United gives its angry pilots something to be angry about



Things are tough all over. The latest blow was at UAL’s United Airlines, where the carrier will furlough some 950 pilots later this year. The airline announced some dramatic capacity cuts totalling more than 14% a week or so ago, and now says that it just won’t need as many pilots. These layoffs are about 15% of United’s 6,518 pilots. United says that it will also trim some of its bag handlers and others for a total of about 1,600 job cuts by next year. The airline said it was continuing “discussions with ALPA and all of our unions on ways to mitigate involuntary furloughs.” The union had no immediate comment, but Left Field did. You can hear him here. And you can hear Left Field talking about the oil crisis here and here.

United’s ALPA chapter has long criticised management’s pay and bonuses, frequently conducting informational picketing at various United spots around the country. The furloughs will doubtless fuel their anger.

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