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Pilots seek to roll back concessions

April 06, 2007|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — The nation's largest pilots' union will try to roll back bankruptcy concessions at UAL Corp.'s United Airlines and other carriers now that the industry is doing better and executives are reaping rewards, the labor group's president said Thursday.

John Prater of the Air Line Pilots Assn. said pilots had sacrificed enormously since 2002 and wanted a greater share of the spoils. Salaries were cut by a third or more and billions in pension benefits were eliminated.

"Frustrations are building when we see management taking their $10-million to $25-million payday," Prater said of executive compensation packages and planned stock awards to directors and managers.

Prater said the union would seek to change work rules that have extended duty time and improve wage scales gradually, not waiting until contracts expire at the end of the decade to negotiate.

Prater said the union also would seek changes to tax, bankruptcy and pension laws to help pilots recoup some retirement benefits.

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