CDMedia’s Investigative team has obtained a copy of an April 8, 2023 letter from United Pilot Union leader Captain Garth Thompson to all United Airlines pilots.
The United Airlines Pilot Union has been in contract negotiations with United Airlines for several years. Captain Thompson discussed his troubling concerns regarding pilot contract Negotiating Committee and Central Air Safety Committee business and a followup conversation with United’s CEO Scott Kirby.
As a result, United Airlines Pilot Union will be picketing against United Airlines at Willis Tower on April 19th in Chicago.
In the letter, Captain Thompson discussed his concern that United Airlines Senior Vice-President (SVP) Flight Operations, Bryan Quigley has announced his retirement for May 15th. As a result, Thompson has a concern about senior management decisions for United’s flight operations and specifically, for the pilots within United.
"Rather than select a successor Senior Vice President (SVP), senior management opted to demote the position to two Vice Presidents. Captain Marc Champion will serve as Vice President Flight Operations. He will share leadership of our division with Vice President Flight Operations Planning & Development Kirk Limacher, a non-flight qualified manager,” wrote Thompson. “At a time when training and safety are at high levels of concern, Mr. Limacher has been given oversight of pilot training programs, including DENTK (Denver Pilot Training Center) and Aviate (UAL Aviate Pilot Academy). I'm confident that most of you agree that this development is inappropriate,” Thompson emphasized to United’s pilots.
"We now work for a corporation that employs a SVP Technical Operations, an SVP Airport Operations, and an SVP of Inflight Services, but no SVP of Flight Operations. I cannot recall another time in my 30-year career when a pilot did not serve in a Senior Vice President role at United. Perhaps if "Safe" was a Core4 principle, or if aviation was the focus of our existence as an organization…,” added Captain Thompson.
"On Thursday, United Airlines Holdings, Inc. revealed, through Securities and Exchange Commission filings, grants of UAL Stock to several executives. The CEO's grant of 148,683 shares is presently valued at approximately 6.2 million dollars,” Thompson further added.
The CEO of United Airlines is Scott Kirby.
United Airlines has now demoted the Senior Vice-President of Flight Operations to two lower-level Vice Presidents of Flight Operations, Pilot Captain Marc Champion and Non-pilot manager, Kirk Limacher, as Vice-President Flight Operations Planning and Development with direct oversight of United Airlines Pilot Training programs.
Kirk Limacher's previous job was United Airlines Vice-President for Human Resources. A career Human Resources professional non-pilot now leads United Airlines Pilot Training as the CEO Scott Kirby has committed the airlines to a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) corporate policy.
This same Kirk Limacher is a defendant in a lawsuit along with multiple defendants, including Kirby, the airlines and its board of directors.
In Limacher’s previous United Airlines Vice President for Human Resources’s position, Limacher is alleged to have discriminated against fellow employees over the company's 100% Covid-19 vaccine mandate for US employees allegedly violating their Constitutional rights, religious and medical freedoms when unvaccinated employees were either placed on indefinite unpaid leave or terminated outright on September 27, 2021.
When United Airlines recalled its unvaccinated employees on March 28, 2022, Kirk Limacher wrote that United Airlines could re-implement its vaccine mandate at any time and for any reason in the future.
“But of all these efforts, the one that remains the most effective at protecting our employees and customers is our successful employee vaccination policy. Since November–a time that included the record-breaking Omicron surge–our vaccinated employees were remarkably safe compared to our employees who were on an approved request for reasonable accommodation (RAP), as well as compared to the general population……Of course, if another variant emerges or the COVID trends suddenly reverse course, we will reevaluate the appropriate safety protocols at that time……Finally, I hope you will join me in getting a booster when it’s your time, consistent with CDC guidance. It’s the best way to reduce the risks associated with COVID,” Limacher wrote in a March 2022 recall letter distributed to all of the United employees who had been placed on indefinite unpaid leave when their medical and religious exemptions were accepted in late 2021.
Translated - Welcome back to United, but we may kick you off the property if we change our mandated vaccination policy again.
Seemingly, all these new developments may result in further serious questions.
Are the skies really safe if the United Airlines pilot training is being led by a Human Resources professional rather than traditionally a pilot?
Does the demotion of Senior Vice-President to Vice-President Flight Operations enhance the safety of flight operations at United Airlines?
Does paying Executive bonuses make the skies safer at United Airlines?
Do these COVID-19 injections and now demonstrated cardiac and neurological side effects on pilots make the skies safer than before these
injections were 100% mandated?
What is the long term status of flying safety at United Airlines and other airlines where pilots are operating the controls with these Emergency Use Authorized injection materials floating around in their bodies?
What is happening with the post-COVID-19 injection increase in airborne pilot incapacitations affecting pilots performing their duties?
Safety of the skies and United Airlines policies will be discussed in Chicago on April 20th.
See Invitation below. It is open to the public.
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