Court Strikes Pension Propaganda from Record
September 24, 2004
Flight Attendant Motion to Strike Unsubstantiated Brief is Granted and United is Ordered to Follow Court Rules with Future Filings
CHICAGO — Bankruptcy Court Judge Eugene Wedoff today granted the joint motion of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO (AFA), the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, AFL-CIO (IAM) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) to strike United’s 91-page informational brief from Court proceedings and remove it from the docket. The Court also ordered United Airlines to not make any further filings which do not conform to Court rules.
“United Airlines again displayed their arrogance by attempting to play by their own special set of rules in the bankruptcy proceedings. The unsubstantiated brief contained claims which were neither verified nor supported by sworn affidavits,” stated United Master Executive Council President Greg Davidowitch. “It is clear that the 91-page brief, which was also circulated among members of the media, had been a long time in the making and was aimed at influencing the court, media and employees by attempting to minimize the understood impact of terminating employee pension plans and dumping the corporation’s responsibility on the government.”
AFA received a draft copy of the brief only the evening before United went outside the most basic Court procedure to file a document that is not part of or in opposition to a motion, and which would not have provided any other party a platform with which to respond.
"United’s actions this week again point to their disingenuous management style and their inability to work with employees or other constituencies of the bankruptcy,” Davidowitch continued. “Making up the rules as they go to suit their needs and informing affected parties of management’s decisions only after the action is set in motion does not support their empty claims of working with employees and other parties.”
“While the unsubstantiated informational brief has been stricken from the Court record, the contents of it were reported as fact in some media articles. However, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) stated that they dispute the figures quoted in United’s brief. It’s also important that the public remember the people filing this brief are the same ones who said cutting jobs, forcing people to work longer hours for less pay with more expensive healthcare and slashing retiree healthcare wasn’t going to hurt. As we stated yesterday evening, clearly, Flight Attendants and other employees will be dramatically impacted by termination of their pension plans. To assert otherwise, one must live in a paradise foreign to millions of American workers,” Davidowitch concluded.
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.