United Pilots Begin Info Picketing Campaign

Saying it’s time for management to share with the very group whose sacrifices saved United Airlines from liquidation, the pilots of United Airlines on Thursday May 3 launched an informational picketing campaign in Washington, D.C. to tell management, “it’s time to put a halt to the excess and largess of a privileged few in upper management and to share the rewards of success with the people who ensure the safety and security of our passengers day in and day out.”

United pilots gave up more than $1.4 billion annually from 2003 through 2010 to help the company through bankruptcy. Not only did the pilots have on average 40 percent of their wages extracted, their defined benefit pensions were eliminated as well. While the pilots continue to work under the contracts extracted during United’s darkest economic days, members of upper management have enriched themselves with post-bankruptcy stock options and bonuses.

Carrying signs outside the United terminal at Reagan National and Dulles International Airports, Washington, D.C.-based pilots said the time has come for United management to “fix our bankruptcy-imposed contract now.” The United MEC also ran a print ad in the Washington Post to inform passengers and the public about the picketing.

“United has the ability to reverse the draconian pay and work rule changes extracted from the pilots beginning in 2002 that saved the company from liquidation,” said the United pilots walking the line on Thursday. “We are here today to advise UAL management that we deserve and expect to share in the company’s success.”

United pilots will conduct informational picketing in San Francisco on May 8 and at the UAL Shareholders Meeting in Chicago on May 10.