[OPE-L] Intensities of labour

From: Jurriaan Bendien (adsl675281@TISCALI.NL)
Date: Fri May 12 2006 - 12:52:47 EDT

(Here's an alternative approach to measurement, taken from a couple of
A-list posts I did previously)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 - U.S. scheduled passenger airlines employed
436,350 workers in September 2005, 5.5 percent *fewer* than in September
2004, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation
Statistics (BTS) reported. The decline was almost totally due to a decline
in fulltime staff, the level of parttime staff is justabout the same.

Yet, on November 10, 2005 the BTS also reported that U.S. airlines carried
5.2 percent *more* domestic passengers and flew 1.6 percent *more* domestic
flights during the first eight months of 2005 than they did during the same
period in 2004.

Specifically, the airlines carried 449.3 million domestic passengers during
the first eight months of 2005, up from the 427.0 million carried between
January and August 2004. The passengers were carried on 6.83 million
flights, up 1.6 percent from the 6.72 million flights operated in 2004. Both
total distance flown and load factor are up.

So, even if the airlines can guarantee passenger safety, labor intensity is
likely to be increasing. The ALPA President indeed says "We need to do
everything we can to address fatigue in order to improve quality of life,
protect jobs, and--above all--guarantee safety."

WASHINGTON (AP) -- JetBlue and other low-fare airlines once again held the
top rankings a national survey of carrier quality, made public Monday. The
survey found that people are flying more and complaining more. Following
JetBlue in the rankings were Air Tran, Independence Air and Southwest.
Independence has since gone out of business. The annual survey said that
people are boarding planes as often as they did before the Sept. 11, 2001,
hijackings - and complaints about airline service are growing as well. Brent
Bowen, a study co-author and professor at the University of Nebraska at
Omaha's Aviation Institute, says customers are less satisfied with airline
service because carriers have slashed jobs and rolled back workers' pay and
benefits, developments that affect customer service. "The demoralized work
force is probably contributing to the fact that the consumer doesn't feel as
well-treated any more," Bowen said. The number of complaints is the worst in
five years, he said. Complete story:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AIRLINE_QUALITY?SITE=NVLAS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULTFor another report, see http://blogs.usatoday.com/sky/

The good news concerns airport security staff:

March 16, 2006
The US Labor Department on Wednesday said it had taken administrative steps
to recover USD$7.1 million in back pay for more than 7,000 airport security
employees who worked for St. Louis-based Huntleigh USA. The Huntleigh
employees, who were assigned to 39 airports across the country a few months
after the September 11 attacks, were paid below the prevailing wages and
benefits for their cities as the law requires, the department said. "It is
appalling that thousands of Americans who answered the call to become
airport security personnel in the aftermath of the devastating attacks on
9/11, were not paid all the wages they were due," Labor Secretary Elaine
Chaos said in a statement.
http://news.airwise.com/story/view/1142516938.html Except for security
guards and municipal clerks, all law enforcement occupations in the US are
showing an above average increase in the last five years.

Additional note:

What do US workers earn in the airline industry? BLS provides some
annual average US pre-tax wage estimates for November 2004:

Airline Pilots, Co-pilots, and Flight Engineers $134,090 ($144,140 scheduled
flights; $88,190 non-scheduled flights)
Commercial Pilots (small fixed or rotary winged aircraft) $64,470
First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Transportation and Material-Moving
Machine and Vehicle Operators, Nonscheduled air transportation $74,770;
                                                  Scheduled air
transportation $68,670
Airfield Operations Specialists $61,430
Flight attendants $54,130 scheduled flights,
                         $41,180 unscheduled flights
Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisors $41,040
Baggage porters (scheduled flights) $31,740
Other Transportation Attendants $20,540
Support activities for air transportation $16,480

It''s difficult to find data on the characteristics of the passengers on US
domestic flights. On US international flights though, about two-thirds of
the passengers are managerial/professional people, and about a third of the
trips seem to be business trips.

For some info on airline wage negotiations, see:
For WATS statistics, see http://www.iata.org/pressroom/wats/index.htm


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