September 24, 2004
Chairman, United Airlines
1200 East Algonquin Road
Elk Grove Township, IL 60007
Dear Mr. Tilton:
We are writing to express our strong opposition to United's decision to end contributions to its pension plans and its threat to terminate the plans altogether. We feel that United's actions are jeopardizing the retirement security of 118,000 employees and retirees who have served United well for many years.
We understand that the airline faces difficult challenges in emerging from bankruptcy. The employees and retirees have already agreed to job reductions and significant concessions in their wages and benefits. We strongly believe it is unfair to insist that their retirement security be sacrificed as well.
Earlier this year, Congress took specific action to protect airline pension plans. In April, we passed legislation to provide substantial pension contribution relief to United and other airlines. Members of both political parties supported this relief, because we believed, based upon representations by you and other airline executives, that this action was necessary to preserve the pension funds. Now, a few months later, we learn that United may end its pension obligations and jeopardize the retirement security of thousands of families in our states and districts.
We urge you to honor the promises you have made to your employees and their families, and to retain your pension plans and fund them at adequate levels as soon as possible. We hope very much that United will work with its employees and retirees to find a long-term solution satisfactory for them and for the company, and we would welcome the opportunity to work with you to achieve that goal.
Sincerely, /s/ U.S. House of Representatives: George Miller, Jan Schakowsky, Nancy Pelosi, Robert Andrews, Neil Abercrombie, Anibal Acevedo-Vilá, Gary Ackerman, Rodney Alexander, Brian Baird, Tammy Baldwin, Shelley Berkley, Howard Berman, Tim Bishop, Earl Blumenauer, Leonard Boswell, Robert Brady, Sherrod Brown, Lois Capps, Michael Capuano, Ben Cardin, Dennis Cardoza, Julia Carson, Ed Case, Donna Christensen, Wm. Lacy Clay, John Conyers, Jerry Costello, Joseph Crowley, Elijiah Cummings, Danny Davis, Lincoln Davis, Peter DeFazio, Diana DeGette, William Delahunt, Rosa DeLauro, Peter Deutsch, Lloyd Doggett, Mike Doyle, Anna Eschoo, Lane Evans, Sam Farr, Bob Filner, Barney Frank, Martin Frost, Bart Gordon, Raul Grijalva, Luis Gutierrez, Alcee Hastings, Stephanie Herseth, Baron Hill, Maurice Hinchey, Joe Hoeffel, Rush Holt, Mike Honda, Darlene Hooley, Henry Hyde, Jay Inslee, Steve Israel, Jesse Jackson Jr., Dale Kildee, Carolyn Kilpatrick, Jerry Kleczka, Dennis Kucinich, Nick Lampson, Tom Lantos, Rick Larsen, Bill Lipinski, Nita Lowey, Stephen Lynch, Caroline Maloney, Donald Manzullo, Edward Markey, Carolyn McCarthy, Karen McCarthy, Betty McCollum, James McGovern, Michael McNulty, Robert Menendez, Michael Michaud, Jerry Nadler, Grace Napolitano, James Oberstar, John Olver, Major Owens, Frank Pallone, Bill Pascrell, Ed Pastor, Donald Payne, Earl Pomeroy, Jon Porter, Steve Rothman, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Bobby Rush, Tim Ryan, Martin Sabo, Linda Sanchez, Loretta Sanchez, Bernie Sanders, Max Sandlin, Adam Schiff, David Scott, José Serrano, Hilda Solis, John Spratt, Pete Stark, Ted Strickland, Ellen Tauscher, John Tierney, Ed Towns, Mark Udall, Peter Visclosky, Maxine Waters, Diane Watson, Henry Waxman, Anthony Weiner, Robert Wexler, and Lynn Woolsey.
/s/ U.S. Senate: Edward Kennedy, Daniel Akaka, Barbara Boxer, Maria Cantwell, Hillary Clinton, Jon Corzine, Tom Daschle, Christopher Dodd, Byron Dorgan, Richard Durbin, John Edwards, Tom Harkin, Daniel Inouye, John Kerry, Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Mikulski, Patty Murray, Jay Rockefeller, Charles Schumer, Arlen Specter, Debbie Stabenow, and Ron Wyden.