The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Local 141, Elk Grove Village, Ill., ratified a 4-1/2 year contract agreement with Chicago-based United Airlines requiring the company to contribute to the union's $6.4 billion multiemployer National Pension Fund. Sixty-seven percent of all voting members accepted terms of the agreement, according to a message posted on the union's website by S.R. "Randy" Canale, union president. Mr. Canale was not available for comment.
"The decision to agree to an amended contract was not an easy one to make, but it was without question the right choice," Mr. Canale said in the statement.
The airline's pension plan for IAM union members was terminated in April when the PBGC reached an agreement with United parent UAL Corp., Chicago, to take over four of the bankrupt airline's pension plans, with assets totaling $7 billion. Under the new IAM contract, UAL will contribute to the union plan based on a formula calculated from employees' earnings. No contributions are required before March 1, 2006.