United Airlines

US airline payout angers workers

Unions representing workers at United Airlines have reacted with anger to the US carrier’s plans to pay a $250m (£123m) dividend to its shareholders.

Thousands of staff took pay cuts to help the airline rebuild its finances after it went into bankruptcy in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Union officials said the investor payout betrayed the efforts of staff to revive the airline’s reputation

United “hoodwinked” staff out of pensions

In 2005 United Airlines terminated its employee pension plans, creating the single largest corporate pension default in U.S. history

United Airlines to stop paying into Pension plans

United Airlines said it would not contribute to its employee pension plans while it remains under bankruptcy protection. That move could save it more than a billion dollars in cash over the coming year, but pension experts said it signaled the likelihood that United would terminate some or all of the plans.

A full-blown default by United on all four of its pension plans would send tens of thousands of current and future retirees, and billions of dollars in unfunded obligations, to the government’s pension insurance program, dealing the program its biggest blow since the government began insuring pensions in 1974