So this is where the "leadership" of Laura Glading has taken us.
CBS is reporting that our flight attendants are lining up to take AA's deal that pays $40,000 to retire early. The deal is that flight attendants with at least fifteen years of service can sign up for the program until September 20.
How did we get here? Why are we lining up to quit our jobs and take a handout from American's management instead of doing the work that most of us claim to love? I have a theory, and it centers around bad leadership.
Quite simply, we're here because our leaders in the APFA have not done their jobs. Negotiations started in 2008 and dragged... on and on and on. The two sides didn't meet for months at a time (and there's plenty of blame for each side on that point).
After three years of making less progress in negotiations than even the pilots, American declared bankruptcy. That threw a wrench into everything, and we had to negotiate with the threat of a term sheet hanging over our heads. We negotiated, and we got a deal.
But it was a bankruptcy deal, and far less than we could have gotten from the company at any time in the three years of negotiations before the Chapter 11 filing.
So now we find ourselves walking away from our chosen profession instead of working to make AA a great airline once again. We have taken the hush money and moved on. But all of this could have been avoided, had our leadership had the courage to get a deal done before AA's bankruptcy. Had the AFPA leaders (and the pilots and TWU) done their jobs, we would probably not be in the situation we find ourselves in now.
There's an old expression: Garbage in, Garbage out. Considering who we've put into the leadership of our union, are the results really any surprise?