AP Gets It Wrong on ATA: Blames Workers

By Bendygirl (aka uniongal)
Crossposted on Women, Unions, and Our Stories

So, I’m reading MSNBC when I find this article on the ATA bankruptcy filing
Airlines are struggling with rising fuel prices, labor strife, depressed ticket demand and heightened competition, said George Godlin, an analyst for Moody’s Investor Service.

“We’re in a perfect storm kind of environment right now,” he said.
Okay, so, I’ll bite, there’s going to be a mention of “labor strife” in this article, I'm sure of it and they're tie it to the current problems for Aloha and ATA.
Tough operating conditions have led to merger talks industrywide. Negotiations between Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. recently stalled over a dispute between pilot unions.
Did you catch it? No? Let’s try again…
merger talks… stalled over a dispute between pilot unions
This isn't even remotely related to either Aloha or ATA and worse, it has nothing at all to do with "labor Strife".

Somehow, Associated Press seems to think that a merger issue for Delta and Northwest airlines is comparable to a strike or similarly related "labor strife".

What's even more bizarre is that the issue for Delta and Northwest was a pre-merger issue where they asked their unions to see if they could iron out a few issues BEFORE they went ahead with final merger talks. They simply wanted the two groups to agree prior to advancing because they didn’t want their employees to go through what AmericaWest and USAir have had to do since their merger. And in case you didn’t know this, there are different seniority rules in place for those two groups. Northwest and Delta were looking to simplify things for themselves and their crews. Sounds like a good idea to me. Apparently, this is what amounts to as a "stumbling block" to the Associate Press. It's funny though, the union issues didn't stop Delta or Northwest from proceeding, there have been additional meetings since, may be something, may be nothing, but according to the AP this constitutes “Labor Strife.” I suppose if you’re a moron it does.

One of ATA’s partners, Southwest (and don’t get me started on their fines and outsourcing) said...
Southwest said Thursday that it immediately began rebooking passengers with dates and times as close to the original travel plans as possible. Southwest said it would give priority to customers who are scheduled to travel in the next 14 days.

“ATA Airlines has been an outstanding partner for Southwest, and we are disappointed to hear this unfortunate news,” Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines chief executive officer, said in a press release. “We are sad to end our codeshare relationship with ATA but understand it’s extremely difficult for an airline to flourish in today’s arduous financial environment that has been plagued by soaring fuel prices.”
Notice how even Southwest understands that yep, it’s the FUEL and ECONOMY and um, not workers?

From Airline911
At the Aloha Airlines check-in counter employees put on a brave face, trying to do their work without showing too much emotion. However, when you talked to them about the shutdown the emotions came out.

"My heart is really, really heavy this is my family. I've been here for 30 years. I had two babies -- married. This is my family. It's going to be really hard to work today, but we've got to take care of our passengers that are still flying," counter employee Chris Opiopio said. While workers did take care of the passengers they also took a few moments to shed a few tears and try to console each other.

>snip< Employees were told their sick leave and vacation is gone. Their health coverage is also ending. The company said their pensions and 401Ks are secure. "I been 35 years with aloha airlines and, you know, it's like 85 percent of my life is working here. It's very sad to see that it goes," said Joe Kauweloa who worked for Aloha for 35 years.
AP, airline workers are not causing “strife.” You are for taking a Right Wing Anti-Union Talking point and and repeating it without even backing up what the fuck you're talking about. I hate to even link to you and your ridiculous story.

What happened to ATA today is a Tragedy, not only for it’s CEO and shareholders, but also for everyone one of ATA's workers and their families.

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