Flight attendants at United Airlines' parent

UAL Corp.


have voted to authorize strikes should a bankruptcy court terminate their contract.

In a statement posted on its Web site, the United Master Executive Council of the Association of Flight Attendants said members had voted 88% in favor of CHAOS (Create Havoc Around Our System) strike activities.

UAL, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2002, has asked the court overseeing its bankruptcy to cancel contracts with labor groups that don't reach consensual agreements with management. The airline company also wants to terminate its defined-benefit pension plans. On Thursday,

the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. moved to take responsibility for UAL's pilot pension plan.

"This sends a powerful and compelling message to United management that enough is enough," the statement said. "Negotiations continue and we strongly urge United management to redouble its efforts to reach a negotiated settlement with us."

UAL shares ended Thursday's session up 15 cents, or 11.8%, at $1.38.