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Delta MEC Chairman Letter

Old 03-27-2006, 02:29 PM
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Default Delta MEC Chairman Letter

March 24, 2006

Dear Fellow Pilot,

Yesterday, March 23, the hearings before the three-man neutral panel
concluded in Washington, D.C. Throughout the course of the hearings, I have
been dismayed but not surprised as I continue to observe that Delta's senior
executives choose to diverge from the central philosophy that made our once
great airline a success. They have forgotten that in a customer service
industry like ours, people matter. It was our culture.

Delta founder C.E. Woolman understood that people matter. He used that
philosophy to turn a small southern crop dusting operation into one of the
most successful airlines in the world. Mr. Woolman iterated this core belief
when he said, "All airlines are the same. Only the people make them
different," a statement that is just as true now as it was when he said it.
"This business," Mr. Woolman said, "is nuts and bolts, but it's primarily
people."

Herb Kelleher, founder and long-time CEO of Southwest Airlines, understands
this philosophy too. He took the idea of a small intra-state discount
airline and arguably turned it into the most successful low-fare carrier in
the world. His business model was innovative, but others tried to copy it
and failed. Why? Because people matter. Mr. Kelleher implemented his plan
with the understanding that he needed to staff his airline with good people
and then treat them right. Despite the fact that they have the most heavily
unionized workforce in the U.S. airline industry, with employees who are
paid at or near the top of industry scales, Southwest consistently makes a
profit and ranks at the top of customer satisfaction surveys.

Both of these men knew that leaders take care of their people, and, in turn,
their people take care of the customers. Conversely, the most dedicated
people -Delta people-can be stifled by poor leadership.

In 1993, Delta and others were experiencing many threats similar to what we
face today, though to a smaller degree. Still, Delta was ranked as Number
Two in Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work for in America." The
esprit de corps of the Delta family was the envy of the industry. Today,
however, under the "leadership" of the current senior executives, we don't
even make the list of the Top 100.

Delta senior executives continue to distance themselves from the historical
leadership style that made Delta a success, choosing instead to more closely
align themselves with a "Lorenzoesque" management style, including the
hiring of former Frank Lorenzo associates. Make no mistake-you don't hire
Frank Lorenzo's team to implement a pro-employee, team-building strategy.
Lorenzo justly earned a reputation as the most anti-union boss of the late
20th century. In the long run, his tactics were viewed as fatally flawed and
his name became synonymous with union busting. Now, his legacy is alive
here.

Still, Delta's current senior executives like to pretend that they
understand how important the Delta employees are. At the 2004 Annual
Shareholders meeting, our current CEO stated, "Based on 16 years with
Delta's Board of Directors, and even before, I know that what makes this
company special is its people."

But actions speak louder than words. At Delta, ticket agents have been
replaced by kiosks. Mechanics have been outsourced with questionable
financial returns for the effort. Flight Attendants are staffed so thinly
that they are unable to provide their former level of service. Reservation
agents' jobs have been moved overseas. Management seeks to eliminate
furlough protections for pilots while they use the legal system to fund
their own "management furlough fund." And of course, Delta senior management
has decided that they want to reject the pilot contract in total. It appears
that was always their intent. You will recall that Delta management referred
to their term sheet as their 1113 filing even before they filed for Chapter
11. Once in Chapter 11, they wasted little time before filing their 1113
motion.

Throughout the Chapter 11 process, and the 1113 process in particular, and
despite the rhetoric to the contrary, Delta management's philosophy has been
that people don't matter. To them, costs-and only costs-matter. To them,
employees are not assets; they are liabilities. A true leader does not speak
of valued employees and then reject those employees. But that's exactly what
the 1113 process is about-rejection. It's about the rejection of a
collective bargaining agreement. But it's also about the rejection of a
bargaining process that has worked successfully for over six decades, and,
above all, it is about a rejection of the Delta pilots, the frontline
employees who hold so much of the future success of Delta Air Lines in their
hands.

The decision to take the 1113 path was a management choice, and as I wrote
to you last fall, it was also a management failure. By choosing the path of
failure, they abdicated their duty to meaningfully negotiate in order to
take what management perceived to be the easy way out. But, as most of us
learned when we were still children, rarely is the easy way out the best way
out. If management had been able to make the intellectual argument for a
business case that supported their demands, they could have done so outside
the 1113 process, and as we always have, we would have listened and
responded appropriately. But they could not. Instead, they have attempted to
use the 1113 process to extract brute force concessions.

Let me provide you with an example. As part of Letter 46, and to ensure that
the Delta pilots would not be unfairly targeted in the event of a Chapter 11
filing after making concessions of $5 billion dollars, Delta management and
ALPA signed the Bankruptcy Protection Letter (BPL). This letter was also a
very important part of Letter 50. Now, Delta senior executives try to make
the argument that the Bankruptcy Protection Letter is somehow not about
bankruptcy, and that it doesn't provide protection. It's a bizarre line of
reasoning based on legal maneuvering in an attempt to avoid living up to the
terms of an agreement like honorable men should.

People matter, but until and unless Delta's senior executives embrace that
concept, Delta cannot succeed.

One must wonder what Mr. Woolman would think of the airline he created if he
were alive today.

Fraternally,

Lee Moak, Chairman
Delta MEC
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Old 03-27-2006, 08:08 PM
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Default Pointless Letter -- or Pointed?

So what's the point of Moak's letter?
 
Old 03-27-2006, 08:58 PM
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Ummm, good question.
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Old 03-28-2006, 05:52 AM
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So what's the point of Moak's letter?
If you keep cutting pay and benefits....the service level will degrade even futher??? About bean counters running a service business??

ALPA has gotten pretty good about telling us all what we already know!
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Old 03-28-2006, 07:05 AM
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ALPA has gotten pretty good about telling us all what we already know! [/QUOTE]

Good Point. ALPA is spinning their wheels, but going nowhere. And Duane looks more and more like the Captain of the Titanic. I hope Delta stands up for this bull&%#*. NWA has caved!
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Old 03-28-2006, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by OOTSK
NWA has caved!
Not yet they haven't !!
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Old 03-28-2006, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by 757Driver
Not yet they haven't !!

I guess now all we can do is hope! Has the mec voted yet?
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Old 03-28-2006, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by OOTSK
I guess now all we can do is hope! Has the mec voted yet?
Yes,

They sent it to the Pilots with a "Neutral" rating from board.
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Old 03-28-2006, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by 757Driver
Yes,

They sent it to the Pilots with a "Neutral" rating from board.

Can you say 49-51%????
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Old 03-28-2006, 10:44 AM
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Default The Point

So what's the point of Moak's letter?
......
ALPA has gotten pretty good about telling us all what we already know!

Although the letter was addressed "Dear Fellow Pilot", its target audience was wider than that. Since management won't negotiate seriously, DALPA's only option is to reason with the judge and the "arbitration" panel.

If they decide to reject our contract, another option becomes available.
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