United Airlines' Employee/Management Cooperation Remains Strong
December 9, 2002
Working Together Key to Successful Bankruptcy Restructuring & Strong Future
CHICAGO — Association of Flight Attendants, AFL-CIO, United Airlines Master Executive Council President Greg Davidowitch made this statement after the airline announced it would file for bankruptcy to continue operating as a result of the federal Air Transportation Stabilization Board denying its application for a loan guarantee:
"It wasn't long ago that United Airlines was the biggest, best airline in the world. But a number of very poor decisions by recent CEO's, the loss of $20 billion in revenue among the major network carriers in our industry and the unethical collaboration between the Air Transportation Stabilization Board and some other airlines who stand to gain if United fails, combined to result in our carrier's bankruptcy filing.
"These outside forces will not succeed in grounding United. The coming months will be difficult and painful for flight attendants as we work through the bankruptcy process. But we are committed to continuing the unprecedented cooperation between employees and management that will be necessary to turn United around and successfully shepherd it through reorganization.
"This process will mean further cuts to our contract and a bigger strain on our families. But we will face these challenges head on. We know and management knows what happens when a carrier fights with its workers in bankruptcy. There are enough former Eastern Airlines employees in our ranks to remind us of that.
"Many cowardly airline CEO's, in their lobbying to get our ATSB application denied, questioned our resolve and the sacrifices we've made. The average United flight attendant has provided 12 years of dedication and earns an average of $32,000 a year. These dedicated workers voluntarily decided to take painful pay and benefit cuts to keep their carrier afloat. What flight attendants have been willing to offer United thus far has been awe-inspiring. And we will not let those who doubt us from the comfortable confines of their executive suites and six and seven figure salaries in the White House and Wall Street, diminish our sacrifices or resolve to see this carrier succeed.
"We will not be deterred from our goal of restoring United to the premiere airline in the world. We will continue to work with our United Airlines Union Coalition partners and airline management to position the carrier so that we can emerge as the preeminent airline in the industry once again. Those who doubt us will lose. They will not be able to compete with the new United."
More than 50,000 Flight Attendants, including the 24,000 Flight Attendants at United, join together to form AFA, the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Visit us at www.unitedafa.org.