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Enough is Enough - Action to Fix This Mess

Date: August 3, 2023

August 3, 2023

United AFA Flight Attendants,

The United Master Executive Council held an emergency meeting last night with AFA International President Sara Nelson and AFA Legal. We have never seen such a chaotic, ill-equipped, and entirely unsustainable operation.

Last summer, AFA pressed United management for solutions and engaged in discussions to automate notifications to Flight Attendants in order to facilitate reassignments and recovery according to our Contract. The only solution management offered was the concession of adding time (2 hours, for a total of 6 hours) to the reassignment window - which has nothing to do with the automation of notification. When a flight cancels, United is able to notify passengers immediately. There is no reason they can’t do the same with crews in order to facilitate efficiency and order. Those same passengers suffer when crews have to wait for reassignment or rest. United management has had a year to fix this and hire more schedulers (currently they have less schedulers than Spirit Airlines - an operation one fifth the size of United!).

They’ve done nothing but hire more Flight Attendants, who on a new hire salary and while learning to work our jobs have been put in the position of “self help” without money or resources to do this, or even clarity about their rights. Management’s response is threats, to place blame on Flight Attendants, and blame on our Union for rightfully refusing to accept a concession to fix the problems they’ve created. We even have reports of threats against schedulers who know they shouldn’t make reassignments that violate our Contract. Inflight management has lost control, lost our ‘shared purpose,’ and lost our confidence.

The issues they are creating are so great we must compile every circumstance for review of not only Contract violations, but potentially federally protected pay and benefit issues as well as FAR violations. Our leadership together with AFA Legal is conducting a full analysis of the scope of problems in order to define this for management and the necessary regulatory bodies. The public and media will hear our stories and know what’s behind any issues that may affect their flights.

Together we will not only clearly define the problems and set our demands, but we will also back up all of this with what we are willing to do together to get United management serious about fixing the issues and getting real at the negotiating table too.

We need your help and your stories.

  • Share your stories from the line.  We can use these examples to show the public and the press what we’re going through and pressure management to fix it. Report your story through our Stories from the Line form.
  • Every member needs to authenticate their United AFA online Memberlink account now. After authenticating your Memberlink account, verify your email address and other contact information is correct and then download the LEC worksheet resource link to your phone and document what’s happening in real time on the line. This form is used to document and start the clock on grievances – a vital part of enforcing our contract.  Learn more about authenticating your Memberlink account here.

Save these Dates:

  • All Local Councils across our system will hold local membership meetings on August 15th (after Alaska Airlines picketing where we will demonstrate our solidarity with our union siblings in their contract fight). We will report on our audit of issues and our comprehensive plan for pressure from all sides to get management to fix the problem. We will take your ideas too and incorporate legally vetted ideas into our action plan.
  • The Thursday before Labor Day, August 31, as holiday travel heats up, prepare to put on comfortable shoes because we are hitting the streets. Exact action will be reported at the August 15 Local meetings and through other systemwide meetings following that date. But mark your calendars now in red.
  • This is only the beginning, and preparations are urgently underway. We will do this together — and right now share this information on every trip, with every friend on your phone and get ready to act. Make a concerted effort to support our newest flying partners. They need our welcome and support - WE are their United family, and we will work together to take care of them.

Remember this: WE are United! We are united with each other and with the other unions on the property who are all part of making our airline fly. We will not allow management to define our airline as “united” for the public or continue to allow them to make our lives chaos for their incompetence and refusal to invest in the fixes necessary and the contract we have earned. We are taking action to set things on the right course at OUR airline - for us, for our families, for our coworkers, and for our passengers.

Our job is not to run this airline. But management has proved incapable of resolving the operational issues they create. We will spell out for them point by point how to run a successful airline — and stay on them until they get it right.

In Solidarity,

The United Master Executive Council

Ken Diaz
MEC President

Adam Novish
MEC Vice President

Christopher Clarke
MEC Secretary-Treasurer




Kim Montgomery
LEC President,
Council 6 – EWR

Michael Schwaabe
LEC President,

Council 7 – LHR

Scott Pejas
LEC President,
Council 8 – ORD




Chris Bruton
LEC President,
Council 9 – DEN/PHX

Kristie Rivera
LEC President,

Council 11 – SFO

Kimberly Burckhalter
LEC President,
Council 12 – LAX/SAN




Kevin Batey

LEC President,
Council 14 – HNL

Lois Breece
LEC President,

Council 21 – DCA

Todd Failla
LEC President,
Council 22 – FLL/MCO/TPA




Bill Carico
LEC President,
Council 25 – LAS

Andrew Fahy
LEC President,
Council 27 – BOS

Elizabeth Hibbard
LEC President,

Council 42 – IAH/AUS




Melinda Beal
LEC President,
Council 63 – CLE

Rsei Isim
LEC President,

Council 65 - GUM




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