MEC Grievance 1-16
March 3, 2016
Dear Flying Partners:
I would like to take a few minutes to talk with all United Flight Attendants about an issue that has been at the forefront of discussions at all pre- merger subsidiaries. As we communicated to you in January, AFA has been trying to fully understand how United Airlines management is taking delivery of their 787s and assigning them to the line, and whether or not they are in compliance with the Expedited Mediation Protocol and Related Agreements dated September 2, 2011. Beginning in August of last year, AFA has been asking for information from United regarding how it designates aircraft as being assigned to one pre-merger carrier or another. We have stated on more than one occasion that we believe the public statements being made by the Company regarding the newly received 787s do not comply with the Letter of Agreement.
United finally met with AFA in December and despite not providing any concrete evidence, continued to assert that all 787s being delivered were correctly being assigned to the line as pre-merger Continental aircraft. Shortly after that meeting AFA provided United management with documentation from Boeing’s website which clearly contradicted their explanation. However, they did not address the discrepancy. Then to further confuse the matter, on January 11th, Sam Risoli spoke to Flight Attendants in the IAD co-terminal, telling them that 787s # 26-30 would be designated as Continental aircraft.
On January 19, 2016, in response to United’s unwillingness to provide the requested data and documentation, to which we are entitled, AFA filed MEC Grievance 1-16, protesting the Company’s failure to identify and designate aircraft in accordance with the Letter of Agreement. The arbitration was scheduled for March 2nd and 3rd, with a decision due by March 19th.
Last week, United management asked that this week’s hearing be postponed. The Company stated that, while attempting to collect the documentation for AFA, it discovered the following: (A) one of the 787s currently in service is in fact from the original pre-merger United order of 25 787s; (B) two 787s that will be delivered by this Spring belong to pre-merger United; and (C) pre-merger United may be entitled to one other 787.
These admissions, after so many months, confirm AFA’s concerns. However, this does not resolve the dispute, or satisfy the MEC grievance. AFA believes there are still more unanswered questions regarding the allocation of the 787 fleet. In order to give United management more time to provide the data and documentation, which we have been asking for since last August, we agreed to a postponement of the hearing.
The time frame for this postponement is not unlimited. The resolution of this grievance based on the previously agreed upon manner in which aircraft are to be identified and assigned to the line, is an issue of critical importance to all United Flight Attendants and, in particular to all pre- merger United Flight Attendants. We have agreed to the Company’s request for a few more days to provide the documentation we have requested. The Company and AFA have scheduled meetings to continue discussions on resolution of this dispute. Our priority is to ensure aircraft are properly assigned to the line and that this is accomplished expeditiously. If this does not occur, we will continue with the arbitration. In either case – whether by agreement or arbitration - we are confident aircraft deliveries will conform to the requirements of our contract. This is about holding management accountable for the commitments that have been made to all of us.