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United Airlines Files 1113c Plan to Gut Flight Attendant Contract

Date: March 17, 2003

CHICAGO -- United Airlines flight attendant Master Executive Council President Greg Davidowitch, of the Association of Flight Attendants, AFL-CIO, issued the following statement:

“AFA is extremely disappointed that United Airlines has filed an 1113c motion to abrogate the flight attendant collective bargaining agreement that seeks cuts far beyond what is necessary to turn United into a successfully reorganized carrier.

“Flight attendants understand that for this reorganization to be successful, United must emerge from bankruptcy able to compete. AFA’s proposal of over $1 billion in labor savings over the next six years puts United’s flight attendant costs at the level competitive with Southwest Airlines current flight attendant costs. In fact, AFA’s proposal is the equivalent of our entire work group working for free one year of the six. The proposal provides these substantial cost savings as well as greater scheduling flexibility and relief in other areas of the contract targeted by management.

“Flight attendants are among the lowest paid workers at the airline, yet we have repeatedly shown our commitment to United’s successful restructuring by setting industry records for service and by agreeing to immediate sacrifices that allowed United to meet initial DIP covenants. To put management’s 1113c motion into perspective, the cuts United is proposing would put thousands of flight attendants at an income level qualifying them for welfare and other government aid programs. There is no fat, the muscle is carved, and United’s filing is cutting straight to the bone.

“AFA’s goal is to reach a consensual agreement with current United management, and negotiations aimed at reaching an acceptable agreement continue. But United is abusing the 1113 process. 1113 was established to protect labor contracts from being unnecessarily modified and to ensure that the sacrifices made by all parties are fair and equitable. United’s 1113 motion goes far beyond what’s needed to successfully restructure in an attempt to gut our contract, and places an inordinate burden on the flight attendants.

“As we have said before, history shows that discord between labor and management in the bankruptcy process does not promote success. And AFA’s number one goal is success for our company and security for our members.”

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

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