Friday, April 14, 2006

Delta Pilots Might Take One for the/our Team

MSNBC gives us the report that Delta and their pilots union may have reached a deal that will at least (for now?) avoid a total collapse of the Atlanta-based carrier. The "tea" I write of would be the other workers such as ... flight attendants, mechanics, suppliers, our region, ... And of course there's the lenders holding all these folk's mortgages and loans. I know Delta has lots of paper out there as well! I expect their families likely enjoy a fair wage earned for services rendered. Their kids will need savings to get their own education. These pilots and Delta folks pay taxes and spend in our economy. The bottom line for The Captain is that our society is connected and we are all in this together! Whatever happens with Delta it is the PEOPLE and not the profit from the product!

I remember a quote that went something like "You don't have to be a player in capitalism to lose at the game." I'm not a socialist yet seeing businesses bomb and suck down people reminds me that the wide open market has truly harsh consequences at times.

I know Delta has taken hits that were not all their fault and yet I still think poor management has to be faulted. Southwest seems to be making money. In their mission their leadership writes,

We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth. Creativity and innovation are encouraged for improving the effectiveness of Southwest Airlines. Above all, Employees will be provided the same concern, respect, and caring attitude within the organization that they are expected to share externally with every Southwest Customer.

I just don't think Delta management has figured this part out. Profits alone are not the focus of good businesses and yet smart people lead their companies to higher profitablity and true achievements of worth through treating their people fairly. I'll leave you with a few quotes that I stumbled upon in my search for the one I likely mangled above. Peace ... or War!

"Personally, I'm in favor of democracy, which means that the central institutions of society have to be under popular control. Now, under capitalism, we can't have democracy by definition. Capitalism is a system in which the central institutions of society are in principle under autocratic control." Noam Chomsky

"The basic difference between the period after 1973 and the previous period is that the nation's equalizing institutions - unions, public education, the welfare state broadly defined - were much weaker in the present period." William J. Wilson