Wed, Aug 01, 2012
Group Approved A Strike Measure July 17th, NMB Has Not Released Pilots From Talks
As many as two-hundred pilots for United Airlines took turns walking in a slow circle on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House Tuesday, protesting the lack of an agreement with airline management and accusing the airline of sending jobs overseas.
The pilots held signs with such slogans as "The Railway Act Is Broken." That law requires a 30 day cooling-off period after a labor organization is released from negotiations by the National Mediation Board. USA Today reports that the NMB is continuing talks between the two sides, rather than allowing a strike to move forward.
That strike is imminent if an agreement cannot be reached. The United pilots voted overwhelmingly on July 17th to walk off their jobs after nearly two years of negotiations produced no results.
Chicago-based first officer Halli Mulei, who has flown for United for 16 years, told the paper "we want a contract, not a strike. United airlines has put it basically in a holding pattern."
United Spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said airline management was focused on reaching a new agreement and hopes to avoid a labor action. She also said that United was ending an agreement with Aer Lingus for a Madrid-to-Washington route that is one of the sticking points in the negotiations and caused concerns about outsourcing jobs. That termination is expected to take place by the end of November.
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