Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Asiana Strike Day 5

The Asiana pilot strike continues with both sides nowhere nearer an agreement. 3,000 hospital workers are also going on strike, but since I'm not sick I'll just ignore that story.

Here's the latest news I found in the Korea Times. To reflect my heightened state of raginess, I will print my commentary in red.

Since they went into the strike on 12 a.m. Sunday, the pilots have been demanding a total of 78 measures including a cut in flight hours from 1,200 hours per year to 1,000 hours, the extension of the retirement age to 58 from the current 55 and guarantee of 120 holidays in a year.

1,200 hours/year works out to a 25 hour work week (Hah! Didn't even need a calculator for that one!). That's bullshit. Especially considering that most of the time they are in the air they just take turns with the co-pilot flirting with flight attendants and napping.

Now they want to reduce it to...shit, let me get my calculator...ok about 21 hours/week. What other high paid professionals get off working such few hours?

120 holidays a year? Who the hell do they think they are? English language professors in Korean universities?

However, as the public outcry against some of their claims like scrapping of alcohol and drug tests for pilots are growing, the union said it would come to the negotiation table in more flexible stance on 58 issues.

Scrapping alcohol and drug tests? WTF?!?

Does anybody know where I can get more details on these rest of these 58 (fifty-fuggin--eight!) other issues on which the union just maybe might become more flexible?

Here's more from an editorial in the Korea Herald.

A case in point is the union of Asiana pilots. The public is not misguided when it believes that pilots, one of the highest paid groups, are the last to stage a strike. Indeed, a copilot placed on the payroll after two years of training is paid as much as 83.3 million won a year.

That's over 80 grand US.

But if they are as conscious of passenger safety as they claim, how can they demand an end to pre-flight drug and alcohol tests? They also impudently demand that a copilot applying for promotion to the post of pilot be exempted from a test of English proficiency, which Asiana rightly says is necessary for communications with air-traffic controllers.

Great. Future pilots may not be able to understand directions from air-traffic controllers around the world. Criminal.

Come on Roh, spank these crybabies. During the the next meeting with union officials, bring a special group of black-garbed, baton-wielding negotiators prepared with 78 specific responses to all of their 78 requests, each response beginning with the word WHACK! Finish by telling them the only thing they are going to get is an extra bag of peanuts during trans-Pacific flights.

And then after negotiations end, the Union heads can be rushed off to the nearest hospital where they can properly reflect on the responses of the Airline negotiators, only to find the doors of the hospital are closed because 3,000+ other professionals are too selfish to do their damn jobs.

That, my friends, would be justice.

Comments from original post

I blame you for flying with Asiana. :)

Posted by: Joel | July 20, 2005 at 07:28 AM

Remind me to never fly asiana. No pre-flight drug or alcohol tests - that's just nuts. So basically the pilots want the right to endanger hundreds of lives. That's just fucked up.

Posted by: EFL Geek | July 20, 2005 at 05:26 PM

They will get everything they want and more.

Posted by: kimchipig | July 23, 2005 at 09:55 AM

I like the idea of the baton-wielding guys in black; that's just classic. I remember when Reagan fired the Air-contollers in the U.S. when they went on strike. The U.S. has pilots going to prison for F.W.I.(Flying While Intoxicated) convictions, they should start that with Asiana. That would be a great wake-up call for those greedy so-and-so's. :D

Posted by: Jenifer D. | July 25, 2005 at 12:26 AM

You've left out another classic Asian strikers demand:

"We demand that our foreign co-worker pilots be fired"

No kidding! Yessir, that's some real classic union solidarity there - fire those bignoses whose sobriety might make us feel guilty when we enter the cockpit half-soju'd after the strike...

Posted by: Hugh | August 08, 2005 at 06:15 PM

Flying hours are block hours. Duty time would work out much much more. 1,000 hours is way too high considering the ungodly hours/time zones/curtailed rest pilots have to work. Even 800 are way too much.
Random alcohol/drugs tests are ok but daily checks? Are these pilots a bunch of immature school kids not to be trusted one inch? If they are then they shouldn't be flying in the first place......even as passengers!
Extremely costly to train pilots. Shouldn't their salary reflect this. Consider also 6 monthly medicals, where a pilot could be grounded permanently. Sheesh it's OK to pay mega bucks to Tiger Schumacher, but shouldn't a guy reponsable for 500 lives earn a wee bit more than your friendly lawyer? And when was doc last hijacked/shot/blown up?
Foreign pilots=strike breakers? Figger it out for yesself.

Posted by: Jim | August 08, 2005 at 11:32 PM

I have flown Asiana Airlines twice, and will be flying them a third time in Feb to Bangkok, they are an extreemly safe, and professional airline, I would never hesitate to fly with them.

Why do Americans allways get involved in foriegn politics, when they have no bussiness doing so?

Posted by: Brent Hendricks | December 28, 2005 at 04:45 PM

Hi Brent,

Address any of the issues I brought up in the post and we'll have a nice discussion. Read my other post on the demands of Asiana pilots and tell me which you agree with.

The final sentence didn't make much sense. I'm just a guy bitching about things on a blog (look around, people from every nationality in this great world of ours are doing it as well). If you were aware of this whole issue, you'd realize that the majority of Koreans feel the same way I do, so could you clarify how this boils down to my nationality? I suppose you have some sort of obsession with America or inferiority complex and you just couldn't help but try to squeeze in some anti-Americanism. But anyway, I guess that's your problem to work out and I shouldn't interfere in your business. :)

Posted by: partypooper | December 31, 2005 at 03:02 AM

No comments: