Jewish World Review April 30, 2003 / 28 Nissan, 5763
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | The executives of the Ameirco-Shaft Airlines Co. were having a celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel. They were honoring Tommy Cloud, who had just negotiated contracts with the pilots, the attendants and the mechanics.
Tommy saved the airline $1 billion by making all the unions take drastic cuts in salaries.
When Tommy walked into the room, everyone cheered.
Arnie Blackhawk, the chairman of Americo-Shaft said, "Tommy, you are a negotiating genius. No one has been able to stick it to the unions the way you did."
Tommy replied, "That is what negotiating fair contracts is all about. You tell them that if they won't give in, the airline will go bankrupt."
"What else did you do?" Arnie asked.
Tommy answered, "I cried a lot. The unions had never seen a grown man cry."
"You didn't mention anything to them about our trust funds, bonus plans, or golden parachutes, which guarantee each of our executives $5 million?"
Tommy said, "It is none of their business what we on the 40th floor do."
The vice president in charge of operations said, "All the people who took the cuts do nothing but fly the planes. What do they know about money?"
Arnie said, "Our negotiations with unions will be a textbook case for every business school in America to study. They'll teach future CEOs how to screw the unions when they grow up."
Eddie Tailspin said, "How do we keep the workers from finding out we were looking after our own interest before theirs? They may not take it quietly."
The vice president for advertising said, "We'll have a campaign on television and in the newspapers. We show a pilot, a stewardess and a mechanic. They will each say, 'Welcome to Americo-Shaft Airlines. Fly with us at half the salaries we had before.'"
An executive said, "How about, 'Take a flight with us before we go belly up'?"
The advertising VP said, "That sounds too downbeat. I think we should have a message that will make people feel good about Shaft - maybe a chorus of employees singing, 'Fly Me to the Moon.'"
Another executive said, "I hope the advertising campaign won't come out of our bonuses and pension plans."
Arnie said, "It won't show up because we will keep them hidden on the books in the Cayman Islands and list it as 'Good will.'"
"My wife wants to buy a home in Fort Lauderdale," the VP in charge of frequent flyer miles said. "Can she do it now?"
"Of course. That is what our bonus plan is for," said Arnie. "But I would sell your stock before the word gets out about our executive compensation plans."
Everybody picked up their cell phones and called their brokers and then their friends and relatives.
Arnie spoke again. "I am happy to announce that we owe a lot to Tommy, and I am making him Employee of the Year. He has done more for aviation than Charles Lindbergh."
Everyone raised their glasses of Dom Perignon and sang, "For he's a jolly good fellow."
Tommy blushed and said, "All it took was the same greed that everyone in this room has."
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04/22/03: More time with the kids