United likely to terminate pension plans

Aug. 19, 2004 CHICAGO (AP) -- Cash-strapped United Airlines said in a bankruptcy court filing Thursday that it "likely" will be necessary to terminate and replace its employee pension plans.

The carrier cited the size of further cost cuts and the need to find bankruptcy-exit financing as reasons for such a drastic move.

The Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based airline said it "must have the cash flow and liquidity that the financial markets are willing to finance."

If United ends its four employee pension funds, it would represent the largest pension default ever by an airline. The action would dump billions of dollars in future pension obligations onto the already-strapped Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

For all the high-minded bullshit American execs throw around, keeping their word isn't part of the doxology. No loyalty, no principles, no ethics, no conscience. They say they're so tough, but none of these guys would last a day in the sort of real prison they deserve.

All I can say to United Airlines employees is this: whatever you do to these guys -- there isn't a jury in this country that will convict you.

We would all regard it as scraping dog-doo off'n the national shoes.


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