Sat, Jan 09, 2010
But Capt. Wendy Morse Says Higher Wages Still The Main
Captain Wendy Morse, who was elected
the head of the United Airlines Pilots Union in October of last
year, says she will abandon some of the harsher tactics used by her
predecessor in contract negotiations. But she says she will not
relent on getting higher wages and benefits for the pilots
represented by the union.
Morse, who assumed her leadership role January 1st, said she
would be dropping some of the more abrasive tactics used by Capt.
Steve Wallach, the outspoken former head of the union. But she said
her goals will remain the same. She told The Chicago Tribune that
she will continue to pursue higher wages, and seek to undo the
outsourcing which occurred when United shifted some of its regional
routes to contract partners following the grounding of United's 737
Morse was part of a negotiating team that successfully crafted
an agreement in 2000 that was one of the richest in the industry.
But with airlines worldwide facing severe financial difficulties,
industry analysts say Morse has her work cut out for her in the
current climate. United pilots lost half their pay and their
pension plan when the company declared bankruptcy in 2002. It took
three year for the airline to reorganize.
Morse, a 25 year veteran at United, joins the airline's board as
a director, and meets with CEO Glen Tilton on Monday. "We will
utilize both a carrot and a stick and whatever other tools make
sense at the time," Morse wrote in a January 1 letter to pilots.
"As you know, a carrot is worthless if the other side views it as a
sign of weakness rather than an opportunity to move forward. A
stick is just a stick if it is simply wielded."
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