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UAL Throws Attendants New Pitch

The carrier reaches an agreement in principle with the AFA on a new retirement plan.
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, the parent company of United Airlines, said it reached an agreement in principle with the Association of Flight Attendants on the terms of a new retirement plan for its members.

The pact requires ratification by AFA members. Terms of the deal aren't being disclosed until the union can notify the rank and file.

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"Once this agreement is ratified, we will now have resolved pension and retirement issues with all of our employee groups," Jake Brace, United's chief financial officer, said in a statement. "We're pleased to have reached this agreement, and can now fully focus on moving forward, competing effectively and providing our customers with superior customer service."

United terminated its traditional pension plans and dumped its remaining obligations on the federal government's insurer last year. The airline's flight attendants had opposed the company's plan to end its pensions.

The company, which has been operating under bankruptcy protection since December 2002, has said it expects to emerge from Chapter 11 next month.