Flight Attendants Picket During UAL Presentation at Transportation Conference
United Airlines flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO (AFA-CWA), are picketing today outside the Merrill Lynch Global Transportation Conference 2008 as UAL Executive Vice President & CFO Jake Brace presents United’s plans for dealing with the current airline environment. Flight attendants are protesting the poor decisions of current executives and their repeated bonuses while workers continue to suffer the pay and benefit cuts imposed during United’s bankruptcy.
“Workers at United Airlines are united in our resolve to drive out those who have taken from our families, neglected our airline and lined their own pockets,” stated Greg Davidowitch, AFA-CWA President at United. “It’s absurd that executives argue they need pay-for-performance, and continue to be richly rewarded when they fail workers, passengers and shareholders,” Diaz stated.
UAL CEO Glenn Tilton has taken more pay, bonuses and stock options in recent years than any other airline executive. This year another stock bonus worth $130 million is planned for executives. Meanwhile, Mr. Tilton’s peers at other airlines have foregone any bonus and pay while their employees continue to suffer like United workers.
“Pay for performance” is a cruel joke when it comes to the United executive suite. The 2007 Airline Quality Report reflects abysmal numbers – lower than previous years in almost every area for United Airlines. United continues to hover at the bottom of DOT rankings. UAL stock has plummeted to less than a quarter of the value it had at the beginning of the year, reflecting disillusionment of shareholders.
As the economy falters and fuel costs rise, airlines throughout the industry are working furiously to conserve cash. But UAL executives made a cash payment of $500 million in order to get approval on a $250 million one-time dividend to shareholders. Between the time the dividend was announced and the payout was paid the stock price dropped to half its value. Glenn Tilton alone cashed in to the tune of nearly one million dollars on the dividend for stock he’s not yet able to sell.
Today’s picket follows a protest by hundreds of United workers last Thursday at the Annual UAL Shareholder meeting in Woodland Hills, California.
Flight attendants are picketing from 8:45 am to 11:00 am outside the Merrill Lynch Headquarters at 250 Vesey St., New York, NY. Ken Diaz is the local media contact available at 845-893-6327.
More than 55,000 Flight Attendants, including the 17,000 Flight Attendants at United, join together to form AFA, the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000 member strong Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.unitedafa.org.