United Airlines' pilots ratified their tentative agreement with the airline that would terminate the pilots' pension plan. The December pact would allow the carrier to terminate the pilots' pension plan in exchange for increasing the airline's contributions to a defined contribution plan and issuing $550 million in senior convertible notes to the pilots as part of United's Chapter 11 reorganization. A statement issued today by United's Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association said the ratified agreement amends the pilots' current collective bargaining agreement with United, effective Jan. 1. The agreement will provide the airline with $180 million in annual labor savings, according to the union.
The statement said 88.5% of eligible United pilots cast votes on the new labor agreement, which members approved by a vote of 76.8% to 23.1%. The new agreement is subject to approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago, which is considering the matter today as part of a hearing in the United Chapter 11 case.
Dave Kelly, ALPA spokesman, said the union had no further comment on the matter until the court issues a ruling. Jean Medina, United spokeswoman, did not return a call seeking comment by press time.