Dear Sisters and Brothers,
I am sure by now that most of you are aware of Judge Lane’s recent ruling on August 15, 2012 as to the issue of whether or not he should rule in favor of AMR’s motion to abrogate the collective bargaining agreement of the Allied Pilots Association.
Since his ruling was made denying the Corporation’s motion based on a couple of technical matters, specifically restricted to the issues of Code Sharing and Pilot furloughs, within minutes of the decision being released, all of a sudden, there was an avalanche of emails that were sent out to hundreds of our members, our offices and the offices of many of our Local Presidents. These emails were offensive in nature and highly critical of the bankruptcy experts the TWU retained in order to provide our members with the best legal and professional representation to assist all of us in navigating through the arduous tasks associated with the bankruptcy process.
What was most troubling was not the fact that some had not even read the 111 page decision before rushing to judgment, but the fact that it was some of our Local leadership that apparently claim to have more expertise in the area of bankruptcy than the professional team retained by the TWU to act as our representatives.
One of the TWU Local Presidents, for an example had the audacity and the nerve to use vulgarity and profanity in his email blast that was sent to everyone on his email address list. It is obvious that his intent was deliberately and maliciously aimed to openly and publicly blast the legal and professional team of experts retained by the TWU to represent all of our members to the best of their ability. One can only surmise from his poor choice of words that were unprofessional and disrespectful, that his intent was to somehow place the TWU in the position where we should have to apologize for having retained the services of these professionals.
It is important to note that normally, I would not feel so compelled to respond to such idiotic and disrespectful comments except for the fact that I and my entire International Administrative Committee (IAC) were directly involved and an integral part of the decision making process in order to put together the BEST team and the most highly respected professionals to BEST serve the interest of our membership at American Airlines and American Eagle during the bankruptcy process.
Let me be clear, the IAC made the right choices at that time, and we believe to this day, that we made the right choice in selecting the best possible team. We do not intend to apologize for selecting the BEST legal and professional team, all high profile and well respected in their specific areas of expertise. The problem is that some of our so called leaders have anointed themselves as experts with ostensibly possessing a higher degree of knowledge than the professionals that were hired to represent the membership.
What is even more disturbing and disappointing is the fact that we have some unscrupulous Local leaders whose main objective and agenda from the very start of this process was to act as obstructionist and to create an atmosphere of distrust in the hope of totally destroying the TWU in an effort to advance their own personal agenda.
It is noteworthy to mention and to recognize the fact that we have many good hardworking and dedicated Local leaders within most of our Locals that have worked hard and have done the right thing and as far as we are concerned. They have made the best decisions that anyone of us could have under these difficult circumstances to deal with the many obstacles and disadvantages thrown at them. Especially true considering that the bankruptcy laws are written for corporations and not workers. These dedicated leaders made the right decisions and the right choices and they should not be criticized or somehow made to feel guilty. They gave you their all, night and day, 24/7 for several months and should be commended for their hardworking service and leadership.
It is not an easy thing for a leader to tell those that depend upon them something that they do not want to hear. However, it takes a true leader to be able to do such a thing when they know in their heart that by doing so they will expose themselves to many attacks and emotional criticisms for speaking the truth and laying out the facts as they exist.
In my view however, what is inexcusable and quite frankly despicable is for a so called elected leader to spread information that is false and misleading to the members with the deliberate and willful intent of undermining and openly criticizing the leadership of the TWU in order to advance the interest of their own personal agenda.
It is time for such unacceptable and reckless conduct and behavior to stop! It will not be ignored or tolerated.
Please be advised that the IAC will not just stand by and allow such selfish, irresponsible and unscrupulous leaders to destroy the TWU in order to advance their own personal agenda by exhibiting conduct that prejudices or damages the interest and welfare of the International Union or his Local Union or, most importantly, the members whose INTEREST we are all here to serve.
The TWU has a very strong and proud history of providing the best possible representation for our members and the IAC is fully committed to continuing that proud tradition.
Thanks for all of the patience and support that you have provided during this very stressful and arduous process. God bless all of you!!!
James C. Little
Download the entire letter here.