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Senate Must Not Forget Flight Attendants for Pension Protections

Date: September 16, 2005

CHICAGO – The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO United Airlines Master Executive Council President Greg Davidowitch made the following statement in response to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s call for immediate action to preserve the employee pension plans at Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines:

“Any legislation to preserve employee pensions must include United Airlines Flight Attendants.  The call to preserve employee pensions has been championed by United Flight Attendants.  We brought our nation’s pension crisis to the attention of the American public and called on lawmakers to take action for nearly a year.  We have warned that failure to immediately enact pension legislation to reverse United Airlines’ backroom deal with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation would trigger a collapse of America’s defined benefit pension system.  Sadly, we were right.  And now, we must not be forgotten.

“Following the Delta and Northwest bankruptcy filings, Senator Reid declared that Congress ‘must not sit by and do nothing while thousands of hard working Americans' retirement security is at risk.’  Twenty-eight thousand active and retired Flight Attendants pleaded those very words with the Senate for months.  We have lost over half of our retirement security and we are disappointed that the Senate Minority Leader did not include us in his call for Congress to act.  We look forward to a clarification of his statement and a commitment that United Airlines Flight Attendants will not be left behind. 

“Good pension policy is ready and it must be enacted now -- starting with the restoration of the United Flight Attendant Pension Plan.”

75 Years of Safety & Service: 60 Years of Unity This year marks the 75th anniversary of the flight attendant profession and the 60th anniversary of the Association of Flight Attendants. More than 46,000 flight attendants, including the 19,000 at United, join together to form AFA-CWA, 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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