Federal bankruptcy judge Eugene Wedoff rejected United Airlines' agreement with its pilots union, saying that it gave the pilots unfair leverage over the bankruptcy process. The discredited agreement allowed the airline to end pension payments to the pilots only if it stopped paying pension benefits to members of all its other unions.
The pilots' arrangement had drawn heated opposition from United labor groups, the unsecured creditors committee, and others. Wedoff agreed with these parties that the pension provision in the pilots' agreement would unfairly restrict the ability of other unions to cut their own deals with United. Following Judge Wedoff's decision, United negotiated a new deal with the pilots.
The following attorneys from Kirkland & Ellis LLP represent United Airlines: Alexander Dimitrief, John Hagan, Jr., Andrew Kassof, Marc Kieselstein, David Seligman, Sallie Smylie, James Sprayregen, of counsel Jeffrey Gettleman, and associates Erik Chalut, Chad Husnick, and James Mazza, Jr.
This article was published in its entirety in the April 2005 issue of Corporate Counsel.