United Airlines has asked a bankruptcy judge to grant the company permission
to pay computer technicians $10 million in retention bonuses.
USA Today reports that the airline's parent company UAL filed the motion, saying
that in the past six months the airline has lost 1,100 (16 percent) of its information
services workers to retirement or to other companies offering better pay. The company is seeking permission to give retention bonuses
to about 600 workers if they agree to remain with the company at least until
the airline emerges from bankruptcy protection.
"We've got a serious brain drain," UAL spokesman Jeff Green tells
USA Today. "More IS people left in the first quarter of this year than
all of last year."
Employees who develop computer applications, programmer analysts, route and
schedule planners, and pricing specialists would be eligible for a 20 percent
retention bonus under the plan, the newspaper reports.
After learning of the bonus plan, the union representing flight attendants
said it would oppose new bonuses and would file an objection in court.