Editor's Viewpoint

Welcome to the seventh annual Maximizing Your Career Choice issue. In this annual issue, we take a slight detour from our usual lineup of technical and regulatory editorial to focus more specifically on issues that can help you get the most out of your career — whether that be moving up in your company or landing that dream job. We have articles on conflict management, negotiation, and marketing yourself.

Also in this issue are the results from our 2005 salary survey. Thanks to all who participated in our survey. This year we saw an increase in the number of international respondents. Hopefully next year we will have enough information submitted to be able to provide salary survey results for some of our international readers.

When planning for this issue a few months back, I felt that one topic that affected the careers of many aircraft mechanics was outsourcing, and I wanted to cover it in the magazine. In this issue we discuss this controversial subject. Outsourcing is having a huge impact in the aviation industry, especially in the major airlines, and all indications point to increased outsourcing activity in the future. In this month’s outsourcing article, Michelle Gardner talks to some industry insiders to get a perspective on how outsourcing is affecting mechanics, and what if anything can be done to stop this trend. By the way, we have a discussion thread on our online forum pertaining to outsourcing. Several readers have already posted their comments. Be sure to visit www.AMTonline.com and click on “Forums” and share your thoughts and concerns on the issue of outsourcing.

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On a slightly different note, I would like to highlight a news item that surfaced as this issue was going to press. The Irish Independent newspaper reported that an Aer Lingus (the national airline of Ireland) memo leaked to the newspaper discussed a plan to indirectly pressure 1,800 staff to voluntarily quit in order to reduce workforce numbers. The 12-point plan included strategies such as implementing awkward shift patterns, tedious training programs, and tacky uniforms.

Three government inquiries have already been launched to address the charges, and airline unions are requesting a formal apology from the airline.

One must wonder if the U.S. airlines are encouraging their employees to leave the industry as well. Although their efforts may not be planned, some of the airlines’ actions may have a permanent negative effect on employee morale and work culture. Forced pay concessions? Increased amount of outsourcing? Reduction of benefits? With all of the negative publicity that is abound, will the airlines be able to keep and/or attract qualified maintenance professionals to keep their fleets flying safely? What does the future hold for airline mechanics? I guess time will tell.

Thanks for reading, and keep that feedback coming!

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