Air Transport World

Work-rule breakthrough. (new work pattern at Ryder Airlines Services; includes a related article on airline maintenance)

PRESTWICK, Scotland--Engine-overhaul personnel at the Ryder Airlines Services' Caledonian plant alongside the international airport here have started what is claimed to be a work pattern unique in this sector of the industry: Two 12-hr. day shifts, 24 hr. free, two 12-hr. night shifts, followed by four days off.

The pattern is published 12 months ahead, enabling workers to plan their leisure time well in advance, and has enabled Caledonian to go to 24-hr. working throughout the year, apart from two days at Christmas and two days at New Year.

Stephen Henderson, the company's director of operations, explained the thinking behind the move: "We recognize [that] we are a company working with airlines that operate on a 24-hour, 7-day week work schedule, irrespective of time zones. We began the scheme last May and it is already attracting new business, with airlines contacting us in the middle of the night with AOG problems.

"We call it the 4-by-4 working pattern and it is a service we offer at no additional cost to the customer. We have a nonunion work force here and when they were balloted, there was a major acceptance of this radical change, with the result an overwhelming 96% in favor. The benefits to them are increased leisure time, higher security of earnings, greater job satisfaction. Our people realize this is a highly competitive market. They work closely with the customer and have a feel for what is going on. They know they are safeguarding their jobs in the long term."

Marshall Taylor, president, Ryder Airline Services, took up the story: "Previously, we had two shifts," he said. …

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