United Airlines Moves Toward Labor Peace
United Airlines on Friday moved closer to overall labor peace with its unions, as the Chicago-based carrier reached a tentative deal with its mechanics hours after its flight attendants ratified a new five-year contract.
It was history-making – the deal with the flight attendants was the first with its 25,000 cabin crew members since United merged with Continental in 2010.
More than 90 percent of the flight attendants participated in the vote with 53 percent voting to ratify the agreement.
“The high participation in this historic vote demonstrates the deep care Flight Attendants have for their future at the new United Airlines. The contract provides immediate economic gains, sets a new industry standard and ensures Flight Attendants can achieve the benefits of a fully integrated airline," Sara Nelson, AFA-CWA International President, said in a statement.
Under the new agreement, all United flight attendants will be joined by a single contract.
The five-year deal includes double-digit pay increases, enhanced job security provisions, maintains and improves healthcare, protects retirement and increases flexibility.
“Our flight attendants are the best in the business and deserve this industry-leading contract,” United CEO Oscar Munoz said. “I want to recognize the efforts of both negotiating teams, and in particular AFA President, Sara Nelson, for her strong partnership to get the agreement done to move us all forward together in the new spirit of United. When I took this job last year, I promised to turn the page and write a new chapter in our approach to labor and management relations at United. What matters is proof, however, not promises. Thanks to today’s vote, I am proud to say that so far this year we’ve ratified new agreements covering more than 65,000 of our employees.”
You can add 9,000 technicians and related employees to that total.
Later Friday, United and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) announced jointly they reached an agreement in principle for a joint contract.
The parties will complete final language and put the resulting tentative agreement out to vote.
"This is a great day for the entire United family. Each day we rely on our incredibly dedicated and professional technicians to keep us flying safely,” Munoz said. “I commend the negotiating teams from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, United and the National Mediation Board for all of their effort to get us here, as well as the leadership of Captain (David) Bourne."
"This is a monumental day for our United members," said Captain David Bourne, airline division director for the IBT. "I want to congratulate everyone involved for achieving this industry leading agreement in principle which will set a new standard upon ratification.”
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