6.11.19 – Press Release

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

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American Airlines Shareholders Need To Ask Tough Questions, Not Just Rubberstamp Lavish Executive Pay Package

DALLAS, TX. —With American Airlines facing continued safety concerns, delayed and cancelled flights, mistreatment of its workers, an aging fleet, and an increasingly weary customer base, AA shareholders are being asked to endorse more of the same.At a virtual meeting scheduled for Wednesday, AA shareholders will be asked to appoint 10 board directors, all of whom already currently serve on the board. They will also be asked to sign off on yet another lavish annual compensation package for its executives even while the airline refuses to give its own workers a fair contract and its stock continues to plummet to near historic lows.

“At a time when there is so much that needs to be done to fix the airline for workers and customers alike, American incredibly is turning to the same group of people who have led us to this very place and asking that we trust them,” said Lori Bassani, National President of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents 28,000 American Airlines Flight Attendants. “This meeting is the time for shareholders to ask the tough questions about what is going on and why, not just be a rubberstamp.”

AA continues to rank last among top U.S. carriers when it comes to on-time performance and has frustrated crew and customers with overhead bins that don’t work. This week American announced it was extending the grounding of its Boeing 737 Max planes into September, which is costing customers hundreds of flights a day.

The airline has also been dealing with a string of onboard incidents, including the hospitalization in January of two pilots and three flight attendants because of a “strange, mysterious odor” on the aircraft. AA has also refused to recall uniforms that more than 5,000 crew members have said made them sick.

AA has been hit with $100 million in fines over safety issues since 2000, far more than any other major carrier during that time.

Despite all the problems, management continues to rake in massive compensation while at the same time scapegoating and attacking its hardworking unionized workforce.
American Airlines paid its CEO Doug Parker nearly $12 million last year while other management saw huge bonuses despite the airline missing its profit targets. At the same time, AA is engaged in a contract war with its maintenance unions, even threatening to send jobs overseas.

“Maybe instead of signing off on a compensation package for its highly paid executives, the shareholders can ask questions about what those executives, starting with Doug Parker, plan to do to turn around the airline’s problems,” Bassani said.  “American has consistently under-invested in its most important assets- its workforce and its fleet. It’s time for the shareholders to address that. It’s time for American to re-invest in its workers, its fleet, and its passengers.”

Despite the ongoing disrespect AA’s hardworking but beleaguered employees continue to endure from management, Bassani proudly noted they continue to show up each day with the goal of providing first-rate services to customers.

“We’d like to see shareholders and management show that same commitment by focusing more of their attention on improving the conditions for workers and passengers and making American a world-class airline again,” Bassani said.  “It’s time for the shareholder to hold the real culprits accountable, not continue to reward them.”

Lori Bassani, National President of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants
Ken Lovett, 518-225-1883, kenmlovett@gmail.com

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