Smells Like Desperation

United is reporting that « it lost $94 million in May alone »:

‘United Airlines said in a bankruptcy court filing Thursday that it posted a net loss of $93 million in May its efforts to return to profitability complicated by near-record jet fuel costs. The nation’s No. 2 carrier, which is seeking an additional $500 million in financing after trimming its request for federal assistance, pointed to a $9 million operating profit for the month as evidence its restructuring work is paying off.’

Its restructuring work may be paying off, but UAL CEO Glenn Tilton is telling employees « the hurt will continue to be put on them »:

‘Speaking to employees after submitting United’s slimmed-down request for federal assistance, Tilton said in a recorded message that the company is seeking potential debt and equity financing to cover the $500 million difference from the previous bid. Without specifically mentioning further concessions by workers, he reiterated that United will have to “dig deeper” on costs. “We are going to have to maintain a relentless focus on cost improvement,” Tilton said on the employee hot line. “United has to continue to meet the demands of a competitive marketplace, and cost reduction is going to continue to be a major part of everything that we do,” he said. “We’re going to have to do everything we can to be successful as we exit bankruptcy.”

’… Employees have made $2.5 billion in annual concessions since United filed for bankruptcy-court protection in December 2002, providing about half the company’s estimated $5 billion in lowered expenses. Many fear their pensions will be targeted by any outside investor, particularly with United facing billions of dollars in pension obligations in coming years.’

So they’ve given up $2.5 billion, face the ruination of their retirement futures and are still being warned they will have to give more.

Meanwhile, CEO Glenn Tilton makes how much a year?

Well, he’s apparently taken a pay cut himself, but still makes over a million a year in total compensation according to Forbes, down from around $4 million in 2001.

Bless his heart.