For Immediate Release:
March 12, 2004
Contact: Sara Nelson Dela Cruz 847-292-7170 ext. 524
United Airlines Flight Attendants Picket and Leaflet at Sea-Tac, Washington Dulles and Los Angeles Airports
Protest Company’s Plan to Change Retiree Medical Benefits
WASHINGTON DC — United Airlines flight attendants and retirees, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO, will picket and leaflet at Sea-Tac and Washington Dulles airports on March 15 and Los Angeles Airport on March 17 to protest United’s plan to break its agreement with flight attendant retirees and change their health benefits.
Picketing and leafleting will be held on March 15 at:
• Washington Dulles Airport—Upper level, near door 4, 2 to 5 p.m. Local contact: Mari McColl, 703-731-5281.
• Sea-Tac Airport—Flag pavilion at entrance to airport, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Local contact: TBD.
Picketing and leafleting will be held on March 17 at:
• Los Angeles Airport—Upper level, Terminals 6 & 7, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Local contact: Jan Heisterman, 714-585-7700.
United management signed a letter of agreement in May 2003 to ensure that flight attendants retiring before July 1, 2003 would have access to health care benefits that were less costly and more comprehensive than those that would be in place for those who retire after that date. Based on that agreement, over 2,500 flight attendants retired before the July 1 deadline, only to find out just six months later that United intends to double-cross them and cut their benefits. These changes will force retirees to pay hundreds of dollars more per month of their modest pensions just to continue health insurance.
An examiner has been appointed by the bankruptcy court to investigate United Airlines’ scheme to intentionally mislead thousands of flight attendants into ending their careers or retiring early, defrauding them out of their retirement benefits. He will present his findings in bankruptcy court in Chicago on March 19.
Retirees will be on hand at all of the airport events to tell their stories about how United’s proposed changes will impact their lives, and current United employees will join in the fight to inform the public of United’s bait and switch tactics. Some of these retirees will be attending events for the first time because cancer treatment prohibited their involvement until now.
More than 46,000 flight attendants, including the 21,000 flight attendants at United, join together to form AFA, the world’s largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000 member strong Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.unitedafa.org.
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