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Mon, Oct 02, 2023

United Airlines Pilots Ratify New Labor Contract

Fighting the Good Fight

The United Airlines Master Executive Council (MEC), as represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), reported 82-percent of the Chicago-based air-carrier’s pilots had voted in favor of a new comprehensive working agreement surpassing the value of the aviators’ current contract by upwards of $10-billion. All told, 97-percent of eligible United pilots participated in the ballot.

United Airlines MEC chair Captain Garth Thompson stated: “This industry-leading contract brings substantial benefits to our pilots and could not have happened without their unity and steadfast resolve. I am proud that our pilot group will be recognized for their contributions to the company’s success. United Airlines cannot thrive without the hard work of its labor groups.”

The new agreement, which goes into effect on 29 September 2023 and becomes amendable on 30 September 2027, includes an industry-leading pay increase over the contract’s term, significant improvements to quality-of-life, workplace rules, sick-leave, and vacation, as well as an increase to retirement benefits for the entirety of United’s 16,000 pilots.

The contract newly-ratified by United’s pilots was not easily come by. On 12 May 2023, some three-thousand of the air-carrier’s pilots undertook a series of so-called informational pickets across the U.S.  

Joined by ALPA president Captain Jason Ambrosi, fellow ALPA pilots, and union supporters, the throng of United pilots stood shoulder-to-shoulder, staunch and orderly, resolutely protesting management’s refusal to recognize the vital role United’s aviators play in the airline’s success.

Captain Ambrosi stated: “I am proud to stand here today to send United Airlines management a message that the airline’s pilots have the full backing of their international union in their fight for the contract they have earned. United management needs to stop slow-rolling negotiations that have dragged into their fifth year and do the right thing for their pilots.”

At the picketing campaign’s conclusion, UAL MEC chair Captain Thompson asserted: “Today’s nationwide picket was a resounding success. This is not just about pilots; it is about the future of United Airlines. We believe that United has the potential to be the biggest and best world-class airline, and we are committed to helping the company achieve its goals.”

Founded in 1931 and representing over 75,000 pilots in the employs of 43 U.S. and Canadian airlines, to include upwards of four-hundred Air Wisconsin aviators, the Air Line Pilots Association, International is the world’s largest and most influential pilot union.

FMI: www.alpa.org

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