Re: Continental want-ad: LOW PAY!

From: (Robert Dorsett)
Organization: Netcom Online Communications Services (408-241-9760 login: guest)
Date:         20 May 94 02:04:54 
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In article <2r49hl$i8@nntp2.Stanford.EDU> rna@leland.Stanford.EDU (Robert Ashcroft) writes:
>In article <2r3lt8$>,  <MANNING@Uhupvm1.UH.EDU> wrote:
>>I realize that baggage handling is unskilled labor, but $4.94 an hour?
>>On the tarmac throwing heavy bags in Houston, in AUGUST!!! Five bucks
>>an hour!  No benefits.  Is this what deregulation has led to?  Jobs
>>in the industry which are the equivalent to flipping burgers?  No wonder
>>there are problems of employeees stealing passenger stuff: they want to eat!!
>>Do other airlines have similar pay scales?
>What do you expect?  This is a no skill job, one that any person in
>good physical shape can do (not that they'd necessarily want to).
>And our educational system is so awful that there are plenty of people
>with no skills---the only thing they have going for them is physical
>Do you think that just because an employer is an airline, all their jobs
>should pay more?

If I have people operating heavy machinery near my $50 million airplane, I
want people who are smart, in addition to the other criteria.  A recent
Boeing publication summarizes the expenses of a variety of ramp incidents.
These include:

757 engine/nacelle damage: $500,000 (down two days).
Baggage cart damage to 727 airstair: $23,800 (27 hours)
Beltloader w/fuselage: $24,000 (144 hours)
Cargo loader/747 door seal: $3,500 (3 hours)
Catering truck hit 737-300 door: $130,000 (18 days)
Chemical spillage in cargo compartment: $10,000.
Chocking error on 737-200:  $23,331.
Container damage on 747: $505,000.
Fuel door left unsecured, tore off in-flight and caused flap damage: $50,000.
Jetblast blowing baggage cart into 737-400 engine: $90,000.
Jetway positioning: $5300.
Lavatory servicing truck collision w/737-300: $1200.

There are others, but these are the ones that could be the result of ground
personnel, including, yes, handlers, etc.  People paid $4.65 don't generally
have a very positive attitude about their work.    

The counter-argument is that the union boys operate the machinery: but it
is the grunts who will spot left-over tools, unsecured vehicles, open hatches,
attached hoses and cables, etc.  

I don't know about you, but I'd like these people to have a bit more sparkle
in their eye than a clerk at Burger King.  They don't have to be college 
graduates, but it's preferable that they haven't already been stomped 
by life.

>Continental is paying market wage.  That's what market wage is for people
>with no skills but basic coordination and physical strength.

Given that this is at least $3 less than "market wage," I suspect the idea
here is to simply employ warm bodies, the result of a mere first-order 
cost/benefit analysis.


Robert Dorsett