Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research






The airline industry in the United States has passed through a crucial period of post-deregulation adjustments. One of those adjustments has been in its relationship with the unions representing a large portion of the industry employees. One view of this situation that is commonly presented is that unions are “losers” in this post deregulation period. The common wisdom in the U.S. airline industry is that labor unions are the biggest losers from deregulation and the dash into consolidation. Certainly there is plenty of evidence for this view. Deregulation spawned split wage scales, futile strikes at United and Pan American, Chapter 11 bankruptcies, and the emergence of a handful of super-carriers which, on the surface at least, handed management oligopolistic bargaining powers' (Gaudin). This is certainly a negative view of how unions have weathered the storm of deregulation, but is it well-founded, and is it a view shared by the airlines unions, themselves? The direction of this study is to describe the airline union viewpoint, the impact deregulation has had on their viability and on their future attitudes toward bargaining issues.



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