Armed with Coffee, Donuts and Picket Signs
American Airlines flight attendants can’t help but be hospitable—even when picketing in front of their airline’s corporate headquarters in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas. These protesters showed up with coffee and donuts to serve to passersby and even the CEO of American himself, but he never showed.
Sleeping with the Enemy?
The flight attendants are expressing their outrage over what they see as a lack of fair bargaining between the company and their union. Many feel that Laura Glading, their union’s president, has become too close to management rendering her highly ineffective at looking out for their best interest. Ms. Glading’s cousin is American’s treasurer and she even recently attended the wedding of American’s president Scott Kirby. Not something you’d expect to see at such a contentious time.
Ms. Glading agreed to a highly restrictive NPA (negotiations protocol agreement) which limited what topics could be discussed in negotiations. This type of agreement is normally voted on by the membership, however Ms. Glading refused to put the agreement out for a vote citing ‘extenuating circumstances’. While American posts record profits after a bankruptcy financed by employee givebacks; most workers feel completely violated.
As Trice Johnson, a Miami-based flight attendant shared with Terry Maxon of The Dallas Morning News:
“We are here to let American Airlines management know that the tentative agreement that was rejected was not good enough and based on the unprecedented profits we’re seeing in the marketplace, we want our fair share. Sharing is caring. As you know from the pilot situation, all negotiations are very fluid. Deadlines can be extended. Talks can be on-going. There is provision in the current protocol agreement for mediation and talks. We’re hoping that talks can continue and an agreement can be reached, with facilitation, with the help of the arbitrator.”
Will AA’s CEO See The Light?
On profit sharing, CEO of American Airlines, Doug Parker recently stated “It’s just not the right way to pay 100,000 employees that don’t have that much impact on the daily profits.” Every major airline except for American and Spirit Airlines pay their employees. Mr. Parker explained later that he would much rather deliver an employee’s fair share in their paycheck without risk of lower than expected profits; however, the pay that he proposes is still at 2003 levels.