Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'm Not Flying American for a While

Not broke, just tired of paying decent wages. Yeah, I'm booking you like not soon.

Read this Yglesias in Slate. Hard to swallow graphs:
This horror story begins with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing made by AMR Corp. (the holding company that owns American Airlines) last November. Bankruptcy, conventionally speaking, is about restructuring debts owed to banks and bondholders. But most of American’s debt was backed by hard assets like airplanes. What’s more, AMR actually had some cash on hand at the time of the filing. The debts American really wanted to restructure were the implicit debts to employees. As S&P analyst Philip Baggaley put it at the time, the goal was to “reorganize in Chapter 11 and emerge as a somewhat smaller airline with more competitive labor costs and a lighter debt load.” In other words, American went into bankruptcy primarily so it could pay people less.
...When American angered its pilots, they struck back by doing the reverse—deliberately calling in every little complaint, timed for the worst possible moment. The results were catastrophic, and it’s no surprise that the recent improvement in flight timeliness has coincided with a resumption of negotiations. But American doesn’t seem to have backed away from a philosophical commitment to hardball anti-union tactics. In June, it persuaded a federal judge to rule that a new, higher threshold for triggering a unionization vote among passenger-service agents should be applied retroactively, contrary to the interpretation of the National Mediation Board. On Oct. 3, an appeals court judge overruled that call, but the airline insists it’s going to keep fighting rather than allow an election to go forward. If nothing else, American may delay the process until next year in hopes that Mitt Romney wins the election and appoints a more management-friendly National Mediation Board.
 I'm not flying American until they knock it off. Too bad. I liked American. Read the whole Yglesias post.

Can't keep the seats filled if they keep falling apart.

A very good reason to be pro-union.

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