US- The pilots of United Airlines have ratified a revised tentative agreement accepting termination of the pilots' pension plan in return for $550m in convertible securities.
The agreement between United Airlines and The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) amends the pilots’ current collective bargaining agreement, effective January 1, 2005. The agreement was approved by a vote of 75.46% to 25.54% of eligible United pilots.
The association had previously said that its tentative agreement did not permit the termination of the pilot pension plan without a final judicial determination that pension termination was necessary for the company to emerge from the bankruptcy or at any point prior to May 1, 2005.
Announcing the move, United said bankruptcy judge Eugene Wedoff had indicated he would accept the agreement.
United MEC chairman Mark Bathurst said: “Again, this pilot group has stepped to the plate and has made the responsible decision of accepting this revised tentative agreement.
“We understand the tremendous financial challenges facing our airline and we have once again assumed the leadership role in guiding United toward an eventual exit from bankruptcy.
“As we did when United pilots accepted the original tentative agreement on January 6, we call on the company to use the savings obtained in this agreement wisely, and to apply them toward returning this airline to a financially healthy enterprise.”
He added: “We will be relentless and steadfast in holding management to an unprecedented degree of accountability as they now have all of the tools they claim they need to exit from bankruptcy. We will accept no excuses and no undue delay in moving this company forward in the coming months to regain our rightful place at the top of the airline industry.”
United said that ratification of this agreement would give the company $180m in annual labor savings.
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