Monthly Archives: February 2015

Second Ralph Nader Letter to UAL’s Jeff Smisek 2/23/15

http://www.eurasiareview.com/24022015-ralph-nader-follow-up-letter-to-jeff-smisek-ceo-of-united-airlines/

Jeff Smisek, CEO
United Airlines, Inc.
PO Box 06649
Chicago, IL 60606-0649

Dear Mr. Smisek,

I have not yet heard from you regarding my letter of February 13, 2015, but your employees who have read it are coming forward to describe their deteriorating working conditions. These are loyal UAL workers on the front lines, dealing with your aircrafts and your passengers, some with tenures of 20 to 30 years.

Given what the workers have given up over the years during the low point of UAL’s economic travails, it is disturbing, to say the least, for them to be saying these are the worst labor conditions they can remember. They are not only noting the demotion of many full-time workers to part-time, but also bringing to attention the outsourcing of jobs to vendors that hire low-paid and low-skilled employees, at a time of record-breaking profits for UAL. The workers are saying that they “just do not have the necessary manpower to provide our customers the service that they are paying for and deserve.” Continue reading

Ralph Nader letter to Jeff Smisek

UA RN Letter 02132015

February 13, 2015

Jeff Smisek, CEO
United Airlines, Inc.
PO Box 06649
Chicago, IL 60606-0649

Dear Mr. Smisek,

Two stories have come to public attention about your airline, which invites some serious introspection by you and your fellow executives who make millions of dollars a year.

The first appeared in the January 23, 2015 edition of the Wall Street Journal titled, “Suddenly Flush Airlines Debate How to Use Cash.” The article posed the choices: for increased services for consumers and reduced fares; for investors to cut debt and buy back stock. There was no indication of a cash dividend increase. Then this paragraph: “United returned $320 million to shareholders last year through share repurchases, and it said Thursday it could accelerate its buybacks with extra cash flow.” Stock buybacks – really a poor use of productive capital – are favored by executive suites as a way to elevate executive compensation compared to cash dividends.

Now comes the second story that was not so widely publicized. Your subordinates have been instructed to outsource 2,000 union jobs under a vendor bidding process that you will throw against your loyal skilled workers to match, or else. Twenty-eight stations at airports are affected in this round. You hope to save $2.7 million out of the pay of long-time United Airlines workers (many who make $15 per hour and benefits) on the tarmac at dawn or dusk, and rain, snow or shine. Continue reading