United Airlines, flight attendants, wrist bands and witch hunts

United Airlines flight attendants’ union, the AFA-CWA, is lashing out at management for instructing attendantGlenn wrist bands.jpgs to remove wristbands that call for the removal of ever-popular chairman and CEO Glenn Tilton.

“Clearly, the words ‘Glenn’s Gotta Go’ are nothing more than an expression of encouragement for Glenn to consider his career options,” says Greg Davidowitch, president of the United chapter of the AFA-CWA, in a letter to management.

The Air Line Pilots Association-represented pilots have their own fun over at the “Glenn Tilton Must Go” web site. But here’s the AFA-CWA’s letter in its entirety for your reading pleasure.

August 15, 2008

Doug McKeen, – HDQPO

Senior Vice-President

United Airlines Labor Relations

P.O. Box 66100

Chicago, IL 60666

RE:  “Glenn’s Gotta Go” Wristbands

Dear Doug:

John Nelson’s letter of August 14, 2008 was received in our office.  It would appear management is planning to harass and intimidate Flight Attendants and is reacting to a “report” that does not contain specific information.  This has the makings of a witch hunt.  As for the wristband alleged to be at the center of this matter, it is quite a trendy adornment.  Nevertheless, I am confused as to how it could be viewed as “disparaging” or “offensive.”

Clearly, the words “Glenn’s Gotta Go” are nothing more than an expression of encouragement for Glenn to consider his career options.  As you know, employees have no confidence in Glenn and are concerned about the future of United Airlines.  Under his tenure, employees, passengers and shareholders have been subjected to the wholesale destruction of United Airlines.  Employees have openly expressed their displeasure with Glenn through picketing, and other protests including the wearing of Vocal Minority wristbands following the disparaging comments Glenn made about employees at the 2007 Shareholder meeting.

There is no Company policy prohibiting or restricting the wearing of wristbands.  To the contrary, as you are aware, it has been, and continues to be, an open and well-known practice of many Flight Attendants and other employees to wear colored wristbands, while at work, to signify support of many causes.  To our knowledge, no employee has been asked to remove any of these multi-colored wristbands, thus establishing a clear past practice permitting the use of wristbands at work in support of causes or opinions supported by the wearer.

This letter serves to advise the Company to cease and desist from instructing Flight Attendants to remove any wristband they deem an appropriate form of expression and/or association.  Further, harassing, threatening or pursuing any discipline or other discriminatory action based upon the color of an employee’s wristband will be dealt with in an appropriate manner.

Time is far better spent on a constructive approach to labor relations so that we can work together in bringing about a fundamental change at United Airlines.


Greg Davidowitch, President

United Master Executive Council

CC: Alex Marren – WHQSW

     John Nelson – WHQLR

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One Response to United Airlines, flight attendants, wrist bands and witch hunts

  1. sparky August 19, 2008 at 2:28 am #

    I’ve said this before, but it always amazes me that with all the difficulty in this industry, airline management would rather spent time, money, energy, and management talent (such as it is) on picking a fight with their own employees, rather than spending those same resources trying to beat up on the competiition

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