No Thanks, No Giving

3 December 2022

IAM District 141 and United Airlines management met in Orlando, Florida, this week and continued contract negotiations. Both parties remain very far apart on the most vital issues: job security and wages.

United management’s refusal to provide acceptable job security and wage rates for IAM-represented workers is unacceptable and disgraceful. IAM members at United Airlines have spoken loudly and clearly that the issues of wages and job security are paramount to any acceptable tentative agreement. Unfortunately, after almost a year of “expedited negotiations,” United management has yet to put forth adequate proposals that could lead to a tentative agreement. While United management sits on their hands in negotiations, ground workers employed at American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Alaska Airlines are earning higher hourly wages than United ground workers. At Southwest Airlines, IAM members will soon vote on a tentative agreement that provides the airline industry’s highest wage rates.

At the same time, United management continues to throw the success that we create in our faces. United proudly announced that the carrier just had its third-best Thanksgiving ever. IAM members ensured almost 3 million customers could connect with family and friends during the Thanksgiving holiday. And how does United thank us? They refuse to protect our jobs and pay us what we’re worth.

But why? Why the disrespect? Is it because CEO Scott Kirby thinks the economic future is uncertain and United must be cautious? No. Here’s part of what Scott said during United’s most recent earnings call: “Our operation is firing on all cylinders. In fact, based on most metrics, it’s running better than ever […] there are three industry tailwinds prevailing the COVID recovery for aviation and United that are currently overcoming those macro headwinds and we believe will continue to do so in 2023.”

Scott is very bullish on United’s financial future, and he should be: United made almost a $1 BILLION profit in the most recent quarter. Unfortunately, he’s not bullish on our financial future. The fact is, our hard work and dedication have been the drivers of United’s success. And that financial success directly lines Scott’s pockets and the pockets of the rest of United’s overpaid executives. CEO Kirby’s raise for 2022 was 67 percent, from $10 million in 2021 to $16.7 million in 2022. Greed at its finest.

I have called an emergency meeting of IAM District 141’s Executive Board next week in Houston, Texas. It is necessary to convene the District Executive Board to discuss the status of negotiations and plan our next steps, so we can appropriately deal with the unprecedented greed and arrogance that now permeates United’s management team.

We will advise of next steps.

In Solidarity,

Your Negotiating Committee

Olu Ajetomobi
Joe Bartz
Victor Hernandez
Barb Martin
Andrea’ Myers
Terry Stansbury
Faysal Silwany
Erik Stenberg
Sue Weisner

Mike Klemm

President and Directing General Chair,
IAMAW District 141
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