From: Steve Nieman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed May 26, 2004 6:06:01 PM US/Pacific
To: Jeanne Gessitz <email@example.com>
Cc: Richard D. Foley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: 2331:Alaska's World on the web Question: 5/25/2004 2:11:39 PM
We are documenting for the S.E.C. and the NYSE how AAG stock and proxies were voted in this contest (there may be a future story here for you). That's part of the problem we tried to illuminate in our campaigns over the last two years--proxy voting in this country is broken BIG time. I couldn't even vote my own stock in our company's ESPP plan via Smith Barney for the Challenger slate as well as proposals 11&12. The thousands of AS/QX 401(k) plan participants had, after finally receiving last minute voting instructions issued by the directed trustees Putnam and Fidelity, only about three or four business days to vote for the challengers if they so chose--and the Putnam instruction required that proxies be sent by mail only to a East coast PO box (Fed Ex and UPS do not accept overnight-mailings to PO boxes). Plus, the management of AS/QX refused to even post these last minute instructions to the employees on their electronic media to ameliorate the terribly-squeezed time constraints.
In a free, democratic society, if the voting process is made a sham, yeah--the incumbents win and the challengers get beat.
Thanks for the back-n'-forth~~Steve
On Wednesday, May 26, 2004, at 03:26 PM, Jeanne Gessitz wrote:
News, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. If the four challengers had won, that would be news; the fact they each received nominal consideration, in my estimation, is not.
While we may not see things the same on this, I very much appreciate your input and hope you'll continue to touch base on issues we cover in Alaska's World that are important to you.
Managing Director/Strategic & Corporate Communications
"Alaska's World on the web" <email@example.com> writes:
Name: Steve Nieman
I've read the May 24th article on alaskasworld.com dealing with the shareholders meeting...
The article is not by-lined, but whoever reported and wrote it failed to mention a very important event that happened at the meeting--four challenger candidates went up against the four company incumbents, and were defeated. Two of the challengers were AAG employees. Their campaign was sanctioned by the federal government--Securities and Exchange Commission. I find this all very newsworthy. I've talked to numerous Alaska employees who were extremely interested in these events--yet Alaska Airlines Public Affairs, again, didn't get the story right. Thanks for the coverage on the proposals, but the choosing not to cover the full story on the director election--you missed the boat, in my opinion, and did a disservice to your important readers: the chief investors, employees~~Steve
From: Dan Russo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu May 20, 2004 10:13:58 AM US/Pacific
To: Steve Nieman <email@example.com>
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Subject: Re: Fwd: Letter to our Companies' PR staffs
Thanks for your comments.
We were and still are planning to do a follow up piece on the results of the
shareholder proposals and it should be out in the next week.
May 20, 2004
To the Staff and Management of both AlaskasWord.com and OnYourHorizon.com and the Public Affairs offices of Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and the AAG, Inc.:
I have read both of your electronic stories published to the employees and the public since the May 18th stockholders meeting last Tuesday. (I have not read yet any company print media of events, but I'm not waiting to inhale my next breath.)
IN MY OPINION, YOU SHOULD ALL BE ASHAMED!
That meeting was dominated by worker-shareholder-activists who fielded an alternative slate of four candidates against unbelievable odds to challenge the company's four incumbents, plus offered to the stockholders for democratic vote--ten shareholder proposals. This seven-month effort by dedicated AS/QX workers was to try to help management confront the HUGE problems facing our businesses as we struggle to stay IN business.
Yet, like last year, you guys passed on reporting this IMPORTANT NEWS!
Does anybody around here know anything about building trust between the chief investors here--the workers--and management? who are supposed to be leading the workforce?
Do you truly believe that ignoring reality is going to make it go away?
Do you guys in PR have any ideas that you would like to bring forward in the appropriate venues to turn around our miserable economic performance and encourage stakeholders to work better together?
Over the last two years in the AAG stockholder realm, these workers (and one customer stockholder) have stepped up to the plate to try and introduce alternatives that stakeholders, through democratic processes might consider. We must desperately try to compete with new entrant airlines whose costs are way-lower than ours, due to the simple fact that they haven't been around long enough to get as screwed up as we have. We have many, many intelligent stakeholders here, and I find it hard to believe that we could soon join the aluminum junk pile of the Braniffs, Easterns and PanAms of grand failures. Have we truly not learned anything from people who struggled in the past with how to run a successful business?
This constant refusal by the management of our companies to involve any stakeholder group they disapprove of is systematic of why old companies die just like old people do, I guess: Stubborn and set in their ways...
Corporations that will survive this corporate governance crisis facing them will be relying on the very human elements of community combined with democracy. Communities of humans, if there's any humanity left in the world, to populate and guide these large institutions that we have all created and must take responsibility for as they have mutated into headless monsters.
Are we beginning to hear the death bell of democracy and a free and open press in this country? Your have demonstrated your extreme bias in omitting press coverage of this important work of employees-teamed-with-customers who got off their butts to try and DO something! I thought you all learned better in journalism school.
I believe I'm beginning to hear a distant song of what the future holds for all of us, and it is very sad and sorrowful~~Steve Nieman