United to eliminate more than 1,000 flight attendant jobs

Washington DC
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United Airlines plans to reduce its flight attendant workforce by some 1,550 positions as of October 31 as part of the carrier's plans to cut 7,000 positions by the end of 2009.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), told members the reductions stem from the airline's plans to cut domestic capacity by roughly 14% in the fourth quarter as well its plan to trim flight attendant staffing per plane to FAA minimums.

AFA master executive council President Greg Davidowitch told the union's 26,000 members that their contract "provides industry-leading protections against the imposition of involuntary furloughs," and noted the contract requires the airline offer voluntary furloughs first.

He also noted that under the contract, foreign nationals who work from United flight attendant bases in Singapore and Bangkok be released before AFA members, and said those affected have been notified. The United-AFA contract becomes amendable in July, 2010.

In addition to the flight attendant layoffs, United has announced the elimination of 1,500 management positions and 950 pilot jobs.