Flight Attendants Warn of CHAOS™ in Seattle
May 13, 2005
May 16, 8 a.m. – 10 a.m., Rally at SeaTacAirport in Front of the Flag Pavilion
SEATTLE — United Airlines flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO (AFA), will hold a rally with other United Airlines employees in front of the SEATAC Airport Flag Pavilion to warn passengers that the recent bankruptcy court decision to approve a $1.5 billion deal between United Airlines and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) for the termination of all United employee pension plans could trigger the collapse of the defined benefit pension system nationwide and cause CHAOS™ strikes at United Airlines and other airlines across the industry.
The approved agreement pre-empted a bankruptcy court hearing in which the flight attendants would have defended their pension plan based on its individual merits as measured against federal pension law. AFA proffered a solution that would have shored up the funding short fall but it was rejected by current United management. The union believes strongly that if it had been provided the opportunity to present its case to the court, the Flight Attendant Defined Benefit Pension Plan would remain intact and off of the government’s balance sheet.
The union is currently reviewing its legal options to appeal the termination of the flight attendant pension plan. AFA has pledged that its fight is far from over because if the decision is not reversed, two thirds of its Members will lose over half of their pension benefits.
“To be clear, one pension plan remains untouched at United Airlines. Glenn Tilton’s $4.5 million pension trust is unquestioned by the court, unquestioned by the government and paid for by the sacrifices of United Airlines employees. It’s time for him to go – we will strike to replace this management and save our airline,” said AFA United Master Executive Council President Greg Davidowitch.
AFA is not on strike at this time, but flight attendants have overwhelmingly authorized the use of CHAOS strikes to protest any unilateral change to their Contract, including termination of their pension plan. The union will not announce CHAOS strikes prior to their implementation.
CHAOS – which stands for Create Havoc Around Our SystemTM – is AFA’s trademarked tactic of surprise, intermittent strikes and it was first used successfully against Seattle-based Alaska Airlines in 1993. 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/.