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United Cuts Backroom Deals

Date: January 23, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Bowing to pressure from you, management moved from their position that the only option to their stated headcount overage was an involuntary furlough. As you know, we made a comprehensive proposal that keeps everyone working. 

However, the manner in which Mr. Risoli went about it deliberately avoided your locally elected leadership, in order to achieve management’s agenda; one that has nothing to do with managing staffing concerns.  Earlier today, you learned of a deal, reached with the President of the Continental Master Executive Council that was intended to do an end-run around your Local Council representatives.  Mr. Risoli deliberately circumvented your Local Council leadership who were in session at a meeting of the United Master Executive Council.

It is right to expect every leader of our Union to stand with us to protect our Members' jobs by demanding management talk about solutions with us.  But management split off our Continental counterparts in an attempt to undermine our strong position for those facing involuntary furlough.  Without a single word with your representatives, the Continental MEC President agreed with management that United Flight Attendants will be out of work at their airline.  As a result, the collective bargaining process was trampled without a care that jobs are on the line. 

Since this was announced earlier today, Flight Attendants have been writing and calling expressing outrage. They have been telling us they don’t want to be involuntarily furloughed nor do they want to be forced into a position of an ultimatum by either having to seek employment at Continental or be forced onto the street.  And, most assuredly, they are telling us they do not want to be told what their priorities are – since they have already expressed them clearly to their Local Council leadership.

We have a long, rich history.  We are proud, independent and comfortable with self-determination.  We are prepared to aggressively defend our Contract and our jobs.  Cutting backroom deals, with the intent of duping United Flight Attendants, is not the path to unity and success. 

The actions taken today must be seen for what they are - a deliberate effort to drive a wedge between United, Continental and Continental Micronesia Flight Attendants.  Not only is this a dangerous game of roulette with Flight Attendant jobs, it is not consistent with responsible union stewardship or the very tenets of trade unionism.  We call on each of you to reject any and all efforts to divide our Flight Attendant community.

In Solidarity,

Greg Davidowitch, President
United Master Executive Council

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