Continental Airlines warned yesterday that if their unions do not ratify the contract proposals currently on the table, they will face a major smackdown. OK, that’s not quite what they said. What they said was that if contracts aren’t ratified Continental will seek a further $500-$800 million in pay and benefit cuts, they would have to sell 24 737-500s, they would reduce frequencies (which would lead to further job cuts), and they would not take delivery of already-ordered 737s, 757s and new 787s. In other words, they are saying, the airline would need to be drastically changed if the unions do not agree to the contracts. The airline says the unions must approve by March 30th.