CHICAGO_The unions representing United Airlines pilots and flight attendants urged their members who hold stock in parent UAL Corp. to oppose the company's nominees for the board of directors, angered by the rich bonuses and stock awards granted top executives.
The two unions said they are taking a stand against the election of the 10 nominees for independent directors, who include Chairman and Chief Executive Glenn Tilton, at the company's May 10 annual meeting.
"The significant bonuses and stock increases awarded senior management clearly violates the concept of shared sacrifice/shared rewards that all employees expected after the turmoil of bankruptcy," the United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association said in a statement.
UAL said in a regulatory filing last month that Tilton received compensation worth $39.7 million in 2006, its first year as a standalone company after emerging from three years of bankruptcy protection. The bulk came in the form of stock and option awards granted in February, including an award the company valued at $20 million (€14.78 million) when it was issued Feb. 2, one day after UAL emerged from bankruptcy.
"We take this action in the sincere belief that these directors are not serving the interests of the employees or the interests of United Airlines as long as they continue to support outrageous executive compensation at a time of continuing sacrifice by the workers who make this airline successful," said Greg Davidowitch, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA at United.
United spokeswoman Jean Medina said that the company's board is "excellent."
"It's ludicrous that the unions are now seeking to unseat the very board members that they nominated when they were active participants of the creditors committee, the very same committee that also reviewed, negotiated and approved this same management compensation plan more than a year ago," Medina wrote in an e-mail statement.
Shares in UAL fell 8 cents to $42.17 Friday on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
The company is in the process of moving its corporate headquarters to Chicago from suburban Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
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