Exclusive: United Pilots to CEO - 'Lead or Get Out of the Way'

WASHINGTON (TheStreet) -- United (UAL) pilots have developed a plan that will, they say, encourage CEO Jeff Smisek to "lead or get out of the way."

"The leadership team at United Airlines is failing at our great company," said the three leaders of the Washington domicile of the United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association, in a letter sent to domicile members on Tuesday. A copy of the letter was obtained by TheStreet.

Early this month, at the quarterly meeting of the United ALPA chapter master executive council, which includes local and national leaders, "the big-ticket item on everyone's mind was the poor performance of our company and the lack of leadership demonstrated at the senior and executive level of our company," wrote the three Washington local leaders.

The chapter had developed "a strategic plan to force our leadership team to lead," the letter said. Details of the plan haven't been disclosed.

Ironically, on Wednesday, American Airlines (AAL) President Scott Kirby declared at an investor conference that the biggest recent change in the airline industry has been an improved relationship between management and labor.

"Delta (DAL) has done a really good job of creating more of a partnership," Kirby said. "We've created that at American.

"Rather than having the divisive relationships where the two sides were at war with each other, (we have) an industry where we don't always agree on everything but are partners."

Although Kirby spoke in a joint presentation with United Chief Financial Officer John Rainey, it is clear that so far United hasn't been able to implement the new airline partnership model.

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