MILBRAE (KCBS)— United Airlines pilots spent part of their Monday morning on informational picket lines at San Francisco International Airport.

The information is that United pilots have been in contract talks for three years and have been operating under a bankruptcy contract for the past nine.

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In addition they’ve had no pension benefits and a salary cut that put them back at 1993 levels. Pilot Charlie Ward said the real issue is that United is outsourcing United Express flights to outside pilots.

KCBS’ Susan Kennedy Reports:

“60 percent of the United flights that depart worldwide any day are not flown by United pilots. They’re flown by United Express pilots. United Express pilots are not United pilots at all,” Ward commented.

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That revelation was surprising to most passengers who were notified during the informational picket at SFO. One passenger felt that the outsourcing was wrong and that any weakness in safety standards and procedure should be corrected.

United pilots are asking passengers to sign an online petition showing their support.

A statement from United said that outsourcing smaller routes is done to keep the airline profitable.

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