Unions Ruin Christmas & NHL SeasonUnions Ruin Christmas And Possibly The NHL


I was lucky. My flight from Philly to Phoenix on USAIR (a cochair flight for one leg of a flight I booked on United) got canceled thus United rebooked me and my girlfriend weeks ago on a flight on United through Denver en route to Phoenix yesterday. Thousands of other travelers got hosed and many are still hosed.

WHY you may ask? The reason is USAIR, a crappy airline under the best of cir*****stances who has been on the verge of going chapter 7 for months now, had their union workers call in “sick” in unusually large numbers.

Anyone else getting sick of union workers acting in ways that are destructive? When USAIR goes out of business, these union workers will be unemployed yet they act in ways to guarantee that they have no job. They act in a way that is synchronized and designed to make you and me suffer. They additionally insult the hard working union workers who actually take pride in their work.

Does this situation remind you of anything we have been discussing for the last 101 days? As a capitalist first and a social liberal second, I would like to see more and more unions broken. If the NHLPA has to be the next on the list then so be it. I can’t decide who is more greedy and selfish – NHL players or these airline workers. Ultimately, we might learn to live with out both of them.

And as the icing on the cake, 17 year old phenom, Sid Crosby, was quoted on TSN.CA saying that next year that he wants to play in the NHL. It has been his dream and he will likely play. Guess what – the league will welcome you with open arms. So will TV. So will Madison Avenue. The only people who wont will be Bill Guerrin, Vincent Damphouse, Trevor Linden and Bob Goodenow. And buddy, if you play your cards right in your first year – you will be able to buy and sell them before you can buy them a beer.


13 Responses to Unions Ruin Christmas & NHL SeasonUnions Ruin Christmas And Possibly The NHL

  1. Aetherial says:

    Wednesday afternoon, fly from Tampa, where I was visiting my parents, to Toronto, with a stop in Cincinnati.

    I was flying Delta. Those of you who have read the papers know the problems last week (and continuing).

    I was in the airport in Cincinnati from Wednesday early evening until Friday at about 11:00 PM. In that time, ONE flight got away to Toronto. My girlfriend was the last person on it flying standby, I was next in line 🙁

    It was a series of watching the board, see the flight cancel, and line up.. for 2 to 3 hours to book yourself on whatever confirmed flight you could get and standby on the rest. rinse and repeat. I literally was in line or trying to sleep on the floor for most of the time there.

    The airport was a ZOO. There were thousands of people. People with babies or young kids, pets etc. running out of food, formula, diapers etc. Most of us had been there for days. I saw many women crying, and some men even.

    I got on the last flight Firday evening. Saturday their flight crew systems crashed. ALL flights on Saturday and Sunday were cancelled.

    After the storm on Wednesday, the skies were crystal clear ans sunny all day on Thursday and Friday. Other airlines were flying all day.

    Not Delta.

    They ran out of de-icer. They had engines frozen and the planes could not clear the gates. This lead me to ask if we would therefore not get home until JUNE? I mean come on, it is *****ING wintertime! WHat the ***** is the cold weather problem all about. It was NOT that cold by any means. Toronto airport would not have missed a beat in that cold.

    Then, they had the crew problems. Crew calling in sick, not showing up, unable to get there. The crew trying to ge there went past their emergency allotment of 16 hours work and could not work.

    It was the worst mess I can imagine. I would STILL be there if I did not squeeze on the plane late Friday night.

    Frankly, this is the fault of Delta Airlines, nobody else. It was NOT the storm. It was poor manegement all the way around.

    They are being investigated for this and I hope to God they go under. What a total fiasco. I am STILL P*ssed off.

  2. HC16 says:

    You’ve never been a union member, have you? Otherwise you’d understand perfectly what the guys at USAir are doing. I agree with you completely that USAir is worthless. In the time I’ve been in the business, maybe 10% of the luggage transferred from them makes it to the final destination.

    That probably stems from USAir’s poor management. Look at it this way…USAir is screwed no matter what their workers do. These guys will not have jobs before long anyway. Put yourself in their shoes. You’ve gotten your hourly wage cut down to nothing, but you’re still expected to do the same hard work that you did before. Believe me, some of this stuff is backbreaking, too. (You try crawling around in the belly of a plane lifting 50 and 60 pound luggage above your head for 8 hours.) So, everyday, you go home worn out and worried about whether or not you can pay your bills. If you’re going to get paid anyway, why not call in sick? There’s nothing to lose, and maybe, just maybe, you make those bastards in the front office look like the bad guy in the public eye.

    As far as the over-publicized luggage problems all airlines are having right now, it’s a no-brainer. The business society we live in seems to think the best way to save money is to try to do the work with a minimum number of employees. It doesn’t matter what you do or how well you do it, when shit hits the fan, you’re gonna get behind. In the case of the airlines, planes run late and luggage doesn’t make the flight. At Christmastime, the loads on these flights explodes, and there is nothing we can do to compensate. There is too much luggage and too many people, and when the plane is late arriving, its pretty tough to turn it around on time.

  3. aafiv says:

    I think the only thing that you and I agree upon is the Flyers.

    There’s also widespread reports that your beloved airline routinely understaffs and, therefore, was hit when employees called out sick.

    Why are you always on the side of evil? Why do you always want to stick it to the little guy in favor of some huge corporate interest?


  4. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    No, I have never been in a union. Actually, I am the CEO-Publisher of an internet publishing company. My staff is not-union.

    I have studied unions in the past and can see how they were of great value especially in the late 1800’s – about the 1960’s. Now they use terrorist tacticts to ruin businesses to achieve their own goals. On the last leg of my flight the flight attnedant was trying to justfy why it was right for USAIR’s union staff to strand so many people at the holidays. Sick when you think of it. Those travelers are the people who make their airlines work MORE SO than the employees. With no customers, there are no jobs and no union (are you reading this Bob Goodenow?) but the union wanted to make a statement at the expense of tens of thousands of people who make their jobs possible. I think we call can agree that is NOT the christmas spirit. On top of that, these union people who hate thier jobs so much are free in America to get retrianed for something else. Community college classes in LA cost $13 per unit.

  5. Aetherial says:

    YOu make a very valid point.

    I am SOOOOO sick of companies sticking it to their employees and constant cut-backs.

    This is an example where it hurts the customer and hopefully the airline in the long run.

    Delta has had the same BS as USAir. I can tell you no one I know will ever fly Delta again and I saw literally thousands of other people who felt exactly the same way.

    My lost business wont hurt them… but the thousands will.

    I am right-wing but I am starting to think that we should ALL be unionized… until such a time as the union behaves with the greed the NHLPA is demonstrating.

  6. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    Did you even read my post?

    Unions that are willing to kill off a business are terrorist organizations in my opinion. In their day they had value but that day was 100 years ago.

    Some day you try running a business and see what these groups do to you. You wont like it much – just like you don’t like missing out on hockey.

  7. kingmo15 says:

    I agree with you on the point that unions, in most cases, are willing to cut off their noses to spite their own faces. It doesn’t make sense. I’m traditionally anti-union. However, there are still effective unions functioning, and quite frankly, many unions function, in some form or another, in a way that is beneficial to the members, yet fair enough to the executives that it makes for a healthy and productive compromise.

    This situation obviously isn’t one of them. But I want you to realize one thing. The problems the Airlines are facing right now isn’t solely a result of a hard stance by the airline unions. The executives that run many of the large airlines are as incompetent as any humans I can think of. I remember, specifically, US Air hiring a new CEO, David Seigle, roughly 1.5-2 years ago. He held his position for roughly 2 months, then resigned and took some absurd amount of money as severance. I think it was in the range of 5 million, but I may be wrong. I do know for fact that is was a multi-million $ severance package, and he worked all of 2 months. This is an atrocity, and is a valid reason to have a hard-bargaining union opposing the executives. If they are going to burn money, as they did in this case, then at least implement a union chief that will do their best to milk these greedy chairmen for what they’re worth.

    The airline industry sickens me and is about as efficient as any government-run entity. And, inr eality, it is not entirely because of the unions. It is primarily a result of incompetent executives who are highly overpaid and over valued and see things not from a third party perspective, but rather their own point of view, which means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

    Quite frankly, I don’t think it is a very good analogy to make, comparing the NHL union to the Airline unions. In my opinion, I don’t blame the airline unions for much of the industry’s demise, but I DO blame Goodenow and his kronies for killing a large NHL fan base.

  8. HC16 says:

    Agreed, USAir’s baggage handlers are a bunch of idiots. The company’s screwed no matter what. Like I’ve already said, they’re all going to lose their jobs anyway. What they were trying to do is stick it to the assholes who made that happen with poor planning. It backfired, since all of the negative press is aimed at the baggage handlers themselves. Of course its not in the Christmas spirit, its in the American spirit of showing just what a badass you are by hurting everyone you possibly can.

    I can’t speak for everyone, but most of the union members I know, including myself, don’t hate their jobs. I’m 20 years old, a sophmore in college, and I make 12/hr, I can fly basically anywhere I want for less than 1/10 of what it would cost you, and I get health and dental insurance just for putting in 40 hrs in a week. The job itself is hard to dislike. The problem comes from having management that can’t cope with the changes that are being forced on them by that masterful group of extorionist that the world knows as the United States Government (more specifically the TSA).

  9. big_booty says:

    I think the point that Jerry is trying to make is the members of some unions think that they are more powerful than they truly are.

    US Airways staff might very well believe that they hold the bull by the balls and can achieve whatever goals they aim for by not doing their job up to snuff. This, of course, makes them look dumber than the average bear in the eyes of John Q.

    Bob “Ted Saskin taught me how to add” Goodenow and the members of the players association might very well believe that they have Gary Bettman and the Board of Governors by the short and curlies because they are, in the words of Marxist of the Year candidate Larry Brooks, “held hostage” by a group of “greedy capitalists.”

    What a crock.

    If airline employees think they can get their point across by ruining a great many’s holiday season, screw ’em. I’ll bet some of those people are starting to believe that Reagan was right to fire the ATC’s in the early 80’s during that dispute.

    If Bryan McCabe can’t feed his kids on $10,000 per month then he deserves to be drawn and quartered. There are people on this continent who don’t make that much in six months trying to feed their families AND pay their bills.

    Goodenow isn’t Jimmy Hoffa, but he ain’t that far off.

  10. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    From under a speed bump at the Meadowlands, Hoffa could get this NHL deal done. Hoffa was tough but not stupid. Ruining the game and the future of your entire rank and file by playing chicken with the owners is negligent. You watch – if the season is cancled – the players will turn on Gooenow.

    Stan Fischer is about my least favorite hockey writer of all time. You couldn’t be more biased against Philly.

  11. Aetherial says:

    Al Strachan (Toronto) is the absolute worst, commie-pinko, lieing, dumb-ass sports writer ever.

    He is followed closely by Bruce Garrioch (Ottawa).

    It is actually painful to read what these guys write.

  12. Flyers_Fan_In_LA says:

    Airlines need to feel the pain more before they change.

    As much of a peice of crap southwest is – they make money. Now everyone is trying to copy them. BIG MISTAKE. Flying used to be glamorous. Not it is mundane. Jetblue does a good job flying with style (everyone gets a business class seat and DirecTV) but they fly out of weird airports like Long Beach. United had the idea – make First Class and Business on regional or national flights kick ass. Cookies, good scotch, TV etc… Make it fun and get me to spend $1000 on a ticket. Where they go wrong is when they try to charge $4,600 for an LAX to JFZ flight. That just screws the business traveler and that business traveler is their CORE customer.

    Much like the NHLPA – the airlines need to feel the pain to learn their lesson. Even if USAir goes out of business – they will still get bought out for their best routes. Even if the NHLPA goes without accepting a cap – they will be forced to feel the pain of their union being broken. I think both systems need to feel the pain because neither are smart enough to understand the downside of their actions.


  13. aafiv says:

    What makes you think that a union is out to kill off a business? You can’t possibly think that that’s what is happening in the NHL after your beloved ownership imposed a lockout because of their own bad behavior. Please.

    There are two sides to every story. The other side to the NHL lockout story is that the players are the only ones who have been creative about trying to negotiate. The owners haven’t at all and don’t seem to have any desire to do so. Their objective is to have labor boards declare an impasse so that they can impose their own CBA. It’s that simple. Some NHL franchises are going to fold because of this stupidity – it’s clear that franchise values are going to fall in any case. Ownership’s unwillingness to negotiate makes them deserve it.

    It’s clear that the economic situation in the NHL is bad. It’s also clear that ownership is not interested in a good-faith attempt to work at a solution. You can’t deny it.

    As for unions being terrorist organizations, you must be a Bushite-nutcase. Any thing or group that doesn’t conform to your narrow and misguided worldview is a “terrorist organization”? Thank you for doing your part in turning America into a fascist dictatorship.

    I do miss hockey, as we all do, but I hold ownership responsible for the current state-of-affairs.


    Because this is their lockout and they aren’t willing to do a damn thing about it. I guess that makes Gary Bettman and his NHL a “terrorist organization” by your definition.

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