McCain said that if he saw Mullin, head of the No. 3 U.S. air carrier, among other airline represent


Jan 20, 2003
Sen. McCain hits Delta CEO pay as air aid mulled
Thursday March 27, 6:43 pm ET
By Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) - The chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee blasted a top airline chief on Thursday for collecting a multi-million dollar pay package -- even as the airline was laying off thousands of workers -- and then pleading for government help.

Sen. John McCain, who with other lawmakers is wrestling with whether and how to aid the struggling aviation industry, is outraged that Delta Air Lines Inc''s (NYSE:DAL - News) Chairman and Chief Executive Leo Mullin received a package in 2002 worth about $13 million, more than doubling his previous pay, at a time of widespread industry layoffs.

I''m sure every American is angry, because they (Delta) laid off thousands of employees, McCain, an Arizona Republican, told reporters in a Capitol Hill hallway.

McCain is among key lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives trying to craft proposals to help the airlines, whose financial troubles are being exacerbated by the war in Iraq.

The industry''s leading trade group projects $4 billion in war-related losses if the conflict lasts 90 days. Lawmakers are looking at proposals worth up to $3 billion.

But McCain said that if he saw Mullin, head of the No. 3 U.S. air carrier, among other airline representatives visiting lawmakers'' offices this week to plead industry poverty, he would tell him: You ought to be ashamed of yourself.

The senator said he''d like to include a provision in an airline relief bill to prohibit that sort of thing (pay package) happening again, but did not know if this was possible. Much of Mullin''s package was in the form of stock options worth $8.21 million at the time of the grant dates.

Mullin''s pay was detailed this week in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (News - Websites). The filing also said that Mullin reduced his salary by 10 percent effective March 1 to demonstrate his commitment to share the burden of Delta''s cost reduction goals.

A spokesman for Atlanta-based Delta, which last year posted a $1.27 billion loss, said the airline would have no comment on McCain''s remarks. But Mullin is not the only airline executive with generous remuneration during hard times.

Earlier this week Continental Airlines (NYSE:CAL - News), which posted a $451 million net loss in 2002, said it awarded its Chairman and Chief Executive Gordon Behune a pay package worth about $7.63 million, excluding options. Including options, it was worth about $11.9 million.

The industry''s woes continue to mount. American Airlines, the world''s largest airline, is lining up financing ahead of a bankruptcy filing that could come next week, according to sources familiar with the situation.


Senators and their staff are working on an airline relief package of up to $3 billion, intending to add it to the $75 billion White House plan for war-related spending next week.

In the House of Representatives, lawmakers are drafting an airline aid proposal worth around $2.5 billion, but they do not yet know whether it will be added to the wartime spending bill, said Rep. John Mica, aviation subcommittee chairman.

Several key House lawmakers, such as Republican Leader Tom DeLay, have been telling reporters they do not like the idea of slowing down the wartime funding package with amendments.

Both chambers are discussing picking up some security costs mandated by the government since the hijack attacks of Sept 11, 2001, as well as helping airlines meet insurance premiums.

Lawmakers in the House also displayed some annoyance with airline executives on Wednesday, saying they kept changing their tune on what the industry needed.

Last year, airline industry representatives had told lawmakers they were paying $700 million a year in security fees, said Rep. James Oberstar, the ranking Democrat on the aviation subcommittee and a strong advocate of airline relief.

All of a sudden that $700 million has vanished and they are down to $300 million, he said. What happened?

FA Mikey

Aug 19, 2002
This is why concessions and give backs are met like a lead balloon, by front line and union employees. Management always in good or bad times finds ways to reward themselves. Whether its pay, bonus''s, stock options for mullin, AA''s country club memberships, Wolf and company''s retirement packages paid out despite BK filing being imminent.


Aug 20, 2002
McCain is no friend of labor, just look at the baseball arbitration he is pushing. But, he is right about our executives, this is just plain stupid. Don''t give them a dime in concessions.

All that I can figure is that DAL doesn''t really want the government bail-out to go through. They don''t want to break with the ATA, so they publically support the bail-out, then turn around and do something that will turn Washington against the industry. They probably think they can survive without the bail-out, but AA, AAA, and U can''t.