United Airlines will offer buyouts to 600 senior flight attendants as the carrier scales back service in response to soaring prices for fuel.
The agreement with the Assn. of Flight Attendants-CWA calls for severance payments based on years of service, as well as travel benefits, said United, the primary subsidiary of UAL Corp.
The union told members in a letter that the "early out" offer is the first for United attendants since the 1980s. It affects 3.5% of the labor group's 17,000 members at the Chicago-based carrier.
The buyouts come after United, the world's second-largest airline, said this week that it would eliminate as many as 1,100 jobs when it shut down its low-fare Ted airline and grounds 70 planes.