Thursday, October 25, 2012

Glading: I support a merger because it benefits me

Our dear Laura recently sat down for an interview with the Fort Worth Star Telegram to talk about the bankruptcy.  It sure sounded like she has her own interests at heart more than that of APFA members.  When asked about why she supports a merger with US Airways, this paragraph of stupidity was her response:

"We have to look at the industry and see what’s happened with other mergers. Having two giant network carriers instead of three makes it even more expensive for the passengers. I think when you have three there is more competition and more competitiveness. I’d also like to point out that despite what’s happening at American, you really need to look at United and Delta and see how they’ve grown and really stabilized and that was a result of growing and getting stronger."

Laura is right about one thing: We do have to look at the industry and see what has happened with other mergers.

Continental/United: Job losses before the merger ink was dry and larger financial losses a year later

Delta/Northwest: The whole company except the pilots went non-union

America West/US Airways: Remember the hub at Pittsburgh?  And the one in Las Vegas?  Neither do the out-of-work HP and US employees whose jobs that merger killed.  And those who remained are still working as two separate companies.  Strike!

And no, Laura- having a third "giant network carrier" would not help passengers.  It would raise fares.  More airlines = more competition.  You're welcome for the Economics 101 lesson.

So what does a girl want?  To be head of a national union and get the pay and benefits that go along with that?  No... Laura works for the people!

And by "the people" I mean US Airways execs Doug Parker and Scott Kirby.

Do we really need a union leader who has been bought and paid for by another airline?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Laura is "baffled"

Laura Glading really shouldn't be allowed to give interviews.  She puts her foot in her mouth more than Joe Biden.  This week she spoke to the Star Telegram, and let's just say it did not go well.  Laura may be "baffled" by Tom Horton's optimism, but many of her own flight attendants are baffled by her irrational grudges and obsession with a US Airways merger.

Following are some gems from the conversation:

"If it takes American Airlines a little longer to restructure in bankruptcy, that's fine with the president of the flight attendants union."

Is Laura mentally impaired?  American would be profitable right now if it weren't for the bankruptcy costs.  The sooner we get out, the better for everyone!  How much is US Airways paying her to read from their script?

"I really think these things take time and they can't be rushed..."

It's been a year.  Do we want to be United and stay in for four years, letting the lawyers bleed us dry?

"I think that there's overwhelming support now for the merger..."

Oh?  Then why have so many AA flight attendants told you to your face that they're against it?  You may be able to lie to the rest of the world, but some of us know the truth.

On the pilot delays: "The flight attendants were incredibly quiet and I don't think there was any ... finger-pointing."

That whole sick out crap cost us money.  Real wages that we use to pay things like rent and buy gas.  Why aren't you sticking up for the people you are supposed to represent?

Thankfully it appears that it was a short interview.  That, or those were the only mildly useful bits the reporter could get out of her.

Here's my point for the day: Laura won reelection by a small margin.  Clearly things have changed a lot since she won.  Knowing what you know now, would you vote for her again?  We need to take action and recall her before she causes even more damage.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Striking Out

In the latest bit of news from the hell that is our beloved airline industry, US Airways flight attendants are going to take a strike authorization vote because they're so fed up with delays and crappy contract offers.  The vote will run between October 31 and November 20, and I'll predict the result now: Yes to a strike.

For those of you less familiar with the airline industry, we have a unique set of rules about strikes.  These rules mean an actual strike is pretty unlikely, at least for the rest of this year.

The bigger takeaway from this is that it's a giant, flashing red light that not even our clueless APFA leadership should be able to miss.  Let me put it this way, if you walked into a room and found a bear and a tiger fighting, would you jump in?  Or would you leave the room?

For reasons that no one can quite figure out, Laura Glading still insists that a merger with US Airways is the best option for us. We know that she's blinded by hatred of AA's current leadership, but at some point AA flight attendants are going to have to wake up and realize that she is leading us into a giant, unresolved mess from the last merger US Airways attempted.  More than FIVE YEARS AGO.

Can someone please explain how jumping into the middle of this cage fight between the US Airways flight attendants and Doug Parker is going to benefit us?  I'm at a loss.

You know it's really bad when even a former US Airways AFA president is warning AA'ers about the merger.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Blame Game

An APFA hotline came out a few days ago, full of the usual bs.  What I've noticed in recent years is that the APFA administration is excellent at placing blame, but not at accepting responsibility or solving problems.  A few examples from Laura's latest ranting:

Blame: "What is important to remember is that we did not get to this place because of the events of the past few months. The situation we are in today is a result of a decade of poor business decisions by management, which resulted in a weaker product and the lowest employee morale this company has ever seen."

Reality: Very few of us like some of the decisions management has made in the last few years, especially the bankruptcy filing.  But Laura acts as if she bears no responsibility for not getting a deal done to avoid that very bankruptcy.  It takes two to tango, sister.

Blame: "And no matter how you look at it, bankruptcy is no friend to labor. It is designed to allow companies to shed their debt and restructure their business plan, all while being protected from those they owe. Unfortunately, we have recently been forced to divert our energy to protection and self-preservation. Over the past decade, our brothers and sisters throughout the industry grappled with the challenges of bankruptcy and consolidation. Just as we stood by them then, they stand by us today."

Reality: There was a degree of self-preservation in striking a deal (finally!) with American's negotiating team.  But at what cost?  We are losing some of the most experienced people we have to early retirement.  And how are other airline's unions standing by us today, exactly?  What help have we received from anyone?

Blame: "Please take care of yourselves and each other. Follow the APFA Hotline for the latest information. Take a moment to sign the petition to the AMR Board encouraging them to support a merger with US Airways. Know that it has never been more important than it is today to remind this management team exactly where you stand."

Reality: Supporting a merger with US Airways doesn't solve anything.  It creates all kinds of new problems.  I'm sure Laura would love to be absolved of all responsibility regarding the fate our company and union, but that's not how accountability works.  She can't just pass the buck to her boyfriend Doug Parker and walk away cleanly.

The next few months are going to be critical for our airline and the future of our careers.  Be vocal, be active.  And if you want a petition to sign, forget about US Airways.  Let's get rid of Laura so that we can install effective leadership.