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Anger Over Executive Pay Clouds United Meeting

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United Airlines held its first shareholder meeting since 2002 today.

Officials say the company is stronger and more competitive after coming out of bankruptcy, but many employees disagree.

For Chicago Public Radio, Miriam Gottfried reports. United shareholders met in the auditorium of Chicago’s Field Museum.

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CEO Glenn Tilton discussed the company’s financial progress over the past five years, including cutting its debt in half.

But more than 200 pilots picketed the event to protest the compensation of Tilton and other top executives.

Captain Steve Derebey is with the pilots union.

DEREBEY: We were promised that the shared sacrifices would translate into shared rewards, and that has not happened. Coming towards pilots and flight attendants and other employees, absolutely zero rewards.

Regulatory filings show Tilton received more than $39 million dollars last year.

Tilton says his pay reflects the philosophy of United’s board and that it included one-time incentives.

For Chicago Public Radio, I’m Miriam Gottfried.

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