I have been saying the amount of steps and duration to top out is ridiculous for years. Granted I was a Fleet Service Clerk and not skilled labor but 9 years top out......... that is like 1/4 of someones working career. Couple that with layoffs and that duration can be extended substantially. That's IF you get to top out. American Airlines is always looking to cut positions and contract out work. My career ended after 12 years. I got to top out (despite being hired in as a Junior Fleet Service Clerk) but was not there long. You have some employees that are fine with that ridiculous pay step system and justify and defend it. WeAAsles comes to mind.