That's the (greedy) American Airlines way. But, tragic to say, shareholders Just Didn't Cotton to the top execs getting a huge meaty financial package.
The criticism focused on a slate of annual stock bonuses for about 800 top executives and managers, which totaled about $160 million this year. Many comments were blistering and personal.
Phil McDaniel, a shareholder who is also a fleet-service clerk for the airline, called Arpey and his executive team "arrogant, greedy, selfish and heartless" people...
For more than a year, American's unions have been criticizing the stock bonuses. Workers gave up $1.6 billion in annual wages and benefits in 2003, when the carrier was on the brink of a bankruptcy filing.
The labor savings from those contracts kept American out of bankruptcy.
"We saved your bacon," said Dave Eitel, a San Francisco-based pilot.
You know, if American Airlines needed to do cost-cutting to make the company better, AND asked employees to take a pay cut, etc to help out, doing so might have made the employees feel that they were all part of a team, joining together to save the company at personal sacrfice. So when times are good, one might reasonably think that American Arilines would give back what they had taken away, at least SOME of it instead of rewarding the top execs. And in fact, that's what AMA said they would do- apparently with fingers crossed behind their backs.
Union leaders said the bonuses broke a management promise to share gains as AMR Corp. recovered from huge losses. But Chairman and Chief Executive Gerard Arpey declined to back down on the bonuses, which totaled about $160 million in stock for nearly 900 managers.
Arpey moved to end the annual shareholders meeting abruptly after a pilot said executives were more focused on raising AMR's stock price than on growing the company.
Later Wednesday, the flight attendants' union asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate the timing of $7.7 million in stock sales by Arpey and $11.5 million in sales by four other top executives immediately after getting the bonuses, paid in stock on April 18.
All that says to an employee of ANY company is that the corporation doesn't give a hoot about who works for them, as long as the ones in charge Get Theirs in Plenty.
Something interesting about what did and did not get passed in the shareholder's meeting. Naturally, any type of vote over what executives get paid failed.. could it be any different? And, yes, the one that said that 75 percent of stock options given to executives be based on performance (that's the way it worked with *employees* at my old company, but you know, executives breathe a rarer air). But this one I wonder about.
The only stockholder-sponsored resolution to pass, with 54 percent in favor, concerned special shareholder meetings. It was proposed by John Chevedden, an AMR stockholder who owns 100 shares. It establishes a process by which owners of 10 percent of the company's outstanding common shares can call a special shareholder meeting. It is similar to proposals recently passed by Electronic Data Systems, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. Chevedden noted in the proposal that the mutual fund giants Fidelity and Vanguard and guidelines from public pension funds support this right. No person or investment group in AMR now meets this 10 percent threshold
So, if you didn't like how your pension funds were being used (like by Citigroup to buy out American's infrastructure, you couldn't do a special stockholder meeting to discuss it unless you own at least 10 percen of the stock.
And P.P.S. Didn't WE bail out, as part of the government, AMR and other airlines before? Shouldn't WE get some money back???