They're Rich, and Protected by Friends in D.C.
It's all legal; after all, he who has the gold,
writes the rules -- but it has a lot of the regular workers at AMR
Corp in a knot. Most of them just, in the past couple days, gave up
large parts of their future earnings to ensure the airline's
viability -- and they just found out.
There's a special trust fund set aside, untouchable by the
bankruptcy court and creditors, and it holds the millions that
AMR's top executives -- nearly four dozen of them, including CEO
Don Carty (pictured) -- will get as part of their
Revelation came too late for union votes...
The unions voted Monday and Tuesday. The trust was revealed in
an attachment to the company's annual report, filed with the SEC on
Tuesday -- too late to affect the unions' votes. Union negotiators,
under nondisclosure agreements, knew, at the last minute;
but they couldn't say anything.
The filing reveals that the trust was created on
October 14 -- six months ago. Its language says its monies,
"...shall not be subject to the claims of the creditors of the
Corporation in a bankruptcy or other insolvency proceeding under
Federal or state law."
[If that sounds to you like a taking of assets, to protect them
from creditors, that's what it sounds like, to a lot of other
people, too. It's legal, though -- the IRS got paid, and that's all
Congress cares about, when writing special rules for special
The fund is minded by Wachovia Bank of North Carolina, which
also takes care of the executive pension program.
Fool me once, shame on you...
Now we know; the unions know; and you
The next time an airline board member asks for deep concessions
from labor, nobody's going to trust him. That's bad news for
everybody who isn't squirreling away money this way.
But... it doesn't matter to the AMR execs -- they're
covered, even as they ride the airline to its doom, on the backs of