But Add It's Nothing Personal
They don't care where he goes... they just don't want him to
stay at United Airlines. On Monday pilots at the nation's number
two airline repeated their call for CEO Glenn F. Tilton's head,
saying the embattled chief (right) has spearheaded United's steep
decline in customer service, performance and employee morale.
The Associated Press reports the United chapter of the Air Line
Pilots Association has started a new Web site, devoted to listing
what the union says are Tilton's many failings since he took over
the CEO role in September 2002.
"Under Glenn Tilton’s tenure, United has gone from being
the finest airline in the world, with the best route structure and
safety record, to a shell of its former self," said Steve Wallach,
chairman of the pilots union’s executive committee. "He has
had every opportunity to turn this company around, and tap the
abilities of its first-class employees, but instead he has run it
into the ground."
Pilots cite United's second-worst on-time rate in June, as
reported by the Department of Transportation last week. That
decline came as most other domestic carriers improved their
performance, compared with one year ago.
The pilots also point to a recent United survey, showing a mere
38 percent of the airline's employees take pride in their
company... down 15 percentage points from 2006.
Those workers' heated -- and increasingly publicized -- distaste
for Tilton's policies is nothing new. The contentious
management/employee relationship at United has been fodder for
Aero-News headlines for at least three years, often with the
airline's pilots leading the charge. Workers have protested at the
last two annual shareholder meetings, holding signs stating "We Are United, They Are
Pigs" and telling Tilton outright,
"You continue to be compensated for
But Wallach hastens to add it's nothing personal. Really.
"This is not a personal attack on Glenn Tilton," the ALPA chief
said. "These dismal numbers speak for themselves. They are a
reflection of his inability to lead, his incompetence as a manager
and his failure in virtually every category that can be measured.
We have tried every conceivable way to convince him to invest in,
and maximize the good will of, his employees. He has failed
Pilots at United have been at odds with management for years,
over pay cuts pilots agreed to take even as senior executives were
rewarded with lucrative bonuses.
United has announced plans to ground its oldest Boeing 737s by
the end of the year, and slash capacity to offset the impact of
high oil prices. Predictably, pilots are sharply opposed to that
plan, noting "shrinking the airline to achieve profitability has
been demonstrated to be a failed business practice."
On Monday, Wallach also sent a letter to Acting FAA
Administrator Robert Sturgell, questioning United's maintenance
practices. The airline and its pilots have also been locked in a
contentious battle over alleged "sick-outs," that United blamed for
a number of cancelled flights last month. A hearing before the US
District Court in Chicago, seeking a preliminary injunction against
such work-actions, is scheduled later this month.