Some other airlines did the same around 2009, but in a more pilot friendly way. For example at KLM the pilot's pay decrease to help the airline through the crisis was combined with a big increase in profit sharing bonus. At that time there was no profit to share, but now everyone is happy with the big bonuses.
Basically BA is toast as an airline. They can't break their own union and are steadily being ground down by airlines with more flexible work forces.
Google says they reported $2 billion in profit. Say $300 million was given to 1000 pilots. That would be $300,000 each.
They probably got something like a few thousand pounds pay increase and are feeling like it's not adding up.
I'm routing for the pilots.
Air Traffic Control are routing for the pilots; you are merely rooting for them! :-)
Look at the account filings. Not sure if they will break down how much they pay pilots altogether, but there should be data about executive pay and employee wages and salaries.
I’m also rooting for the pilots, by the way.
I want the peace of mind that the people making my flight happen are incredibly happy.
A typical flyer is separated by at least one layer of abstraction (airline, travel agency, ...) from the labor situation of the flight crew, so there's little visibility into that, and little possibility to affect things with your purchasing choice. How can I "reveal" the real ordering of my preferences if I can't pay $X extra to get a slightly safer flight, because the only other option on the market costs $10X more? At the same time, there's high trust that government organizations ensure that civilian flight is safe to the point any variation is a rounding error not worth thinking about.
Incidentally, it seems someone at the company is gonna have a stern talking to: https://i.imgur.com/FcsmqtU.png
Found the most recent: https://s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/document-api-images-live....
Seems they paid 2.5 bil in salaries to all employees
Philip Greenspun is tech entrepreneur that flies as a hobby. He flew in an airline for a short while, but he is not a "former airline pilot".
Sully, on the other hand, writes in his book:
> “I also understood the history behind our profession’s dependence on a seniority system. It started in the 1930s, as a way to avoid the favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism rampant in the early days. It was about safety as much as fairness. It insulated us from office politics and threats to hinder our careers if we didn’t “play the game.” A layman might think such a seniority system would lead to mediocrity. Nothing could be further from the truth. Pilots are a pretty proud bunch and they find it rewarding when they have the respect of their peers. The system works.”
The seniority system is what gives the captain the power to say no to the airline when pressured to fly in unsafe conditions without repercussions.
Philip Greenspun could just say no and go back to his life as a retired tech millionaire.
"He flew in an airline for a short while" literally means that he is a former airline pilot, i.e. in the past he piloted aircraft, while being employed by an airline. Currently he also works as a helicopter instructor.
He was not subject to the same constraints and incentives that professional airline pilots are subject to.
For example, without a union and the seniority system, airline pilots that are pressured to fly with badly maintained planes are faced with a major dilemma. They can agree and risk their passengers, or refuse and face repercussions. Their livelihood and social status depends on them keeping their jobs, and the vast majority don't have the resources to withstand lawsuits.
Philip Greenspun can just go back to fly his collection of private planes and helicopters. He faces no repercussions if he refuses or goes to the press.
He has no skin in this game.
He just doesn't have the insider's perspective.
He can disagree with Sully's reasons why the seniority system is important for safety, but he should at least address it.
Moreover, Sully, as senior pilot, was direct benefactor of the union system that exploits younger pilots, so his opinions should be scrutinized first of all.
Maybe the company was failing anyway. I'm not saying they shouldn't strike. Just that we don't seem to have clear numbers to tell if they should or not.
And money used to pay back loans wouldn’t be considered “profit” in any definitions I’m familiar with. If the “investment” takes some other form such that the investor expects to be paid back a lot more due to employees being paid much less than the value they’re delivering, then yeah, I’m fine with the employees organizing and saying that’s not going to happen.
This is even more ridiculous. Is YComb (since we're on HN) not entitled to a positive return from the companies it helped found, just because some random group of employees claims they aren't being paid according to the "value they're delivering"?
I didn't say that. I said that I don't have a problem with workers organizing to ask for more compensation so long as the company is earning profit. I didn't say anyone is "entitled" to anything and I didn't even predict whether or not the efforts would work.
> If the workers "regain" it all, there's nothing left for an investor/founder.
I addressed investors already. Money used to pay back a loan is not what I consider "profit," in the same way that money used to pay for office electricity is not what I consider "profit." Obviously companies have to pay their bills. As for founders, I assume they're functioning essentially as the manager/employer and thus are the party that is negotiating with the organized labor of their company. I'm not prescribing some amount of money they get to keep versus their employees—that's precisely what the negotiations will determine.
> Since this is the scenario you endorse (you've said so three times), your position is that investors and founders should not receive any return on their investment, nor any gains from establishing the company in the first place.
I have said that zero times and have now explicitly refuted it twice, lest there be any confusion about what I am claiming.
Your first comment clearly states that the value of labor is all the company's profit. ALL. You wrote it. "receiving ALL the company's profit" = "receiving the actual value of their labor". Which means, it's only possible for the airline to show a profit by underpaying labor, and therefore existence of profit = investors are exploiting labor for "surplus value." As long as you stand by the initial statement, everything that follows is crazy-talk, whether or not you're able to follow the logic of your own statements from a to b to c.
They are. That organisation is called a company and decides what they get paid, which varies by job and rank.
There's no such thing as a union in which every employee of a firm is represented - by the very nature of what unions do, they create a (largely imaginary) line between "labour" and "management" then pit the first against the second.
It also never argues that pilots are "delivering value" equal to the airline profits. Only that the pilots are in a position, due to regulation, to claim those profits, because they can shut the airline down (a power that flight attendants, mechanics, reservation agents, etc don't have).
I'm not sure if you subscribe to the notice that it's OK for the worker to max out their compensation while it's not OK for the owner to do so, but I think it's a pretty common stance. Admittedly, the reverse is also true (as I'm hoping to point out).
Ideally, I would hope that negotiations were conducted in a way that is mutually beneficially to both parties. I'd rather we didn't resort to getting as much as we can at the expense of the other party.
Of course in a dog-eat-dog world, what can we expect? All of those bastards on the other side are going to do it to us so let's do it to them first.
But is there an advantage to living in a world that isn't dog-eat-dog? Is it possible to encourage a society where neither side "does it" to the other and neither side thinks of the other as "bastards"? I really, really hope so.
(Possibly not related to your actual position -- your words just made me think of that)
Inherently any gain by one side is at the expense of the other, there is no avoiding that aspect. Either than $X is paid to the pilots or it goes elsewhere in the business. I'm not sure what a non-dog-eat-dog world would look like and how it would be able to persist without heavy incentives to take advantage.
Similar to what happens with expensive cities which don't expand. The prices keep raising and there will still be people who can afford to pay for a long time... until the larger environment either changes or collapses.
This article doesn't say what the pay / demand is. Another one (https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/sep/08/ba-pilots-t...) mentions BA proposing an increase that would bring "some" over £200k a year. I'm sure that's cherry-picked for PR and doesn't show the whole distribution, but it's at least one number.
There is no absolute number at which they are no longer underpaid, it is completely relative to how much demand there is and how much companies are willing to pay for that demand.
Flight benefits vary as well but they’re almost always space available and with load factors in the US creeping upwards the value in those benefits has slowly been eroding away. Hard to plan a vacation when you have almost no idea when you’ll get there.
That said, pilot pay goes up to about $400/hr at Delta as an example including profit share.
Make me work 100 hour weeks and no one else can do my job and I'm not at least 200k? Yeah, I'm underpaid.
A 6 figure income isn't wealthy in most (US) markets you can get that. Live in New York, California, Washington or Illinois? A low 100k salary can mean living paycheck to paycheck or living with an insufferable commute.
If you can get better pay elsewhere and quit to get it, that's perfectly fair game, nobody minds that because it's (in a well run company) not disruptive to the customers.
All employees "quitting" (but not really) at once because they're unionised and are already getting top pay, but want even more, and disrupt vast amounts of travel and expense at huge cost to random customers who have no power or involvement is very different.
I was talking relative to my coworkers at the same job.
It can quickly become apparent how much your coworkers are making relative to you if you pay attention to subtle things like vacations they take, what they did on their weekends, the cars they drive, where they live, etc.
In my case, teams had been "right-sized" such that I solely owned systems that at one point had a total of 13 people assigned to them, with no help. Yes, I held myself to a constrained budget to contribute to 401k, save as much as I could elsewhere and had a modest, yet nice apartment. Yet, my older coworkers had less responsibility, worked shorter hours, drove nicer cars, owned houses and took extravagant vacations where I drove a modest used car, rented and my "vacations" were to visit my parents (although, admittedly, airfare to visit my parents is high - it'd be cheaper to fly to Europe than visit my parents in the US, and I live in the US).
Thing is, for years, at comp time, I'd been arguing for a larger raise than bonus. I was getting a token $5k/year raise, but several 10Ks in bonus. Salary is generally a given (sure, they could in theory lower it, but rarely do healthy companies do that if you're performing), plus, typically your slice of the bonus pool is also partially determined by your salary.
So, yeah, it took trying to quit, with an offer in hand, to get my salary adjusted to where it should have been given my tenure at the company and the level of responsibility I had. Once they realized I was serious and was ready to walk, over a weekend, they gave me a nearly 30% intrayear raise. It wasn't quite what I wanted, but it put me on par with my coworkers and it was several 10s of thousands over the offer I was willing to walk for.
Also, the offer I walked away from was from one of the FAANG, and I won't say which. Apparently, having walked away from the offer has effectively black balled me from progressing in interviews with them. I've had a few phone screens with them since that I think I did well in, just to get radio silence from them. Not even a response from the initial recruiter. I've stopped entertaining of even responding to inquiries from the particular company.
Obviously, flying planes is a valuable skill. But without the enormous support system that the airline itself provides, pilots would have little opportunity to realize that value.
Then you're over-identifying what the value of their labor is. If what they need to do requires the support of others, don't factor the input of others into "the full value of their labor".
I.e. if the total value of the airline is X, and the value the pilots provides is P, and the value that all the other employees provide is N, where N + P = X, then the full value of the pilots labor is still P, not X. So I take it to mean they're wanting to get 100% of P.
It's much more complicated than that. One of the beautiful things about business, or any cooperative effort, is that the sum of the group/company is worth more than the sum of value of individual effort. 2+2=5, if you will.
The problem, when it comes to human nature, is that once the total value is determined (market cap, annual profit, ROI, etc), individuals tend to over-estimate the value of their individual contribution.
It is not just airlines. Uber drivers say they provide the rides, there would be no service without their effort. Uber says nobody was paying you to drive before we launched our platform. Both are correct. Foxconn employees say we're building all these damn iPhones, no other facility or workers can produce at this volume. Apple says if we didn't design and market such a popular product you'd have nothing to build. Again, both are correct. A film director says, look, the movie I made grossed $400 million -- and the studio replies, which you could have never made without the $100 million budget we risked, up front.
I don't mean to be a proponent of that view (at least not in this comment) but that might be where the parent comment is coming from.
In many cooperative enterprises, like the historical Cherokee communal farming set-up, people set aside some of the value of what they produce to (a) cover miscellaneous capital costs and (b) be provide a reserve. The pilots should be producing a little more than they receive; otherwise the airline would collapse the next time a flight got delayed and people had to be put up in a hotel.
Sure, that's why we see so many pilots selling direct to consumers, right?
Employees could be making 6 or 7 figures but be treated terribly and still have valid reasons to strike.
It’s not a moral question, it’s about who’s closer to the money, or harder to replace.