Flight Attendants Ask Congress to Limit Executive Compensation
April 16, 2007
United Airlines Flight Attendant Shares Personal Pain Caused by Growing Disparity of Worker and Executive Compensation - CEO Collects $39.7 Million
Washington, DC - United Airlines Flight Attendant and Association of Flight Attendants-CWA member Antoinette Muoneke will testify Tuesday, April 17, 2007, before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law during a hearing titled, "Executive Compensation in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Cases - How Much is Too Much?"
Single mother and Flight Attendant Antoinette Muoneke will tell lawmakers about her personal pain, a story common for many workers who are enduring life-changing sacrifices due to pay, healthcare, work rule and pension cuts forced during corporate Chapter 11 bankruptcies.
"I cannot escape the conclusion that executives used the bankruptcy laws to enrich themselves at the expense of workers like me," Antoinette explains in her written testimony.
Antoinette's flight attendant career, which began in 1979, provided means to a modest lifestyle that allowed her to care for her daughter, look forward to a secure retirement and contribute to her community through volunteer work. Now, Antoinette lives paycheck-to-paycheck and worries about what tomorrow will bring.
"The cuts forced during the bankruptcy have turned my life upside down. I worked full time before, but now my hours away from home have increased by nearly 40% - and that extra time at work doesn't even cover my loss in pay." stated Muoneke, the 28-year flight attendant. "Higher medical costs have forced me to downgrade our medical insurance. That's fine while my daughter and I are healthy ? but as I care for my mother who has persistent health issues, I pray every day that I don't have to face a major illness that wouldn't be covered. Executives also terminated my pension and I will never be able to recover my retirement security."
"So, am I angry my CEO was able to preserve his $4.5 million pension trust while he destroyed my future security? Am I angry that last year alone our CEO used the bankruptcy laws to take pay, bonuses and stock equaling over 1000 times my compensation? Am I angry that executives have taken 40% or more in raises every year while I don't know what tomorrow will bring or if I will be a burden to my daughter? Yes, I'm angry, and I'm tired." Antoinette will tell Congress, "If the excuse is that the law allows it, then it's time to change the law."
The Congressional hearing will begin at 10:30 am in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2141.
More than 55,000 Flight Attendants, including the 17,000 Flight Attendants at United, join together to form AFA, the world's largest Flight Attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000 member strong Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.unitedafa.org.
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