Gray Flannel Dwarf

8/20/2005

NWA on strike

NWA union members are on strike.

I fly from Raleigh to Detroit every week. The only direct flight is NWA. I recently received a letter in the mail, addressed to “Silver Elite” members. As I just got my SE, I was assuming it was my new FF card or something… and then I read it. It was advance warning about the possible strikes.

Ramblings…

I am kind of torn on the whole union thing, and I probably don’t fall along the lines that many on the left. I totally empathise with those looking for better treatment in their respective industries… but I dunno. Working in Detroit, I can’t help but feel that, between my air travel, and the auto industry there, labour unions and industries have a serious disconnect, and I can’t blame it all on the industry giants themselves…

Sometimes I wonder if labour unions have outlived their usefulness, and I am sure that is bordering on heresy to some on the left. I can understand the purposes of unionisation, back in the day. We are all familiar with The Jungle, and we all know about child labour that occurred early on, etc. Unions, then, were useful and perhaps more legitimate.

However, today… I honestly have a hard time being as sympathetic, although if someone can convince me, I am open to it.

Is there someone who can tell me what baggage handlers make? This article says that some start at $8.75/h, and some were, until recently, as high as $20.
Overall, I am estimating $15/h. 15*40*52 is 31k a year, which isn’t mad coin, but hell, inflation hasn’t been that bad in recent years, and this isn’t far from where I was six years ago getting into IT.

…and despite the sometimes long hours I have worked in the past, and am working right now, I have no desire to see IT labour unionisation.

I have an open mind to these things, and am more than willing to listen to union defenders, but I need some tried and true facts, not just the propaganda I see — and it is, what with the bumper stickers and cheesy slogans — on the union billboard on-site.

Just based on my observations, I am currently struggling with having a lot of sympathy with unions much of the time. Maybe someone can change my mind.


Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 1:31 am

7/24/2005

Things that get under your skin

From Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: 1plac·ard
Pronunciation: 'pla-k&rd, -"kärd
Function: noun

(Note that they are using the ampersand to replace a schwa)

Most of us know this. In fact, it never crossed my mind that people might not know how to pronounce “placard”. However, nearly every time I get on my NWA flight, and hear the spiel about it being “federal regulations to obey all posted signs and placards” it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

It’s always “Plah-CARDS” or “Plah…CARDS”. They always put the emphasis on “cards”, and half the time, the flight attendant has this quarter-second pause between the two syllables.

It’s such a little thing to be concerned about, but when you hear it twice a week for twenty weeks, it gets to be a bit annoying.

Because it is so often mispronounced, I am guessing that’s how it’s pronounced in NWA’s training videos.


Tags: , , — cswiii @ 2:49 pm

6/23/2005

Bleeding on a Jet Plane

USAToday: 4 Major Airlines Increase Fares

Blah. Emphasis mine…

The four biggest U.S. airlines — American, United, Delta and Northwest — raised most airfares Wednesday, citing record-high fuel prices. United raised fares 3% across the board, Northwest raised domestic fares 3%, and American and Delta raised fares $5 each way.

I’m already well-aware of the costs of my plane tickets, and now I’m sure I’ll know even more about it.


Tags: , , — cswiii @ 10:38 pm