Whose Side Was Past ALPA President Duane Woerth On?

By Robert Mark on November 20th, 2007

Some of you might recall a post from a few months back in which I expressed disdain that former ALPA president Duane Woerth had in a Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post, signed on to the same old tired airline/FAA line about what’s wrong with the ATC system … it’s general and business aviation’s fault for not paying their fair share.woerth

I thought this former AFL-CIO vice president and former ALPA president was wrong then and I still do. Union folks have no business pitting one side of an industry against another. That hurts everyone. I know it happens, but it’s still wrong.

Then there was yesterday’s Post editorial that took the same line as Duane Woerth (And for the record … business aviation is willing to pay it’s fair share if someone will help us figure out precisely what that is. Hint: We don’t trust the airlines and FAA to give anyone the best numbers on this).

Now I don’t know Duane Woerth … never met the man. But I do know what I’ve learned about his reputation and it’s one that might well make people wary when he comes knocking in his new role as an aviation consultant simply because it’s tough to know which side he’s on. And then there was the letter I received from a Jetwhine reader that got me all stirred up again.

But before I show you the note, a bit of background. It was on Woerth’s watch at ALPA that the RJ Defense Coalition evolved. RJThat’s a sort of anti-ALPA national group of Comair and ASA pilots – good union folks – that tried to sue ALPA on numerous occasions for giving Delta Airlines pilots bargaining priority over those regional partners. Essentially, ALPA looked to be speaking out of both sides of its mouth trying to fairly represent both groups with the Delta mainline pilots coming out of the fight with far fewer bruises.

An ALPA pilot took the time to add a few thoughts that anyone in the industry might want to consider should you meet Mr. Woerth.

“Hello Robert,
About Duane Woerth … please understand he is not a representative of the [ALPA] pilot group. It took us a little while to figure him out, but that’s why we didn’t re-elect him. Notice that Duane Woerth did not return to NWA after his defeat.

No, he’s hung out his shingle as an aviation consultant. He’s never had an interest in flying, just struggling through it long enough to survive through several desk jobs.

Duane is a politician who will say what ever he thinks will advance his career.  What else is there to say about him?

BTW, Jetwhine is a wonderful site with well thought out information. Thanks,
Rand Peck


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2 Responses to “Whose Side Was Past ALPA President Duane Woerth On?”

  1. Julie Fetherston Says:

    I want to expound on the Character of Duane Woerth. This man is one of integrity, great morals, repect and intelligence. I know him very well.

    I had a very uneasy feeling reading this. What does this say for your character Robert Mark. To make such grand judgements about a man you have never met. It sounds very immature and ingnorant to me. I sure wouldn’t want you to influence my children. I teach my chidren to not judge others and if they are jealous of others, don’t slam them for what they don’t know.

    Good luck Robert. Again, Mr. Woerth is a man of great standing.


    Julie Featherston

  2. Rob Mark Says:

    I think you misinterpreted what I said Julie. I was very clear about the fact that I DON’T personally know Duane Woerth.

    I never spoke to his morals or anything else.

    All I said was that in his position as ALPA president, many members could not figure out which side he stood with.

    That wasn’t based on my personal opinion. It was based upon his actions as ALPA president.

    My guess is he loves his kids as much as I do mine. But that really has nothing to do with the issue to me.

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