Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Criminal Capitalism-WestJet

Well WestJet has been caught out. In a classic case of deny, deny,deny, confess out of court, they finally admited to the truth. They are crooks. That in order to take advantage of the consolidation of Air Canada they hacked into AC's customer base and looted information. And did they go to jail? Well unlike joe hacker, no. Of course not. They paid a fine, apologised and looked sheepish at a joint press conference with AC boss Robert Milton. See white collar crime does pay!

WestJet apology means industry can work together on regulatory change: Milton

Milton seeks WestJet's help on landing fees

Competitors? Competition? Nope, Oligopoly.

WestJet straying from its low-fare script

Clive Beddoe did the right thing in settling the espionage case against WestJet Airlines. Fifteen million dollars, plus a few toothpicks to remove the humble pie, doesn't seem like a big price to pay to get rid of a costly distraction.So the airline industry's conspiracy-of-the decade has ended with a whimper, and Mr. Beddoe's company emerged with no lasting damage. Is there a single person who refused to fly WestJet because they were concerned about management ethics? Doubtful. Most people want four things when choosing an airline: (1) low fares, (2) low fares, (3) to not feel as though they've been crammed into a tin of Starkist tuna, and -- What was the other thing? Oh, yes -- (4) low fares.

Here is a take on this from the left;

I think it goes a bit deeper, actually. Westjet has been held up, particularly by the right in Canada, as the paragon of free market virtue compared to Air Canada's incompetence and waste, in large part because Westjet was very profitable. It's been used as a way to bash on Air Canada and its unionized workforce. Layoffs have been a way of life for Air Canada staff for about 15 years. I know someone who is 4 years from retirement, and is at the bottom of the seniority list at his airport.

While Neil Waugh, the Edmonton Sun Columnist who has gone pinko, defends the unions and spanks AC boss Robert Milton (will wonders never cease) in a case of fair and balanced reporting.

Instead, for the grovelling confession and apology Milton is willing to settle for $5.5 million in investigation and legal fees, plus a further $10-million donation to unnamed Canadian kids' charities.

As a sign that Milton wants to bury the hatchet and "turn a new page on this unfortunate chapter," the cheques will bear both Air Canada's and WestJet's names.

But it's not open skies any time soon for Milton - even after recently reporting a "solid first quarter" for Air Canada's parent AEC Aviation Holdings.

The $118-million net profit has attracted the attention of the Air Canada Pilots Association, which took a 30% pay cut and faced massive layoffs when the company sought bankruptcy protection.

"The company can now afford to share this success with the people who helped achieve it," the Air Canada pilots said about upcoming contract negotiations. Especially when it pointed out that Milton took an alleged 13.5% salary cut from 2002-05 when the creditors were circling.

"During the same period, Milton's annual compensation grew by 72%," the pilots scolded. "And nearly doubled from 2004 to 2005."

Say it ain't so, Robert?

Also See:

Criminal Capitalism

Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
, , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments: