United Sues Own Pilots
By Kevin Robinson in News on Jul 31, 2008 5:45PM
Chicago-based UAL Corp is asking a federal judge for a an injunction against four of its pilots and their union, claiming that they are abusing their sick leave by refusing to fly extra hours. The injunction request charges the pilots and the Air Line Pilots Association with encouraging a "sick-out," a violation of the Railway Labor Act, which also applies to airlines. The airline says that it canceled 329 flights from July 19 to 27, stranding 36,000 travelers, since they had no pilots.
Claiming that the pilots actions are the result of ALPA's opposition to UAL's plans to downsize its fleet size and furlough pilots, United Chief Operating Officer John Tague said that "unlawful job actions escalated, intimidation of pilots continued and the impact on our customers and other employees grew to truly unacceptable levels." The pilots have been pushing to reopen their contract negotiations with the airline. They took pay cuts when UAL went into bankruptcy, and are hoping to win back some of those concessions.
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