August 21, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Chicago, IL – United Airlines is near having contract agreements with all its union workers for the first time since it merged with Continental Airlines in 2010.
The Association of Flight Attendants announced Aug. 12 that its members had narrowly ratified a five-year deal, and the airline also reached an “agreement in principle” with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters that would cover 9,000 mechanics.
The five-year pact with the 25,000 flight attendants will raise top pay rates by up to 31%—to $62 an hour for attendants who have 13 years’ experience—and let the airline put attendants from United and Continental on the same planes. It was approved by 53% of the voting members. Opponents objected that the contract gave bigger raises to United attendants, who had a lower pay scale than their counterparts at Continental before the merger, and others wanted a signing bonus, which union leadership said would have made the airline offer lower wages. The airline and the Teamsters did not give details about the proposal for the mechanics, who had overwhelmingly rejected a previous agreement that would have given them a 25% raise and bonuses averaging $9,000. Read more