June 09, 2021 American Airlines says it took controversial policy to please employees, NAACP
Washington DC – American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said today that the company’s opposition to election integrity laws is based on feedback from his employees, the NAACP and CEOs of other companies .
In his response to a question posed by the Free Enterprise Project (FEP) of the National Center for Public Policy Research, Parker failed to note that American Airlines employees are discouraged to oppose Parker’s awakened personal policy, at the risk of losing their jobs.
At American Airlines’ annual meeting of shareholders, FEP deputy director Scott Shepard asked this question:
I’m Scott Shepard from the National Center for Public Policy Research.
After an initial rush of companies to condemn Georgia’s law on the integrity of elections, most of them reversed their positions, “clarifying” that they do not oppose any specific provision of this law and simply seek accessible but safe and clean elections, as we all do. And they refrained from condemning Texas’ electoral integrity law. But not American Airlines. He spoke in a way that the the Wall Street newspaper reported was intended as a direct condemnation of Texas law. Can you now tell us exactly which provisions of Texas law you oppose and why, and suggest specific substitution proposals that will always ensure that Texas elections are free from fraud and error?
Company executives rephrased the question and asked Parker, “It looks like the American is doing everything possible to get involved in political issues, especially election law. Why is that? Why are we taking a stand there? “
Yes, thanks for the question. Our point of view is that we do not get involved in political issues. We are not the ones who seek to choose one side of a bipartisan issue; we are the ones who seek to bring people together.
As to the question, I’m sure it relates to our statement made by American about the election legislation that was introduced in Texas, where we are headquartered. This legislation has been touted as an effort to increase voter integrity, to allay concerns about lack of voter integrity – obviously something all Americans favor: ensuring that votes have a high level of voter turnout. integrity.
The problem with this legislation, however, is that in trying to help with integrity it also makes it much more difficult for people to vote and even for certain groups of people. It made them feel disenfranchised. And we started to hear about it from our team members. We started to hear about it from black CEOs across the country, black executives across the country. And our point of view is, and will continue to be, that we need to support our team. Our team has come forward and let us know that this is really important to them, and they know that American Airlines has a voice in this regard. We must raise our voices in their favor.
And again, not on one side of a partisan issue, but more of trying to get people to work together. If indeed voter integrity is of great concern to one group of people, we must strive to address that concern, but we must strive to address it in a way that does not just make another group of people. feel deprived of their rights and that it is more difficult for them to vote. There must be ways to do it, and companies will walk away on this point once those working for voter integrity, in doing so, do not generate great concern from – in particular – groups like the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, as a group of black executives across the country, and like the American Airlines team, who think it will make it harder for them to vote.
Again, this is what it is; that’s what we’re talking about. We have an obligation to support our team. What we do is bring people together; we’re trying to bring people together on this point, on what is clearly a point of division. Again, don’t pick one side of the point of separation. Trying to get people to work together.
After the meeting, Shepard replied:
Doug Parker’s response raises further concerns about American opposition to, without addressing or appeasing the integrity bills in Georgia and Texas. He was offered a clear chance to state precisely what he was opposed to in the bill and to suggest alternative methods by which integrity could be ensured. He and his team not only ignored the opportunity, but hid it by rephrasing our question. Parker admitted that electoral integrity is vital, but then said American opposed the bills because “our team” opposed them.
But at American, the use of “our team” is also rigged. American has demanded that employees attend training sessions in which the company encourages arousal expressions, while noting that any expression opposing arousal would put employees’ jobs at risk. As long as this is true, American determines in advance which of these “team members” have a say and which are silenced. So Parker’s claim that business leaders only do what their “team” requires is a choreographed lie.
If Parker wants the company to act in real response to employee concerns, it must protect the free and full expression of all employees of their concerns and opinions. Until he does, he simply puts the words he wants to hear in the mouths of his employees, then uses those words as justification when they send them back to him.
It is, in effect, to make important decisions for the company not on the basis of business judgment, but on the basis of Parker’s personal puppet politics and political preferences. This violates his fiduciary duty to shareholders in a way that exposes him and the executive suite to personal liability, as it should. The same is true of the company that hands over its public policy decisions to outside organizations such as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, without independently and objectively reviewing the findings of those organizations to ensure American Airlines is making decisions. in the long-term interests of the company. rather than for the promotion of the interests of third parties.
Davis Soderberg, a FEP associate who also attended the meeting, added:
Parker’s response didn’t make much sense and was incredibly contradictory. His first claim was that American Airlines would not get involved in political issues or take sides on partisan issues. Two sentences later, he took sides on a partisan issue and became openly political about the Texas Voter Integrity Bill. Parker has vowed that big business will step away from the topic once it is changed to align with his wishes. Thus, according to his logic, he will not get involved in any political affair, except political affairs with which he does not agree.
Not only is his self-awareness surprisingly low, but his claim that the bill disenfranchises certain demographics is based on lies about what is really in the law. As always, these outspoken CEOs make allegations of discrimination, racism and disenfranchisement, but never give details.
Businesses should stay out of all political matters. If workers or executives have trouble with the legislation, they should stop asking CEOs of big companies for help. Rather, they should go to officials who have been elected to serve the people through the democratic process. Doug Parker has it all wrong.
Conservative investors can learn how to oppose leftism in corporate America by downloading the FEP’s new 2021 Investor Value Voting Guide and Balancing the Boardroom Voting Guide. The new website Stop corporate tyranny also provides tools for engagement with business leaders.
Today’s meeting marks FEP’s 41st attendance at a shareholders’ meeting in 2021. To schedule an interview with a member of the Free Enterprise Project on this or other matter, contact Jenny Kefauver at (703) 850 -3533.
Launched in 2007, the National Center’s free enterprise project focuses on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. In the past four years alone, VET representatives have participated in over 100 shareholder meetings – advancing free market ideals on healthcare, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and other important public policy issues. As the leading voice of conservative investors, he tables over 90% of all center-right shareholder resolutions each year. However, dozens of liberal organizations file more than 95% of all political shareholder resolutions each year and continue to exert undue influence over American companies.
The activity of VET was covered by the media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, The Associated Press, Bloomberg, Drudge Report, Business Insider, National Public Radio, and SiriusXM. VET work featured prominently in new book by Stephen Soukup The Woke Capital Dictatorship: How Political Correctness Captured Big Business (Encounter Books) and the 2016 book by Kimberley Strassel The bullying game: how the left silences freedom of expression (Hachette Book Group).
The National Center for Research on Public Policy, founded in 1982, is an independent, non-partisan conservative think tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from businesses. It receives more than 350,000 people contributions a year of more than 60,000 recent active contributors.
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