‘If it was political then he doesn’t speak for us that do support the NRA. If it was personal, then I suggest he step down…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz defended his “personal” decision to end the company’s financial relationship with the National Rifle Association, after a shareholder activist questioned him about it.
Speaking for United Continental Holdings, the parent company to United Airlines, Munoz said “we stand by” the decision to break ties with the NRA, though it appears he made a unilateral decision.
United Airlines cancelled its discounts and special offers for NRA members in 2018 following the Parkland shooting.
David Almasi, National Center for Public Policy Research vice president, attended the United Airlines shareholder meeting, representing the Free Enterprise Project, a group dedicated to protecting conservatives in the increasingly progressive realm of big business.
At least year’s shareholder meeting, Munoz said the decision was “personal with regard to my family at United” and “wasn’t political,” NCPPR reported.
He said the company supported him, which turns out to be false.
Almasi asked Munoz to describe the thinking behind the decision.
He said the statement needed to be understood in its “full context,” and the public needed to know that a pilot’s daughter had been killed in the Parkland shooting.
Almasi asked whether Munoz would consider breaking business partnerships with other companies that affect his employees, such as Purdue Pharma for its connection to opioid abuse and deaths.
“When applying his approach in the context he wanted it considered, there are plenty of politically motivated decisions Munoz could make for United in the future. That’s troubling,” Almasi said. “United’s board needs to be engaged to make sure more ‘family’ decisions don’t hamper the airline’s bottom line.”
Almasi said an Inc.com survey found that United Airlines employees disapprove of Munoz’s decision by a 4:1 margin.
“If it was political then he doesn’t speak for us that do support the NRA. If it was personal, then I suggest he step down since he [can’t] seem to separate personal decisions from business decisions,” a current employee said.
Munoz said he was “not aware” of the survey.
“His anti-gun stance has surely hurt morale, and the animus he created with supporters of the Second Amendment will affect the company’s profits and shareholders’ investment,” Almasi said. “That’s why financial experts were critical of Munoz on this from the beginning.”
Munoz did not say whether the board was involved in the decision.