Quality Customer Service Only Comes from Quality Employees

Thoughts from Gina Ricci, American Airlines Agent, JFK

I’ve been with American Airlines for over 25 years and I’m proud of it.

With that pride comes a sense of responsibility and ownership. Our merger with US Airways may have made American Airlines the largest carrier in the world, but I want more than that. I go into work every day striving to make us the best airline we can be. And we can’t do that without a union.

Because what I see today is a company in danger of losing its soul in the endless pursuit of quarterly profits.

Union representation means we could advance issues like pay and benefits, but what excites me most isn’t the day-to-day, it’s winning a real voice in our future.

When former CEO Tom Horton started outsourcing our jobs he wasn’t thinking about the long term impact on customer relations or our brand. He wasn’t thinking about the fact that when you pay and train people the bare minimum, they don’t have the same level of commitment. He was thinking about stock prices and exiting bankruptcy with his multi-million dollar bonus.

But if American Airlines wants to be the best carrier in the country, we need to put our best foot forward, not cut every corner.

With the CWA-IBT Association, we will have the power to fight for quality customer service, to fix the fact that at JFK our ratio right now is around 18 full-time agents to a couple hundred part-time employees, to negotiate strong outsourcing protections like the US Airways contract has and to bring back our profit sharing.

As front-line employees, we have a responsibility to ourselves and our managers, but most importantly to our customers. We are the ones working with them, helping them, even at times struggling with them on a day-to-day basis.

Gina Ricci portrait

After over 25 years with this company, I’m ready to take up the responsibility that comes with having a seat at the table. I’m ready to say that American Airlines is my company in good times and in bad. That’s why I’m voting for the CWA-IBT Association.