Interesting Letter to the Editor about Delta

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Yarbrough: Delta suits' perks just don't fly





Other than the time when I angered most of the Arab world by
questioning their manhood, I got more response from my column
about Delta Air Lines hiring an ''image expert'' than from any other
piece I have ever written. Most of the mail came from Delta employees
- active and retired - who are angry, disappointed, disillusioned and
just plain dumbfounded with their management. They asked not to be
identified because they fear reprisals from their out-to-lunch
executives.

As you may recall, I had wondered out loud why Delta needed to
spend their scarce resources on image experts. The problem with
Delta's image seemed pretty obvious to me. The airline's executives
decided that hemorrhaging $1.4 billion in red ink last year entitled
them to bonuses and pension protections to the tune of about $65
million. Their excuse was that the payouts were necessary to ''keep
the management team together.'' Since the column, three of the suits
have already left with their money. So much for the team.
A flight attendant told me that she and her fellow workers were so
incensed at their management's chutzpah that their supervisor grew
concerned and bought them a popcorn machine. Their bosses are
making millions and the local folks get all the free popcorn they can
eat.
Another told of taking a voluntary leave of absence at the
company's request. This, she said, was her way of helping a company
that had been so good to her over the years. She was then called back
to work, and six days later she was told that ahe and her job had been
eliminated.
One employee said she and other employees are ''disgusted and
embarrassed by management'' and accused them of trying to sneak
their bonuses and pension protections through without any public
knowledge.
One pilot said he tried to convey to Delta president Fred Reid that
employees are the company's greatest assets, and until the executives
get them back on the team, ''we will continue to slide downhill. For
the first time, I am starting to worry about the future of Delta Air
Lines.'' Mr. Reid's response, the pilot says, was to defend his salary.
During former CEO Dave Garrett's tenure as Delta chief, employees
chipped in and bought the company a $30 million airplane. I doubt
employees would buy current CEO Leo Mullin anything but a farewell
lunch.
A Delta captain told me of trying to get home on a pass at the
same time as Garrett and his wife. When the CEO found out that there
was not room on the flight for all of them, he gave the pilot his seat
and he and his wife took a later flight. You get the feeling that Garrett
would not have approved of his executives getting bankruptcy
protection and leaving the rank-and-file swinging in the breeze.
Now we hear that Delta management has backtracked on their
pension and bonus plans. In a ''We're all in this thing together'' letter
to employees that had to be as insulting as was the original effort to
quietly line their nests, Mullin says, ''The new moves are part of an
effort to eliminate, as much as possible, any sense of 'we versus they'
on compensation policy.'' Read the fine print. Delta isn't rescinding
the special pension program. The company just isn't going to put in
the final $20 million. The 35 executives still have 80 percent of their
retirement in a tax-free trust that cannot be touched in the event of a
bankruptcy.
To sum up, Delta employees are mad as hell, and I don't blame
them. I suggest that the dunderheads on Delta's board of directors
that they look out for their employees for a change. Bring in Dave
Garrett and his management team to resuscitate Delta Air Lines and
its employees. Do that and Delta won't need image experts. Simple
isn't it?


Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Thursday, August 21,
2003.
 

MQAAord

Scheherazade
Staff member
Ahh, someone has figured out that if a company treats their employees fairly and with dignity and respect, the company gets improved productivity and happier employees!

 

Athena

New Member
A happy employee is a productive willing employee. Disgruntled employee is a company's thorn in their side.
 
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