Late thoughts on ‘Miracle on the Hudson’

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In the recent edition of the Hightower Report, Jim Hightower wrote a short article about why the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ was so successful. He said it was because everyone involved were union workers extensively trained in safety procedures (pilots, stewardesses, fairey captains, firefighters and police). Funny the MSM media didn’t bring that up . . . ahem.

Yeah, those evil unions, where do they get off saving 150 lives? As Archie Bunker would say, “Geeessh!”



15 comments ↓

#1 Green Lantern on 08.09.09 at 9:29 pm

Yeah, those people would’ve been totally inept and uncaring without the beneficent unions to teach them how to do their jobs and show them how to care.

The individuals involved certainly don’t deserve any credit.

#2 l3wis on 08.10.09 at 3:45 am

I don’t think it is about ‘caring’ as it is about ‘knowledge’. Remember that plane that crashed in upstate NY not to long ago? Low-paid, young, non-union pilots. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

#3 Costner on 08.10.09 at 7:48 am

So it was the union that trained these pilots, flight attendants and rescue personnel then?

No – it wasn’t. It was the airline and respective agencies. They would have been trained the same way with or without union backing, but you go ahead and show me the union who decided to strike because their employer wasn’t providing enough training.

Get a grip. To suggest this has anything to do with unions is quite a leap.

#4 Green Lantern on 08.10.09 at 7:50 am

To suggest this has anything to do with unions is quite a leap.

Which is why even the union-loving MSM couldn’t report such garbage with a straight face.

#5 Sy on 08.10.09 at 8:48 am

Costner’s correct…and you can tell the resuers weren’t operating from a Union mindest as they didn’t take their half hour breaks and demand time and half plus mileage to and from the plane.

They did the job quickly and efficiently and actually put the customers (passengers) needs above their own. They probably got scolded from the local Labor Chiefs for doing so.

#6 l3wis on 08.10.09 at 8:58 am

Hey, geniuses, Sully was head of his Union’s safety board and stressed safety training, which costs the airlines money. If there is no union to push these measures, will the pilots get the proper training? Maybe, but probably not enough.

#7 Costner on 08.10.09 at 10:52 am

Sully was the right man for the job – but his personal ethics (searching the plane multiple times to ensure 100% of the passengers and crew were out before leaving himself) as well as his flight training (he had a lot of experience with sailplanes which helped him control an aircraft with no engines) are what allowed this crash to not develop into a disaster.

He might have pressed for more safety training, but frankly none of it mattered – union or not the end result is the same.

The silly thing about this is this is the one ditch that ended up with zero fatalities. What about the countless other airline disasters over the past 30 years….all of those guys were union too, are we to blame the union because people died? All those crashes that were found to be human error – do we get to blame the unions for not mandating more training?

Maybe those pilots from UA232 (the flight that crashed in Sioux City) would have been able to save more of the 111 people who died that day if they had pressed their union to mandate more disaster training.

Oh wait – better yet – maybe the entire thing could have been avoided if the maintenance workers had asked their union to push for more inspection time for the aircraft so they could have found stress cracks that existed before the aircraft ever took off in the first place.

So if unions get the credit for things when they go right, they sure as hell better take the heat when things go wrong. After all – it isn’t just pilots who are unionized, it is the maintenance workers too. So do we get to blame the unions when a crash results from shoddy maintenance or missed problems during an inspection too?

Double-standards are a real bitch arent’ they.

#8 l3wis on 08.10.09 at 11:00 am

Costner-

Sorry, but it just isn’t a coincidence that everyone involved in the rescue were extensively safety trained union members. You can fucking him-n-haw all you want, but you damn well know that union workers are better trained and are better prepared to respond to emergency situations. You won’t win this argument, trust me on that.

#9 Costner on 08.10.09 at 12:20 pm

Sorry, but it just isn’t a coincidence that everyone involved in the rescue were extensively safety trained union members.

Let’s be honest here – Sully is the one who safely landed that plane… everything else was gravy. The people pretty much got out and stood on a wing and some inflatables that deployed into the water, and for the most part the passengers were calm and helped themselves out. Golly gee…were the passengers unionized too?

By the way – Sully has been quoted that he credits his demeanor to training he received in the Air Force Academy. Not so sure he has given any credit to the union itself however.

How about Doreen Welsh who was one of the flight attendents. She was quoted as saying the following: “There was no doubt in my mind it was over,” she said. “And I just went crazy and started yelling at people and pushing people and getting people to go over the seats.”

So that strong union training teaches them to go crazy and start yelling at people and pushing people? Or perhaps this could have been just what it was… a normal human reaction to a traumatic event and a woman falling back upon her instinct to tell others what to do while on the plane… because that was sort of the reason she was paid and what she had been doing for something like 30 years.

Oh wait – we are only allowed to credit the union when people do things right, but when they lock up or cause problems the union had nothing to do with it right? Gotcha.

How about the various boats that came out to help right away – were those boat captains all unionized so they knew how to respond?

Hint…NO. It is just human nature to want to help people during an accident. Bravo to them for not looking the other way.

You can fucking him-n-haw all you want, but you damn well know that union workers are better trained and are better prepared to respond to emergency situations.

Actually I know no such thing. I’ll take a busload of non-union nurses and doctors over your busload of union flight attendants any day of the week. Union or no union that has jack shit to do with how well someone is trained. This whole “union workers are better workers” line is absolute BS and has been proven by simply comparing unionized auto workers to non-unionized workers. Quality, reliability, and rate of human error are in now way superior in union plants and in fact the auto companies with the largest union actually lag behind their peers.

Union workers might be better paid, but I’ve went to public schools so I know simply being unionized doesn’t make someone automatically better at their jobs. In some cases the union helps because it mandates a certain amount of training or skill level in order to be in a specific position, but in others it hurts because it keeps inept employees employed rather than allowing them to be terminated… it is not a 1 to 1 link.

You won’t win this argument, trust me on that.

I disagree – because your logic is faulty. You want to take the good points and give credit to the unions, but you don’t seem to want to take the bad along with it. It is quite simple – if you give credit for the unions for saving these lives you are taking something away from Sully himself. The union didn’t mandate he walk up and down the aisle checking for passengers three times. The union didn’t mandate he take 1000 flight hours in gliders just in case he ever lost engines and the union didn’t teach him how to remain calm and cool under pressure.

If you want to give the union all the credit for the safety training this crew received, can you tell me how many hours of safety training the union fought for in excess of what the airline mandated?

Sorry, but this whole argument sounds a lot like the reglious right proclaiming it was “God’s grace” that saved them while never blaming God when a plane goes down in flames. Can’t have it both ways dude.

#10 Ghost of Dude on 08.10.09 at 12:29 pm

Union workers might be better paid, but I’ve went to public schools

Somewhere, an English teacher is quietly sobbing to herself.

the union didn’t teach him how to remain calm and cool under pressure

How do you teach someone to stay calm under pressure? Either you crack or you don’t. What the academy would have done is make sure he would never sit at the controls of an aircraft if he couldn’t keep it together.
What the union did for him is insure that he was well-paid, had good benefits, and that the pilots he flew with were trained well.

#11 Sy on 08.10.09 at 1:51 pm

Sorry fellas, but Costner is still correct, even if he occasionally mangles his syntax.

Unions are shrinking in every employment sector these days with the exception of Federal workers. As that chart has gone south, overall productivity of the US worker has gone north. Those two points alone should be all you need to know on whether or not they serve their stated purpose.

Beyond that, the Union also have extracted a ton of money from Sully’s check, which his employer had to work into his cost structure. Money that should be going to solidify his retirement, but more likely went to things Sully may or may not be in favor if, like Political campaigns. The reason for the grease is so the Unions can reverse the market forces that are taking them down.

#12 l3wis on 08.10.09 at 3:57 pm

Okay, dissenters of Unions, How many people died in the incident?

What was that? I can’t hear you.

#13 l3wis on 08.10.09 at 3:58 pm

BTW, Costner, Sully has brought up his safety training many times in interviews, he might not have used the word ‘Union’ but he surely didn’t get the training from the local Vo-Tech.

#14 Eric on 08.10.09 at 4:13 pm

Unions had their time and place. Now they’re just a place for bad workers to hide. I’ve seen first hand how good workers are brought down to the level of the slowest, lazyest people in the company. I’ve also worked on both sides and in union and nonunion companies so I know what I’m talking about (at least in manufacturing). I’m a firm believer in getting paid what you’re worth. If you are unhappy with how much you’re being paid, go find someone that will pay you more. It’s called Capitolism.

#15 Costner on 08.11.09 at 7:14 am

Okay, dissenters of Unions, How many people died in the incident?

What was that? I can’t hear you.

That isn’t the point Lewis – you are using a red herring fallacy in support of your view. As I pointed out (a few times) if you are going to give credit to unions for an incident where no lives are lost, you need to also blame the union when it results in hundreds of deaths.

You appear to only want to credit the union for the save, but not for anything else.

Let me repeat – the union had jack shit to do with Sully’s ability to land this plane safely. He might talk a lot about safety training, but as far as we know that is provided and pushed by his employer and the FAA (which mandates so many hours of training on a yearly basis). To give the union credit for this is just a lazy conclusion.

By the way – just so we are clear here, I am not anti-union. I think unions do serve a purpose and they have their benefits especially in smaller sectors that would otherwise mistreat their workers. However, in this case the union had nothing to do with the outcome of this incident. To suggest otherwise is naive.

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