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Scope: A Victory Reminder

Date: May 21, 2021

Many of us are familiar with sections of our Contract that deal with Reserve procedures or Reassignments, one of the “unsung heroes” in our Contract is our Scope Language.

In May 2002, United Airlines was ordered to pay its Flight Attendants $8.89 million, after an arbitrator ruled that the airline’s 1992 purchase of Air Wisconsin had violated a Scope Side letter in the United Flight Attendant’s Contract.

Our Scope Language remains crystal clear to this day.  United Airlines is required to use Flight Attendants on the company’s seniority list and abide by the Flight Attendant’s Contract for all flights operated by UAL, including those gained by purchasing another airline.

“This was a huge victory,” and “We stood firmly behind our Contract, and we will do whatever it takes to preserve our rights” said then UAL MEC President Linda Farrow. While some of us may not realize it, when customer service agents offer help to close bins to achieve an on-time departure, for example, this is a violation of our Scope clause, an important Contractual accomplishment that needs to be respected, especially by each of us. While it is a delicate nuance at times, especially when people truly want to be helpful, Scope saves jobs.

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