United Attendant Problems Continue

14th Jan 2004

The United Airlines Master Executive Council of the Association of Flight
Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO, passed a resolution late yesterday condemning
United management for its plan to impose devastating cuts to retiree
medical benefits through Section 1114 of the bankruptcy code, even as the
company is returning to profitability. Text of the resolution follows this
United management enticed Flight Attendants to retire by agreeing that if
they retired by July 1, 2003 their comprehensive medical benefits would be
protected, while those retiring after July 1 would see their benefits cut
and out-of-pocket costs raised. Over 2,500 Flight Attendants took the
company at its word and retired before the July 1 deadline. United is now
seeking to slash the medical benefits for those retirees by exploiting
Section 1114 of the bankruptcy code. The cuts are not necessary for
United`s successful reorganization.

“United management`s bait-and-switch tactics will hurt retired Flight
Attendants on fixed incomes and we will fight that with every legal means
necessary,” said AFA United MEC President Greg Davidowitch. “This is the
kind of thing that destroys relations between workers and management and
ultimately jeopardizes the stability of the airline at a very crucial
period—as a current employee, I have to wonder what else they lied to
us about.”
United management recently filed an update to its earlier application to
the Air Transportation Stabilization Board for a federal loan guarantee
that it needs to secure financing for a successful exit from bankruptcy.
The update includes labor and non-labor cost reductions and potential
revenue enhancements that were achieved as a result of workers` sacrifices
through restructured contracts that cut wages, benefits, and work rules.

“The sacrifices of front-line employees and recent retirees are the reason
for United`s ability to restructure and succeed in the long-term,”
Davidowitch said. “Short-sighted, naïve actions that threaten the working
relationship between management and labor will thrust us back to a time
when lenders, analysts, the media, and the employees collectively
expressed no confidence in United Airlines management.”

More than 46,000 flight attendants, including the 21,000 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/.

AFA United Master Executive Council Resolution:


WHEREAS, United Airlines Management has informed the Association of Flight
Attendants of its plans to impose devastating cuts to retiree medical
benefits through Section 1114 of the bankruptcy code, even as the Company
is returning to profitability; and,

WHEREAS, seeking to change retiree medical is not necessary for United`s
successful reorganization, and it is especially abhorrent to take more
from retired United Flight Attendants who cannot afford, on their limited
fixed incomes, increases in their costs for medical benefits or reductions
in those benefits; and

WHEREAS, in the history of United Airlines only 1600 Flight Attendants
have retired and in the first six months of 2003 United Airlines senior
management enticed over 2500 Flight Attendants into retiring with
misleading promises of preserving the same retiree benefits the Company
now proposes to slash; and,

WHEREAS, Flight Attendants retire from their Company, they do not retire
from their Union; AFA will represent the retirees in the Section 1114
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the United Master Executive Council will
take all actions necessary to:

a. defeat the Company`s attempt to impose upon retirees changes to health
benefits that are in no way necessary and fair;

  b. compel the Company to uphold the promise which underlies the decision
of 2500 Flight Attendants to retire from United;

  c. unite and mobilize all retired and active Flight Attendants in a
grassroots campaign against United`s decision to pick the pockets of
those who can least afford it;

  d. enlist the support of all other constituencies, including the traveling
public, members of Congress and retiree associations, so as to stop
United from depriving retirees of benefits that are essential to their

  e. oppose in the bankruptcy court and any other appropriate forum,
United`s effort to force retirees to choose between paying for medical
care and other basic necessities like food and rent.



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