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Hudson River Hero Pilot - Had Pay Cut by 40% and Pension Cut Off

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posted on Feb, 26 2009 @ 08:22 PM
US Airways pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger - has had his pay cut by 40% and his pension terminated in the last couple of years, by U.S. Airways. He has had to work another job besides being a pilot and works 7 days a week.

link to article:

Sullenberger, a 58-year-old who joined a US Airways predecessor in 1980, told the House aviation subcommittee that his pay has been cut 40 percent in recent years and his pension has been terminated and replaced with a promise "worth pennies on the dollar" from the federally created Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. These cuts followed a wave of airline bankruptcies after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks compounded by the current recession, he said.

"The bankruptcies were used by some as a fishing expedition to get what they could not get in normal times," Sullenberger said of the airlines. He said the problems began with the deregulation of the industry in the 1970s.

So a hero pilot has been trying to make ends meet by working 2 jobs..... that is disgusting, besides that, I would think it would make for not so safe skies. He mentions how the airlines are losing good pilots now.

Sullenberger's copilot Jeffrey B. Skiles said unless federal laws are revised to improve labor-management relations "experienced crews in the cockpit will be a thing of the past." And Sullenberger added that without experienced pilots "we will see negative consequences to the flying public."

Sullenberger himself has started a consulting business to help make ends meet. Skiles added, "For the last six years, I have worked seven days a week between my two jobs just to maintain a middle class standard of living."

What are our skies going to become - when we don't have the experienced crews anymore?

Edit: Funny - his pension used to be the govt. pension company that I did a thread on, that doesn't have the money to cover the 44 million pensioners that are under them.

[edit on 26-2-2009 by questioningall]

posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 09:27 AM
This is an important thread. I saw his testimony on tv, before I left for work.
If ever an event could speak for the value of experience, the river landing spoke loud and clear!

His testimony was once again a MayDay, this time to alert us to another situation. Lowering airline industry working conditions/standards might benefit the company's immediate bottom line, but it could spell future disaster.

The lost wages and benefits in the airline industry mirror the conditions of the American worker in general. The lost wages and benefits of the American worker helped to put the economy into a tailspin.
To wit, buying power of Americans shrank over the past decades, while increases in housing, medical, energy, etc. prompted increasing debt to "keep up" a way of life Americans were used to, a way of life proudly claimed to be the reason for the vicious attack on 9-11.

Just as the reason for the Hudson River crash took place minutes before, the seeds for the economic tailspin were sown years ago.

To Captain Sullenberger the time for collective action is now. Americans must now act collectively to avoid further disaster, just as the crew and controllers acted collectively to save lives.
Americans have been brainwashed into seeing themselves as the romanticized individual against all odds, securing liberty and safety for only themselves. Unless we start to seeing ourselves not as individuals but as partners in the economy, we cannot avoid a deadly crash for all.

posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 01:08 PM
Perhaps some day the airlines will be a thing of the past.
Can't say for sure what will replace them but jets are doomed
by oil consumption.
Also by security considerations.
The high security state means something is up.
In Germany that coincided with great technological development.
Also a few moves like volunteer camps.
Just to keep a watch on people.
Nothing like greed in technological developments to make one protective.

posted on Mar, 1 2009 @ 11:13 PM
Welcome to the real world...lots of people have to work 2 jobs and have been taking hits over the last couple of years.

However, with this great pilot's new found fame, I'm sure he will make out just fine.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 09:18 AM
reply to post by sensfan

Yes, the "real world" for the American worker has been sliding downhill since the 1980's. Two+ and temp jobs have been a fact of life for decades. Part time and temp work mostly meant employers did not need to pay "benefits" such as health care and retirement plans.

The reality of a global workforce has meant that Americans should have a health care system decoupled from employment, such as one other nations have.

The airline industry helped to lead off this downhill slide, as workers were forced to take cuts to pay and benefits. As in other areas (note auto), newly hired could work for up to half as much as older workers.

All this decrease in purchasing power (which is supposed to drive the American economy!) meant that Americans were parted from their incomes by any means necessary to afford a house, new car, etc (now deemed luxuries!), leading up to an American crisis bubbling over to a world economic crisis.

Too bad business leaders didn't read the same library book Captain Sullenberger lost in the accident. The book on professional ethics.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 12:31 PM
Sullenberger is experiencing the same kinds of hardships that are common in this economy. He is not alone in this problem. I know a USAir pilot and he is concerned about his own job.

Prior to recent events, Sullenberger was really just another pilot. There was no reason to give him special treatment, which I doubt he would want given what we know about his personality.

Now that he's a hero, I still doubt that he'd want to give up his consulting business that he's nurtured and that will sustain him after his commercial flying days are over.

The current problems with the airlines and the economy in general have nothing to do with this particular individual.

It is not uncommon for professionals to work 50-70 hours a week and often to have more than one job.

[edit on 2009/3/2 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 12:34 PM
It's too bad he isn't a CEO. They get huge bonuses for driving companies into the ground, looks like pilots don't get the same benefit for driving planes into the ground... or water.

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