United Airlines Flight Attendants Have Begun Negotiations To Avoid Bankruptcy
October 22, 2002
Reinforce need for negotiated solution to United’s financial crisis
CHICAGO – Representatives of the United Airlines Master Executive Council of the Association of Flight Attendants, AFL-CIO, began meeting with airline management recently in hopes of reaching agreement on changes to the Flight Attendant Contract that will provide United management with the savings it needs from the Flight Attendants to avoid bankruptcy. This is the statement of AFA United MEC President Greg Davidowitch:
“The Flight Attendants understand that it will likely take the participation of all labor groups, creditors, lenders and lessors for the airline to successfully restructure outside of bankruptcy. It is now up to United management to proceed with the fairness and equity needed in these delicate negotiations, recognizing the unique characteristics of each labor group and achieving individual cost savings packages that meet the airline’s needs. All of this must fall within the framework developed by the Union Coalition. The money is there, United must now show its willingness to work with us to get access to it and the other strategic initiatives contained in the Union Coalition Framework.
“Our goal is to provide stability for our company and to fix our airline for the long term. The only way to do that is through a cooperative relationship. To that end, the Flight Attendants have entered into direct negotiations with United. The goal of the talks is to develop a negotiated solution to the airline’s problems outside the bankruptcy process. The Flight Attendants will have the opportunity to vote on any agreement reached by the parties.
“Flight Attendants are not entering these negotiations just for the sake of providing management with concessions. As part of any cost savings package, Flight Attendants must be rewarded with equity and profit sharing for our investment in the airline that will reward us when the airline turns around. In the event United is unable to secure the concessions needed from all constituencies, including lessors, lenders and creditors, and bankruptcy becomes necessary, we are also demanding a guarantee that management will not seek any further concessions if the Flight Attendant membership ratifies a concessionary agreement.
“Flight Attendants are the airline’s front-line employees. This airline has a much better future if we work together to solve our problems. Our new CEO, Glenn Tilton, has shown a desire to work with us. We are hopeful and have every reason to believe that relationship will continue. In the short time since our new CEO has been at the helm of United, we have been able to accomplish what once was considered impossible by working together."
More than 50,000 Flight Attendants, including the 26,000 Flight Attendants at United, join together to form AFA, the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Visit us at www.unitedafa.org.