Thursday, July 27, 2006

New, interesting tactic in the labor/management wars

In this article, we see the labor union for American Airlines trying a new tactic in the usual labor/management wars: They are actually praising the 23% pay increase that AA's CEO, Gerard Arpey, will be getting (plus the usual stock options, of course). Why?

"Well," the labor union reasons, "if AA can now afford to give its CEO such a large pay raise, then this must mean that the time of 'shared sacrifice' is over. Now is the time for 'shared gains' ". What a brilliant tactic. Back in '03, the AA management had asked the labor union to take pay and benefit cuts to help keep AA out of bankruptcy. After much debate, they agreed. (Then the CEO of the time, Don Carty, tried to leave with a whopping retirement plan, for which he rightly got much grief, but that's a separate story).

Now, 3 years later, AA is showing its largest quarterly profit in eight years. The chickens, in other words, have come home to roost. Most likely, this tactic won't work, but I still think it's worth playing and utilizing. Plus, if the labor union can get the local press on board with this new tactic, then the chances of its success increase.

In any case, this shows that cool heads are in charge at this labor union, who are trying a more effective, persuasive tactic than the usual "anger, outrage, and protests" tactics of the past that are now less effective. I shall be keeping a close eye on this story, and I'll be commenting on its progress as things develop. See, this is the kind of juicy stuff that my liberal side loves. >:-)

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