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US Airways to furlough 52 more pilots

| Saturday, April 12, 2003

US Airways intends to lay off another 52 pilots in June, including as many as 20 from its base in Pittsburgh, the pilots union said Friday.

The Air Line Pilots Association said it would file a grievance, arguing the targeted jobs are protected under a productivity agreement with US Airways that union leaders ratified in December.

"They just don't have it in them to live up to our agreements," said union spokesman Roy Freundlich. "There is no reason to be furloughing pilots at this time."

The airline has 1,827 pilots on furlough, including 600 based in Pittsburgh. Yesterday's layoff is effective June 4.

US Airways spokesman David Castelveter said the furloughs originally were to have taken place in March or this month but were deferred during months of negotiations over the pilots' pensions. The talks produced a defined-contribution plan, effective April 1, which pays a lump-sum annuity upon a pilot's retirement.

US Airways exited bankruptcy March 31 after less than seven months of operating under protection from creditors. With passenger traffic depressed since September 2001, the carrier has cut its payroll by 3,900 locally and reduced annual overhead by roughly $1.9 billion systemwide.

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