Flight Attendants Ratify Pension Replacement Plan
February 24, 2006
AFA Grateful for Lawmakers' Action for Retirement Security
CHICAGO -- The United flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants, AFL-CIO, ratified an agreement for a pension replacement plan that provides a foundation of retirement security following the termination of their Defined Benefit Pension Plan. The new Defined Contribution Plan, effective January 1, 2006, includes company direct and matching contributions beginning at 5% and escalating to 6% of a flight attendant's earnings within two years.
Over seventy-nine percent of flight attendants who cast their ballots voted for the pension replacement plan.
AFA United Master Executive Council President Greg Davidowitch issued this statement:
"Throughout United's bankruptcy, flight attendants made life-altering sacrifices for the success of our airline, while never accepting that destruction of our retirement security was necessary for United Airlines to exit bankruptcy. We never believed that was a good business plan for United Airlines. Ratification of this replacement pension plan ends our year-long fight in the courts, on Capitol Hill and at the bargaining table. Our persistence and solidarity more than doubled the company's original proposal to provide a foundation of retirement security upon which we will build when we share in our airline's success.
"While the current majority anti-worker Congress refused to enact legislation to preserve our defined benefit pension plan, certain lawmakers worked tirelessly for our retirement security. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) compelled management to come to the table and together with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) he pressed for a solution that would protect the value of flight attendant pension benefits. Flight attendants will never forget the part these dedicated leaders played in helping to achieve the pension replacement plan ratified today. We are grateful for the efforts of Representatives George Miller (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) who led the charge for a legislative solution and championed our defined benefit pension fight in the House of Representatives.
"We need responsible leaders such as these who will fight for public policy that represents the principles of equality upon which our country was founded. Our efforts are now focused on electing representatives this November who understand the importance of preserving workers' rights, healthcare, and retirement security while putting the brakes on the explosive disparity between worker and executive compensation."
More than 46,000 flight attendants, including the 17,000 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.