After 9/11, the Airline Transportation Stabilization Board was established to help airlines most affected by the tragedy. United lost two airplanes, 18 crew members and 89 passengers and soon found itself in bankruptcy.

United applied for loan guarantees three times. The first time we — I’m a pilot for United — were turned down because we didn’t have a sound business plan (according to the ATSB). After many pay cuts and concessions we applied two more times and we were told that we didn’t need the loans.

The ATSB knew the ramifications of their decision, that United would seek to terminate their pension plans. As United goes, so goes the rest of the industry. Now the defined pension plans at Delta, Continental, American, et. al., are threatened as are other companies outside the airline industry. Bush said in his nomination acceptance speech that pensions are the old way of doing business.

He used 9/11 to start a war with Iraq and now he is using it to wage war against the working class.

– a United Airlines pilot from Arizona

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