Comair: Flight Attendants Refuse Talks

Comair said on Friday that the union representing its 970 flight attendants has refused the regional airline's request to resume negotiations over concessions Comair says it needs as part of a plan to keep operating.

Comair said in a statement it asked the International Brotherhood of Teamsters on Thursday to resume negotiations, but that it refused.

A message seeking comment was left at the union's Washington, D.C., office Friday morning.

The regional airline, based across the Ohio River from Cincinnati in Erlanger, Ky., filed for bankruptcy protection in September along with parent company Delta Air Lines Inc.

Comair is seeking $8.9 million in wage cuts and other savings from the flight attendants as part of a package of $42 million in annual savings from its workers that it says it needs to survive. The union says the proposal is excessive and unfair.

The two sides broke off talks April 13 and have been waiting for a federal bankruptcy judge to rule on Comair's request that it be allowed to void the current contract with flight attendants. Flight attendants have given union leaders authority to call a strike if Comair voids the contract and imposes new terms.

Comair said that the union had submitted a "settlement framework" for the flight attendants to Comair parent Delta on Tuesday that included the union's requests for job protections.

"Delta cannot and will not make these commitments or involve itself in Comair's negotiations for legal and business reasons," Joel Kuplack, vice president of human resources and inflight services said in a memo to flight attendants.


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