ALPA vs. NORTHWEST AIRLINES: 1978

Coaching Pilots to Successfully Deal with CEO Nemesis

During the J.P. Stevens Corporate Campaign, while on the staff of ACTWU, Ray Rogers was contacted by various groups of pilots for help. In return for providing strategic and tactical advice to the pilots, all Ray asked was that they support the Stevens campaign. This worked out well for both pilots and textile workers. In an article profiling Ray on Oct. 21, 1980, the Wall Street Journal reported: " He coached members of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), who had become locked in a bitter four-month strike against Northwest."

A senior pilot on the bargaining committee was quoted: "We sought him out of frustration... He was the most recognized person in his field. We knew we had to try something." The article added, "Pilots say Mr. Rogers helped them find ways to put pressure on Northwest's outside directors and large shareholders and to tell their side of the story forcefully to local media. Soon the strike was over. A few months later, Northwest chairman Donald W. Nyrop, known for his combative attitude toward the pilots' union, retired."