Discussion Board Post
A particular person and topic will be the focus of this discussion post. That would be none other than the infamous Frank Lorenzo, known as a “union-buster,” and his devastating impact on the airline industry, which resulted in being banned from operating another airline. Frank Lorenzo graduated from Harvard business school and “served as the head of several domestic airlines including Eastern, Continental, New York Air, Frontier, and People Express during the ’80s and ’90s” (Clark, 2017). Yes, that Eastern airlines, which was once a thriving airline and was reduced to ceasing operations. A quick internet search will reveal many results of how many individuals dislike this person, to say the least. Whether intentional or not, many lives were negatively impacted by his management.
When Continental was acquired by a Scandinavian airline, they requested that he be “banned from the airline industry for seven years” (Clark, 2017). With such a controversial past in the industry, it is no surprise that when Lorenzo attempted to get back into the airline industry in 1993, it was met with much opposition. He and a group of investors proposed Friendship Airlines. A group of House members wrote to the White House “urging a ban on Lorenzo, whose hard-nosed management of Continental and Eastern airlines angered unions and their supporters” (Rubin, 1993). ″This industry is in enough trouble as is,″ ALPA also voiced in opposition (Rubin, 1993). ″For the life of me, I do not know why anybody would want to do business with [Lorenzo].”
“Given his record and loud protests from unions, however, the Department of Transportation declined the bid, saying Lorenzo was not fit to fly ‘in accord with the public interest.'” (Clark, 2017). “Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., a leader of the congressional opponents, said Lorenzo is a symbol of ‘greed, leveraged buyouts, and mismanagement″ that weakened the airline industry.'” (Rubin, 1993). When you have as much controversy surrounding you as Frank Lorenzo does, the DoT may ban you from the airline industry. The legacy of Frank Lorenzo, whether you consider him good or bad, is a truly remarkable story and is one instance in which the aviation industry will never forget.
I agree. As a manager of the Continental Airline, Frank Lorenzo should have adhered to the Air Line Pilots Association Policy (ALPA), which protects and promotes all aspects of aviation security and safety. The ALPA policy urges all decision-makers to put the safety of the cabin crews, airline passengers, and air cargo shippers first (Joseph, 1990). Frank Lorenzo disregarded the pilots’ welfare by outfoxing flight attendants and machinists’ unions and by forcing a set of employees to return to non-unionist jobs. Further, Frank Lorenzo ignored the strike by pilots, and instead, he coaxed 600 pilots back to keep the Continental airline working (Hopkins, 2000). Further, as the head of an airline, Frank Lorenzo should have considered the people’s welfare, especially the workers and employees; instead, he disregarded their interests and promoted his own interests. I consider him bad, and I concur with the decision made in 1993 that he should be banned from the airline industry. Lorenzo should be banned from the airline industry because he was motivated by bad faith in filing for bankruptcy proceedings for Continental Airlines to cut labor costs and void union contracts. As per the union’s contention, Continental had enough cash when filing for bankruptcy; hence those proceedings were filed in bad faith. In conclusion, Frank Lorenzo’s legacy was bad, to say the least.
Joseph P. Ritz (1990), Frank Lorenzo: Destroyer of Unions and Airlines, The Buffalo News, Retrieved on November 25, 2020 https://buffalonews.com/news/frank-lorenzo-destroyer-of-unions-and-airlines/article_8915d2bf-82d1-5789-b224-c537bee49f58.html
Hopkins G. (2000), The Origins of the Continental Strike: Lorenzo Prepares His Blitzkrieg, Flying the Line II
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