First, the contract that the AFA (American Flight Attendants union – the union of United Airlines flight attendants) allowed a clause in the contract they signed five years ago that allows the company to cut the pension in the event of bankruptcy proceedings. WHAT?! Who allows anything like that – cut the salary but allowing a cut in the pension – one of the biggest reasons to even have a union job?
Now, UAL has come back to them saying that there’ll be a 18% pay cut over the next 6 months (on top of several restructuring/post-9-11 paycuts). The flight attendants were all ready to vote on it until UAL noted that the contract they signed five years ago (what industry signs 10-year contracts?) allows the company to force the paycut without a vote. Note that the AFA didn’t tell their members this – the company did. The lack of communication between the AFA and it’s members is disastrous – it seems that this is a case where the AFA has become just another changeless, entrenched organization like the company that employs it’s members.
So now, many United flight attendants are making less money than they did when they first started flying 10 years ago (with no adjustment for inflation).
Oh well, maybe they’ll qualify for a tax cut in this opportunity-based economy.