APA radio silence on US Airways

Terry Maxon at the Dallas Morning News has THIS blog entry on why we might have not heard much from the APA on a US Airways merger lately.  The short version is that the APA board issued orders that APA President David Bates not speak about this after his appearance with Doug Parker in Washington earlier last month.  Color me unsurprised.

The Allied Pilots Association Board is very dysfunctional.  It’s comprised of Captains elected from pilot bases who each are sure they know one hell of a lot more about an airline than any other person.  As a result, they run their union a little bit like the Mafia runs New York.   They’re unified but only to a point and damn anyone who gets in the way of their opinions.

This means that unions officers such as the president, vice-president, etc really don’t get much power to execute in their offices.  I think we now know why David Bates was asked to resign:  He had already upset the board who wants its opinions to be public, not his.

No good deed goes  unpunished and David Bates was punished.

This also speaks a lot on why the APA voted down its last offer:  there was one set of voices advocating for the contract and entire board arguing against it in the background.  No pilot wants to piss off his local union representative either.

What does it all mean?  Simply this:  Expect much more dysfunctional behavior on the part of the APA in the coming months.  Do not be surprised if they appear to back away from US Airways as the APA board is going to want to be in charge of such a merger when it comes to the various pilots unions and it will want to use its power in endorsing a merger to get satisfactory terms.  To do that, it first has to go silent on Doug Parker.

The problem is . . . by voting down that contract, Parker can’t use them nearly as much as he could have.  He now has to work with other unions and bondholders and other members of the unsecured creditors committee.  By allowing ego to get in the way of strategy, the APA has nearly completely removed its voice from the process.

But, hey, they sure smacked David Bates and Tom Horton around, didn’t they? (insert sarcastic tone)


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