Not a specific focus.... but close enough.
United Edges Towards Savings Deals
Nov 4, 2002
Cash-strapped United Airlines has won two tentative cost cutting deals within 48 hours from workers groups as it continues its battle to stay clear of bankruptcy.
Pilots leaders were the first to announce that they would recommend acceptance of the latest cost savings plans, which include proposals from a coalition of the company's five major unions.
On Sunday, another deal was reached with the Transport Workers Union representing the airline's meteorologists. They, like the pilots, will have to vote on ratification and United's board will also have to give its approval.
United is seeking, in total, labor savings of USD$5.8 billion to bolster its application for a USD$1.8 billion federal loan guarantee from the Air Transportation Stabilization Board.
Paul Whiteford, chairman of United' pilots council, said that accepting the tentative savings agreement had been "a painful decision that would require sacrifices."
At the end of Sunday's negotiation with the TWU, United's chief executive officer, Glen F. Tilton said: "Clearly, the TWU understands the importance of the goals we are working to accomplish and I applaud them for tackling this challenge head-on.
"This agreement, the second with one of United's unions in 48 hours, is a firm indication that the company and all of its unions are intensely focused on United's future success and financial health."
Flight attendants at cash-strapped United Airlines say they have offered to take a 3.6 percent pay cut for most of their members to help the carrier in its battle to restructure itself and avoid bankruptcy.
The Association of Flight Attendants is part of a five-union coalition at America's second largest airline which has put forward proposals aimed at making USD$1 billion savings in labor costs.
Although CEO Glenn F. Tilton has said that filing for bankruptcy is not inevitable, the airline is depending on a federal lifeline being thrown its way in the shape of a USD$1.8 billion loan guarantee from the US Air Transportation Stabilization Board.
United has filed a revised business plan with the ATSB which has warned that the carrier must make deeper cost cuts if it is to give its approval.
Under the flight attendants offer to the company, around 85 percent of the 25,000 membership at United would take a drop in pay.
The airline, which lost USD$2.1 billion last year, posted a third quarter loss of USD$889 million earlier this month.