The proposed contract for United Airlines pilots, which would have increased pay by about 15% over the following 18 months, was rejected by the pilots.
Pilots from United reject the offer
Unions and airlines have been engaged in tense discussions. Pilots of Delta Air Lines overwhelmingly decided to approve a strike if an agreement with the airline could not be reached, it was revealed yesterday. The most recent airline offer, which would have raised pilot compensation by around 15% over the following 18 months, was rejected by United Airlines’ pilots.
Pilot participation in the vote was at a record high, according to a statement issued by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). There were 9,980 United pilots who cast ballots, and 94% of them chose to reject the contract.
“I would want to express my gratitude to the United pilots for their excellent contribution at this significant juncture in our history. The Company admits that this deal fell short of expectations. Because of this, both parties decided to resume negotiations in order to come to a better deal. For the United Next development plan to be successful, it is crucial that management at United realises the need for an industry-leading contract to recruit, develop, and retain the greatest pilots in the world.”Captain Mike Hamilton, United Master Executive Council Chair
The airline management has “adopted a wait-and-see approach to negotiations instead of driving the industry ahead,” the ALPA statement continued. The union claims that pilots will begin picketing in order to pressure United to resume talks.
The pilots of United had made “in principle” agreement to a new contract in May, but they were back at the negotiation table with the airline two months later. The ALPA claimed that several expectations were “fell short” by the accord. United was the only airline to cooperate with its pilots to come to a new agreement during the pandemic at the time of the tentative agreement.
“During COVID, only United Airlines collaborated with our pilots’ union to negotiate a settlement. It’s hardly surprising that we have recently received an Agreement in Principle for a new pilot contract that leads the industry.”Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines
Negotiations with Delta Air Lines
The Air Line Pilots Association, which represents Delta Air Lines’ pilots, has been in negotiations with them as well. In the event that the airline and union are unable to reach a quick agreement, Delta’s pilots approved a strike yesterday. The strike was approved by a large majority of the pilots.
The authorization granted to Delta yesterday was the first since 2006. The previous pay raise took place in 2016, with the exception of COVID-19 adjustments, and negotiations started in April 2019 with no agreement. Negotiations were suspended in February 2020 and didn’t get back up until January 2022.
Delta highlighted that the decision was merely a permission and that the pilots were not on strike.
“Since Delta pilots are not on strike, the authorization vote won’t have an impact on how we serve our customers. With only a few contract clauses left to negotiate, Delta and ALPA have made tremendous progress in our negotiations. As in previous negotiations, we are optimistic that the parties will come to a fair and equitable agreement.”
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