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Why airline CEOs should be paid motor mechanic's wages.

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The Hammer

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Good auto mechanics aren’t easy to find, and when you do get a good one, you stick with him, knowing you’ve found a guy who can tune, service, and maintain your car in tip top running order.

Now I like cars - especially those “top of the range” vehicles like Ferrari and Rolls Royce. Unfortunately for me, they’re way out of my league financially, however, if I were ever fortunate enough to be able to own one, I’d make sure the guy in charge of maintaining it knew what he was doing.

To qualify as a motor mechanic, the apprentice will spend somewhere between 3 and 5 years training, before becoming qualified, which is quite a while, when you consider an airline CEO isn’t required to hold any qualifications at all, yet are paid 100’s if not 1,000’s of times the salary of a good car mechanic.“So what’s the connection between an airline CEO, and a good auto mechanic?”, I hear you say.
Let’s take a look.

A car, like an airline, is something that has already been constructed and is pretty much intact, when acquired by its owner (the shareholders). It might be running well, and just need a small tweak here or there, or some minor modifications to get it purring.
On the other hand, it may require some major work - an engine or transmission overhaul, replacement of some obsolete parts, or an upgrade in the running gear.
But the basic shape remains the same - the mechanic hasn’t had to design the vehicle from the ground up.The automobile designer and manufacturer did that for him.

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simongr

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Jul 10, 2006
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Hmm - does a motor mechanic have to rebuild the irline from the ground up when a new car comes on the market? Is a mechanic held responsible for the car not starting after a tree falls on it - something he has no control over? Does a mechanic have to negotiate with the sparkplugs in the mrec he is working on because the spark plugs in the BMW next to it got a raise? Does a motor mechanic have to justify to the press why he bought generic parts that cost less but do the same job?

Training - hmm - how many Airline CEOs have less than 3 years management experience?

And finally so someone designed the car for him? Lets say the original design had a tendency for the coolant system to fail - the motor mechanic gets paid every time you take the flawed vehicle back for mor repairs and he can just blame it on the design - not sure how a CEO would last using the excuse "Well we still arent making a profit because we are stuck with the original design...."

Yes you do stick with a good motor mechanic but as soon as you are not happy you go to the yellow pages and find another of the 3391 that are listed in Greater Sydney alone. There are three (maybe 4?) Airline CEOs in Australia...
 

The Hammer

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Jul 28, 2006
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simongr said:
There are three (maybe 4?) Airline CEOs in Australia...
Employed in the capacity of airline CEO - yes.
But I'll bet there are hundreds of others who could easily slide in and do as good - or better - job than the QF CEO, at a fraction of his $6 million per annum fee.

Does a motor mechanic have to justify to the press why he bought generic parts that cost less but do the same job
Do they in reality, do the same job, to the same level of excellence?
You get what you pay for, whether it's spark plugs, turbine blades, or airline staff.
Pay cheap = get cheap.
 

bammac

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Nov 18, 2005
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codash1099 said:
Ah yes. But there are monkeys and there are monkeys.
My parents took me to the Zoo once in New Zealand and they had a Chimp ride on a Peewee 50 smoking a cigar.....now that was a monkey.

As far as CEO's, I'm fairly sure Gary Toomey would be hard pressed to match that feat. However he did have that Ansett gorilla on his back. Plus it cost more than peanuts to get that monkey off.

But that's a different topic.
 

bammac

Intern
Joined
Nov 18, 2005
Messages
72
codash1099 said:
Ah yes. But there are monkeys and there are monkeys.
My parents took me to the Zoo once in New Zealand and they had a Chimp ride on a Peewee 50 smoking a cigar.....now that was a monkey.

As far as CEO's, I'm fairly sure Gary Toomey would be hard pressed to match that feat. However he did have that Ansett gorilla on his back. Plus it cost more than peanuts to get that monkey off.

But that's a different topic.
 

simongr

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Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
14,229
The Hammer said:
Employed in the capacity of airline CEO - yes.
But I'll bet there are hundreds of others who could easily slide in and do as good - or better - job than the QF CEO, at a fraction of his $6 million per annum fee.

What are you willing to bet? The employment of thousands of australians? Yes I know that some crew are going to lose their jobs with off shoring - but is that worse than taking a punt on someone who does it for the workers and all of a sudden we have ansett?

Also - where are you getting your "hundreds of others who could easily slide in" info from? I didnt realise that there was a wealth of airline management talent out there willing to run a multi billion dollar business for say $150K a year.

Its easy to say "someone could do it cheaper" But would that someone still provide a return for the shareholders and ultimately that's who its for.

Qantas is a BUSINESS not a government body. If you want it nationalised and protected (more than it already is) so that they can ensure ALL jobs go to australians and you get sausage rolls in the QP then fine - I would rather the money went into hospitals.
 
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