Two pieces of miserable news for Continental and its employees:
–The French government is placing blame on Continental for the July 2000 Concorde crash, saying that the airline did not follow proper procedure when replacing a part on the DC-10 that took off directly before the Concorde. The airline denies the crash was its fault.
–And Continental announced details of its salaried staff paycuts yesterday, and I cannot imagine anyone in Houston is too happy about what they heard. Salary cut details were not publicly announced, but I think we can assume they were somewhere in the 10% range that United announced on Monday. Equally awful was the news that Continental will no longer contribute to 401(k) plans, eliminated 4 of its 10 paid holidays, and reduced vacation days so that someone with less than 5 years of service only gets 5 (five!) vacation days. I think the reason Continental announced service to Nigeria was because that is the only country where those working conditions would not seem out of place. I’ve written frequently here that Continental is my airline of choice, and over time I’ve found their staff to be incredibly friendly and accomodating in the face of increasingly miserable working conditions. While I understand the need to cut costs, giving staff with 4 years of service ONE week of vacation is simply insulting. Shame.