The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Airlines race each other for biggest concessions

Mar 31, 2003

The race for concessions continues at American and United airlines, the two biggest airline companies. The International Association of Machinists leadership proposed to the United baggage handlers and customer service workers a concessions agreement that is 95% of what the company wanted and will cost each worker $15,667 a year. The Transport Workers Union said it reached a concessions agreement with American for its baggage handlers, but hasn't released the details.

Nonetheless, American continues to threaten that it will declare bankruptcy. American has seen how much United and USAir have been able to get out of their workers using the bankruptcy courts and it doesn't want to be left behind. American has lined up some of the biggest most profitable banks in the country to lend it money in the event of bankruptcy. These banks are J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and CIT Group.

These three banks are the identical banks that are loaning money to United during its bankruptcy! This raises a question: why are these big profitable banks so ready to loan money to United and American? They must know something about the real state of these companies that isn't known publicly.

What's certain is that all these financial groups have already made lots of money from the profits the airlines steal from their workers.

The game is not up just because an airline company declares bankruptcy. It's only up if the workers accept the concessions. But there's no reason for that. United and American workers maintain about half of all the flights in the country. When these workers decide to make a fight, the top airline companies and the giant banks financing them can quickly change their tune.