The Cranky Ol' Bat

Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death! - RuPaul


As A Valued Customer, United Wanted Me to Know....

that they wanted me to get off my butt and fly them, dammit!!

(editorial disclosure....yes, I am part of United's frequent flyer plan. I haven't flown them for a while. Getting married tends to decimate your former travel budget....)

"This week United is pleased to share two important announcements with you. The members of the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) ratified their tentative agreement. Also, following a constant, good faith engagement, United and the International Association of Machinists (IAM) reached an agreement in principle. Together these actions set the stage for the completion of our restructuring and ability to offer you the very best service for years to come.

As always, our employees continue to deliver exceptional service. That's why United ranked #1 in on-time arrivals of the seven major U.S. carriers during the past 12 months ending March 2005, as measured by the U.S. Department of Transportation in their most recent report.

Thank you for flying United. We appreciate your business and look forward to welcoming you onboard soon."

I've never gotten an e-mail like this from my other frequent flyer plans, so these rumors must have really rattled the management this time.


My father was a retired airline employee, with a decent pension. United employees and retirees aren't going to have as secure a retirement as he did. The federal government is taking over the pension fund that United is jettisoning because it became "too expensive" after they had been robbing it for years to pay for all kinds of stupid crap.

Meanwhile, I am sure that the management will have pretty nice golden years.

Yeah, as an employee of a public pension fund, I have a problem with that.

I've talked to members who only had their checks to rely on. For whatever reason, they weren't able to save up much money. Bad luck, low pay, general ignorance about money, there were lots of reasons. But at least they have enough to pay the rent, get some food and have some basic dignity.

Thank God I didn't follow the family tradition and go into the airlines myself.

Look, if a pension fund is run correctly (ie. not being treated like a rainy day fund, having reasonably competent investment managers), there should be very little reason for most of them to go bankrupt. This ain't rocket science, kids. Really.

If there are any United employees reading this, my heart goes out to you. To get screwed by management is one thing, but to have your union basically go along with it until it was too late is another. Best of luck to all of you in the months ahead.


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