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United Airlines Flight Attendants Collect Passenger Support Petitions to Save Retiree Benefits

Date: February 9, 2004

Passenger Outreach Events Scheduled for Monday in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC

CHICAGO — United Airlines flight attendants and retirees, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO, will hold passenger outreach events today in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC to gather passenger signatures protesting United’s plan to break its agreement with flight attendant retirees.

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.

Action is being held in the following cities on February 9:

  • Los Angeles Airport—Passenger leafleting, 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., United Terminal 7, Upper level. Local contact: Darren Shiroma, 310-428-1065.
  • San Francisco Airport—Passenger leafleting, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., Terminal 3, United doors 1-6. Local contact: Stan Kiino, 415-902-5764.
  • SEA-TAC Airport—Leafleting and picketing, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., United Ticketing and sky bridges. Local contact: Rich Villagracia, 206-778-1434.
  • Washington Dulles Airport—Passenger leafleting, 2 p.m. until 6 p.m., Upper level, Door 4.
    Local contact: Michael Ely, 202-368-8699.

Retirees will be on hand 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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