Advertisement

Flying Right

June 26, 1988

As the husband of a TWA flight service manager who is also an elected union official, my experience with the Airline Pilots Assn. is quite different from the one projected in your "Pilot Power" story. This "union" is a dues-paying member of the white, male power elite in this country and, as such, has little in common with the labor movement. And I haven't seen this changing lately.

I found it interesting that you chose the pilots' "Stop Icahn" button to illustrate their new-found union activism. Not surprisingly, this pin has no union printers' "bug" on it, indicating that it was printed in a non-union shop. No self-respecting union would contract with a non-union shop to produce or promote such a pin. This is just one of many basic principles of unionism evidently not understood by such a self-important group.

While the pilots were negotiating concessions with Icahn, they had the temerity to guarantee concessions from the separate and autonomous Independent Federation of Flight Attendants. And then, when Icahn demanded an astounding 44% in concessions from TWA flight attendants because they were not "breadwinners," do you suppose the pilots supported the resulting strike?

Did pilots walk the picket lines with their union sisters and brothers like so many other labor groups did? On the contrary, the pilots were openly derisive and divisive, expressing their macho glee that these uppity women were finally getting their comeuppance. They actually called striking flight attendants at home, urging them to cross the picket lines. They welcomed totally inexperienced replacement workers often, literally, with open arms.

The labor movement doesn't need a group that's only out for itself. It doesn't need groups that are willing to collude in vicious management attacks on other labor groups. The labor movement has no place for sexism, racism or elitism. ALPA is not a true union. It is a private club.

JAMES L. SANDEL

Los Angeles

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|