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Wed, May 28, 2008

Frontier, Teamsters Come To Terms On Wage Concessions

Airline Plans To Review Cuts In September... Assuming It Survives

It's not quite peace in our time, but it's something. On Tuesday, representatives with bankrupt Frontier Airlines and the Teamsters Union announced the two sides reached a tentative agreement on temporary wage concessions, that the airline says it needs in order to survive Chapter 11.

"I am pleased we were able to come to an agreement with the union leadership," said Frontier President and CEO Sean Menke. "In challenging times like these, we need all of our employees supporting us in this process, and this tentative agreement is an important step in that direction."

The agreement -- which must still be approved by 430 Frontier workers represented by the Teamsters -- is a marked departure from the rancor that had stemmed from news Frontier Airlines executives had negotiated severance packages for themselves should the carrier fold, even as they sought after by the carrier's executive staff.

In announcing the deal, however, Teamsters Local 961 president Matthew Fazakas took a more conciliatory tone than his earlier statements, as reported by ANN... and advised Frontier workers to approve the agreement.

"The Teamsters Union and its members are aware of the issues facing Frontier Airlines and the entire Airline industry," said Fazakas. "We understand that in these tough economic times facing the airline industry, all Frontier employees need to contribute to the Company's future success. We are recommending that our members vote to approve the temporary wage-reduction plan. This needs to be a "win-win" situation" for all."

Earlier this month, Menke and other members of the executive management team also agreed to up to 20% in wage and benefits concessions. Frontier plans to reexamine all the employee concessions in September based on the developing financial condition of the company and current economic conditions.

Frontier's other two unions -- the Frontier Airlines Pilots Association (FAPA) and the Transportation Workers Union (TWU) -- ratified agreements for those concessions last week.



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