United Negotiations Update: United Management Not Listening

United Negotiations Update: United Management Not Listening

United Management Not Listening; No Progress Made

 

21 May 2022

IAM District 141 and United Airlines management this week continued expedited negotiations in Chicago. Unfortunately, no progress was made towards reaching the industry-best contract that IAM members at United Airlines deserve.

As we reported in our last negotiations update, United management was to present to the negotiations committee what it characterized as a “comprehensive proposal.” They presented their “comprehensive framework” and it fell wildly short of addressing IAM members’ priorities. Your negotiations committee let United management know that their “comprehensive framework” was wholly unacceptable.

IAM members at United Airlines indicated in our contract survey and proposal process that our top priority is job security/scope of work. Sadly, the only component of this top priority in which United was specific was management’s desire to claw back work that is now protected and outsource it. Clearly, United management is not listening. And, with the current state of inflation, United management thinks it’s acceptable for us to take a cut in our real wages.

United CEO Kirby has stated publicly that our carrier will generate record breaking revenue for the second quarter and it is crystal clear that the US airline industry is experiencing a strong recovery. Either United management has no respect for us and does not value our past sacrifices and our current contributions, or they have no desire to reach an agreement.

Negotiations will continue next week.    

In Solidarity,

Your District 141 Negotiating Committee

Olu Ajetomobi
Joe Bartz
Victor Hernandez
Barb Martin
Andrea’ Myers
Terry Stansbury

Faysal Silwany
Erik Stenberg
Sue Weisner

Michael G. Klemm

President & Directing General Chair,
IAMAW District 141
#LGR

Recording Secretaries: Please print and post on all IAMAW bulletin boards.

The Largest Airline Workers Conference in the Country Wraps Up in Las Vegas.

The Largest Airline Workers Conference in the Country Wraps Up in Las Vegas.

The Largest Airline Workers Conference in the Country Wraps Up in Las Vegas.

2022 Committee Conference
5 May 2022

The IAMAW District 141 Committee Conference brings together hundreds of labor leaders in the airline industry.

The Conference comes as the Machinists Union negotiates the biggest contracts in commercial aviation; the seven agreements between United Airlines and its primary workforces. These include the carrier’s Ramp and Gate Agents, Storekeepers, Security Guards, and Instructors and follow historic union agreements at American, Hawaiian, and Spirit Airlines.

This year’s Conference also comes as the Union inches closer to achieving a historic vote at JetBlue.

Despite reporting a hefty first-quarter loss, United Airlines’ CEO Scott Kirby recently announced that he expects record-breaking revenue over the summer flying season, suggesting the Airline had overcome pandemic-era hardships.

“The demand environment is the strongest it’s been in my 30 years in the industry,” Kirby said. “We’re now seeing clear evidence that the second quarter will be an historic inflection point for our business.”

While reporting a loss of nearly $1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2022, Kirby said the Airline expected 17% more revenue over the same period in 2019. He told investors that he expects the tidy profit for the Airline to come about even amid higher fuel prices.

Making sure that the women and men that actually do the work at United are not forgotten in all the rosy predictions is the Machinists Union.

“We made the airline successful,” said the Unions District President, Mike Klemm. “We did that. Managers didn’t do it. Company executives didn’t push back planes or load passengers onto flights,” he said. “They didn’t check a single bag. We did that.”

“Those profits are ours. We created them, and we deserve to benefit from them.”

The Union’s General Vice President, Richard Johnsen, who also spoke at the event, underscored the sentiments. “I’m not just talking when I say that we are the reason that these companies are successful. The employees are literally the reason. There’s only a United Airlines today because we made it. Because we sacrificed,” he said. “United Airlines employees in this room gave up wages that they needed for their families so that United Airlines could still have a company after 9/11.”

“I don’t say that off the cuff. We kept United Airines in business after 9/11, and now, today, we have a pandemic that we had to fight through. It was our Union, the Machinsts Union that kept United Airlines alive once again. It was our International President Bob Martinez and our Legislative Department, that lobbied hard for Payroll Support. That legislation kept us employed, covered our house notes and electric bills, and prevented any one of us from getting laid off or furloghed,” he reminded the assembled union leaders. “United is what it is, because we are who we are,” he said. 

Johnsen was recently named General Vice President for the Airline Territory, a development that he called “deeply humbling.” 

Also speaking was Airline Coordinator Tom Regan, who is also involved in negotiations with United. “United has committed to negotiating an industry-leading contract with us,” he said. “We intend to hold them to their word on that.”

While the ongoing negotiations at United were a major focus of the Conference, the assembly also discussed a wide range of issues. Among these was the Union’s use of safety cards at Hawaiian Airlines, which use a QR code to quickly link workers at the carrier to online safety reporting tools. Delegates also covered modernizing communications and the potential dangers of social media.

The continuing campaign to organize the Ground Operations workers at JetBlue was another hot topic for attendees.

“You might have noticed that there are no members of our Organizing Department here,” President Klemm said at one point during the Conference. “That’s because they’re working with JetBlue Crewmembers at this very second,” he said. “That’s how focused we are on getting these guys the Union representation they deserve,” he said.

 

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IAM, United Negotiations Continue in Chicago

IAM, United Negotiations Continue in Chicago

 

29 April 2022

Your IAM District 141 Negotiations Committee and United Airlines management representatives continued negotiations this week for over 25,000 workers covered by seven different contracts.

Negotiations progressed nicely this week, as both parties worked diligently towards realizing our shared goal of reaching acceptable tentative agreements by our self-imposed deadline of August 1, 2022.

United management committed to the Union that IAM members’ priorities will be addressed during our next session the week on May 16th in a comprehensive fashion. The Union reiterated to the Company what is needed to successfully conclude these expedited talks, which is industry-best agreements.

While we do not know how the Company will address IAM members’ stated priorities in its comprehensive proposal, we are cautiously optimistic that the Company fully understands IAM members’ needs. Our expectation is that understanding translates into Company proposals that further push this expedited process forward.

As was announced earlier this month, United expects its strongest second-quarter revenue performance in company history, and to be profitable for 2022. United CEO Scott Kirby said the following to investors:

“Our team continues to do an outstanding job of caring for our customers. The demand environment is the strongest it’s been in my 30 years in the industry – and United and its customers will benefit more than any other airline. We’re now seeing clear evidence that the second quarter will be an historic inflection point for our business. It leaves me more optimistic than ever about United’s future.”

CEO Kirby’s statements are welcome news for every dedicated and hardworking United Airlines employee. However, I would add that not only will United and its customers benefit more than any other airline due to the strongest demand environment in Mr. Kirby’s 30 year career, but so will IAM-represented United employees.

You can rest assured that your negotiations committee will remind United management that we are the reason United is in the position to return to profitability.

Negotiations will continue the week of May 16th.

In solidarity,

Your District 141 Negotiating Committee

Olu Ajetomobi
Joe Bartz
Victor Hernandez
Barb Martin
Andrea’ Myers
Terry Stansbury

Faysal Silwany
Erik Stenberg
Sue Weisner

Michael G. Klemm

President & Directing General Chair,
IAMAW District 141

Recording Secretaries: Please print and post on all IAMAW bulletin boards.

United Negotiations Update: United Management Not Listening

Negotiations Continue in Houston

Negotiations Continue in Houston

 

16 April 2022

This week, the IAM District 141 Negotiations Committee and United Airlines continued negotiations in Houston, Texas. Both parties exchanged proposals and responded to open items regarding issues in Articles 1, 4, and 10 in the collective bargaining agreements.

While we hoped to be much further along in this expedited negotiations process, we achieved incremental progress this week. We again reiterated to the Company that IAM-represented workers at United Airlines deserve the industry’s best agreements.

Negotiations will continue the week of April 25th.

In Solidarity,

Your District 141 Negotiating Committee

Olu Ajetomobi
Joe Bartz
Victor Hernandez
Barb Martin
Andrea’ Myers
Terry Stansbury

Faysal Silwany
Erik Stenberg
Sue Weisner

Michael G. Klemm

President & Directing General Chair,
IAMAW District 141

Recording Secretaries: Please print and post on all IAMAW bulletin boards.

United Stores Key Focus at Quarterly Meeting

United Stores Key Focus at Quarterly Meeting

Machinists Union Meets With United Management to Discuss Stores’ Operations at the Airline

United Airlines
11 April 2022

The Machinists Union and United Airlines met last week to discuss issues related to the airline’s warehousing operation, known as “Storekeeping,” or “Stores.”

The meeting is a quarterly event that both sides have participated in for the past ten years. At this quarters’ meeting were company managers and executives with oversight over the airline’s Stores workplaces and union representatives, including Assistant General Chairs and Stores Grievance Committee members.

“These meetings are essential because they allow us to have face-to-face discussions with key company decision-makers,” said Joe Bartz. Bartz is an Assistant General Chairman for District 141 of the Machinists Union and helped host the meeting with fellow AGC Troy Rivera. “We can get together and resolve workplace issues on the spot,” he said. “It’s extremely helpful for us to maintain these points of contact, so that we have the situational awareness we need to represent our membership on the front lines,” he continued. 

This Stores meeting focused on various issues, including new hire and transfer integration and seniority concerns. The safety of Stores workers was also a key topic, emphasizing possible risks associated with landing gears and the enormous aircraft tires that Stores workers have to handle. 

This quarters’ meeting was hosted by the unions’ District 141 Assistant General Chairs Joe Bartz and Troy Rivera. It included a delegation of Stores union representatives from major United Airlines operations across the country. 

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Negotiations Crawl Along in Chicago

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Negotiations Crawl Along in Chicago This Week

 

1 April 2022

This week, the IAM District 141 Negotiations Committee and United negotiators met in Chicago to continue bargaining for new contracts covering over 25,000 United Airlines ground workers. We reported last week that we were not pleased with the pace of negotiations. This week was mostly more of the same, with some small progress made as the week came to a close.

Both the Union and the Company agreed to expedite these talks with a deadline of August 1st to conclude negotiations. At this pace, we will be hard-pressed to meet that deadline. The Union has made several proposals and counter-proposals to the Company regarding issues we view as being simple to resolve. Still, the Company is dragging its feet, and it doesn’t seem they possess the same urgency to produce industry-leading contracts as we do.

In a recent interview with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, United CEO Scott Kirby stated, “I think the most enduring change that’s going to come from COVID that’ll be most obvious to people is the customer service culture change that’s happened. We had over a 40-point improvement in our net promoter scores. I hear it, like, everywhere I go.” CEO Kirby went on to say, “I actually have the easiest job of anyone at United because I really only have one responsibility, which is to make our employees proud.”

Every IAM member at United Airlines deserves to lead the industry in all aspects of our terms of employment. It’s very obvious that CEO Kirby believes United is the leading global airline. It is also clear that CEO Kirby believes that United employees have led the way in providing United’s top-notch service improvements, which have added value to United’s brand and bottom line.

It’s time for United management to get serious about these expedited negotiations, put their money where their mouths are, and make us proud.

The Union and the Company will meet next the week of April 11th.

In Solidarity,

Your District 141 Negotiating Committee

Olu Ajetomobi
Joe Bartz
Victor Hernandez
Barb Martin
Andrea’ Myers
Terry Stansbury

Faysal Silwany
Erik Stenberg
Sue Weisner

Michael G. Klemm

President & Directing General Chair,
IAMAW District 141

Recording Secretaries: Please print and post on all IAMAW bulletin boards.