Judge Fines Union $10 Million

U.S. Dist. Judge Joe Kendall in Dallas fined the Allied Pilots Ass’n at least $10 million Feb. 13 for ignoring his back-to-work order and continuing a sickout that stranded tens of thousands of passengers. Kendall said the fine could be well over $10 million because it was intended to reimburse American Airlines for losses due to the sickout. Kendall stated, “Unfortunately, the radical element that appears to be in control of [APA] seems determined to fly American Airlines into the side of the mountain, taking themselves, the company, their co-workers and their customers with them.” Kendall also held bosses Richard LaVoy and Brian Mayhew in contempt for halfheartedly telling pilots to end the sickout. LaVoy was fined $10,000 and Mayhew $5,000. [N.Y. Times 2/14/99]

“Looking out the window, it sure looks cold out there… A typical rotten February weekend… Comforting, isn’t it, to think that top…labor leaders are meeting in Buffalo this week, feeling our pain? Oh, wait a second. They’re not in Buffalo? They’re [in Miami] for the annual AFL-CIO meeting?

What happened to ‘reform’ president John Sweeney’s promise to move the meetings to the towns — Buffalo, Akron, Detroit — where labor actually lives? What about the plan to shed the fat-cat image and steer clear of the long AFL-CIO tradition of mixing labor with luxury?

It was a non-starter. The first Sweeney winter gathering, in 1997, was in the gritty rust belt of Los Angeles. The next, icy Las Vegas. This year, it’s Back to the (Miami) Beach…soaking up sun and sucking up shrimp…”

– Ellen Warren & Teresa Wiltz, The INC. Column, Chicago Tribune Feb. 14, 1999.