No doubt there are a thousand and one questions. No doubt they will have to be addressed in time. Please realize, though this has been a long time in coming, yet it is still very much in the infancy. Our petition effort is the 1st step in a series of planned actions to win a meeting that produces results. Below are some pointed questions about the effort from John Ley and I thought we could use them as a starting off point.
I have already passed the "link" to the petition to all my readers.
One of my business clients asked me to continue to "beat the drum" and get this out in front of my readers. So I asked him a series of questions. He didn't have answers.
My questions as laid out in my email to my client are sincere.
If I were publicly "ask" my questions, by circulating support for the petition, but then asking the follow on questions, it would totally wipe out much "energy" for the petition, and I don't want to do that.
But if it's going to be more than a "feel-good" petition, then the questions I ask below, and much more, should be addressed and publicly laid out, for broader support to materialize.
Happy to engage in dialogue.
By the way, this is my business email address. Would you mind using the personal account at "email@example.com". Thanks.
First, before I answer questions, to the best of my ability, that you pose to Larry below a couple of caveats. I fully support Rob’s effort and have sponsored and administered the petition but Rob is the final director of this effort. Truth be told, our group has been harmed and it is quite easy to verify that fact. It is also true that I believe that management and the public at large do not know the extent of the harm. The petition letter is designed to gain the support needed to request and win a meeting that produces results with Delta’s senior management. The petition becomes a foundational tool but is not the only step planned. Nothing that is being done by Rob conflicts at all with other efforts to restore lost benefits. There are some things of course in this growing and developing effort that are not in stone yet. That is quite normal. However, I personally trust Rob and know that he is a man dedicated for justice for his comrades. Now for your questions. Mark in Red and Rob in Blue.
I've included the link to the web site already.
I don't want to become overly embroiled in just one issue, or I'll lose readers. I am WILLING to put out more information, BUT, "what is the plan"?
THE PETITION HAS A GOAL OF GAINING A MEETING WHICH IN TURN PRODUCES RESULTS. What sort of results you ask? Well, to address at the least to discuss remedies to our group for lost medical and non-qualified benefits. Recommended proposals would be couched in ways that also have a corporate benefit. Remember, no collective effort at all is attempting to bring these issues to the fore. From a retired pilots standpoint, there isn’t much to lose supporting this effort. Rob’s reply: The plan is to arrange a meeting with Mr. Anderson and present our case. It will be done in a professional and non-confrontational manner using whatever talents and skills I have learned during my almost 40 years of connection with Delta. Due to my high visibility during my marketing years, as well as my ambassador years, I am not at all intimidated by titles or mahogany walls. I can hold my own with any senior management types.
If you get 10,000 signatures, "what's the plan"?
If you get 50,000 signatures, "what's the plan"?
If you get 100,000 signatures, "what's the plan?" I'VE NEVER VIEWED THE ISSUE ON THE PETITION OR THE STRENGTH OF THE PETITION IS THE NUMBER OF SIGNATURES, RATHER IT IS THE QUALITY OF THOSE SIGNEES WITH COMMENTS. WE ALREADY HAVE WHAT WE NEED IN THAT RESPECT WITH HEART RENDERING COMMENTS THAT ACCURATELY TELL THE STORY OF THIS GROUP OF RETIRED PILOT’S HARM. A packaged petition of 5000 names with comments prints out with about 250 pages. In hand, that package we believe will have the desired impact. A loose leaf cover letter and a summation of the top 20 comments will be included in the package. Rob’s reply: How many signatures? It is the comments that count. I'll be happy with 3000
I don't mean to be callous, but I sincerely hope this effort is more than just a "feel good" effort. If it's going to do more than just make people "feel good", there has to be a legitimate "plan".
Will the petition be presented to Mr. Anderson? YES, AND SENIOR MGT AND THE BOARD, followed by planned increased actions persistent requests for a meeting until a schedule is won.
If so, who will do the presentation? Rob is in control of that. My trust is with him on this. Rob’s reply: The case: We are being held to a different standard than the NW pilots who are receiving their full retirement benefits. This is an injustice and it needs to be fixed.
I will not be alone in my meeting. I plan to have a close friend with me to present our case. He is the Mutt to my Jeff. Totally focused, very even mannered, calm, extremely knowledgeable in all areas of Delta and will fill in the gaps for me. I have a strong background in the broad bandwidth of Delta, including a very strong in depth experience level in the marketing area. I got Dave Garrett to "retire" a vice president of marketing because he failed to endorse a business case that I submitted to increase Delta's revenue and profitability.
Will it just be the author, Rob Moser? Or will others accompany him? HE WILL BE ACCOMPANIED.
Is Rob the "best" spokesman, or who would be better, to speak on behalf of the premerger Delta pilots? THERE WASN'T A CONTEST TO SELECT THE "BEST" PERSON. ROB PERCULATED TO THE TOP BECAUSE HE DRAFTED THE EFFECTIVE PETITION LETTER AND FURTHER IS DEDICATED AND WILLING TO PURSUE THIS EFFORT. HE STEPPED UP TO THE PLATE AT A TIME NO ONE ELSE WAS!
What will be said at the meeting? IF THE GOAL IS GAINED THEN, WE HOPE THAT THREE MAIN POINTS WILL BE REVIEWED. ACCURATE HISTORY OF HARMFUL EVENTS, VERIFICATION THAT 3500 PILOTS AND THEIR FAMILIES HAVE BEEN SINGLED OUT AND SUBSTANTIALLY HURT BECAUSE OF PENSION TERMINATION. AND LASTLY PROPOSALS AS TO HOW CORPORATE CAN ADDRESS AND REMEDY THIS BLACK EYE. Rob’s reply: What do we want?? The merger was completed on Dec 31, 2009. I want reciprocity beginning on Jan 1, 2010.. Medical benefits: we will discuss if we get that far.
Will there be a "business case" made to Mr. Anderson to "do the right thing"? Or is this just an emotional response to getting screwed by Delta? BOTH! AND NEVER UNDER ESTIMATE AN APPEAL TO ONES BETTER ANGELS BECAUSE SOMETIMES IT YIELDS RESULTS. AFTER ALL SOME MANAGERS HAVE A PULSE. IF THAT IS NOT SUCCESSFUL, THOUGH, THEN AN ONGOING PR CAMPAIGN BY USING A VARIETY OF MEANS TO KEEP IT IN THE PUBLIC'S EYE AND GAIN PUBLIC SUPPORT. Rob’s reply: Business case: Absolutely. The cost of the retiree benefits, as close as I can SWAG guess is about 250 million per year, decreasing on a daily basis as we die.
What will this person or group be proposing? AS OF NOW, NO ONE IS CHAMPIONING ANY REMEDY FOR THE PENNIES ON THE DOLLAR ONE-TIME PAYOUT FOR LOST MEDICAL BENEFITS AND FOR THE PILOTS NON-QUALIFIED PENSION. THE PROPOSAL WILL AT LEAST INCLUDE A REMEDY FOR THESE TWO UNFORTUNATE SITUATIONS.
Will it be a restoration of the "frozen" Delta pilot Defined Benefit plan for ALL Delta pilots, retired and active? Or is the proposal just for retired Delta pilots? IF THE DISCUSSION CAN BE EXPANDED TO INCLUDED THE TERMINATED AND PBGC CONTROLLED DB PLAN, THAN YOUR QUESTION IS YET TO BE DETERMINED. Rob’s reply: Active pilots?? That is yet to be determined. For right now we have 3500 families that are in serious financial pain and that is where my focus is. If you want me to tackle that problem, let's solve the retirees problem first. One problem at a time. Frozen plan: That is not what we are trying to fix. That is the active pilots problem and you have the union horsepower to help you. We do not.
What would be the cost of such a proposal? What are they obstacles to doing what this group might propose? How will the signers "help" Mr. Anderson work with the PBGC to "restore" the plan?
SOME CORPORATE COSTS ARE SIMPLY BURDENS FOR DOING BUSINESS. TAKING CARE OF PAST PROMISES TO YOUR OWN, ARE NO DIFFERENT. THE CORPORATION WILL HAVE A COST, BUT PART OF THE REASON OF THE PROFITS TODAY IS BECAUSE THIS GROUP HELPED PLACE THEM IN A SUPERIOR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE. FURTHER, THE COMPANY HAS BENEFITED BIG TIME OFF THE BACKS OF A GROUP HARMED. IT IS BOTH TIME AND BOTH POSSIBLE FOR A HEALED COMPANY TO REASSUME ITS FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS TO ITS OWN. Rob’s Reply: The cost of the retiree benefits, as close as I can SWAG guess is about 250 million per year, decreasing on a daily basis as we die.
Does current law allow for the restoration of just "part" of the plan, if you're only targeting current retirees? THERE ARE NO LAWS OR RESTRICTIONS THAT PREVENT WHAT WILL BE ASKED FROM BEING DONE.
I've got a gazillion questions, and I suspect you and most of the signatories don't have an answer. And "yes", my name and address is on that petition. ALL OF YOURS AND OTHERS QUESTIONS SIMPLY CANNOT BE ANSWERED NOW. THE EFFORT IS STILL TRYING TO GAIN THE REQUIRED SUPPORT. IT WILL ONLY GET THERE WITH YOURS AND OTHERS HELP SHARING THE LINK.
But I haven't heard anything that lays out any type of "plan" to follow up the petition with action requested of Mr. Anderson, action required by the signatorites, and what the cost would be to Delta for what ever might be proposed.
Rob is a good guy. But he's full of anger and emotion. (Which is understandable given the screw-job he and the retirees got). But anger almost never wins an argument. It rarely results in good out-comes. I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT ROB IS COMPOSED AND WELL SPOKEN. THAT IS HIS GIFT. KNOWING ROB, AM NOT WORRIED ABOUT THE TONE OF THE MEETING AT ALL. I DO RECOGNIZE WHAT IS BEING DONE HAS A HIGH HILL TO CLIMB. BUT I GIVE HIM MY SUPPORT AND HELP.
So I truly ask "what's the plan"? LAID OUT ABOVE. GAINING THE SUPPORT NECESSARY TO GAIN A MEETING REPRESENTING THE FORGOTTEN 3500 DELTA RETIRED PILOTS. OPEN A DIALOGUE WITH THE COMPANY ON HOW ADDRESSING THESE ISSUES CAN BE A WIN-WIN. AND IN THE END, GAIN BACK SOME OF THE NON-QUAL AND MEDICAL BENEFITS LOST. Rob’s reply about the follow up: Most likely a uniform show of pilots at all airports distributing a cover letter explaining how Delta is using TAXPAYER money to shield themselves from paying retirement benefits to their retired pilots. Probably PR, David and Goliath stuff, and getting word out to the frequent flyers that they need to communicate with senior management that they will speak with their wallets until this injustice is resolved. Rest assured that I believe we can make this happen, and "quite frankly, my dear I don't give a damn." If the active employees want to keep the company solvent and equitable to them, they need to back us.