Section 6 Negotiations
Our focus remains on the improvements you have determined are important. Our work to negotiate improvements under Section 6 of the Railway Labor Act (RLA) does not change. We remain committed to the RLA Section 6 process for improvements as it provides a definitive path to Contract conclusion. It has oversight by the National Mediation Board to provide an equal playing field and deadlines.
Transition Agreement Discussions
Separate from Section 6 negotiations we met with management to discuss a Transition Agreement, which will address issues specific to running the operation during a transition to an operational merger. The Transition Agreement will address how the operations will run separately until they can be merged. Our Contract remains in full force and effect throughout the transition to an operational merger.
Section 6 Negotiations at Continental
Negotiations with Continental management has resulted in a new tentative agreement for Continental Flight Attendants. Continental Flight Attendants will now vote on ratification of that agreement. Improvements reached in those negotiations are good for United Flight Attendants too as it improves our combined bargaining position.
Single Contract Negotiations
While the financial merger transaction is complete, the operational merger takes much longer to complete, typically over a 12-18 month period. Critical to the operational merger is one Flight Attendant Contract. Unless the Machinists union agrees to accept AFA’s proposal to take advantage of the leverage created by the merger and begin that process jointly now, negotiations for a single Contract must wait until representation issues are resolved. AFA negotiations for a single Contract would include extensive surveys and Member feedback gathered from both pre-merger United and Continental Flight Attendants to determine our collective goals.
We believe Flight Attendants will best be served if we all work together. Until representation can be decided through an election we can work together on issues important to Flight Attendants. We remain undaunted by the Machinist’s refusal to cooperate. This merger presents a landscape that can benefit Flight Attendants greatly and we will capitalize on this opportunity.
We have the opportunity to gain Contractual improvements for Flight Attendants both through our current Section 6 negotiations as well as the inevitable single Contract negotiations – combining the best of the pre-merger Continental Flight Attendant Contract and United AFA Contract. United Airlines Flight Attendants will get a pay raise and other improvements identified by you as important. We expect the world’s leading airline to produce the world’s leading Flight Attendant Contract.