United Negotiations Update
Download (pdf)— Negotiations continued this past week between District 141 and United Airlines.
District 141 Negotiators met with Federal Mediator Iannone. We presented detailed proposals focusing on the use of Seniority and job descriptions. These areas of our Contract are the fundamental aspects of both individual and union-based job security.
The inclusion of specific job descriptions is a proactive proposal intended to protect our work from having the company allowed to assign our work to others. The “old” way of looking at job descriptions was used to claim “that’s not my job”. The real importance of job descriptions is actually the opposite – giving us the right to claim, “That is my job, no one else can do it but me.”
We have had extensive discussions with United regarding these issues in previous meetings so our formal proposals are not new. The Mediator has presented our proposals to United and we are waiting for their response.
Our schedule for negotiations is directed by the Mediator; our next scheduled meetings will occur in April.
Our concern for job security, both for current United IAM Members and future IAM Members of Continental, has been our main issue since contract talks began. As we have seen in the past several years both carriers have placed a greater reliance on Express operations which has had an impact on our membership, especially in line stations.
While we have not had to deal with station closings as a result of the shifting of operations to full Express trips since 2009, United has continued to shift their flying from mainline flights to Express.
The most recent comment from ceo Smizek is an additional cause for our concern as he has been quoted as saying “We will have the domestic operations sized solely to feed the international traffic.”
As this business plan gets aggressively applied to the merged airline, contract language covering issues such as job descriptions, furlough processes, recall rights, and seniority become extremely important.
Our intent is to keep and expand the protective provisions of our contracts at United and provide similar security to Continental employees after the required representation votes are held.
IAM, United Agree On Single Carrier;
Teamsters Stall For Time
The National Mediation Board continues to investigate the IAM’s petition for a Single Carrier determination for both the Ramp Service classifications and the Storekeepers classification, leading to a representation vote in each group.
While both the IAM and United have clearly informed the Board that we believe most of the criteria used by the NMB in reaching a determination of Single Carrier have been met, the i.b.t. has opposed our filing and claimed it is premature since not all of the criteria have been met. The history of these type of decisions by the NMB show that our position is correct and that the teamsters are merely seeking to needlessly delay an election that all parties recognize as inevitable.
NMB Deliberation Ongoing; Indefinite Timetable
The NMB does not follow a defined timetable when making these determinations so we do not know precisely when an election will be held but the IAM’s hope is that it will happen sooner rather than later.
Mileage Plus Success Sharing
United Airlines has indicated they are in the final calculation process to determine the correct amount of Success Sharing bonus payments to be made to individual employees of MileagePlus.
District 141 Members at MPI retained the Success Sharing program from previous contracts but do not participate in the Profit Sharing program United Members recently participated in. Much like the Profit Sharing program, there has not been a Success Sharing payout since 2007.
It is expected that MPI Members will receive their financial recognition for the past success of United in early April.
US Airways Contract Proposals On
District 141, through our Strategic Resources Department of the IAM, has started the contract proposal process for US Airways Members.
We encourage Members to visit our website and participate in the membership survey that began on March 7th.
The survey is intended to give Members an opportunity to let us know the importance of different provisions of our Agreement by prioritizing issues. In addition, we ask Members to give us their own opinions for amending our contract by writing ideas or concerns in the space provided at the end of the survey.
The survey will remain active until April 15th at which time the Strategic Resource group will compile the results and provide District 141 and the US Airways Negotiating Team a complete package of all proposals submitted by Members.
Having used this survey process in other contract proposal situations we are confident that it not only gives our Negotiators a clear understanding the Members place on provisions such as wages, benefits, security, and pensions but also gives Members the freedom to send us individual issues that are important to them. The ultimate list of proposals exchanged with the company in July will come exclusively from the Members’ input.
Please take a few minutes and complete the survey; then ask a coworker to do the same.