It's become easier and easier over the years for management to play hardball against employees and unions.
But sometimes it still does backfire. And as American Airlines has learned this year, some unions can still battle back with massive results. So when American — which declared bankruptcy in order to try to pay its employees less — tried to push the pilots' union for concessions, the union pushed back.
Not by striking, either. American's pilots instead decided to follow the rules. The pilots called in every little issue with every plane before it took off, refusing to leave the ground for minor issues that usually would be set aside for later.
The result? American led all U.S. airlines in delays and canceled flights, and is not recovering.
See the story at Slate.