Teamsters Accuse Continental Director of Conflicts of Interest

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters confronted the board of directors of Continental Airlines ( CAL) about alleged conflicts of interest for board member David Bonderman on Wednesday.

Bonderman, who is also the president of Texas Pacific Group, has announced intentions to acquire stakes in United Airlines ( UAL) and Air Canada, according to a press release from the Teamsters, which represents the airline's mechanics.

Bonderman wasn't available for comment.

At the airline's annual meeting Wednesday afternoon, Continental's chairman and chief executive, Gordon M. Bethune, told shareholders that the airline's directors will discuss adopting a formal conflict-of-interest policy, according to a Wall Street Journal report. According to the report, Bethune said he had never seen a conflict with Bonderman.

Carin Zelenko, director of corporate affairs with the Teamsters, said of Bonderman, "How can he be trying to rescue competitors while he is supposed to be looking out for the interests of Continental's shareholders? Continental is fighting for its own business right now."

According to Zelenko, the potential conflicts of interest arise from board members' access to highly privileged business information that shouldn't be shared with the competition.

Robert Rasch, a Continental mechanic and shareholder, said in a statement, "We are on the front lines every day working to protect our airline in a flailing economy. I don't believe that saving our competition helps Continental workers and shareholders."

Continental wasn't available immediately for comment.

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