CHICAGO -- Leaders of the pilots union at United Airlines endorsed a $2.2 billion reduction in labor costs over 5 1/2 years, including substantial pay cuts, to help the financially strapped carrier.
The airline is seeking $5.8 billion in labor savings from all its unions in order to get a $1.8 billion government-guaranteed loan to stave off bankruptcy.
The master executive council of United's branch of the Airline Pilots Association approved the plan Friday. The union membership has 30 days to vote on it. Details of the plan were not released.
"While this is a painful decision that will require sacrifices from all United pilots, it is an agreement that paves the way for United to maintain its position as a leader in the airline industry," Paul Whiteford, chairman of the pilots council, said in a statement.