Today the Joint Master Executive Council consisting of elected leaders from pre-merger CAL, CMI and UAL met to discuss strategy to reach an industry-leading joint collective bargaining agreement at United Airlines. The Joint MEC received an update on the work of the Joint Negotiating Committee in preparation for the October 20 mediated sessions in Washington, DC. The Joint MEC also discussed the potential impact of the appointment of new United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz on our contract negotiations.
As previously stated, AFA welcomes the appointment of a new CEO at United and is encouraged by some initial steps by Mr. Munoz in his first weeks in office. Unlike previous CEO Jeff Smisek, Mr. Munoz has set up meetings with unions on the property and there are some indications that he will put a priority on settling labor contracts that have not been evidenced by the management team at United previously.
That being said, the Joint MEC resolution notes that we need to witness concrete actions toward positive change including conducting a thorough review of United management to resolve deep-seated problems in this organization. The Joint MEC established concrete indicators of change including immediate progress at the bargaining table and an abandonment of the bad faith bargaining employed by United’s negotiators.
As part of the discussion, the Joint MEC decided to shift the October 15 day of action from a picketing event to membership engagement activities. Specific details about how to participate in membership engagement activities will be communicated by your Local Council in the coming days. We are committed to moving this process forward to reach an agreement and will continue with education efforts on the process under the Railway Labor Act to reach an agreement. Picketing and other forms of membership activity are regular components of an overall contract campaign which are constantly assessed for maximum impact.
The Joint Negotiating Committee will make a determination about future actions following our mediation session, and an AFA Member Town Hall call is scheduled for October 29th at 6 pm Eastern Time to report on the status of negotiations and next actions.
The resolution was passed unanimously by the Joint MEC and the full text is included below. Stay informed and engaged. Our success depends upon moving forward together.
Resolution for Change Indicators, Days of Unity and System-Wide Engagement
WHEREAS, AFA-CWA welcomes the appointment of our new CEO Oscar Munoz; and
WHEREAS, on October 20 AFA will commence mediated talks with United Airlines with the goal of expeditiously reaching an industry-leading agreement; and
WHEREAS, the appointment of a new CEO presents United Airlines with a welcome opportunity to resolve deep-seated problems, restore its reputation among financial analysts and the traveling public and move forward to completion of a merger to build a world-class airline.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that this Joint Master Executive Council, made up of the locally elected representatives of the 25,000 Flight Attendants at United Airlines, calls upon the new CEO Oscar Munoz to conduct a thorough review of United management to resolve deep-seated problems in order to promote the spirit of shared purpose; and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that whether change is truly coming to United will be measured by direct evidence and concrete measures such as immediate and substantial progress at the bargaining table, changes in upper level management personnel as warranted, a repudiation of bad faith bargaining tactics, making good on commitments to provide 2015 profit sharing for CAL and CMI Flight Attendants; and a moratorium on using surpluses, base closures, furloughs and other disruptions to Flight Attendants’ lives during contract negotiations; and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the announced day of action on October 15 be changed to system wide days of membership engagement; and
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that following the October 20 mediation session we will assess conditions and conduct future collective action as warranted; and
THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that this Joint Master Executive Council recommits to a comprehensive contract campaign including membership engagement and mobilization, to support the efforts of our Joint Negotiating Committee to get a contract we can ratify and is worthy of the frontline workers of the world class airline we are building together.
September 30, 2015