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Date: 03/24/20 05:37
Federal Sausage Making
Author: co614

"Word" on the street is that the latest ( as of 0800 eastern today) version of the mega federal subsidy bill has the Amtrak subsidy reduced from $ 1B to $ 500M and all the funds must be used to keep the LDT's running. 

   I've been through a few of these sausage making drills and can testify that it's not a done deal until it's on its way to the WH for signature. I'm sure there will be a number of additional changes before its final.

   Stay tuned.  Ross Rowland 



Date: 03/24/20 05:54
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: DavidP

It seems reasonable to allow the LD trains to go on hiatus for a period of time while travel is heavily discouraged, but equally reasonable to ensure that Amtrak restarts them when it is safe to do so and that employees are paid in the mean time.

Dave



Date: 03/24/20 06:34
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: ShortlinesUSA

Depending on which version is advancing, the airlines wind up with about half of what they were asking for, without any sort of labor protections (used to make payroll, no layoffs, no stock buybacks, etc.) and are only emergency loans, not grants.



Date: 03/24/20 06:41
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: Lackawanna484

Offering loans now and then forgiving them later can be a political fig leaf.

Nobody wants to be holding the bag when the whole mess collapses.

There was a lot of concern in the invest market about the impact of tariffs and foreign obstruction. Many companies were already talking down outlooks before the virus mushroomed.

Posted from Android



Date: 03/24/20 08:01
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: PC1974

This thread should have been titled not enough hamburger helper to go around.. COVID-19 is the ultimate unraveling of the Amtrak system as we know it. The following article from Railway Age was a direct reference to a online town hall meeting that the author clearly took part taking detailed notes. Not mentioned were things like Anderson asking senior employees to retire if they can so younger workers would have a job after the virus/recession did a number on the railroad. Anyone can see the writing on the wall, if they haven't drank too much kool-aid leaving trouble with visual acuity!

https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/intercity/a-sully-moment-for-amtraks-anderson/

A “Sully” Moment For Amtrak’s Anderson

Quote from article: “I’m certain that the long-distance network will be very different longer term,” Anderson said.



Date: 03/24/20 08:23
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: Lackawanna484

Asking older employees to consider retirement is a viable alternative for some companies. Throwing in some incentives, like paying medical to age 62, adding a year's pay, etc is common. Or, vesting stock options early. Or, offering a consulting deal for a while if you leave now. You have to be extremely careful, though.

In companies with rigid seniority rules, you are going to lose the older people soon as they retire. You want to keep as much expertise as you can, you don't want to lay off the under 30s now, and lose the over 55s a few weeks later.

#Offered those deals
#Taken that deal



Date: 03/24/20 09:04
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: BoilingMan

Well, there might be another angle in play-
Employees hired before a certain date have a 5yr severance protection- if Amtrak shut down, they still get paid for 5 more years. But if they walk, it doesn’t kick in. If Amtrak were to shut down today, employees without that protection would be gone, period. No severance.
I don’t know how many employees working today still have the severance protection- probably not many. Maybe not even enough to make it much of a factor in today’s situation.
To put it in perspective: I had it, but I think I was hired (1984) towards the end of the cut off. When I left in 2016 I was something like #15 on the national LSA roster. My number on the Car Attendant roster was much higher (I held positions in 5 different crafts, but really only ever worked as an LSA)
SR



Date: 03/24/20 12:55
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: PRR1361

Sorry, but the airlines don't deserve squat.  A, they've all been through bankruptcy before and have come out leaner and stronger, and B, if they hadn't spent billions on stock buy-backs and bloated executive bonuses when times were good, they would be in a lot better cash position now.



Date: 03/24/20 14:01
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: Lackawanna484

PRR1361 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Sorry, but the airlines don't deserve squat.  A,
> they've all been through bankruptcy before and
> have come out leaner and stronger, and B, if they
> hadn't spent billions on stock buy-backs and
> bloated executive bonuses when times were good,
> they would be in a lot better cash position now.

SouthWest Air has never filed bankruptcy.

The feds in the Bush and Obama eras decided the nation needed banks, auto makers, airlines, insurance companies, etc.

So, it established a policy of bailing out bad decisions and failing industries.

Let the government bail out bsd decisions while share owners pig out at the trough in good times is bad policy.

Posted from Android



Date: 03/24/20 14:14
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: Duna

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> PRR1361 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Sorry, but the airlines don't deserve squat. 
> A,
> > they've all been through bankruptcy before and
> > have come out leaner and stronger, and B, if
> they
> > hadn't spent billions on stock buy-backs and
> > bloated executive bonuses when times were good,
> > they would be in a lot better cash position
> now.
>
> SouthWest Air has never filed bankruptcy.
>
> The feds in the Bush and Obama eras decided the
> nation needed banks, auto makers, airlines,
> insurance companies, etc.
>
> So, it established a policy of bailing out bad
> decisions and failing industries.
>
> Let the government bail out bsd decisions while
> share owners pig out at the trough in good times
> is bad policy.
>


For over 2000 years bankers have demanded sacrifice of others. Grist for the mill.



Date: 03/24/20 15:31
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: march_hare

Seems to me that the barriers to entry in the airline biz aren’t all that high. New ones sprout up like mushrooms on a cow pie. 

So so why should I give a hoot about the bankruptcy and closure of a bunch of existing airline companies that have abused previous taxpayer rescues?  Somebody else will come along.  



Date: 03/24/20 15:46
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: Lackawanna484

march_hare Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Seems to me that the barriers to entry in the
> airline biz aren’t all that high. New ones
> sprout up like mushrooms on a cow pie. 
>
> So so why should I give a hoot about the
> bankruptcy and closure of a bunch of existing
> airline companies that have abused previous
> taxpayer rescues?  Somebody else will come along.
>  

There are many late model aircraft stored in places like Kingman and Pinal AZ. Plenty of good, trained crews on layoff.

Places like Westchester County NY, Lehigh Valley PA, and Trenton NJ that would love a carrier

Posted from Android



Date: 03/24/20 16:03
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: goneon66

IF we ever recover economically to the point where we were at 3 months ago, a lot airline travel will be necessary for a good economy.

that said, IF we start airline "bailouts," there needs to be a clause as to what ceo's and upper mgt. can make and TAKE when they leave.

just my opinion.........

66



Date: 03/24/20 16:13
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: Lackawanna484

goneon66 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> IF we ever recover economically to the point where
> we were at 3 months ago, a lot airline travel will
> be necessary for a good economy.
>
> that said, IF we start airline "bailouts," there
> needs to be a clause as to what ceo's and upper
> mgt. can make and TAKE when they leave.
>
> just my opinion.........
>
> 66

That last part is a sticking point. One party wants tough controls on buybacks and exec comp with the windfall.

The other side is OK with "trust me" from the firms. What could go wrong with that?

Posted from Android



Date: 03/24/20 16:19
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: goneon66

PC1974 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This thread should have been titled not enough
> hamburger helper to go around.. COVID-19 is the
> ultimate unraveling of the Amtrak system as we
> know it. The following article from Railway Age
> was a direct reference to a online town hall
> meeting that the author clearly took part taking
> detailed notes. Not mentioned were things like
> Anderson asking senior employees to retire if they
> can so younger workers would have a job after the
> virus/recession did a number on the railroad.
> Anyone can see the writing on the wall, if they
> haven't drank too much kool-aid leaving trouble
> with visual acuity!
>
> https://www.railwayage.com/passenger/intercity/a-s
> ully-moment-for-amtraks-anderson/
>
> A “Sully” Moment For Amtrak’s Anderson
>
> Quote from article: “I’m certain that the
> long-distance network will be very different
> longer term,” Anderson said.

i agree as i think the economic ramifications from covid-19 are underestimated and unfortunately, amtrak will be standing in a LONG line for money.  

oh, and i want amtrak to be properly funded...........

66



Date: 03/24/20 18:29
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: goduckies

If you out limits on executive comp you will lose the executive to other industries. The last thing they need right now imo.

Posted from Android



Date: 03/24/20 18:41
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: goneon66

i don't think we will have ANY shortage of people wanting to be paid well as executives/c.e.o.'s in the future..........

66  



Date: 03/25/20 03:03
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: Typhoon

PRR1361 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> , and B, if they
> hadn't spent billions on stock buy-backs and
> bloated executive bonuses when times were good,
> they would be in a lot better cash position now.

Sitting on a pile of cash with a low stock price?  Carl Icahn and his ilk love your idea.



Date: 03/25/20 03:17
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: cchan006

goneon66 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> IF we ever recover economically to the point where
> we were at 3 months ago, a lot airline travel will
> be necessary for a good economy.
>
> that said, IF we start airline "bailouts," there
> needs to be a clause as to what ceo's and upper
> mgt. can make and TAKE when they leave.
>
> just my opinion.........
>
> 66

There was a different business model generations ago, where nickel-and-dime fees weren't needed to keep the airlines solvent. Hopefully, consumer "advocates" have the guts to speak out before the airlines get the bailout money, so the service part of the airline industry will improve, especially the insulting fees to oppress travelers.

Also keep in mind that the ease of global travel is the root cause of how quickly COVID-19 has become a pandemic. This is the result of the "globalization" policy that has really taken root the past 3 decades, which also includes "ease" of moving goods globally. That policy will need to be reviewed before we think about economic "recovery." There's a possibility the airline industry will never return to what it was 3-4 months ago.
 



Date: 03/25/20 05:01
Re: Federal Sausage Making
Author: joemvcnj

These nuisance fees are also intended to bypass the ticket tax for the FAA. 



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