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Southwest’s flight attendants join protests against American – 4.17.07

Southwest's flight attendants join protests against American

Dallas Business Journal – 11:51 AM CDT Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Southwest Airlines' flight attendants are joining a protest against bonuses for American Airlines executives.

Transport Workers Union Local 556, a union that represents more than 9,000 Southwest Airlines flight attendants, is encouraging its members to sign an online petition opposing the bonuses and to walk on informational picket lines organized by American Airlines flight attendants' union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.

early 900 American Airlines (NYSE: AMR) executives are set to receive awards of close to an estimated $200 million in stock.

"Our members are stunned and angered by the size of the stock give-aways to American's executives," said TWU Local 556 President Thom McDaniel. "Southwest Airlines has remained profitable throughout the very worst times in the airline industry through shared sacrifice and commitment from management and labor. The result has been growth for the airline and job security for all employees. Our executives are paid fairly and employees share in the profits of the company."

American in a prepared statement said "Since 2003, American has made information available to its unions and employees about management and executive compensation programs. American's executive compensation program is conservative relative to companies with similar revenue and complexity and is designed to pay at the mid-point of the market. Each executive's target compensation is closely linked to the company's performance and each executive's job performance."

The company went on to say that AMR's board of directors is responsible for making decisions regarding executive compensation.

In 2003, American's unions gave up $1.6 billion in annual pay, benefits and other concessions to keep the Fort Worth-based airline out of bankruptcy.

TWU Local 556 also is asking members to send notes to their congressmen asking them to support HR 1257, a bill that would provide shareholders with an advisory vote on executive compensation.

The online petition accuses American's top executives of corporate greed.

"Top executives should not take millions when employees made personal sacrifices to save the company from bankruptcy and still have not had their wages and benefits restored," the petition states.

So far, 173 people have signed the petition.

American's pilots and flight attendants unions have planned protests this week over payouts to executives. American will announce its first-quarter 2007 results Wednesday. The airline posted a profit of $231 million for 2006. TWU Local 556 said the company formally rejected a TWU proposal last week and refused to discuss any alternatives.

Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) is a low-cost airline based in Dallas.

Web site: www.thepetitionsite.com

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