United flight attendants OK strike

CHICAGO — Flight attendants at United Airlines have overwhelmingly authorized their union to call for targeted “CHAOS” strike activities should a federal bankruptcy court permit management to abrogate its collective bargaining agreement with its employees, the union reported Dec. 30. CHAOS, which stands for “Create Havoc Around Our System,” is AFA’s trademarked tactic of conducting surprise, intermittent strikes. Flight, dates and locations are chosen solely at the union’s discretion and targeted for maximum impact.

Of the eligible voters participating, 88 percent voted in favor of authorizing CHAOS strikes.

“United flight attendants have spoken loudly and clearly: They will not allow their employer to exploit the bankruptcy process and strip them of their rights. They are ready to fight,” said Greg Davidowich, president of the AFA Master Executive Council at United.

“United flight attendants have already made huge sacrifices to help our airline succeed,” Davidowitch said. He called on United’s management to “look at itself” for solutions. “United’s problems are not a result of high labor costs, but of failed business planning,” he said.

As United Airlines CEO Glenn Tilton seeks to scrap the United Flight Attendant legally binding contract, terminate the flight attendant pension plan, and impose cuts to wages, health care, and work rules, he is forcing AFA to strike, union leaders said. The union has called on the company to reach a negotiated settlement instead.

While a tentative contract agreement with about 200 flight dispatchers and meteorologists was announced on Jan. 4, talks between AFA and United management were continuing. Court hearings were set for Jan. 7 here in the event an agreement between the union and the company was not reached.