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UAL Corp. on Friday won a 90-day extension of its exclusivity period, until September, to submit a reorganization plan for the bankrupt carrier. The parent of United Air Lines Inc. also said it reached agreement on a new contract with ramp and customer service workers. Judge Eugene R. Wedoff of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago approved the exclusivity extension after hearing objections from several creditors, including U.S. Bank NA and Bank of New York Co., that claimed UAL’s Chapter 11 case has dragged on too long and that other parties should be allowed to file a competing reorganization plan. According to news reports, although Wedoff said this latest extension would improve the odds of United exiting bankruptcy, he said he would scrutinize another such requests. Elk Grove Township, Ill.-based UAL has said it intends to emerge from bankruptcy protection this fall. Separately, the airline and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which represents about 20,000 United employees, on Friday said they have a new five-year contract that requires labor concessions. Terms are expected to be disclosed early next week, the airline said. Voting by union members is expected to end by July 22. The agreement requires that UAL make pension contributions to the union’s pension plan instead of a 401(k) plan favored by the airline. This does little for United workers who have already retired because their retirement liabilities are being taken over by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which has agreed to assume $6.6 billion in underfunded United pension obligations. The union had threatened to strike if terms of its contract were altered without its consent. UAL filed for Chapter 11 protection in the Chicago court on Dec. 9, 2002. Copyright �2005 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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