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Flight Attendants Conduct CHAOS™ Drill at O'Hare

Date: June 10, 2005

Drill shows CHAOS™ Strikes could shut down operations in 12 minutes

CHICAGO - This afternoon, in an exercise the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO (AFA) referred to as a CHAOS™ Drill, demonstrated how quickly flight attendants could initiate surprise strikes at O'Hare International Airport. Activists raced to departure gates in O'Hare's Terminal One after the go-ahead signal from the Union's CHAOS Coordinators. The mock crew-notification strike drill, executed with military precision, concluded with reports via walkie-talkie from targeted gates throughout the airport.

The union declared the CHAOS™ Drill a success. From the first signal via walkie-talkie it took from 5 to 12 minutes for leaders to reach the four furthest gates on the B and C concourses. The union indicated that flight attendants are not on strike at this time. "If this had been a real strike instead of a drill, the first strikes would have occurred 5 minutes and 20 seconds after we gave the signal," said CHAOS Co-Coordinator Sara Nelson Dela Cruz.

United Airlines flight attendants also leafleted in front of the United Airlines ticket counters to alert passengers of the potential for CHAOS™ Strikes at United Airlines. Flight attendants asked passengers to help avoid CHAOS Strikes and protect their tax dollars by contacting their Congressional Representatives to support legislation that would provide a six-month moratorium on pension plan terminations initiated by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). If the PBGC moves forward with its $1.5 billion deal with United Airlines to terminate the Flight Attendant Pension Plan, the flight attendant Contract will be unilaterally changed and flight attendants will have the legal right to protest with CHAOS Strikes. AFA will only conduct a legal CHAOS Strike.

"Our focus is on saving our pensions and our airline. Flight Attendants cannot afford the termination of our pensions. We are working on three tracks to stop CEO Glenn Tilton from destroying our retirement security while he saves his own $4.5 million pension trust," stated Greg Davidowitch, president of the AFA at United. "If the courts and Congress refuse to ensure justice, we will be forced to initiate CHAOS Strikes."

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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