Ladies and Gentlemen:
Coming together, working as one, for the good of all Members was evident in the ratification of our Collective Bargaining Agreement that contained the Early Out Program which closed for bids yesterday. There were many Flight Attendants who availed themselves of this Program.
United will award all of the bids for those who have submitted bids and meet the eligibility requirements of the Program. Based on the number of bidders, we can expect to see higher line averages and we may see the elimination of Partnership Flying after August. Additionally, there may be fewer Special Leaves of Absence and it will not be necessary to recall Flight Attendants from Voluntary Furlough.
While we appreciate the fact that so many Members were able to avail themselves of the Contractual benefits afforded under the Early Out Letter of Agreement, we should also applaud the careers of our flying partners who took part in this Program. We are grateful for their years of service to our Union and profession by those who have chosen to leave our Company and move forward to the next phase of their lives. Their hard work and dedication have helped insure our Flight Attendant community would be strong and both individually and collectively this group of Members accomplished an incredible task by advancing, defending and shaping the career we call our own.
There's no way to celebrate the careers of this group of Flight Attendants without recognizing the extraordinary achievements and changes many of these Early Out participants have experienced over the course of their careers. For some, when they began their careers at United Airlines, jet engines were but a novelty. For most job restrictions included age, gender, ethnicity and weight. But their determination and steadfast commitment to our profession helped to destroy these discriminatory practices. For all, their determination, sacrifice and perseverance have guided us through the most challenging times in the aviation industry.
Today, our profession is recognized as a leader in advancing the rights of women and uprooting discrimination. Many of the Early Out participants took an active role in our Union at some point throughout their career. They distinguished themselves in various Leadership positions and Committee assignments and always represented their flying partners in the performance of their duties as a representative of the Association of Flight Attendants; for that we will always be grateful.
Everyone in our community has been fortunate to have received their guidance and support onboard an airplane on one of our first flights and we are all the beneficiaries of their advocacy for a better profession. Please take a moment to express your appreciation and gratitude to the Early Out participants as we reflect upon their extraordinary accomplishments over the course of their careers and let them know of our sincerest gratitude for their service to our community of Flight Attendants.
Greg Davidowitch, President
United Master Executive Council