“Who can handle the truth at American Airlines?
When a union official said soaring fuel prices might limit the gains on a new labor contract, there was such an outcry that he was put on administrative leave.
Never mind that John Conley of the Transport Workers Union wasn’t negotiating the new deal with management. Or that he was merely stating the obvious, a fact borne out last week after three airlines ran out of money and shut down.
Conley’s error was telling it like it is, rather than how union members want it to be — an impolitic move for someone in a political position.
But contract talks are under way with the carrier’s unions, and that makes this the silly season at American Airlines, to borrow a phrase from the presidential candidates.”
Mitchell is an equal opportunity observer. Unions and management both get a finger wagged in their face, after which he concludes,
“But try justifying the [AMR management] payouts to maintenance workers who’ve saved billions for American and never been made whole.
‘They feel betrayed,’ Conley said, ‘and I don’t know what to do about it.’
How about a reality check for all? If a fuel crisis puts a drag on labor contracts, it should put the brakes on executive bonuses, too.”