(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Thursday, August 15, 2002

United Airlines Do I know enough about the economics of the airline industry to tell UAL's unions whether it would be wise for them to agree to concessions to avoid this threat of bankruptcy? Of course not. (I know enough labor and bankruptcy law to predict that a bankruptcy court might well impose concessions on them if they don't agree,but that's another story). But I do know that the NYT has a conservative (pro-management) bias! The Times says that UAL "has given its pilots and machinists generous contracts". That's not how life works in labor relations, I can tell you: "given" is a biased verb, connoting corporate generosity instead of arms-length negotiations. I've never seen a company "give" a union a thing; employees negotiate and earn.

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