Thousands of Former Eastern Airlines Workers to Get Separation Payments
MIAMI (AP) _ Thousands of people employed by Eastern Airlines when it shut down last year would get separation payments of several thousand dollars each under a deal that took a year to negotiate.
About $97.5 million would be split among 14,000 people.
The payouts for most former Eastern pilots, flight attendants and non- contract workers require bankruptcy court approval at a hearing scheduled for October.
Most of the money would be paid by the end of the year if the deal is approved. Attorneys for Eastern and its unions said they expect the settlement to go through.
In most cases, the payments would equal 70 percent of two weeks salary, plus 70 percent of a severance package based on years served.
″It has been a yearlong effort on our part to get money for our employees,″ said Martin Shugrue, the Eastern bankruptcy trustee.
″It’s a good deal and it’s sensible, and you can contrast it to what the employees have gotten at Pan Am, Midway, Braniff or any other airline. They have all gotten zero,″ he said.
The deal was negotiated by Shugrue, union representatives and Eastern creditors. It excludes all machinists, some flight attendants and some pilots.
Eastern went out of operation permanently in January 1991 after nearly two years under federal bankruptcy court protection. Pilots and flight attendants joined a strike by the Machinists union in March 1989, capping years of financial trouble and labor-management tension.
When Eastern shut down and its assets were doled out to other airlines, it employed 4,150 flight attendants, 1,850 pilots and about 8,000 non-contract workers, including managers and reservation agents.