"...a pagan union dance"?
Um - call me dumb, but I'm not sure how "pagan" comes into this. Unions are a byproduct of the non-conformist church movements of the 18th and 19th centuries.
"Union dance"? I once took a union to court - and won - because I believed I did not have to be a member. It was not in this country, but in another, where more than 90% of the work force is unionized.
"This is profitable airline..." Quickly now, how many years is it since US Airways turned a full year profit?
"Saddled with a crushing load of union salaries, etc..."
Well, two things:
(i) Takes two to tango. Unions can ask. Management doesn't have to give. Any management that agrees to "crushing" salaries is, by definition, bad management.
If the result is a strike - and lost money for the time of the strike - that is preferable, for the shareholders, than unsustainable wages forever.
(ii) But if those salaries are "crushing", how come US Airways was able to turn a profit of $35 million in this past second quarter?
If they can do it once, with those salaries, how come management can't do it again? Out of control debt (not a union's responsibility) may have something to do with it.
"Is it mindblowing.....to simply lay off your mechanics...?"
If it is illegal, as the court decided, then yes, it is fairly mind-blowing. At the very least, it is totally inept management/worker relationships.
No one is asking to be a king for life. All they are doing is asking management to abide by the renegotiated agreements that management wanted.
NOTE: "That management wanted". The Mechanics agreed to what management wanted. Twice. Then management changed its mind and wanted something else.
"The pilots analyst had nothing but praise, etc."
As I recall, it was the pilots who were the main movers in getting rid of Mr. Siegel (they refused to work with him).
Since Mr. Siegel actually wanted less from the workers than the present CEO, I would say that the pilots shot themselves in the foot.
Simply because I defend the unions, does not mean I think the unions are blameless.
You ask me to give one flaw in the turnaround plan? Okay. FLL