Another union reaches deal with US Airways on concessions

Posted: Thursday, December 19, 2002

ARLINGTON, Va. -- US Air-ways employees represented by the Communications Workers of America reached agreement for a second round of concessions, saying they feared the bankrupt carrier would shut down if they didn't acquiesce.

Earlier this year, US Airways' 32,000 employees agreed to annual concessions of $840 million a year as part of a plan to cut costs by $1.2 billion a year.

But the airline said continued weakness in the industry required unions to make an additional $200 million in givebacks.

Last week, the pilots' union agreed to $101 million more in annual concessions.

On Wednesday the CWA, which represents about 6,300 reservations, gate and other workers, agreed to unspecified cuts.

Based on previous cuts, the CWA's latest concessions probably fall in the $15 million range.

Union spokesperson Candice Johnson said the agreement was reached ''under the threat of the potential loss of all members' jobs. It was pretty tough negotiating.''

Jerry Glass, US Airways' senior vice president for employee relations, said: ''The CWA has shown extraordinary leadership in reaching this decision and we applaud them for taking these difficult steps in supporting our company.''

The airline still must reach agreements with its flight attendants, machinists and Transport Workers Union by Friday to meet its self-imposed deadline of presenting a reorganization plan to the bankruptcy judge.

The airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August, and hopes to emerge from bankruptcy by March.

In 2001, the airline lost $2.1 billion, and its pre-Sept. 11 work force of 46,000 has been reduced by nearly a third.

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