NWA Pilots Rally Against Executive Greed
May 31, 2007 - Several hundred Northwest Airlines pilots, flight attendants, and other Minnesota workers rallied yesterday at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul today to protest Northwest CEO Doug Steenland's egregious compensation package and the growing pay disparity between management executives and employees.
ALPA’s president, Capt. John Prater, and pilots from Mesaba and Champion Air joined their fellow pilots to speak out against Northwest executives and their multimillion dollar bonuses. These executives will receive the bonuses at the same time that the airline’s employees and their families are left to cope with 40 percent pay cuts and onerous work rules. Steenland alone will receive a $26.6 million bonus in stock and options.
The news media covering the rally included the Minneapolis Star Tribune, WCCO TV (CBS), KSTP TV (ABC) [article 1, article 2], KMSP TV (FOX), and PBS.
The noon rally included lunch, union camaraderie, the Northwest executive mascot (a 25-foot tall inflatable rat), and an opportunity to hear from a distinguished lineup of speakers, including Prater; Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.); Minnesota State Senator Jim Carlson; Northwest Airlines MEC chairman, Capt. Dave Stevens; Champion Air MEC chairman, Capt. Matt Marsh; AFA-CWA President Pat Friend; NWA AFA-CWA Vice-President Andy Wisbacher; and Minnesota AFL-CIO president Ray Waldron.
Stevens warned Northwest executives during his speech that their actions will have a counterproductive long-term effect on the airline, saying "It's bad business to antagonize your workforce."