ALPA deal soon?

DB Cooper

Aug 20, 2002
Seat 18C
UAL and pilots near agreement
By Paul Merrion
November 01, 2002
Leaders of the pilots union at United Airlines are nearing a tentative agreement on wage concessions and may decide Friday to schedule a rank-and-file vote. Negotiators for the United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Assn. (ALPA) and management hammered out most of the final details in a conference call Thursday morning, just in time for a meeting of the union’s regional leaders on Friday.
Details have not been released, but sources close to the union say pay cuts in the range of 18% to 20% are expected, about twice the 10% pay cuts the union agreed to earlier this year to help the financially troubled carrier win a $1.8 billion federal loan guarantee.
The previous plan was discarded after the Air Transportation Stabilization Board indicated to United that it didn’t provide enough concessions to qualify for the financing.
United’s unions collectively agreed last month to $5.8 billion in concessions over 5 ½ years, but talks with each union on its specific contribution have taken longer than expected. However, a spokeswoman for the Assn. of Flight Attendants, which has offered to take a 3.6% pay cut, says a tentative deal could be reached very soon, “possibly over the weekend.â€￾
A machinists union spokesman says talks are continuing, but there is no word on when a deal might be reached. Time is growing short because the unit of Elk Grove Township-based UAL Corp. faces debt payments of almost $900 million by early December, and it will take at least two weeks for each union to conduct rank-and-file votes once the unions reach tentative agreements with United.
United has said it is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection if it can’t obtain additional financing with the help of the federal loan guarantee.

Crains Chicago Business 11/1/02