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United flight attendants reject further wage cuts
10/15/2004 Pacific Business News
The Association of Flight Attendants rejected Friday the idea of United Airlines making further cost cuts by making further cuts to employee wages.
UAL Corp. announced in federal bankruptcy court in Chicago that it would seek further cuts, and hoped to have them in place by January. The airline said it needed another $500 million a year in cost reductions beyond what it can save if employee pension plans are terminated.
"The company's exploitation of the bankruptcy process for additional concessions comes as no surprise to each of us after months of hearing (Chief Executive Officer) Glenn Tilton and (Chief Operating Officer) Pete McDonald say that our previous concessions are 'not enough' and warning that we will need to 'dig deeper,'" said Greg Davidowitch, president of the AFA's United master executive council. "We continue to reject the notion that targeting employees with more concessions is the key to success at our airline."
Labor and management have both repeatedly praised United employees for their performance during Chapter 11. The airline has flown fuller than American, Delta or Continental, with some of the industry's best on-time records, since entering receivership in December 2002. But soaring jet fuel prices have kept United deep in the red, and the lenders providing it with the cash to keep flying have made continued lending conditional on deeper cost reductions.
Davidowitch told members Friday that the union was still seeking details on the company's intentions.
Source: Pacific Business News