By BJ Bjornson
Not many easier ways to show just how the American middle class has found itself an increasingly rare species these days than this story about American Airlines filing for bankruptcy.
AMR said agreements with its workforce forced it to spend $600m (�384m) more than other airlines on staff costs.
. . .
It was the only one of the major US airlines operating international routes not to file for bankruptcy after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Its competitors have successfully used bankruptcy to restructure their labour contracts and cut costs.
. . .
Mr Horton said the board had unanimously decided to file for bankruptcy on Monday night.
He announced that American would be looking to change its employees' terms and conditions. "We plan to initiate further negotiations with all of our unions to reduce our labour costs to competitive levels," he said.
So basically the system has been set up to reward those who failed first and could use that failure to stick it to their employees, ultimately forcing their competitors to do the same to remain competitive.
Little wonder that things just keep spiralling downwards.