YOU CHEAT AND YOU LIE, YOU MAKE ME WANT TO CRY!
This past week, as well as over the past few years, United airlines has successfully taken much of the incentive away from their workers. They have asked for, and gotten, repeated concessions from the workers. The workers have watched their pay cut numerous times and their benefits taken away or lessened. United management this past week went to court to take away the workers future, their pension.
Bankruptcy calls for hard measures and the workers have known they would have to make hard sacrifices. They know that it would keep the company going, and hopefully to a successful ending. The only thing the workers expected from the management of United was a fair shake. They expected everyone to make sacrifices.
United’s CEO recently claimed he would also sacrifice, he would take a pay cut along with his rank and file workers, he only failed to mention that he also got a bonus which negated that cut. In fact, he came out from his cut with more money than he started with. How is that a sacrifice?
United’s workers are expected to meet work goals, which they do, but their bonus is keeping a job. Keeping a job that they keep getting paid less and less for. United’s management has received bonus’ which exceed what the average worker would make over many years. United’s management has repeatedly failed to meet their goal of getting out of bankruptcy.
The workers pension has turned into the proverbial last straw, what more can the workers sacrifice? Unlike the average worker United’s CEO has a guaranteed pension of 4.5 Million, other management also have guaranteed pensions in the same neighborhood. When does management’s sacrifice begin?
While all of this goes forward United fails to negotiate in good faith. They still want to take more from their workers! They are trying to void all of their contracts with the various unions. They are not negotiating they are waging war. United says they will fire striking workers, they also say they have contingencies set up for that instance. India I presume, since they have already started outsourcing there, as well as expanding other out sourcing within the US, Canada and Mexico.
Why should any of us care? We should care very much because, not just other airlines are watching what is going on with United’s dismantling of their agreements with their workers (whatever happened to the owner airline they claimed to be once?), but other corporations are watching too. If United succeeds in breaking their workers this will reverberate throughout the US. Watch for pensions, which are already a dying breed, to disappear one by one. Watch what we all have worked hard for to disappear.
We are fast becoming what once was thought to be what only happened in third world countries. Our government is at least being negligent by sitting back and doing nothing to stop the raping of the American worker. United’s CEO is not alone in his greed while others suffer. Instead our government is enacting policy that continually steps on the American worker.
Corporate American wants a government that is hands off on restrictions but is hands on when doling out tax incentives. Our government has helped foster an atmosphere that is pro-business and anti-worker. We are living in a country that has corporate officers getting bonus’ that exceed their own salaries by many times while the average American worker is having to work harder for less.
Michael Douglas’ character in the movie Wall Street said, “Greed is good,” many have now decided to follow this credo. Ethics and morals have vanished from business. Instead, those qualities are seen as weaknesses. Why hasn’t the Christian right squawked about those values? I have a feeling the lack of those values affect the general public in a far greater way than gay marriage does.
The sad thing is we have failed to progress in this country. We have a better chance than many countries to cut poverty but it seems to be easier for us to help the poor in other countries than it is to recognize that we have people in this country who need our help as well. There is no excuse for unemployment and poverty in this country when we have people who accumulate vast wealth doing close to nothing or nothing at all.
The workers at United are not fighting for more money, they are fighting to keep what they are seeing slip quickly through their hands. It is not greed or irresponsibility on the part of the workers, they are trying to live the American dream or what once was the American dream. Now we have corporate management that feels that they should be compensated perversely by the millions of dollars – the new American dream.
Friendly skies, maybe. Friendly workplace, no!