From Aviationweek.com 2005 July
Two U.S. major airlines yesterday ran up against new labor problems after United's flight attendants claimed they now have the right to launch CHAOS strikes throughout the airline's network and Northwest's mechanics filed a grievance over the alleged use of Airbus employees to perform maintenance work.
United's unit of the Association of Flight Attendants is angry over the airline's move to terminate the pension plan and move it to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. "Now they've done it," said Greg Davidowitch, AFA president at United, "United management, working hand-in-glove with the PBGC, changed our contract without our consent. This flagrant foul triggered our right to strike."
AFA is lobbying for help in Washington and the union's lawyers are challenging United and PBGC in court to stop the termination of the pension plan. What is more worrisome for management is the threat of CHAOS strikes, which "may now begin at any time," union executives told members. "Any CHAOS strikes will be carefully targeted to maximize our impact and minimize the risks," AFA said.
Actual strike targets are a closely guarded secret, the union said, noting there is no telling if and when it will act. "We call on United management to return to the bargaining table and engage in a good-faith effort to seek alternatives to the termination of our defined benefit pension plan," AFA said.
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