September 23, 2004
Statement by the United Chapter Of the Air Line Pilots Association Regarding United’s “Informational Brief” Regarding Its Pension Plans Filed Today
Today, United filed in bankruptcy court a 107-page so-called “Informational Brief” regarding its pension plans. But no amount of self-serving sugar-coating by the Company’s lawyers can mask the plain fact that if United follows through on its repeated threat to terminate the pilots’ pension plan, the immediate impact on thousands of individual retired and active pilots will be devastating.
United’s pilots remain unconditionally committed to protecting the value of hard-earned pension benefits.
We intend to hold the Company to its commitment to explore every avenue of cost relief unrelated to pension or employee wage or benefit cuts. It remains true today, as it was true before and during this bankruptcy proceeding, that United’s non-labor, non-fuel costs are hundreds of millions of dollars higher - inexplicably higher - than its peers.
It is our intention to try to work with United over the next several weeks to reach an acceptable resolution of pilot pensions and related issues. It is unfortunate that the Company has filed this preemptive brief on the eve of what may be constructive talks. These extremely sensitive and important issues should be addressed in direct discussions; not in one-sided mega-filings in court.
United's legal filing dramatically demonstrates that the pilots of United airlines -- and the pilot group alone -- will bear the overwhelming majority of the losses inflicted by United's scheme to dump its pensions. The average pilot will lose nearly 50% of his or her pension in a termination, while every other employee has far, far less at risk. Both the Company and the capital markets should understand that the pilots of United Airlines will not accept this result under any circumstances.
|Dave Kelly||Captain Herb Hunter||Captain Steve Derebey|