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United Airlines Pilots Reject Tentative Contract Agreement

Date: November 1, 2022

By Mary Schlangenstein, Bloomberg

United Airlines Holdings Inc. pilots rejected a new labor agreement with the carrier, saying it falls short of the “industry-leading contract United pilots have earned and deserve.” 

About 94% of the 9,980 aviators casting ballots voted against the proposal, the Air Line Pilots Association said in a statement Tuesday. A vote on an earlier version was halted in July amid pilot objections to some terms. United and the union later reopened negotiations to reach the tentative agreement that was rejected Tuesday.

United Airlines pilots “overwhelmingly” rejected a tentative agreement that would have given pilots raises of nearly 17%, their union said Tuesday, the latest setback in rocky labor talks between unions and airlines.

The tentative agreement “fell short of the industry-leading contract United pilots have earned and deserve after leading the airline through the pandemic and back to profitability,” the Air Line Pilots Association said.

Close to 10,000 of United’s roughly 14,000 pilots participated, with 94% voting against the agreement, the union said.

Airlines and unions have struggled to reach agreements for new pilot contracts. Unions are seeking raises and better scheduling as airlines become profitable following a more than two-year pandemic slump.

Delta Air Lines pilots voted to authorize a potential strike if the airline and the union can’t come to an agreement, their union said.

“Unfortunately, management has now taken a wait-and-see approach to negotiations instead of leading the industry forward,” United’s chapter of ALPA said in a statement.

The union said it would organize informational pickets to encourage the company to resume talks.

United didn’t immediately comment.

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