CHICAGO (AP) _ The lenders that are enabling United Airlines to keep flying during bankruptcy are requiring the carrier to slash its annual labor costs by $2.4 billion in the next two months, according to the flight attendants' union.
That would more than double the approximately $1 billion in yearly cuts that unions agreed to this fall as part of United's failed bid for a $1.8 billion government loan guarantee.
United spokesman Joe Hopkins said Monday the airline had no comment on the report.
But the Association of Flight Attendants told its members that United management informed union negotiators Friday that the airline's restructuring plan calls for $2.4 billion in labor savings by mid-February.
Spokesman for the flight attendants' and Machinists' unions did not immediately return calls seeking comment Monday.
The pilots' union was going over management's proposal but could not discuss it because the pilots themselves had not yet been told, said spokesman Steve Derebey.
United, the world's second-biggest airline, had warned in filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Dec. 10 that painful cuts were coming that would go well beyond its previous financial recovery plan, which called for $5.2 billion in labor cutbacks by 2008.
Mechanics, who rejected a tentative agreement for 7 percent pay cuts last month, are now being asked to take 13 percent reductions, according to a message sent to its members.