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EASTERN AGENTS, MANAGERS FACE A TEMPORARY CUT IN PAY

SHARE EASTERN AGENTS, MANAGERS FACE A TEMPORARY CUT IN PAY

About 140 employees of Eastern Airline's Salt Lake reservation center will have leaner paychecks come Jan. 16.

Manager Bob Burquist said Friday that wages of upper-level managers and 110 agents will be cut 10 percent beginning next month. The pay reduction will be temporary and affects 10,000 workers nationwide, he said.The airline plans to restore wages by 5 percent by July 16 and return salaries to existing levels by January 1991. Burquist said the pay cuts and job reductions will provide the cash flow Eastern needs to reorganize. The airline filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 9, after union machinists walked out March 4. The strike was honored by pilots and flight attendants and nearly halted the airline's operations.

Burquist said Eastern officials decided to cut the salaries of managers and higher-paid agents because they could better afford the temporary reduction. "It hurts no matter what," he said.

The airline, which recently sold its Latin American routes to rival American Airlines, plans to cut 600 jobs, but Burquist said the Salt Lake operation should not be affected. "I would anticipate that it will not, but when you're into bankruptcy, nothing's an absolute certainty."