Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Exec payouts anger American's unions

Exec payouts anger American's unions

Airline calls it deferred pay, but pilots' leader calls it a crisis
By ERIC TORBENSON / The Dallas Morning News

American Airlines Inc.'s employee unions on Monday blasted payouts set for some executives, in a dramatic departure from the cordial tone fostered over the past three years between labor and management.

"It is absolute insanity to pay out seven-figure bonuses at a time when the company is suffering nine-figure losses, mired in eleven-figure debt, and seeking further help from its employees," wrote Allied Pilots Association president Ralph Hunter in a heated message to the union's 11,000 pilots.

Last week, Fort Worth-based American told employees that it expects to pay long-term deferred compensation to about 1,000 of its top managers. The total outlay could exceed $20 million.

The biggest payment is planned for executive vice president Dan Garton, who would receive $1.7 million at current stock prices when the payouts occur April 18.


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