MAH4546 is certainly entitled to his opinion (although I do find that his rancorous anti-union bias somewhat undermines is otherwise reasoned credibility). He and I are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I believe that a positive corporate culture does wonders to keep some carriers from unionizing. JetBlue being a quintessential example. When I was first employed in the industry, I too was against unions. However, after two mergers that saw the complete dismantling of my first employer's route network and outsourcing of our jobs, I began to change my tune.
I then became a flight attendant for a non-union carrier and came to understand quickly that FAA mandated regulations governing crew members are minimal and far inferior to other industrialized nations such as Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the U.K. In a nutshell, the FAA doesn't permit airlines to "schedule" crew members for more than 14 hours of duty (exclusive of international regulations). Being a crew member, one quickly discovers that "scheduled" duty times and "actual" duty times are two different things entirely.
So while a U.S. carrier may not "schedule" a crew member for more than 14 hours of duty time, there are no FAA regulations for "actual" duty times. Meaning, if an aircraft incurs a lengthy maintenance delay or is subject to lengthy weather delays and/or diversions, crew members' "actual" duty time can...and often does...go well beyond 24 hrs of continuous duty...without crew rest. At the end of the day, a crew member being on continuous duty (as I often was) meant that one's situational awareness broke down and compromised one's primary responsibility on the aircraft (safety). The only way to get around the FAA's "actual" duty times is to negotiate crew rest and duty time provisions that supersede the FAA's dismal minimum standards....and that process is through collective bargaining.
Most of the traveling public in the U.S. is not aware that crew members' duty time can exceed 24 hrs of continuous duty without any crew rest. After having lived through recurring experiences of continuous duty days that frequently exceeded 16, 18, or 24 hours on duty, I came to realize the importance of having leverage through collective bargaining, which is the only way to close this loophole between "scheduled" duty time vs. "actual" duty time.
As it relates to the current situation at American Airlines, current AMR management's plan of reorganization aims to establish code-sharing agreements with the likes of JetBlue and Alaska, thereby outsourcing a significant number of pilot, flight attendant, and maintenance jobs. With AA
's respective unions basically having to accept the company's term sheets without any real sort of "consentual" agreement between both parties (AA labor and AA
management) and Mr. Parker striking agreements that are much more "consentual", it is little wonder that all of AA
's union-represented employees are supporting a Parker-led takeover.
At the end of the day, it is a union's job to protect the interests of its membership and Mr. Horton's plan of reorganization would be significantly more detrimental to AA
's employees than what Mr. Parker is proposing. As members of the creditors' committee, much like other AMR creditors, AA
's unionized employees are going to go for the proposal that is in their best interests. That doesn't necessarily make them "malicious" or "destructive" as MAH4546's statements proclaim...
Come fly the sun.