Workers picket their own union

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This may be a first:

Former TWA flight attendants picketed their own union Friday, protesting what they say is the labor group's unwillingness to help them get back their jobs, which were lost after the 2001 terror attacks.

Beginning next month, the first of about 2,900 former TWA flight attendants will lose their chance to be rehired at American Airlines. American Airlines' parent company, AMR Corp. of Forth Worth, bought Trans World Airlines when it was in bankruptcy months before 9/11 and absorbed TWA's staff.

The rehiring rights of the former TWA attendants expire five years after they were laid off, and it's been nearly that long since the first post—Sept. 11 layoffs.

The ex—TWA workers want to stay in the rehiring line, hoping that better conditions in the airline business could result in their rehiring. Getting their old jobs back could mean qualifying again for health insurance and a pension.

The TWA workers were represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM). Whe TWA was acquired by American, they had to join the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), which promptly bumped them to the bottom of its seniority list, thereby protecting all of its previous membership from being bumped out of desirable (or any) jobs by ex—TWA employees who had been flying longer.

So much for any union commitment to justice, solidarity, or any of the other empty rhetoric thrown around by union bosses. It is all about power and money. Unions are a big business, one which enjoys anti—trust exemption denied to employers.

At its root, the problem is the union protection of the principle of seniority ruling all important decisions. So the APFA re—defines seniority to mean protecting its previous membership, which comproses a voting majority, and screws the newcomers from TWA.

The naive might wonder if merit ought not play a role in the decisions about who should get jobs. Merit and unions have long ago become nearly mutually exclusive concepts.

Thomas Lifson   9 10 06

This may be a first:

Former TWA flight attendants picketed their own union Friday, protesting what they say is the labor group's unwillingness to help them get back their jobs, which were lost after the 2001 terror attacks.

Beginning next month, the first of about 2,900 former TWA flight attendants will lose their chance to be rehired at American Airlines. American Airlines' parent company, AMR Corp. of Forth Worth, bought Trans World Airlines when it was in bankruptcy months before 9/11 and absorbed TWA's staff.

The rehiring rights of the former TWA attendants expire five years after they were laid off, and it's been nearly that long since the first post—Sept. 11 layoffs.

The ex—TWA workers want to stay in the rehiring line, hoping that better conditions in the airline business could result in their rehiring. Getting their old jobs back could mean qualifying again for health insurance and a pension.

The TWA workers were represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM). Whe TWA was acquired by American, they had to join the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), which promptly bumped them to the bottom of its seniority list, thereby protecting all of its previous membership from being bumped out of desirable (or any) jobs by ex—TWA employees who had been flying longer.

So much for any union commitment to justice, solidarity, or any of the other empty rhetoric thrown around by union bosses. It is all about power and money. Unions are a big business, one which enjoys anti—trust exemption denied to employers.

At its root, the problem is the union protection of the principle of seniority ruling all important decisions. So the APFA re—defines seniority to mean protecting its previous membership, which comproses a voting majority, and screws the newcomers from TWA.

The naive might wonder if merit ought not play a role in the decisions about who should get jobs. Merit and unions have long ago become nearly mutually exclusive concepts.

Thomas Lifson   9 10 06