Friday, January 24, 2020
An Open Letter to American Airlines CEO Doug Parker on “Sharing the Profit”
Your words fall short.
Your loyal and professional Flight Attendants have read your “Message on Profit Sharing.” Let me reiterate: your words fall short.
To the point — your Flight Attendant “team” members respectfully ask you to stop referring to us as a team — because we are not. All of the corporate slogans and communications gimmicks are an obvious, but failed attempt to confuse reality with rhetoric.
When we pull the curtain back, our every day reality makes so many Flight Attendants feel undervalued, overstressed and overlooked.
Let us first look at the facts behind the “profit sharing” fiasco:
*AA’s profit sharing payout was dwarfed by the payouts out at Southwest (with higher paid FA’s) and Delta, and even by United Airlines (led by one of AA’s former departed executives).
*AA’s financial performance lags behind our peer airlines. However, the salary packages of our executives and inflight leaders leaves the C-Suite highly compensated. All the while our members and their families struggle. This corporate disparity is indefensible and the opposite of a “team” approach.
*You used a portion of the “undisclosed amount” Boeing settlement to help fund profit sharing on a company wide level. While we agree all employees deserve to share in AA’s profits, you have at the same time failed to address our Flight Attendants’ and Pilots’ specific injuries which may include direct or indirect lost work (financial) and emotional stress as a result of the entire MAX 737 disaster. Really —this is AA’s way of making your loyal Flight Attendants feel valued?
It is quite plainly insulting and unacceptable that the AA Corporate and Inflight Leadership “Team” has failed us again with this profit sharing shell game.
Have you forgotten who paved the way for this “mega airline merger”? Have you forgotten who built the respective legacy airlines that make up the “world’s largest airline”? Do you not realize that the “feather in your cap” would not have been possible without Labor’s help?
Mr. Parker, at a time when AA is calling for “volunteer team members” to “Champion” AA’s cause…I am calling on you to step forward and be a “Champion” for your employees, including the 28,000 professional Flight Attendants who carry on and carry out the important work needed every day to run a successful airline.
And while I’m on the subject of missteps from our executive suite…let me again direct your attention to the constant scheduling issues, the oppressive attendance program, and most recently the offer of “extra hand wipes” to deal with a killer virus…
Let me underscore that I have always respected our conversations and your intentions. I have taken you at your word that you do care. But your words are nothing without action. We need true results and the “profit sharing payout” has failed to deliver.
Mr. Parker, I don’t need to tell you that our “morale” reflects the rock-bottom status of our once proud American Airlines. I am calling on you to take every opportunity to “get it right” before it all goes too wrong.
Lori L. Bassani
APFA National President