Celebration of our biggest religious holiday (The Super Bowl-celebrates our cultural favorites: violence, decadence, and gluttony) is over and now we can get back to work. It should be noted that both the winners and losers were winners as a result of union representation. The NFL Players Association has represented their workers well. To complement their comfortable salary and benefits the New York Giants received an additional $78,000 per player for their win and the Patriots were held to a mere $46,000 for their afternoon of glory. The message here is that union workers can, and do, provide a quality product for their employer. Hopefully, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, and his union busting accomplices in the state government will now reconsider their efforts to eliminate collective-bargaining amongst the many workers in Indiana, who require union protection to avoid being shoved into servitude.
There are recent victories for unions, particularly in the airline flight attendant realm. With the two unions that represent the recently merged Air Tran and Southwest Airline flight attendants have reached an agreement regarding the, always difficult, seniority list merger problem. A highlight of this agreement is that Southwest has now created a flight attendant domicile in Atlanta since most of the Air Tran flight attendants were already based there. It is interesting that Southwest Airlines has shown continual profits since its inception despite the fact that many of their workers enjoyed union representation. The Harvard business school, Wall Street Journal, and the other anti-labor entities will continue to blame company bankruptcies on the union labor, rather than the actual culprit, severe mis-management and executive greed. Sadly, too many working-class people have been buying into this misinformation and disinformation to their own detriment.
From 1987 until 1997 I worked as a Boeing 727 Captain for TEN different airlines. Please refer to Chapter 9, of my book The Rogue Aviator. The chapter title is: THE TURBULENT TEN. All of the ten airlines were nonunion and six of them went out of business while I was working for them, despite the fact that my annual salary averaged well less than $50,000 per year as a Boeing 727 Captain engaged in international charter trips. The failure of these airlines was certainly not related to expensive union employees. Luckily, I finished my aviation career with an airline, TransMeridien, that had an in-house union, and for the first time in my aviation career I received a salary that was commensurate with my experience and responsibility. Several situations erupted when the solidarity of the union stepped forward to help maintain a reasonable level of work rules and conditions. More importantly, the airlines safety quotient remained at a very high level when the check airman took stand against lowering training standards.
More good news for flight attendants: A US Airways flight attendant union recently reached an agreement with management regarding improved work rules and salaries. This was long overdue for the flight attendants at US Airways and will provide a morale boost that will create an improvement in the quality of life aboard US Airways flights. Hopefully, this agreement will reduce some of the ongoing animosity between US Airways employees and their management. More importanly, this action will benefit other airline F/As since the old cliche about the “rising tide lifts all,” is usually valid. For anyone interested in a career as a flight attendant I suggest that you go to the following website; www.flightattendantfacts.com. It provides a plethora of information regarding the many aspects of being a professional flight attendant. For additional information relating to airline F/As go to: www.thecrewlounge.com. Please see the cover of my book, The Rogue Aviator, along with the final page (see above photos) to explore some of the positive possibilities. It can be fun.
This blog is prepared by Ace Abbott, author of The Rogue Aviator: in the Back Alleys of Aviation. (www.therogueaviator.com)