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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Aloha Airlines asking unions for pay cuts

By Frank Cho
Advertiser Staff Writer

Aloha Airlines is asking the unions covering roughly 3,000 of its employees to take a 10 percent wage cut over the next three years to help keep the airline flying.

The wage concessions, if agreed to by the unions, are expected to save the airline about $37 million over the three years.

The proposed pay cuts were part of Aloha's proposal for $40.5 million in loan guarantees from the Air Transportation Stabilization Board, which granted the carrier conditional approval for the guarantees last week.

Aloha had previously disclosed that it was seeking pay cuts but declined to reveal how much. Last month, Glenn Zander, Aloha's president and chief executive, said pay cuts would not happen until all of the unions approved them.

Aloha executives met with union officials Friday and again yesterday to discuss the proposal. Contracts with pilots, mechanics and flight attendants are set to expire at the end of this month.

Stu Glauberman, a spokesman for Aloha Airlines, said yesterday there are many issues being negotiated, but declined to elaborate.

"We are still trying to find out if there is a real need for (pay cuts) and how much they should be," said Randy Kauhane, assistant general chairman for the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers District Lodge 141. The union represents about 2,000 workers at Aloha.

Steve Brenessel, a spokesman for the Airline Pilots Association Council 80 which represents nearly 300 pilots at Aloha, said the union had agreed to extend its contract through June 30 to give the carrier more time to try to negotiate a deal.

Brenessel said the pilot union's leadership could agree to wage cuts without seeking approval of the rank and file.