CHICAGO, April 30 (UPI) -- UAL Corp., the parent of United Airlines, announced early Wednesday that unions representing mechanics and baggage handlers have ratified new contracts.
The new contracts were expected to save the bankrupt airline about $4.7 billion over the next six years, the company said.
"Four months ago we set several goals: to reach consensual agreements on cost savings with all of our unions, to improve productivity, and to lay the foundation for a more flexible and efficient airline," said Glenn F. Tilton, UAL's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "With today's ratifications, we have achieved all of those goals."
The new contracts will be submitted Wednesday to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for approval, the company said.
The vote followed flight attendants' approval Tuesday of a contract that will save the airline $1.9 billion over the same time period. Seventy-five percent of eligible flight attendants voted to ratify, the Association of Flight Attendants said.
Two union groups from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers represent 12,000 mechanics, and more than 23,000 baggage handlers. The unions had been the only remaining United Airlines groups not to ratify the deals.
"With this critical milestone behind us, we can now move quickly to implement the ratified changes tin all our of our labor agreements," Tilton said in a statement.
United Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Dec. 9.
Shares of United gained 3 cents, or 2.54 percent, to close Tuesday at $1.01 on heavy volume of 4.6 million shares traded on the over-the-counter exchange.