United Airlines Pilots, Flight Attendants to Picket ‘Hostile’ Investors

By Paul Riegler on 5 April 2016
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On the heels of an announcement that United Airlines reached multiple agreements covering over 30,000 employees at the airline, its flight attendants and pilots announced they will picket the headquarters of two investment firms on Wednesday. The flight attendants and pilots said that they consider the firms to be “hostile hedge funds” that are attempting to gain control of the company’s board of directors.

Wednesday marks United’s 90th anniversary. Varney Air Lines, the predecessor of United Airlines, launched operations as an air mail carrier on April 6, 1926 and operating the first-ever scheduled airline flight in the United States that day.

The two companies, Altimeter Capital Management and Par Capital Management, which together own about 7.1% of United’s shares, put forward a slate of six director candidates led by Gordon Bethune, the well-regarded former CEO of Continental Airlines, in March.

The Association of Flight Attendants, which represents the airline’s flight crew, believes the two investment firms are “distracting from new leadership efforts to improve United Airlines by seeking to wrestle control of the UAL board.”

“These investors are creating a distraction at just the wrong time if their interest is truly in turning around United and building an airline that will again lead the industry,” said Andrew Fahy, president of the Boston chapter of the union

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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