IAM141, United Airlines Contract Negotiations Break Down
18 July 2022
IAM District 141 and United Airlines management met briefly last week in Chicago, IL, to review United management’s “comprehensive” job security proposal. According to the Company, its proposal was designed to “quickly close negotiations.” Unfortunately, United management decided to propose a job security package that is NOT competitive with United’s industry peers and DOES NOT provide the job security and scope of work protections IAM members deserve.
United management’s job security and scope of work proposals would provide fewer protections than we have today, leaving tens of thousands of IAM-represented workers with no job protection at all and increase company outsourcing opportunities. Management’s wage and economic proposals also fall far short of what IAM-represented United employees deserve. United’s competitors, big and small, have surpassed United in the key areas of job security and wages/economics. In fact, United management’s wage proposal would provide a significant real wage cut, considering the current economic climate. Simply put, IAM-represented employees at United deserve much better.
At the same time, due to pushback from United pilots who have halted voting on their recently announced tentative agreement, United management has decided to run back to the negotiating table with them because American Airlines announced larger wage increases for their pilots. However, when we propose contractual terms that already exist in other industry agreements, all we hear is, “that’s bad business, and we have no interest in doing that.”
The concept of expedited negotiations is for both parties to focus on their priorities and to make justified, reasonable proposals that are in line with the industry to EXPEDITE an agreement. We have lived up to this. United management has not.
United Airlines will soon announce record revenue and a return to profitability. The very reason this is possible is because of United Airlines employees. Not management. It’s the workers who make this airline fly. It was us who made TENS OF THOUSANDS of calls to elected officials to ensure our airline received the needed aid to survive through the worst downturn in airline industry. It wasn’t because of CEO Kirby and the other airline industry executives. How did CEO Kirby reward our loyalty? He devised a scheme to violate our contracts and force all IAM-represented workers to part-time status. And, now this.
Unless United management changes course, reworks its current proposals, and offers IAM members at United a fair contract that recognizes our value to our airline, it is highly unlikely that we can reach an agreement in the expedited process. As a result, we have informed the Company that we will not meet face to face and will use the week of July 25th to meet internally.
We will inform the membership of the next steps when they are finalized.
Your Negotiating Committee
President and Directing General Chair,
IAMAW District 141
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