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American Airlines workers protest executive looting

Tulsa World:

As AMR Corp. prepares to report first-quarter earnings Wednesday, the company's unionized flight attendants and mechanics are launching protests against "executive greed" and "managerial incompetence."

American Airlines' 18,000-member Association of Professional Flight Attendants said they are picketing [#16] and protesting [#47] executive bonuses at 10 of the nation's largest airports.

Parent company AMR is expected to award stock-based bonuses to its top managers in conjunction with its quarterly earnings report, officials said.

Members of American's Transport Workers Union said they will be speaking with airline passengers in May about how American's baggage and other ancillary fees are not benefiting front-line workers, only management.

"We want passengers to know that when they pay additional fees to check a bag, that money isn't being seen in the paychecks of baggage handlers, mechanics or other front-line workers," said Sidney Jimenez, president of TWU Local 568 in Miami, Fla. "However, the top executives are awarding themselves bonuses year after year."

Flight attendants and mechanics have been working without a new contract since 2008. They gave up 30 percent in wages and benefits in 2003 to help American avert a bankruptcy filing.

APFA on Tuesday issued a 14-count "indictment" alleging the company's top five executives were guilty of "repeatedly plundering American's finances to grant themselves multimillion-dollar bonuses while the airline records another year of dismal earnings."

Beginning Wednesday, the flight attendants are holding informational picketing demonstrations at many of the nation's major hub airports - not including Tulsa International Airport - to highlight the disparity between cuts in flight attendant pay and benefits and the bonuses executives continue to enjoy.