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1.10.06 – (LAA) – Press Release – Labor Unions at AA Voice Concern Over Executive Bonuses

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with a Special Hotline Update for Wednesday, January 10, 2006.

The following statement was released to the media on January 9, 2006:



Fort Worth, Texas (January 9, 2006) – The leaders of the three unions at American Airlines – the Allied Pilots Association, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Transport Workers Union – convened this morning in a special meeting to discuss Friday’s announcement by AMR regarding the bonuses to be awarded to approximately 1,000 management employees under their Management Performance Unit Plan.

Following this meeting, the unions released a joint statement that reads as follows: “APA, APFA and TWU are concerned over the irrationality of tying cash bonuses solely to the performance of our stock.

“The union-represented employees at American Airlines have devoted a tremendous amount of energy, time and resources working together with management in an effort to return our airline to profitability. Management has continuously acknowledged that these joint efforts have contributed not only to the great strides our company has made, but also to Wall Street’s confidence in American Airlines.

“All three unions have requested a meeting with senior management to seek in-depth clarification on the Management Performance Unit Plan. We seriously question the logic behind these cash bonuses.”


As a result of this meeting with APA and TWU and after further discussion within the APFA leadership, APFA has decided to cancel its participation in the APFA/AA Base Briefings originally scheduled beginning this week through the second week of February.

As you can imagine, we have received hundreds of emails from members over the past several days, and I would like to read an excerpt from one of our Flight Attendants:

“I find myself both furious and disheartened. AA has spent a great deal of time, energy and money on a new consulting approach, working toward a kind of bridge building between management and the unions. I have watched what felt like a different kind of cooperative relationship develop – some sense of sharing both goals and sacrifices…

“Clearly, there is no sense of shared reward… Clearly, the sacrifices only come from the front-line employees. There have been so many articles in recent years about “runaway executive compensation.” So much written about the incestuous nature of corporate boards of directors and compensation boards. How on earth is it possible for these people not to understand that they may have just destroyed all of that cooperative spirit they have spent the last few years trying to build.”

“Even JP Morgan, with all of his great wealth, has been quoted as saying that “No chief executive should earn more than 20 times an average worker’s pay.” So if I divide $1.7M by 20…?”

APFA shares in your frustration and like each of you, we are still awaiting answers from senior management. When we get these answers, we will pass them on to the membership.

It is important that every member stays informed via the APFA Web site and the APFA Hotline, and remember – please avoid galley gossip.

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