Nothing is ever simple. Since 2001, we have all made painful sacrifices
to keep Delta flying. For those of us who rely solely on Delta for our
income, these sacrifices have impacted our standard of living. Yes,
impacted is a much nicer word than we actually want to use, but we are a
family site so we will keep it clean.
Fast forward to 2007, we can finally see light at the end of the
tunnel. Our sacrifices are paying off. Fuel prices are down. We are a
leaner more competitive company, and we can see the end of bankruptcy.
What can we expect? Delta has promised to reward us for our sacrifices.
While it may not be all that we want, it will be something, and it will
be this year.
However, twin threats have stepped forward to threaten both our
livelihoods and our regaining lost ground. Threats that could signify that
the light at the end of the tunnel is the danger of an approaching train.
Who are the twin threats to our future? Doug Parker and Pat Friend. At
first, it seems strange that a union demagogue from a second tier union
and a Frank Lorenzo wannabe from a second tier carrier would have anything
in common. However, their unwanted interest in Delta proves that they are
cut from the same cloth.
How are they similar?
Itís the money
First, both Doug-n-Pat need Delta to grow their respective
organizations. For Doug, he needs Delta in order to run a carrier that
remains viable. US Airways has a route structure that is primarily short
stage flying. In fact, it looks like most of the US Airways network is
what we have simplified out of our network. Doug realizes that his network
footprint dooms his company to compete with the real low cost carriers
unless he can diversify his network. He knows he cannot play the low cost
game and win.
As of January 1, 2007, US Airways had nineteen wide bodies. There is no
way US Airways can obtain a sizable international footprint in the short
term unless it merges or acquires a carrier with the equipment or the
preexisting route structure. In sum, for US Airways to be long term viable
and remain relevant in our industry, Doug needs Delta.
Pat Friendís obsessive quest to organize Delta broke the afaís
piggy bank in 2001. Its finances were wracked by her spending money that
the union could not afford on Delta organizing. As a result of this and
other mismanagement, she was forced to change the status of the afa as an
independent, stand alone union. After examining the afaís rather short
list of unions with which to affiliate, the she crawled under the
protective wings a much larger union that represents communications
workers, the CWA.
Like Doug, she wants to organize Delta to increase the revenue of her
own organization. She needs our strength to remain relevant. Assuming that
we have 13,000 flight attendants, the afa-CWA would make $650,000 in
initiation fees and an additional $507,000 every month. This is $6,084,000
per year for as long as they represent us. While we realize that due to
furloughs we do not have 13,000 active flight attendants, the afa-CWA
expects furloughed flight attendants to pay the $39.00 per month in order
to stay in good standing.
Pat needs us because the additional $6,084,000 per year might allow the
afa to crawl out from under the wings of the CWA and become a stand alone
union once again. The $6,084,000 might allow more funds to be funneled
into the CWA so it can organize more telephone repairmen or call center
operators. The $6,084,000 might allow the afa-CWA to pay Pat, her staff,
and her activists more. It may do all of this and more. We are not sure.
She really does not ask us over for tea very often. However, this all
boils down to money. It is about Pat taking it away from us and spending
it however she wants so she can build her organization and try to make the
afa relevant once again.
Itís the Ego
At forty-five, Doug Parker is a relatively young executive. He has been
steadily climbing the ladder as he moves from airline to airline building
his resume. He has had positions at American Airlines, Northwest Airlines,
America West, and US Airways. Now, he wants take our name, and our brand
and be able to claim that he built and runs the largest airline in the
world. This is good for his ego. However, his ego seems to be blinding him
to the fact that the airline that he already is running still has problems
and that the Delta deal just will not work. This deal is about him, not
Pat Friend once ran the largest independent union for flight
attendants, quite the accomplishment. She could walk in the room, and
everybody could say "Hey, there goes Pat Friend, president of the
largest independent union for flight attendants." Definitely, this is
good for the ego.
Under her leadership, the largest independent union for flight
attendants became a small part of a union for communications workers.
Under her leadership, the afa suffered the largest defeat ever in airline
industry organizing. This does not look good on a resume. Now, when she
walks into a room, people can say "Hey, there goes Pat Friend. Isnít
it a shame what happened to the afa on her watch. Letís go over and talk
to Tommie Hutto-Blake."
If she is able to organize Delta this time, it may help rehabilitate
her tarnished image, and allow her to move on to bigger and better things.
Again, this is about her, not about us.
Itís they do not understand "No" means "No"
Both Doug-n-Pat canít take "no" for an answer. Delta has
said no to Doug. We have said no to Pat, yet they still proceed spending
other peopleís money on an adventure to acquire people who do not want
to be associated with them. Maybe ignoring other peopleís wishes is how
they climbed into their leadership positions and their six plus figure
salaries. We think that it is just not right. Down here on the line, we do
not want either of them.
Say no to Doug.
Keep Delta My Delta.
Say no to Pat.
Keep Delta My Delta