UAL Flight Attendants OK Call for Strike

Flight attendants at UAL Corp. (UAL), parent of bankrupt United Airlines (search), authorized their union to call for strike activities if the carrier terminates their collective bargaining agreements, the union said Thursday.

Of the eligible voters, 88 percent voted in favor of strikes, according to a statement from the Association of Flight Attendants (search). The move sets the stage for a work stoppage if the No. 2 U.S. airline repeals a collective bargaining agreement with the union.

A bankruptcy court judge has agreed to consider letting UAL end the agreements. Hearings on the matter are to begin Jan. 7. Talks on wage and benefit concessions between the AFA and UAL management have been ongoing.

The union has vowed to implement its strike plans if the flight attendants' contract is rejected, and has called on the company to reach a negotiated settlement instead. The plans known as Create Havoc Around Our System (CHAOS) call for surprise intermittent strikes.

The time and place of such strikes would be determined by the union and targeted for maximum impact.

United wants to reject labor contracts with its six unions if it fails to extract an additional $725 million of annual savings from its employees by January.

United has been under Chapter 11 protection since December 2002.