Ladies and Gentlemen:
Happy New Year! What an incredibly busy year full of achievements we’ve had. 2012 began with a huge accomplishment, when after 12 weeks of Expedited Mediation, we reached a Tentative Agreement with United Airlines on January 7, 2012. You, of course ratified this Agreement, which became our new Contract on February 28, 2012. This Agreement addressed a majority of the priorities you expressed to our Negotiating Committee and was a stepping stone, drawing us closer to beginning the work of a combined Contract for all Flight Attendants at United Airlines.
We immediately received an increase in compensation, and other provisions in our Contract were implemented over the spring and summer. United Flight Attendants were able to consider options such as the Early Out program and transferring to a new domicile in Houston.
On March 26, 2012 the three Master Executive Council (MEC) Presidents from Continental, Continental Micronesia and United met in joint session with our AFA International Officers in Chicago. During this meeting, we updated each other on our progress within United’s merger and to identity the tasks and process required to move forward towards a Joint Agreement. Subsequent to this meeting, we elected our two Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) Members in May and began gathering the necessary information to survey and poll you regarding our upcoming negotiations.
This fall, after over six years of AFA advocating for a process that would recognize and include Flight Attendants as "Known Crewmembers" (KCM), and provide a simplified and more streamlined process for screening procedures for Flight Attendants. As first responders, we are an instrumental part of aviation security and have a personal role in security onboard the aircraft. We take that role seriously and, as part of the known security network, the KCM program recognizes the importance of the work we do and role we fulfill.
We successfully re-elected President Barack Obama, added more Flight Attendant friendly members to Congress, and after tireless advocacy to include OSHA standards in the cabin, and with the support of President Obama, the FAA policy announcement on November 30, 2012 is an incredible milestone and advancement for Flight Attendants throughout the airline industry.
Looking forward to 2013, and in our negotiations, we are optimistic and excited by this historic opportunity that affords our community of Flight Attendants. Our ability to negotiate is directly related to the support of you standing firmly behind us at the table and the willingness of management to address in a meaningful way our most pressing interests. We create opportunity through negotiations; you provide the power to make this happen through our Solidarity. The time is now to move forward with our sisters and brothers at Continental and Continental Micronesia and create our new Contract based on the priorities of the combined Membership.
The further along this process we move, the more important it becomes for us to embrace the opportunities of working together towards a common goal. We’ve put enormous differences behind us and are taking significant steps in working as a unified force towards the betterment and advancement of Flight Attendants at United Airlines.
On behalf of the entire United Master Executive Council (MEC): Happy New Year to each of you. Here’s looking forward to wishing you and your families the best in the new year and reaching a Single Contract that moves our community towards our future together.
Greg Davidowitch, President
United Master Executive Council