Judge Nixes UAL Pilots Pact

The cost-saving measure for its United Air unit would 'tilt' the bankruptcy process.
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A bankruptcy judge has thrown out a new contract between United Airlines' parent

UAL

(UALAQ.OB)

and its pilots.

Judge Eugene Wedoff said the contract, which United's members of the Air Line Pilots Association ratified Thursday and is designed to save the airline $180 million a year, would "tilt" the bankruptcy process, according to media reports Friday.

In the contract, the pilots agreed not to oppose termination of their defined-benefit pension plan. Among the judge's reasons for rejecting the contract was its requirement that United cancel other groups' pension plans if the pilots plan were terminated.

Spokespeople at United and ALPA did not return phone calls.

Last week, the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. moved to take over United's pilot pension plan, an action that clashes with the agreement reached between pilots and the airline.

United has been under bankruptcy protection since December 2002.

Its stock was down 5 cents, or 3.4%, at $1.29.