Not A Happy New Year For UAL Workers

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Beleaguered United Air Lines wants its machinists to accept a temporary pay reduction of 13 percent, but the union said last Friday it will fight the cut in court. The airline also told employees on Monday that it expects to announce "significant layoffs" within the next few weeks. United's other unions, representing pilots, flight attendants, dispatchers and meteorologists, have agreed to cuts, as the bankrupt airline struggles to survive. United told the unions that if they didn't accept the cuts, the company would ask the court to dissolve their contracts. The Air Line Pilots Association said it would accept a 29-percent pay cut for United pilots, but only on an interim basis. Union leader Paul Whiteford told the Associated Press, "We are not interested in participating in United's broader labor reform initiatives without clear economic justification or rationale." United has said it needs to save $12 billion in wages over the next five and a half years to become viable again.