You know it has to be bad day when your most militant union publicly asks you to resign and the nation's leading business weekly suggests it's time to shut your company down and sell off the pieces. But Glenn Tilton, chairman, chief executive, and president of United Airlines and its parent UAL Corp., seems unflustered. The call by the Air Line Pilots Association for him to step down - a call that the union has made with a new website seeking passenger horror stories - came after the airline sued the pilots union, alleging a conspiracy to abuse sick days and cancel flights and after the unions accused the airline of trying to force them to fly broken planes without enough fuel. United dismisses the noise as "just an attempt to intimidate." Bill Brandt, a turnaround specialist with Chicago's DSI, says, "So it's news that the pilots and Tilton don't like each other?"
Then Business Week, circulation just under one million, came out with a feature called 'United Airlines: O'Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow: Liquidating the airline is the only way to fix its uniquely embedded problems.' Our friend Holly Hegeman of planebusiness.com notes that she blogged Tilton as the winner of the first-ever 'Glenn Tilton Self-Enrichment Award' back in April 2006; the pilots interestingly have denounced what they call Tilton's greed since then but make little mention of his pay and perks (some $1.4 million last year, down from about $39 million in 2006) in the glenntilton.com site.