AMR Ground Crews Won't Strike (For Now). Instead, an "Informational Picket."

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That ad you see at right -- that's on Page 13A of this morning's Morning News courtesy the Transport Workers Union of America, which wants you, dear reader, to text "EXCESS" to a number that will "register" you for upcoming protests. Like the one planned today at Terminal D of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. If you're heading that way. The union's calling it an "informational picket."

The ad was accompanied by a press release that landed in the Unfair Park in-box an hour ago. John Conley, director of TWU's Air Transport Division, says in the release that "in the past five years, the top executives at AMR have enriched themselves with more than $300 million in bonuses, and their proxy statement shows that they'll be back at the trough again this year. On the very same day that millions of hard-working Americans are paying their taxes. AMR executives are busy lining their own pockets once again. Meanwhile, AMR keeps figuring out new ways to charge extra baggage fees to passengers."

No doubt you're aware at this late date of what's happening: American Airlines and American Eagle higher-ups are about to take their annual stock-bump bonuses even as the TWU, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Allied Pilots Association are in stalled-out negotiations with the Fort Worth-based carrier to retrieve the money they gave back in '03 to keep AMR out of bankruptcy.

Last month the TWU went to the National Mediation Board and asked it to declare negotiations at a stalemate; but only Tuesday the NAB told the parties to keep talking and knock it off with the strike talk. This morning's press release does not, mentioning a "possible strike" should the NAB eventually release it from negotiations.

Says Conley, "Our job at the bargaining table does not get any easier when AMR executives take care of themselves at the expense of our members and our passengers."
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