Union plans pickets over bonus plan
By TREBOR BANSTETTER, STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER
Flight attendants at American Airlines plan to picket at airports and rally at their union headquarters this month to protest a slate of bonuses for top management and executives.
Labor leaders said Thursday that they are planning a protest April 13 at their headquarters in Euless. Attendants will also conduct informational picketing April 17 at airports where they have crew bases and distribute leaflets explaining the issue to American passengers.
"We want to have our voices heard on this," said Tommie Hutto-Blake, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.
"In 2003, there was a promise made that when this company returned to profitability, there would be shared rewards," she said. "But our folks haven't seen their side of it yet."
The bonuses, to be paid to about 900 top managers and executives, will be based on the stock price of AMR Corp., American's parent company, on April 18.
If valued today, the bonuses would total more than $200 million in stock, with CEO Gerard Arpey collecting $7.6 million.
American's unions have been increasingly public about their dissatisfaction with the bonuses. The pilots union is planning a rally and march on the airline's Fort Worth headquarters April 18, the day AMR is scheduled to release its first-quarter earnings.
Officials with the Transport Workers Union, which represents mechanics and other ground workers, said they are considering how to respond to the bonuses.
The attendants union released a report Thurs- day that estimated that Ame- rican's union employees have given up $6.4 billion in wages and benefits since they approved concessions in 2003.
American wouldn't have earned a profit last year without those savings, Hutto-Blake said.
Trebor Banstetter, 817-390-7064 [email protected]