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 PITTSBURGH, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Following is a statement by United Steelworkers of America (USWA) International Vice President George Becker in reaction to today's USAir (NYSE: U) passenger service agent furloughs. The union said that the passenger service agents have sought out the USWA to become their exclusive bargaining agent with the airline, and Becker is the head of the organizing drive. The union expects to petition for a representative election early next year. The USWA said that currently, the customer service agents are the only USAir employees who are not represented by a union, and the furloughs and benefit cuts announced by the airline are targeted primarily at the agents.
 "Today, two weeks before Christmas, USAir has notified roughly 1,800 employees that they are being furloughed. In addition to those employees losing their jobs, many others will be forced to accept part-time work or relocation to other communities.
 "In making these cutbacks, USAir has made most of its cuts in the jobs of non-union fleet service and passenger service employees. Only one year ago, these workers were told that if they voted against union representation they would be treated as fairly and equitably as union-represented employees at USAir.
 "For believing that promise 1,800 USAir families will face Christmas without a job.
 "And because they have no union contract, passenger service employees have recently faced vacation cuts, loss of sick days and the loss of premium pay for holidays.
 "This Christmas, the president of USAir, Seth Scofield, will continue to pay himself more than a-half-million-dollar salary and ask no sacrifice from management which should bear the largest responsibility for the problems at USAir. Instead, USAir management sacrificed the careers of longtime employees who have given their hearts, their sweat, and their lives to this company.
 "Only a few days ago, the USAir shuttle announced that it was terminating its fleet service crew at LaGuardia, National and Logan airports. Among those losing their jobs were the heroes who dived into the sea to rescue passengers of the USAir Shuttle crash last year.
 "Today, fleet service workers are standing up to change their situations. More than half of these workers have signed cards authorizing an election to choose the United Steelworkers of America to represent them in negotiations to obtain a real contract from USAir.
 "The Steelworkers are working night and day to help organize both fleet service and passenger service workers at USAir and we will not quit until we have succeeded in giving these loyal employees the representation they deserve.
 "And to show our support, we are organizing a rally on Dec. 16 at USAir Headquarters in Washington to demonstrate our support for furloughed employees at USAir. At this rally we will demand that USAir recognize these employees' right to union representation -- and that the jobs of fleet service and passenger service workers be restored."
 -0- 12/10/93
 /CONTACT: Bernard Hostein of USWA, 412-562-2550, or at home, 412-221-3575; Bob Callahan of USWA Organizing Department, 412-562-2260, or at home, 505-254-1183; or Gary Hubbard of USWA Communications Department, 412-562-2442, or at home, 412-322-1915/

CO: United Steelworkers of America; USAir ST: District of Columbia, Pennsylvania IN: AIR SU:

DM -- PG007 -- 2836 12/10/93 18:18 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 10, 1993
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