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Author Topic: Northwest Airlines lays off workers and then offends them w/ money saving tips  (Read 3157 times)

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Offline Cliff

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  • Posts: 2,645
Northwest Airlines Apologizes After Money-Saving Ideas Offend Workers
From Bloomberg News
August 17, 2006

Northwest Airlines Corp. is apologizing to workers offended by company suggestions on how to save money that included buying jewelry at pawnshops, getting auto parts at junkyards and taking shorter showers.

The list, titled "101 Ways to Save Money," was part of a booklet for employees being laid off as Northwest reorganizes under bankruptcy protection. The Eagan, Minn.-based carrier gave out 60 of the booklets before it began getting complaints, and it cut the list from remaining copies, spokesman Roman Blahoski said Wednesday.

"This is disgraceful that somebody at Northwest Airlines would send this out to a long-term employee facing having no job, telling them to do certain things that are very degrading," said Robert Roach Jr., a spokesman for the International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Northwest, the fifth-largest U.S. airline, is reducing pay and benefits and shedding jobs as it trims labor spending by $1.4 billion annually to exit bankruptcy protection as soon as 2007. The job cuts include 1,000 machinists as well as members of other unions.

"We sincerely apologize to our employees for any offense this list caused them," said Crystal Knotek, senior vice president for ground operations. "We have taken appropriate action with our managers and vendors to ensure that all materials are properly reviewed in the future."

The 165-page booklet was created for Northwest by NEAS, an employee-assistance company based in Waukesha, Wis. A spokeswoman for NEAS referred calls to the airline.

Part of the booklet dealt with coping with job loss, options for job transfers within Northwest and relocation advice, Northwest said.

Suggestions on the money-saving idea list included giving homemade cards and gifts, asking doctors for prescription drug samples, borrowing a dress for "a big night out" and giving children hand-me-down toys and clothes.

"Don't be shy about pulling something you like out of the trash" was one idea on the list.  The machinists union is sending a letter of protest to Northwest Chief Executive Doug Steenland, Roach said.  The airline also is seeking $195 million in wage and benefit cuts from its flight attendants, who have said they will begin a series of unannounced, random work stoppages as soon as Aug. 25.

Northwest has asked a federal bankruptcy judge to block the attendants union from striking.


Here's the full listing of money-saving ideas.

1. Set your thermostat to 64 and turn it down to 60 at night.
2. Use the phone book instead of directory assistance.
3. Use coupons at the grocery store.
4. Carpool.
5. Ask for generic prescriptions instead of brand name.
6. Do your own nails.
7. Rent out a room or garage.
8. Replace 100 watt bulbs with 60 watt.
9. Make long distance calls at night and on weekends, instead of mid-day, mid-week.
10. Throw pocket change in a jar and take it to the bank when itís full.
11. Always grocery shop with a list.
12. Buy spare parts for your car at a junkyard.
13. Go to museums on free days.
14. Quit smoking.
15. Get hand-me-down clothes and toys for your kids from family and friends.
16. Meet friends for coffee instead of dinner.
17. Request to get interest on a security deposit for your apartment.
18. Take a shorter shower.
19. Write letters instead of calling.
20. Brown bag your lunch.
21. Make your own baby food.
22. Use public transportation.
23. Drop duplicate medical insurance.
24. Buy old furniture at yard sales and refinish it yourself.
25. Apply for scholarships and financial aid.
26. Exercise for free-walk, jog, bike, or get exercise videos from the library.
27. Form a baby-sitting cooperative with friends and neighbors.
28. Buy your clothes off season.
29. Go to a matinee instead of an evening show.
30. Share housing with a friend or family member.
31. Hang clothes out to dry.
32. Do not use your calling card.
33. Volunteer two hours a month for reduced cost food through the Share Program.
34. Change the oil in your car yourself regularly.
35. Get pre-approval from your medical insurance company before undergoing any procedures or tests.
36. But Ďno frillsí vitamins.
37. Take a date for a walk along the beach or in the woods.
38. Make cards and gifts for friends.
39. Shop in thrift stores.
40. Have your water company do an audit so you are not charged sewage fees for water used in your garden.
41. Refinance your mortgage.
42. Grocery shop on double coupon days.
43. Trade down your car for a less expensive, lower maintenance one.
44. Convert your cash value life insurance to term.
45. Shop around for eyeglasses.
46. Donít be shy about pulling something you like out of the trash.
47. Recycle.
48. Move to a less expensive place to live.
49. Use low flush toilets or water saving devices in the tank.
50. Drop unneeded telephone services like call forwarding or caller ID.
51. Buy fruits and vegetables in season.
52. Avoid using your ATM card at machines that charge a fee.
53. Bicycle to work.
54. Shop around for auto insurance discounts for multiple drivers, seniors, good driving records, etc.
55. Ask your doctor for samples of prescriptions.
56. Borrow a dress for a big night out. or go to a consignment shop.
57. When you buy a home negotiate the sales price and closing costs.
58. Turn the hot water heater down and wrap it with insulation.
59. Never grocery shop hungry.
60. If you qualify, file for Earned Income Credit.
61. Shop around for prescriptions including mail order companies (Medi-Mail 800-331-1458, Action Mail Order Drugs 800-452-1976, and AARP 800-456-2277).
62. If you pay for childcare, make use of the dependent care tax credit or your employerís dependent care flexible spending account.
63. Buy, sell, and trade clothes at consignment shops.
64. Shop around for the lowest banking fees.
65. Caulk windows and doors.
66. Iron your own shirts.
67. Plan your weekly food menu before shopping.
68. Buy a good used car instead of a new model car.
69. Purchase all of your insurance from the same company to get a discount.
70. Cut your cable television down to basic.
71. Go to an optometrist for routine vision tests or to change an eyeglass prescription.
72. Buy pre-owned toys and childrenís books at garage sales.
73. Have potluck dinners with friends and family instead of going out.
74. Use the library for books, video tapes, and music.
75. Inspect clothing carefully before purchasing it.
76. Donít use your dishwasher dry cycle; open the door and let them air dry all night.
77. At the grocery store, comparison shop by looking at the unit price.
78. Make your own coffee.
79. Use old newspapers for cat litter.
80. Shop at discount clothing stores.
81. Skip annual full mouth x-rays unless there is a problem; the ADA recommends x-rays every 3 years.
82. Water your garden at night or early in the morning.
83. Shop around for long distance rates.
84. Hand wash instead of dry cleaning.
85. Grow your own vegetables and herbs.
86. Shop around for auto financing.
87. Donate time instead of money to religious organizations and charities.
88. If you are leaving a room for more than five minutes, turn off the light.
89. Shop at auctions or pawn shops for jewelry and antiques.
90. Keep your car properly tuned.
91. Request lower interest rates from your creditors.
92. Trade in old books, records, and CDs at book and record exchanges.
93. Pay bills the day they arrive; many credit card companies charge interest based on your average daily balance.
94. Buy software at computer fares.
95. Search the Internet for freebies.
96. Compost to make your own fertilizer.
97.If your car has very little value, you probably only need liability insurance.
98. Cut the kids hair yourself.
99. Increase your insurance deductible.
100. Buy in bulk food warehouses.
101. If your income is low, contact utility companies about reduced rates.

Offline Ann

  • Administrator
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  • Posts: 28,134
  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
What's the big deal? I do most of that stuff already and have done for a long time. It's called getting by.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Cliff

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  • Posts: 2,645
I don't think most of the ideas, (well almost all of them), were that big of a deal, but the dumpster diving suggestion was probably a bit over-the-top.   :o  It's probably more about the timing of when they issued the suggestions, (in meetings where employees were told they would be laid-off).  :-\

I don't know what NWA has offerred its employees, but I hope the company realizes that their workers are more concerned about how long the company will continue to pay its share of their medical premiums and what services they would receive to find new jobs or get new training, than whether or not they know they can save money by using coupons or taking shorter showers.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Perhaps it was a bit crass given the timing, but at the same time, there's a lot of good, common sense ideas in there that people who haven't been chronically, financially strapped might not think of.

And I would hope that this information was given in addition to information concerning their medical insurance coverage.

Anyway, what's wrong with dumpster diving? In the right neighbourhood, it can be a wonderful thing.  ::)

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Dachshund

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,941
I worked for those fascists at Northwest for a time. Every move they made was always at the expense of the workers. Northwest, based out of Minnesota has a heart as cold as a Minneapolis' winter.

Dumpster diving just ain't that fun when you know your CEO made millions and you are freezing because you can't pay your utility bill. At least you won't have to worry about refinancing your mortgage when you lose your home.

If it wasn't for the workers who would lose their jobs and pensions...I would say good riddance to those cold-hearted bastards.

Hal
(who sees the future of the American worker and it is bleak...would you like fries with that?)

Offline Teresa

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,753
I worked at Boeing and got laid off a few months after 9/11 happened.

They had a class for all the ones getting laid off and they gave us a list similar to that.

Teresa
Hubby HIV+ 5/5/06
CD4:320
  %: 26.7
 VL: <20
Atripla (started it 8/24/06)
 

Offline ACinKC

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  • Posts: 2,994
  • Bring it VIRUS! #2 Ranked In-crowd Member!
Does this sound serial killer creepy to anyone else?

37. Take a date for a walk along the beach or in the woods.
LIFE is not a race to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
in a pretty and well-preserved body, but, rather to skid in broadside,
thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming--WOW! WHAT A
RIDE!!!

Offline Cliff

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  • Posts: 2,645
yeah, I'm guessing the long walk in the woods probably wouldn't go over well with potential mates, (and quite frankly, neither would the shorter shower suggestion).

Offline carousel

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  • Posts: 821
« Last Edit: February 15, 2007, 11:12:19 AM by carousel »

Offline Ann

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  • Member
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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
 And Cliff learned #75 the hard way. :D
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Cliff

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,645
And Cliff learned #75 the hard way. :D
ooops, and I was just thinking....what kind of idiot needs to be told these things.  well I guess that answers that question.   ;D

Offline penguin

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you gotta wonder which genius in personnel thought this was an appropriate response? something tells me they not wandering round the woods with their special someone.

Anyway, what's wrong with dumpster diving? In the right neighbourhood, it can be a wonderful thing.  ::)


i call it "skip loot", & as i often point out to people, i didn't get where i am today by ignoring it  :)


Kate

Offline Ann

  • Administrator
  • Member
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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
i call it "skip loot", & as i often point out to people, i didn't get where i am today by ignoring it  :)


Kate

I was really disappointed when I moved over here and discovered they call 'em skips instead of dumpsters.

So now I call it skip surfing.

:D
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Matty the Damned

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  • Ninja Please
Perhaps if Northwest Airlines followed their own austerity measures they wouldn't have to lay off their employees.

Just appalling.

MtD

Offline jack

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  • Posts: 1,578
  • fomerly the loser known as Jake
Please,anything but carpooling or dumpster diving. Even though I did sleep next to one at  Mardi Gras, a long time ago, nothing better than waking up in the gutter with a force 10 hangover.
I think I will send this list to my wife.

Offline Andy Velez

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It would be "interesting" to see what kind of "cutting" the very top earners at Northwest are making.
Andy Velez

Offline Dachshund

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  • Posts: 5,941
It would be "interesting" to see what kind of "cutting" the very top earners at Northwest are making.



               ZERO, ZILCH, NADA, NOTHING

Offline Cliff

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  • Posts: 2,645
It would be "interesting" to see what kind of "cutting" the very top earners at Northwest are making.
I'm sure they've had their bonuses reduced, but having a $800k bonus cut in half when you're already earning as much in salary and benefits, probably isn't the end of the world.  And even those managers who do get laid off, most will have no difficulty in finding another high paying job.  It's the sad world we live in, where the haves are increasingly getting a larger chunk of the pie.

Offline jack

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  • Posts: 1,578
  • fomerly the loser known as Jake


Looks like the salaries are between 300 and 500 grand. Not excessive. Check out the stock price, 50 cents a share and on the pink sheets.

What I dont understand is how Continental has shown a profit in the last quarter when the couldnt when oil was $30. I guess they cut out unprofitible routes with personel cuts. I was stunned to see their stock at over 20 a share, it was under 10 before oil started going up.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2006, 01:50:56 PM by jack »

Offline jack

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  • fomerly the loser known as Jake
doesn't appear any bonuses were paid. This may be a turn around team, I am not sure, if it is there will be a bonus whether they fail or not.
If these are real execs and not just brought in to turn it around, i would imagine they have some very very cheap options.

Offline Cliff

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I couldn't find their executive compensation disclosures for 2005 (in their 10-K).  I like to look in there, because salary is usually just one component of an executive's compensation (and often it is the smallest component).

I did see that the CEO was offered a bonus of $625,000 in 2006 and 2005 and turned it down both years.  And he took a 24% paycut this year (in line with the 24% paycut the employees had to take).  I'm not sure I understand why the board wanted to give it's top guy a bonus when the company was bankrupt.

But you are right Jake, his compensation, now, isn't all that much (for a CEO).  However, he was bringing in $6 million a year a couple of years ago, (prior to the bankruptcy).  So I'm sure he has a pile of dough to get him through these 'lean' years.  Plus he's also getting, this year, over $2 million in deferred compensation for his share of the company's proceeds from selling Hotwire and Orbitz.  Again, not a ton of money considering how much other CEOs make, but I doubt he's going to need to lower his thermostat or go dumpster diving anytime soon.

 


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