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Flight Attendants Poised For CHAOS™ Strikes

Date: April 29, 2005

Pension Showdown Looms at United

CHICAGO - Flight attendants at United Airlines are gearing up for a strike as a showdown with the airline's management looms over the workers' pensions.  The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO said it will employ its random, unannounced CHAOS strike tactics if the flight attendants' pension plan is terminated by the company.

"This management is intent on destroying our pensions," said Greg Davidowitch, President of AFA's United Master Executive Council.  "Our pension plan can be saved, but management is just giving lip-service to its obligation to consider the viability of each pension plan on its own merits, separately and individually.  That's an outrage. If they proceed with termination and destroy our retirement security, they leave us no alternative but to strike.

"Their attempt to destroy the pensions that flight attendants worked so hard to earn is nothing less than an attack on every working person in America," Davidowitch said.  "Anyone who has invested a lifetime in building a career based on mutual obligations between employer and employee can no longer feel safe if United's management is allowed to get away with this travesty.

"Current management is on a path that will lead to a labor relations meltdown that could destroy our airline.  We must replace this management team if this airline is to survive," Davidowitch said. 

According to the Union, the flight attendants' right to strike will be triggered if the company abrogates a portion of the flight attendant collective bargaining agreement and terminates the pension.  In fact, last November, AFA's national Board of Directors unanimously authorized an industry-wide strike if any collective bargaining agreement is abrogated. The company's motion to terminate the United AFA pension plan will come before the bankruptcy court next week.

In preparation for potential work actions across United's system, two United AFA strike coordinators are organizing a network of strike leaders around the world.  United AFA local councils across the US and throughout Europe and Asia have activated local strike machinery.  All local councils are reporting in ready for CHAOS.

CHAOS - which stands for Create Havoc Around Our SystemTM - is AFA's trademarked tactic of surprise, intermittent strikes.  Flight, dates and locations are chosen solely at the Union's discretion and targeted for maximum impact.  CHAOS could take the form of a system-wide one-day strike, a strike targeted for one specific city or an individual flight at a remote location.  Actual strike targets are a closely-guarded secret.

More than 46,000 flight attendants, including the 20,000 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 http://www.unitedafa.org/.

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