Yesterday, the American Airlines flight attendants union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), picketed the headquarters of American in Fort Worth. This kicked off a series of demonstrations that will take place in at least 15 airports. On Wednesday, the AA pilots will join in the demonstrations.
Why are they unhappy? It seems that they just found out that they are being screwed by American Airlines again. Four years ago, the rank-and-file employees of the airline agreed to a pay-cut to help save the financially-troubled airline. Now that the airline is back on is back on a firmer financial foundation, it is proposing to reward some of its employees.
But the financial rewards are not going to the employees that sacrificed to help save the airlines. The unions have recently learned that American Airlines is scheduled to give over $200 million to airline management next week. The head of American Airlines, Gerard Arpey, is scheduled to receive around $7 million.
This is a slap in the face to attendants, pilots and other employees who are still working for the reduced salaries agreed to in 2003. I don't blame them for picketing the airline! Why should they continue to work at reduced wages, while airline executives receive exorbitant bonuses?
Once again, an American corporation is shafting its workers while making its executives and management rich. This is just wrong!
Management should not receive a single dollar in bonuses until full wages have been restored to all employees. These bonuses have not been earned. They are coming straight out of the pockets of rank-and-file employees.
This is not a very smart move by American Airlines. I doubt if the unions can stop management from getting rich at their expense right now, but contract negotiations will begin next year for some of the airline's unions. You can bet the unions will not have forgotten how they were treated this year.
In their race to make themselves rich through bonuses this year, the American Airlines management have just made their next round of employee negotiations much more difficult. These unions will no longer be willing to make sacrifices just so the bosses can get richer.