United, pilots union reach deal
By Lynne Marek
Bloomberg News Service
CHICAGO UAL Corp.'s United Airlines and its pilots union have reached a tentative agreement on pay cuts and other cost reductions to help the world's second-largest carrier return to profitability.
The agreement must still be voted on by the United Air Line Pilots Association's top council Monday and then submitted for a vote by all United pilots.
The airline has had seven consecutive quarterly losses beginning with flight disruptions in 2000 and then a drop in corporate travel spending and the Sept. 11 attacks last year.
United has said it needs to reduce labor costs by billions of dollars.
The agreement is also subject to approval by the UAL board and the board's labor committee, the airline said. The company declined to comment on the deal.
Officials confirmed that the package of cost reductions includes wage cuts. They declined to comment on other aspects of the agreement because pilots haven't seen the proposal yet.
Earlier this week, United's Machinists union said the company proposed a 10 percent pay cut for that union's members, including mechanics, baggage handlers and other airport workers.
The machinists said they will submit the proposal to workers for a vote if the company requests such a move.
The flight attendants' union has declined to participate in the concession talks.