Thankfully, Cap'n, I never said that they had done so, and would be stunningly callous if I had. I still have grave concerns about the motivations at the head of the IAM, but that is all purely academic at this point in anay event. My significant experience in labor union behavior has shown me, time and again, that the people at the top of the union will frequently take action which is decidedly not inthe best interests of the rank-and-file members.
There can be no doubt that Frank Lorenzo pushed too far, and should not have been in the business as long as he was, but his actions as regards the airlines as a whole were not universally evil, as is generally published these days (most notably, on these boards). He clearly lost perspective, lost the ability to distinguish "when to say when," and (most importantly) lost whatever credibility he may have possessed with the employees and the industry. For that, he is effectively precluded from the industry for life.
It is, hypothetically, possible that EAL could have survived on its own, had everything possible gone right (the same could be said for Braniff, Pan Am, TWA, etc. etc. ad infinitum). It is also, realistically, profoundly improbable that it would have done so. It's finanicial condition prior to the Texas Air acquisition was so precarious that its immediate survival was, even then, seriously in doubt; the airline was already in breach of virtually every significant financing covenant it had agreed to and, absent a very deep pocket's assistance, in that capital market, from where would further working capital have come? It is the height of speculation to suggest that a Presidential Emergency Board could have "saved" Eastern- the fundamental structural problems being suffered by EAL had worked, for years, to drag its essential value as an airline to being (by itself) nil.
I, too, have suffered through the failure of a business which I firmly expected would be my employer for my entire career; used to be, people could expect that. Even now, the chances of an airline employee of doing so are greater than those of a worker in nearly any other arena, other than government work. I (like tens of thousands of employees of failed businesses every year) had to adapt and move on. There is nothing fun about losing your job, whether singly or as one of thousands. But when businesses are simply poorly-run, as the Great Silver Fleet had been for years, they will sometimes fall. I took no joy in EAL's failure at the time, take none now. And, I have no great love for Francisco L or his ways of dealing with people and business. I do, however, view the historical facts in as balanced a way as I can manage, and I am always ready, and eager, to learn new things and change my mind.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...