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Unions Furious with Exclusion of Employees in UAL Payout

Date: December 7, 2007

Chicago, Ill., December 7, 2007 – The leaders of the three largest Unions at United Airlines, Mark Bathurst, Chairman of the United Chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA); Greg Davidowitch, United Master Executive Council President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA); and Randy Canale, President and Directing General Chairman of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), District 141, issued the following statement in response to the decision of UAL executives, and approved by the UAL Board of Directors, to give a $250 million special payout to shareholders:

"ALPA, AFA and the IAM, representing the overwhelming majority of union-represented employees, are furious with the UAL Board of Directors and management’s decision to give a special shareholder payout to the exclusion of employees. 

“In every venue available, we have voiced our opposition to any ‘shareholder initiative’ that does not equally recognize employee sacrifices.  We have warned management that this move is wrong for the business, wrong for the employees and ultimately wrong for lenders.  These executives have pushed through their personal agenda while ignoring serious concerns raised by nearly every stakeholder, industry trends and the company's financial position.  This is being done with utter disregard for the interests of employees and the long-term success of United Airlines.

“The best shareholder initiative would be one that invests in the employees for the long-term success of United Airlines.  Shareholders in the pre-bankrupt UAL were issued new stock in the same manner as every other constituency, including the employees, when United emerged from bankruptcy.  Today, employees who lost their pensions and work longer hours for less pay continue to suffer the affects of the bankruptcy.  Not one penny of employee concessions has been repaid.

“Since United Airlines exited Chapter 11, UAL management has renegotiated excessive executive compensation packages for themselves and they have renegotiated their agreements with lenders.  If they have the ability to renegotiate their own compensation packages, if they have the ability to negotiate with lenders, if they have the ability to negotiate with shareholders to create another management bonus, then they have the ability to enter negotiations with us.”

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Dave Kelly, ALPA

Sara Nelson, AFA
847-292-7170 ext. 524

Joe Tiberi, IAM

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