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United And Union

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Dec 13, 2001
United Airlines (UAL) and its unionized support workers have reached a cease-fire. The union representing 23,000 ramp, customer service and other workers approved a tentative wage contract deal on Saturday with the beleaguered airline, opening the door for the stricken carrier to start getting back on its feet ... or at least to apply more attention to the fiscal problems in hand. Since 9/11, UAL has consistently argued that it has taken a financial beating and that all employee groups must make concessions in order to get the nation's number-two carrier back in the black. Various union groups have fought against this issue, saying that they've already made too many deals in the last few years. However, perhaps better off poor than unemployed, that tide has changed. Members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, unit 141, gave the airline's proposed contract the thumbs-up just before dawn Saturday, allowing the union to hold talks with the money-losing airline on possible wage concessions. "With this vote, United Airlines takes another major step forward in its quest for recovery. Only through cooperative efforts of all of us at United can we return to our rightful place as leader in the airline industry," UAL's current CEO Jack Creighton said. UAL, 55-percent owned by employees after the 1994 employee stock ownership plan, reported a $510 million first-quarter net loss, on top of a record $2.1 billion loss in 2001.

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