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Fri, Mar 07, 2003

United Calls for 900 FAs to Volunteer for Furlough

Even as United announced greater load factors (and higher freight haulage), it let it be known that it's calling for some 900 of its flight attendants to take a voluntary leave, starting next month.

United has had a rough time of things lately, as it tries to decide whether to ask the Court to terminate its union contracts altogether, a ploy that's considered counterproductive, but possibly mecessary. The FAs have recently turned down the airline's request to pay cuts totalling $314 million additional, coming back with an offer of about half that amount. United, if it's going to invoke that privilege, needs to ask the Court by March 17.

The union's website says, "Beginning April 1, 2003, the Company needs to reduce its Flight Attendant population by an additional 900 Flight Attendants, due to light passenger loads.  If there are no volunteers for furlough, Flight Attendants junior to system seniority 21,825 in the class of June 10, 2000 on the System Seniority March 4, 2003 List could be involuntarily furloughed. Bidding for the voluntary furlough begins [Friday]."

With the 900 fewer checks to cut, perhaps United will be able to make the remaining FAs a bit happier.

FMI: www.ual.com; www.unitedafa.org

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