Monday, August 4, 2008

Airlines

American is leading the way again in customer service. They are now charging $2 for sodas and water. I find this just amazing that people would care so much about such an unimportant item and the company would rather suffer the bad press over this vice raise ticket prices. Domestic airlines all suffer from the same problem and it isn't rising fuel costs. The airlines much like the automotive industry are suffering from unions.

Yes, I said unions. I am not un-American or against the working man/woman, but the unions have to understand that as they demand more from their companies they are going to end up with nothing. Does anyone truly believe that any company competing in the world market can afford to pay health care and pensions for all of its retired workforce? Our government can't do it for our military, so why do we expect US companies to do it for their workers. Oh sure in the golden age of booming economies and cheap health care it was easy to promise the sky and even deliver. That isn't the case anymore because we now are competing on the world stage with socialized medicine and national pensions. Plus, most other countries/companies don't pay there workers squat because they don't care if they can afford to buy what they are selling.

I am not saying that unions are bad, but they must wake up and smell the coffee. The auto industry is headed down the tubes and so are the airlines. It won't be long now before GM and American Airlines declare bankruptcy. Then what are the unions going to do? When all the money is gone as well as the jobs, then what? The workers will take jobs in non-union plants that pay then a comparable wage, but lack the long term benefits. They will have to start saving in a 401k just like every one else and plan on long term health insurance or hope the government figures out Medicare and Social Security. I would not hold my breath on that one.

So what is the solution? I say that the unions work hard to get good wages and safe working conditions, but also start working toward a realistic future where the company is not supporting them because if the government can't do it for us veterans then no company on earth is going to do it for them either. If you disagree let me hear it.

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