Members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) picketed at various locations in and around Miami Dade County last week, as the Republican party prepared for the Florida primary election on January 31. The union, which represents mechanics and fleet service workers at American Airlines and regional subsidiary American Eagle, recently filed a formal objection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York to the hiring of Bain & Company by the bankrupt AMR Corporation. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a former executive with Bain & Company and CEO of leveraged buyout specialist Bain Capital until 1992, has drawn criticism even from fellow Republicans, most notably presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, for Bain’s record of layoffs and plant closings.
“Mitt Romney is a job cremator, not a job creator,” said TWU President James Little. “He made a fortune snatching up companies, closing factories and laying off workers. Now, Bain & Company—which still lines Mitt Romney’s pockets with their profits—has been hired to axe workers at AMR Corporation.”
The union charges that AMR subsidiary American Eagle specifically hired Bain at a fee of $525,000 a month for the task of cutting jobs at the regional airline. AMR claims Bain will engage in “strategic consulting” services.
“The consulting firm was not hired to renegotiate aircraft leases, advise on financing or alter route structures; [its] sole function is eliminating employees,” said the TWU in a statement.
More than 24,000 TWU members work at American Airlines and American Eagle. AMR Corporation, the parent company of both airlines, filed for bankruptcy reorganization on November 29.
“It’s outrageous that someone running for president as a ‘job creator’ is going to enrich himself by cutting pensions, cutting wages and destroying American jobs,” said Little. “Like so many on Wall Street, Mitt Romney earns his money by destroying the jobs of airline employees. We’re going to do our best to make sure voters in Florida and elsewhere know exactly where Mitt gets his money.
“This company filed for bankruptcy with $4 billion in the bank, and they just stiffed our employee pension plans by more than $95 million,” added Little. “Their excuse was they had to ‘preserve cash.’ If AMR is trying to preserve cash, there’s no reason to pay more than half a million dollars a month to Bain & Company. Bain’s advice is simply pay rank and file workers less, and give executives more.”