status into consideration, how have unions survived for nearly 100 years? You are a simpleton. Of course unions consider management’s ability to pay. Of course unions moderate their demands when the economy is faltering or the company isn’t doing great. And recently, we’ve seen airline unions (among others) accept wage reductions, benefit cuts, and other give-backs. Your statement is false because you are guilty of the logical fallacy of the sweepng generalization.

  23. 25

    karl spews:

    I can tell you from expereince that the label “machinist” is such a broad one at boening that its meaningless. I was a machinist, and had the same salary levels as the guys who bucked rivots, but all i did was clean for final assembly. I enjoyed the pay check, but the work I did was nto worth it in reality.

    unions operate on a premise of value and compatarive value that is often unrealistic.

    To be clear, unions came about during a time of employee abuse that was awful, but in many instances now, all the unions are is thugs and organized crime, offering a fancy protection racket, and making an already inflated society more inflated.

    Unions in our modern society are too powerful to be useful and much of what they do is counterproductive to their stated intentions

  24. 26

    karl spews:

    Anyone who automatically assumes the Union=skilled labor is missing a lot of idiots I worked with at boeing…..

  25. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    9

    “Unions are a mixed blessing. For every good point the left comes up with, the right has a negative point.”

    CEOs are a mixed blessing. For every good point the right comes up with, the left has a negative point.

    Capitalism is a mixed blessing. For every good point the right comes up with, the left has a negative point.

    Etc. …

  26. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Skipping over the rest of the comments in this thread, I would simply ask the business-oriented Republicans on this board the following question:

    If middle class wages are replaced by low wages throughout the economy, who will patronize your businesses? Where will you get customers?

  27. 30

    karl spews:

    I wont argue its a problem Rabbit, but it is a problem the unions have helped create by their constantly increasing the so called skilled non skilled wage gap.

  28. 31

    Libertarian spews:

    Karl,

    Thanks for pointing out something that I’ve never noticed before: the gap between skilled workers and non-skilled workers. I doubt unions will be too keen on narrowing that gap. After all, the whole point of having money is for the other guy to NOT have money.

    If money would solve all our problems, then the government could just print each of us $1,000,000,000 in cash and we’d all be good to go. I think the Weimar Republic tried that, in a fashion, after WWI. They just printed money willy-nilly. THAT economic disaster indirectly helped Hitler come to power!

  29. 33

    RennDawg spews:

    You know I am sick of everyone linking hard work to unions, I have never joined a union, and I never will there anti-Cristian, and I work very hard and believe that I maintain a level of professionalism second to none. Also I am very good at my job. Hey a union tried to fire my Pastor from his construction for working to hard go figure

  30. 34

    Libertarian spews:

    rujax206 – Think about it: if everyone had a billion dollars, what would a billion dollars mean? It’s like a penny. Pretty much everyone has a penny in his or her pocket or sitting in a change dish on the dresser at home. It’s insignificant.

    Money only matters if it is not widely distributed. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for the natural re-distribution of wealth that occurs as we amass and spend money. I just don’t think the government should be in the business of wealth re-distribution.

    So Karl brought up an interesting point. There’s a gap between skilled workers and non-skilled workers. Shouldn’t labor unions be concerned with that gap or are they looking out for the best interests of their members and recognizing that higher wages for all does not necessarily translate into economic bliss for their rank and file.

  31. 35

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Wabbit – You asked “If middle class wages are replaced by low wages throughout the economy, who will patronize your businesses? Where will you get customers?”

    So take this the next logical step…if it would really help the economy for everyone to make “middle class wages”, would you support a policy of a minimum wage much higher than the current level… say take it up to $25/hour?

    What do you think would happen then? And do you think it makes macroeconomic sense to overpay people with limited skills?

  32. 36

    spews:

    All politics aside…

    THIS IS SCARY. AIRPLANE SHIT JUST FREAKS MY BEAN.

    I haven’t flown since 9-11 (not necessarily because of it, though.) To think an airline would cut costs by hiring a gaggle of retards is shameful. American corporations are not virtuous by nature, and they must be forced by the government to pay attention to safety, because otherwise you get holes in your airplane.

  33. 37

    GBS spews:

    Mark The Yellowdick @ 33

    How are the bruises on your ugly mug healing? Don’t answer that, I could give a shit.

    A) That’s not the ‘next logical step.’
    and
    B) You’re avoiding the question RR posed.

    Oh, one more thing; could you please tell us how McDermott violated the 4th Amendment? Baaaa haaaa haaaa haaa

    Youuuuu Jack-ASSS! (ala Happy Gilmore)

  34. 38

    EvergreenRailfan spews:

    With the NYMTA, I think that the No-Srike Law did more damage to NYC than the workers. It gave all the power to the MTA, and nothing at all to the union. THe MTA is planning to automate the subway interlockings, which are controlled from a series of underground control rooms called towers. That will take decades, because of the 24-7 nature of the subway.

    Now I am not sure if the unionized employees at Alaska that were let go would want to come back. I mean, if they did, would there be hostility towards management, and the same from management. Still, when ground incidents were down to about 15 a year in the last couple years, to 72 in the first 9 months of this year, there is something suspicous.

  35. 39

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    33

    MTR – how about if we pay everyone what you think they’re worth, and pay you what I think you’re worth. Are you game?

  36. 41

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    32

    I can solve your distribution dilemma for you. Pay Mike McGavick $1 million a year to run Safeco, and use the other $13.4 million of his annual paycheck to reward the company’s investors for taking risk and/or reward the company’s employees for their loyalty and hard work.

  37. 42

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Hey MTR, try this on for size: Workers have the right to get the best price they can for their labor.

  38. 43

    Commander Ogg spews:

    MTR @ 33, not necessarily. I would, however, tie in a minimum wage to an inflation rate like Washington State does. I would insist that a proposed cap on Senior executives salery must be submitted to the stockholders of record once a year, and that said executives be subject to the same evaluation system as the lowest worker.

    One thing I most admired about the Army, everyone from the highest General to the lowest Private had to get an OER or NCOER, an officer or non commission officer eval report. The free ride unacountable system of Lay, Fastow and Waskel was a lot harder to come by.

  39. 44

    GBS spews:

    MTYD @ 33

    Beyond the stupidity of your circular logic, what you failed to recognize when you asked your Janga question is that the majority of Americans, DO earn middle income wages.

    That’s why protecting the middle class will preserve the strength of our economy.

    Dumb ASSSSS!

  40. 45

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Unions aren’t just about wages. Not a few strikes are about working conditions. In a civilized society, it’s unreasonable to demand that workers put up with unsafe conditions or managers who are bullies.

    If an employer is a cheapskate or a bully, he shouldn’t be surprised if his employees join a union and walk out en masse. That’s your “invisible hand” at work, MTR. No one has a right to force anyone else work for him. Workers have a right to bargain for wages and working conditions. They have a right to walk away from a job that doesn’t satisfy them. If the pay is crap and the boss is an asshole, it’s goodbye Charlie.

  41. 47

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    GBS – Your rake injury is worse than I thought. It obviously gave you a concussion. Do me a favor… call me “chilling” and “morally repugnant” again. I need a good laugh.

    Moron.

  42. 48

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Wabbit @ 40 – Does that include CEOs? If not, where does it stop?

    Also, are lawyers really worth $200/hr? Why didn’t you get that much?

  43. 49

    Joshua H spews:

    Disgruntled @ 14

    It’s not just one incident. KING 5 broke down the stats. In 2003, the number of safety incidenta at Alaska Airlines was around 15. In 2004, it was around 15 again. In the first nine months of 2005, the number rose to over 70. 400% increase in safety incidents after Alaska ditched their employees and went with Menzies.

    Get your facts straight before posting. It does wonders for the impression you leave on people.

  44. 51

    spews:

    Libertarian @ 32

    Money only matters if it is not widely distributed. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for the natural re-distribution of wealth that occurs as we amass and spend money. I just don’t think the government should be in the business of wealth re-distribution.

    One reason why this is a bad policy (and I consider myself a libertarian, just a realistic one) is because of health care. The invisible hand of the free market should not be involved in certain areas where human need trumps economic viability. When it comes to a person with cancer, for example, we should not be seeking out the maximum price for which a human being would pay to be treated.

    But our system is based very much on that belief, and the results are clear. We have the most expensive and one of the least reliable health care systems in the world.

    I’m still scratching my head over exactly what you mean by the first sentence there in relation to the rest of the paragraph. I’m not sure whether you somehow believe that money will be more evenly distributed if the government is not involved (I really hope you don’t believe this), or that if that point is unrelated to the rest of the paragraph.

    Either way, it’s not anti-libertarian to support government programs. It’s only anti-libertarian to believe that the government should have enough power to limit my free will. Government should be a tool of the people, and the libertarians who founded this country believed (and were correct) that it was possible for that to one avenue for providing greater overall wealth.

  45. 52

    spews:

    So Karl brought up an interesting point. There’s a gap between skilled workers and non-skilled workers. Shouldn’t labor unions be concerned with that gap or are they looking out for the best interests of their members and recognizing that higher wages for all does not necessarily translate into economic bliss for their rank and file.

    It depends on whether the union is made up of skilled workers or unskilled workers. Boeing machinists are skilled workers who are also in a union. But not all unions are like that. I don’t think that unions should be all powerful, but some are in unique positions to bargain collectively while in possession of a unique skill. Much of our technological prowess was based upon unionized skilled labor.

  46. 53

    GBS spews:

    Mark The Yellowdick:

    You’re lack of knowledge regarding economics, civil liberties, and / or military service is “chilling.”

    You and your kind are “morally repugnant.”

    There, I hope you had a good laugh. You chilling hillbilly.

    Hey, how about returnig the favor, tell me again, how did McDermott violate the 4th Amendment?

    Baaaa Haaaa haaaaa.

    Oh, man, I can’t stop laughing. Tell us again what would happen if the majority of Americans earned a middle income wage? Hahaha, hahahahahahah, hahahahahahah

    Oh, yeah, that would be like President Clinton’s economy of the ’90’s.

    When their campaign said: “It’s the economy, STUPID!” they were talking directly to dumb asses like you, ‘Tard.

    Oh shit, man, you know what? When you say stupid things like that, you prove how little you really know about how the economy works. Thaks for the laugh.

    Moron.

  47. 54

    righton spews:

    joshua, error correction

    It was a story about ramp incidents, not overall safety.

    Roger;
    how could you live in this area and NOT fly Alaska….that’s just wierd or untrue.

  48. 55

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    As a public service, I’ll try to educate GBS. You other moonbats can follow along if you like.

    Central tendencies of data can be described many ways. 3 common methods are “mean”, “median” and “mode”. In most discussions of income, the “median” number is used. So your suggestion that the average person makes average income just shows what an illiterate moron you are.

    Do yourself a favor, and try to educate yourself before you comment. Google the above terms and spend some time trying to learn something.

    Moron.

  49. 56

    Chuck spews:

    “Are well-paid, well-trained union employees more expensive? It depends on how much you value human life.”

    Let me tell you a little story about highly trained union employees, I used to work for the Boeing Company. Within a month of hiring in, I was told by my supervisor to run the crane for the shift. At Boeing you need a crane class and license to operate a crane, I mentioned this and was given quick pointers on how to run it, the day on the crane turned out to be 4 years running the crane…still no class on cranes as we speak. About a month goes by and the SAME supervisor brings a new hire over so I can show him how to run a crane.
    Now a few years later I changed jobs for a change of pace (easy at Boeing if you show interest) wound up down at the autoclave. This is the device that cures the laminating materials that hold the airplane parts together…training on this job? None. But that didnt stop them from putting 5 people that were surplussed from another building with me to train in less than a month. I was a member of local 751 machinists union and this is what I have seen in most union jobs I have held.

  50. 57

    spews:

    how could you live in this area and NOT fly Alaska….that’s just wierd or untrue.

    Not necessarily. I lived here for 8 years before I ever flew Alaska. The reason was because I had frequent flyer miles on another airline, so I would try to fly on that airline or a partner (Alaska wasn’t a partner).

  51. 58

    Commander Ogg spews:

    Libertarian @ 32

    While I agree that some jobs should pay better then others, I disagree that “unskilled” labor somehow rates a wage that is lower then what you can live on with just minimum requirements (food, clothing, shelter). If the job needs to be done, it is important. If it is important, you should pay people a decent wage.

    The vast majority of American Workers would be satisfied with having a job that provided enough FCS with maybe a little extra for fun stuff. Certainly most would not want responsibility of running a major corporation, and they do not have the super smarts or super skills needed be a surgeon, computer programmer, or other high tech scientific/technical job.

    In the last 25 years since I entered the workforce, I observed a nasty trend running thru Corporate America that insist on treating its blue collar employees like disposable parts that are cheaper to discard rather then repair.

    Oh, and do not think that just because your wear a white collar you are immune to Corporate greed. You are just as disposable as your blue collar brothers and sisters.

  52. 60

    marks spews:

    Nindid @8

    As for Goldy’s larger point about what is actually good for the corporate bottom line, perhaps companies will begin to look to models that don’t put their workers as the lowest common denominator.

    What upsets me the most about unions is that they treat each worker as a class of x-value common denominator. They base it on “experience” i.e., length of time in the union. There is no progression for the truly adept, other than waiting for someone to die or to reach the age of “consent” other than to get elected union representative. Someone who performed the same job for 10 years elsewhere but was not a union member becomes the lackey like any other entry-level inductee once joining. Really, the unionist is the ultimate pyramid schemer.

    Left Turn @20

    Link?
    just heard that baby-raping piece of shit Michael Medved say Angelina Jole’s adoption “from the humane society” doesn’t qualify her to be admired.

    If true, I will castigate you for smearing honest baby-rapists (said with tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek).

    That she has applied adoption as her recourse for having children should be held in high regard. I doubt it was some ridiculous Brad Pitt publicity stunt, but, then, I am a softy when it comes to people upholding their principles.

  53. 61

    karl spews:

    I worked on or built planes most of my adult life. I would fly on Alaska without hesitation.

    Should we boycott and trash talk SouthWest because they went off the runway in Chicago and killed a kid?

  54. 63

    karl spews:

    49

    Much of our technological prowess was based upon unionized skilled labor.

    And yet the computer industry itself is completely ununionized

    How ironic

  55. 64

    Chuck spews:

    “Much of our technological prowess was based upon unionized skilled labor.

    And yet the computer industry itself is completely ununionized”

    Were the guys in Roswell NM union?

  56. 67

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    45

    “Also, are lawyers really worth $200/hr?”

    What’s it worth to you to get out of the slammer? and what’s it worth to you that I DON’T spend my time putting drunks back on the road? A lot of lawyers make a lucrative living — better than I made working in government — doing exactly that. I guess that’s MTR’s “invisible hand” working again: If you go by who makes the most money, lawyers who spring drunk drivers from jail are more valuable to society than caseworkers who make sure daycares are safe for little kids.

  57. 68

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    49

    “It depends on whether the union is made up of skilled workers or unskilled workers. Boeing machinists are skilled workers who are also in a union. But not all unions are like that. I don’t think that unions should be all powerful, but some are in unique positions to bargain collectively while in possession of a unique skill. Much of our technological prowess was based upon unionized skilled labor.”

    Frankly, I don’t see any difference between powerful unions and powerful business cabals. Mark the Redneck claims to possess unique and very valuable skills. It’s been my experience that in the business world, expertise in extortion is a very valuable skill that, incidentally, doesn’t produce anything except higher prices and a lower standard of living for everyone except the extortionist and his boss. Is this you, Mark? What do you PRODUCE? besides hot air? Sure, you could run an engine on your ravings, but you could run the same engine on cow farts. What makes you worth more than a cow?

  58. 69

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    51

    “Roger; how could you live in this area and NOT fly Alaska….that’s just wierd or untrue.”

    Let’s consider the possibilities:

    1) Roger Rabbit’s two powerful hind feet take him everywhere he needs to go; or,
    2) Roger Rabbit has no need to fly anywhere; or,
    3) If Roger Rabbit flies somewhere, maybe he flies to New York, Chicago, Florida, or some other place where (a) Alaska doesn’t go, or (b) flights on other airlines are available.

  59. 72

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    55

    Hey karl, would you like the $20 special on Roger Rabbit Airlines? I fly the plane myself to save on labor costs! (Damn unions!) No, I don’t have a license. But don’t worry about that — my baggage handler doesn’t know what he’s doing, either.

  60. 73

    klake spews:

    Mark and gang did the crew report the damage to the proper personal and could they understand the language being spoken by the workers? In the state of Washington, it is the magement job to understand what is being said, not the workers abilities to communicate the problem. The reason you have undesirable workers on the job site is that management cannot perform their job, not the present of a Union. Wages is the supply and demand of those skills. The lack of Unions in the IT fields is due to the high wages and perks in the beginning of the profession. With the influx from Southeast Asia, cheap labor with some skill sets will depress the wage market. That trend will continue until that area is unionized. Alaska Airlines has always ran low budget operation, and been very successful over the years. They got their butt bit with their shortcomings when pushing their luck.

  61. 74

    karl spews:

    66

    Thanks bun bun, but Ill stick with an FAA certified airline, if its alright.

    I usually fly SWA, they are just a bit cheaper….But i have no particular reason to not trust Alaska.

  62. 75

    RennDawg spews:

    I am tired of this whole union means better workers. I am not in a union. I never have and I never will. They are, in my experience, anti-christian. I work very hard on my job. I am also considered the best at my site by most of the people who work there. So why am I considered inferior because I am not in the union/

  63. 76

    RennDawg spews:

    Hey I am not in a union. Iwould never join one. they are, in my experience, anti-Christian. So why is my work inferior. I work very hard at my job. At my site I am considered to be the best my most of my fellow workers. So because I am not in a union suddenly I am a bad guy. An inferior person. I don’t buy it.

  64. 78

    RennDawg spews:

    I’ve posted three times and they were not posted. I used no foul language or anything likr that. I just challenge the notion, from personal experience that union workers are not better the non-union workers like myself.

  65. 79

    RennDawg spews:

    Maybe this time I can say it. I refuse to join the union because I believe they are anti-Christian. When my Pastor was working construction (were an Independent Baptist church, no denomination to support us. So my Pastor had to work another job to feed his family.) he was in a union. My church teaches that all you do do for the glory of God. So as a result he would finish his job quickly and ask for more work. The union did not like this. They said he was making everyone else look bad. They tried to have him fored. they did not care that he was only doing what he preached from the pulput. That says to me anti-christian. So I want nothing to do with unions.

  66. 80

    RennDawg spews:

    This is great. I tried to pst about my Pastor being discriminated by his union and it wont get posted. This is great.

  67. 82

    Another TJ spews:

    I’ve posted three times and they were not posted. I used no foul language or anything likr that.

    It’s not about you or the argument you make. It’s an automatic filter that looks for spam. Goldy has to personally approve the messages if they get flagged. He’ll let it through when he gets to it. Don’t worry.

  68. 83

    danw spews:

    I like how Bushco made the Iraqi’s rewrite their constitution to eliminate trade unions. Is Stephan over in Iraq recounting purple fingers?

  69. 84

    Mark The Redneck spews:

    Rabbit – The bullshit aside for a minute….

    There’s an article in today’s PI about a 14 yo kid who died in KC Juvenile Detention. The story also mentions an 11 yo “cellmate”.

    I don’t know the first thing about Juvenile law. Do we really lock up 11 and 14 year olds? Is it a prison with cells and guards like an adult prison? WTF does a kid hafta do at that age to get into that situation? As you know, I’m a cold hard SOB, but this seems over the top to me…

  70. 85

    DugoutNut spews:

    Gee, folks tell me my fear to fly is unfounded….

    I have never used this word in a post before…

    FUCK THEM!

    I am taking a train.

    Dug

  71. 86

    Richard Pope spews:

    Looks like Alaska Airlines SUPPORTS Goldy’s favorite political causes, if you look at their PDC contributions. Their five biggest political contributions:

    $32,200.00 to Taxpayers for R-51 on 08/27/2002 — to SUPPORT a referendum to INCREASE the gasoline tax

    $15,252.00 to Taxpayers for R-51 on 04/30/2002 — to SUPPORT a referendum to INCREASE the gasoline tax

    $10,000.00 to Keep Washington Rolling on 10/12/2005 — to OPPOSE an initiative to REDUCE the gasoline tax

    $10,000.00 to Citizens for Real Transportation Choices on 10/06/2000 — to OPPOSE a Tim Eyman initiative to REDUCE various taxes

    $5,251.00 to Taxpayers for R-51 on 09/30/2002 — to SUPPORT a referendum to INCREASE the gasoline tax

    Goldy — since when did you start picking on friends of yours, such as Alaska Airlines?

  72. 87

    sgmmac spews:

    Maybe if they stopped donating thousands to political campaigns, they might be able to pay their workers more money…..

  73. 88

    Nindid spews:

    Pope @76
    Let me get this straight… you are accusing Goldy of criticizing those who sometimes support liberal causes as well as conservatives?

    If you want to imply that he is motivated by principle above partisanship go ahead, but aren’t you a bit off script?

  74. 89

    Dr. E spews:

    Okay, pop quiz. Who wrote the following:

    “It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, clothe, and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed, and lodged.”

    No googling, either. Hint: date of publication, 1776.

  75. 90

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    @79:

    One of my favorite Adam Smith quotes. Here is another:

    Labour was the first price, the original purchase – money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.

  76. 91

    Puddybud spews:

    Left_Turn@20: What does Michael/Angelina have to do with Alaska? Please help me with your logic.

    Roger@22: As a 7 year United 1K (100,000 miles flown per year) I was loyal until they went into receivership. The “union” workers became very nasty. There are only two ticket agents at Sea_Tac I respected for their courteousness. When I see them in the terminal I always say hello.

    I tried American, but you are treated as cattle for a long time until Arpey became CEO. He took a pay cut where Crandall did not. Their attitude changed and I fly them again.

    I hate Southwest. Nuff Said

    I detest British Airways. Stuffy upper lip people with an attitude. They force you to sit and wait for your cabin bathroom even when the beverage cart blocks the aisle to your restroom.

    I like Alaska. I have been Gold with them for three years and I get upgraded many times a year. The flight attendants are very courteous.

    US Air is Useless Air.

    Delta is coming back. Delta Mgmt did take a pay cut. I fly them more now. Northwest never lost it except the pilots are holding the airline over a barrel. The Northwest Mgmt did take a pay cut.

  77. 92

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    66

    “Thanks bun bun, but Ill stick with an FAA certified airline, if its alright.”

    Oh, you prefer to trust your life to regulation of the industry by the Bush administration?

    HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR

    Where should I send the flowers?

  78. 93

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    69

    “I’ve posted three times and they were not posted. I used no foul language or anything likr that.”

    You must be new here. Any post that doesn’t contain the work “fuck” or “nazi” automatically ends up in the spam filter. If you’re not swearing, we assume you’re an advertiser.

  79. 94

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    74

    “I don’t know the first thing about Juvenile law. Do we really lock up 11 and 14 year olds? Is it a prison with cells and guards like an adult prison? WTF does a kid hafta do at that age to get into that situation? As you know, I’m a cold hard SOB, but this seems over the top to me…”

    Yes, if they rob banks or rape people (also for lesser offenses). Some juveniles are a threat to their own parents, who ask authorities to take them off their hands for their own safety.

    Juvenile offenders usually are initially held in one of 33 county detention center. (Several sparsely populated counties in eastern Washington co-operate superior and juvenile courts, and justice facilities.) Juveniles transferred to state custody end up in a state-operated lockup or youth camp. If you happen to be driving south on I-5 through Chehalis, the institution surrounded by a high barbed wire fence to your left is Green Hill Training Center. The others are Echo Glen Children’s Center in Snoqualmie, Maple Lane School in Centralia, Naselle Youth Camp in Naselle, and Camp Outlook in Connell.

    These facilities are operated by DSHS, not the Department of Corrections, and juveniles in state custody are under the jurisdiction of DSHS’s Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration, not DOC (whose jurisdiction is adult prisons and parole).

    The state juvenile institutions are designed in dormitory-like “clusters.” The kids are in rooms that look like dormitory rooms, not cells. However, the lockups are secure facilities with door locks, fencing, and guards, and the juveniles are not free to leave. The county facilities typically consist of locked rooms. You don’t see a lot of bars or cells in those places, but they have locked doors.

    Some of these kids are real mean bastards. They use drugs, they commit assaults, they stick up convenience stores, they murder people, just like adult offenders. For example, in the course of my state work, I encountered a 16-year-old boy who was around 6-feet-2 and 180 lbs. He was in for armed robbery, and the trouble that landed his file on my desk was a sexual affair with a female guard (who, needless to say, was fired).

    The safety of our homes and communities demands being a cold, hard SOB where some of these kids are concerned …

  80. 95

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    84 (continued)

    Here are some interesting statistics from the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration):

    64% have significant mental health issues,
    81% are chemically dependent,
    40% are cognitively impaired,
    30% have sexual misconduct issues, and
    60% of these youth require treatment for two or more of these conditions

  81. 96

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    86

    Nice try at guilt-by-association, Richard — an overused, tired, worn-out, right-wing smear tactic. The use of which puts you in the rightwing piece-of-shit category.

    I guess these contributions mean Goldy didn’t criticize Alaska Airlines and is their political ally, huh.

  82. 97

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    91

    Nothing works quite so well as my own two powerful hind feet! Hippity-hop! Hippity-hop! Just call me Hopalong Bunny!!! :D :D :D

  83. 98

    klake spews:

    For those who are keeping score:

    December 29, 2005
    News Analysis
    New York Transit Deal Shows Union’s Success on Many Fronts
    By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
    He was excoriated on tabloid front pages and by the mayor and governor. As thousands streamed across the Brooklyn Bridge on a frigid night during last week’s transit strike, someone in a car yelled out his name, prefacing it with a curse.

    But now, a day after details of an agreement between the transit workers and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority were spelled out, Roger Toussaint, the union’s president, seems to have emerged in a far better position than seemed likely just a few days ago.

    Mr. Toussaint, whose back appeared to be against the wall last week, can boast of a tentative 37-month contract that meets most of his goals, including raises above the inflation rate and no concessions on pensions. Indeed, several fiscal and labor experts said yesterday that Mr. Toussaint and his union appeared to have bested the transit authority in their contract dispute.

    The authority did not come away empty-handed, however, as it obtained a major concession: For the first time, the 33,700 transit workers will pay a portion of their health insurance premiums.

    But if there is a real winner in the walkout that hobbled the city at the height of the holiday season, it is the union members who went out on strike, and the man who led them.

    “It’s a good contract for the union in that it does keep in place, for the most part, benefits that are extremely favorable to them,” said Steven Malanga, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute, a conservative research organization, who called last week for firing the strikers. “For them, you can say this is a great deal.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12.....038;emc=th

  84. 99

    Puddybud spews:

    What is the status of Alaska Stock? Aren’t Americans looking for their 90 day dividends and will tank a stock if the payout stinks? How many of you bought Alaska after the unions were replaced? We don’t own it outright, but the fund may. I haven’t checked lately. How many of your pensions have this stock in it? What are the fund managers requiring of Alaska regarding a bond and stock yield?

    Hey GBS: Arthur Laffer thinks the inverted bond curve is a good thing because investors are locking in their long term rates thinking the economy is great and is going to stay that way. He also thinks Paul Krugman is a closed minded economist!

  85. 100

    Another TJ spews:

    Puddybud, after dismissing you last night, I decided to respond this morning in the “Mississippi turning” thread. After this exchange is concluded, I will not be responding to you anymore, for obvious reasons.

  86. 101

    Puddybud spews:

    TJ: I was dismissed by you. You decided to do your due diligence. I gave you kudos for proving the NY Times was wrong in their facts. They are wrong many times. All I did was use the Times like you guys do. I guess you CAN’T trust the NY Times. Oh BTW, I could care less what you think, how you think or what you drink in to think. How about those reasons?

  87. 103

    GBS spews:

    Puddybud @ 98:

    The inverted bond yields could be a predictor for a recession. If you examine the previous two recessions, you’ll find they were both led in by inverted bond yields. The main difference this time is that foreign central banks have more cash to invest as a result of the US trade deficit and they need to invest their cash some where. With a slow European and Japanese market, buying long term T-Bills is probably a better investment opportunity for them. Thus, reducing the chances of a of the bond yields predicting a recession here if the underpinning economic conditions are truly on solid footing.

    My point and timetable prediction in the other post was to point out how disastrous it would be for Republicans in congress if a were a recession were to hit with all the bad news they’re generating.

  88. 104

    Dick Hertz spews:

    Personally, I haven’t flown Alaska Air since they fired all their skilled workers.

    Personally, I haven’t flown Alaska Airlines since they murdered 88 people.

  89. 105

    Scott spews:

    The thought that unions “operate on the premiss that companies are a bottomless pitt of money” is pure fallacy. Fact is that unions exist where unions need to exist. Alaska Airlines replaced workers with non-union workers to reduce costs. This argument fails when you consider that Southwest Airlines (the competition) actually pays more. In fact, Herb Kelleher has stated that Southwest Airlines will not serve an airport that they cannot put their own employees into.

    Nindid said it well when he compared Alaska Airlines to WalMart, “Costco is one good example of how successful a corporation can be while treating their workers well. They have the best pay and benefits in the sector and are kicking Wal-Mart’s ass all over the place with their low-pay, low-skill, high-turn-over model.”

    Costco has whipped Samsclub and Walmart because they pay better and offer better benefits to their employees while at the same time offering their customers a better product. Wallstreet says that Costco is a “cult investment” because of this philosophy. In fact, this philosophy has paid dividends similar to what Henry Ford allowed, in that the employees were able to afford the products offered.

    Thankful for the fact that honest and hardworking maintenance personnel had allowed the redundancy of the structure of the aircraft, that it was allowed to return to Seattle for repair. If the ramp service worker had been honest enough to “own-up” to the damage caused by him/her, nothing would have hit the head lines. We would have made a repair and the press would be held ignorant of the issue. That the issue “hit-the-press” is relevent to the extent of the importance of the issue.

    Prior to the replacement of the “union workers”, delays were regarded as a “negotiating ploy” and were minimised when possible. Since the ramp workers have been replaced, Mechanics are no-longer doing “walk-arounds” ensuring that no damage has been done and that the aircraft is safe to dispatch.

    Unions are not the solution to all of our problems. However, unions are there to provide a means to protect us in the workplace. For example, If an aircraft mechanic were to ask about the airworthiness of an aircraft, what protection would the consumer have if the airline said the aircraft was good regardless of what the mechanic found. We provide a means to afford the safety of our air travel. Like it or not, that safety comes through our federal government.

  90. 106

    Chuck spews:

    Scott2104
    “Costco has whipped Samsclub and Walmart because they pay better and offer better benefits to their employees while at the same time offering their customers a better product. Wallstreet says that Costco is a “cult investment” because of this philosophy. In fact, this philosophy has paid dividends similar to what Henry Ford allowed, in that the employees were able to afford the products offered.”

    You need to wake up, Costco although does well hasnt “whipped” either Sams club or Walmart. Either one makes better money than Costco. And further more Costco is only like 15% unionized…By the way, Costco is on its investors shit list because of its low dividens, the investors by and large think they could be better.

  91. 107

    Chuck spews:

    Scott@104
    “For example, If an aircraft mechanic were to ask about the airworthiness of an aircraft, what protection would the consumer have if the airline said the aircraft was good regardless of what the mechanic found.”

    The protection you refer to is called the FFA, not the union…