Reality check


Aug 22, 2002
All these numbers that are being thrown around, all these fingers that are being pointed. Therein lies the REAL problem. They have labor faulting their own selves for what ails United Airlines. Let’s just forget about all of the billions of dollars pissed up a tree or thrown down the chute. That’s all in the past, that’s all water under the bridge. Right now it’s time to pony up more money for more of the same – to save our precious jobs!
NOW is the time for a UNITED coalition of labor. They have pushed us all against the wall. I’m not saying that we should destroy this airline. I’m saying that the only way to save this airline is for all of us to stop the back biting and join together. Wall street and management want the easy way out, they want us to FUND a recovery. They don’t have a plan, they don’t even ask us for input. They say that all they need is NINE BILLION DOLLARS from us and everything will be okay. Otherwise we are toast.
What do you do for this airline? If you are like me you work your butt off and you are willing to continue doing so. Those are REAL tangible assets that UAL possesses but if they continue to squander them … well, it’s just not going to work out. I’m convinced that the only way we can wake our leaders up is to make a solid stand against them, refuse to be intimidated, show no fear.


Aug 23, 2002
Basically everyone(company-wide)is going to pony up cash to help out the company in the short term. I think most here will agree that will happen in some form or another shortly. What comes next is the bigger test. That means a new and viable game plan to deal with the industry as it currently is and to project this out into a long-term strategy. A strategy that is responsive to changes and enables us to react accordingly. That will mean doing business in a much different way.

This is a daunting task. One may ask why. It isn't because we don't see the need to do so. That is quite obvious. The test I believe lies in the fact that each workgroup (ALPA, IAM, AFA, etc.) each have their sacred cows that they don't want to see gored! Some for good reason. Others simply can no longer be afforded.

It doesn't take a mental giant to see that we, as a company, need to become much more efficient in what we do. We can no longer afford a system that allows such a low utilization rate of both aircraft and manpower. Current contracts allow such inefficiencies. In fact it's beneficial to the membership to have them there. They're manpower positive. But right now we've got to make hard choices because we can no longer sustain the losses inherent with the current structure. This is going to mean that the decisions being made will most likely be manpower negative. Right now we have no other choice.

The biggest concern I have at the moment is that with the short time line we all have we'll make poor choices regarding cash concessions PRIOR to having a well thought-out business plan. All in an effort to secure the ATSB loan backing. I'm not saying we can't use that. Quite the opposite. It just seems that we'll be jumping through the hoop to qualify and the process is pretty flawed.

Hopefully, with CEO Glenn Tilton at the helm, in the next several months a new business plan will be formulated that will be much more efficient. My understanding is that ALPA is putting together something that will address some of this. (My sources tell me that a Shuttle Operation,or something similar, will be part of this plan.) All told, this and other similar changes will save the company hundreds of millions over how we currently operate. Sadly, I feel when all is said and done we'll have signed away years of concessions when the efficiencies of a new business plan won't be known for some time.

Another approach, albeit riskier, would be to agree to concessions now for a period of say, 12-24 months. Riskier in that you'd concede the fact that you wouldn't qualify for the ATSB loan guarantee. However, the savings would be quantifiable and would certainly offset the $900 million debt payment due 4/Q '02. In the meantime the company would be well on it's way to formulating and implementing it's new business plan. In doing so I feel it'll be imperative to open Section VI negotiation with all labor groups as work rules(remember those sacred cows!) and compensation will have to be redressed.

Just my thoughts but I think it's folly to agree to the ATSB's demand (politically driven perhaps!) of $9 billion in concessions for a $1.8 billion loan guarantee. Moreover, that figure doesn't even account for savings surely to be accrued with a new and more efficient business plan.

That's all I have. It's 9-11 one year later. While the pain has eased for those we lost, our memories of them will never fade! What would they have us do?

Keep them and their loved ones foremost in your prayers!