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Judge: United Doesn’t Have to Rehire Pilot Trainees

September 6, 1985

CHICAGO (AP) _ United Airlines does not have to immediately rehire 500 pilot trainees fired for refusing to cross picket lines during the pilot’s strike this summer, a federal judge said Thursday.

However, the airline must give its next 500 jobs to the trainees, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Bua said in a clarification of his Aug. 1 ruling that ordered the trainees reinstated.

He said United assured him the trainees all would have jobs by August, 1986.

The 539 pilot replacements were properly hired and could keep their jobs, Bua said. The replacements were hired during the 29-day strike that began May 15 when more than 5,000 pilots walked off the job in a dispute over salaries.

Although the salary dispute was resolved May 24 when both sides agreed to adopt a two-tier wage schedule for five years, the strike continued because of an impass over whether the newly trained pilots would be reinstated.

United and the Air Line Pilots Association agreed June 14 that pilots would return to work and the back-to-work issue would be settled by a federal judge.

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