United Mileage Plus (Pre-Merger) [closed to posting] - IAM Mechanics at United Airlines Reject Binding Arbitration Offer
IAM Mechanics at United Airlines Reject Binding Arbitration Offer
After 23 months of negotiations, the National Mediation Board (NMB) today proposed binding arbitration to end the contract dispute between United Airlines and 15,000 mechanic and related employees represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). The IAM rejected the board's offer and a 30-day cooling off period will commence later this week.
``We have spent nearly two years in negotiations,'' said Scotty Ford, IAM District 141-M president and lead negotiator. ``United failed to bargain in good faith and create a level playing field for all employees. We reject the board's offer of arbitration, and we will strike the carrier if an agreement can't be reached.''
Nov 19, 01, 4:47 pm
So, if this is 30 days to a strike will United do an Eastern or a Pan Am? Looks like a "Ta very much chaps" when our miles are worth nowt.
Nov 19, 01, 5:41 pm
Wow, already accusing the new management of negotiating in bad faith. Bummer.
The two parties will enter into a 30-day cooling off period later this week, but no further talks have been scheduled, the union said.
United Airlines Says Customers Should Book With Confidence; Expects No Disruption to Its Schedule as NMB Recommends Presidential Emergency Board
United Airlines said today that it did not expect inconvenience to customers as a result of today's developments in negotiations for a new contract with its mechanics represented by the International Association of Machinists (IAM) District 141M.
Following processes laid down by federal law, the National Mediation Board (NMB) has released both parties from mediation and offered both sides binding arbitration. United accepted the offer of arbitration. However, the NMB's arbitration offer was rejected by the IAM.
The NMB therefore will commence a 30-day ``cooling off'' period during which union members are not permitted to engage in a strike or other disruptive labor action. In making its announcement, the NMB said that ``it will recommend that the President create a Presidential Emergency Board (PEB) at the end of the cooling off period, thus avoiding any possibility of a work stoppage during the holidays. The NMB expects this step to assist the parties in resolving their dispute.''
United Airline Mechanics Reject Binding Arbitration, Threaten Strike After 30 Days
Happy holidays, eh? http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/frown.gif
[This message has been edited by doc (edited 11-19-2001).]
Nov 19, 01, 6:20 pm
Despite being a "union baby" (my dad has been with AC in the CAW/UAW-TCA for 30 years), I feel pretty strongly about bad union tactics - especially those that shut down companies and throw 1000s of union employees out on the street. So, I did some digging, found an email address, and wrote a letter.
The email address is:
(R. Thomas Buffenbarger), the prez of the union. I'm not sure that this is the right address, but it hasn't bounced in 2 hours.
Here's the email I wrote, fyi.
Although I am not a union member, my father has been a CAW-TCA member for the last 30 years, working for Air Canada.
I read with great dismay your organization's recent statement on your ongoing negotiations with United Airlines.
Although I understand the frustration that you all must feel, there is no clear and present solution to your problem. Although it is not the IAMAW's fault that UAL is near bankruptcy, it is also not possible for the airline to meet your financial demands.
Given the difficult situation we all face in light of the recent tragic events, and the mismanagement of J. Goodwin - any labor action on the part of the union would certainly cause United to go bankrupt.
I remember my father always telling me that the union was a good thing for him. But it always raised questions when union action verged on significantly damaging. We will all suffer if United airlines goes bankrupt..and the machinists will not be any better off.
If I may make a suggestion...perhaps a commitment from United to a speedy resolution when the economic situation improves would be a more equitable and useful arrangement?
Thanks for listening, and best regards,
Nov 20, 01, 10:21 am
I have no idea which side (if either) is correct on this one, as I have not done the necessary reading. But, I have one word of reminder for the mechanics:
Nov 20, 01, 10:51 am
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by doc:
Why the smiley? http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif
Can you confirm his email address?
Nov 20, 01, 11:03 am
If you enjoyed the Summer of He11, then you'll really love the Winter of He11! Just like before only more weather-related delays.
"Those who would sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither." - Ben Franklin
Nov 20, 01, 11:10 am
Why do some people continue to insist on negotiating like it's 1999, when airlines are PROFITABLE, when the World Trade Center is standing, and when load factors on a much fuller schedule are like 80 percent?
It's time for a reality check at the unions. You really can't get blood from a stone, and that's what they are trying to do.
No confirmation from me! http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/wink.gif
I'm just a happy guy! http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/biggrin.gif
Bush ready to act to avert United Airlines strike
The White House said on Tuesday that President George W. Bush was prepared to use his authority to avert any strike by mechanics at UAL Corp.'s United Airlines, warning a work stoppage during the holiday season could further harm the U.S. economy.
Nov 20, 01, 8:03 pm
Tom Buffenbarger is a good guy and doesn't deserve criticism for Rick Dubinsky's actions. His right hand man at UAL, John Peterpaul is also a straight shooter.
IAM salaries are STILL below the pre-ESOP levels and have been frozen for 10 years. UAL needs to give these guys a share of the last 10 year's pie, and take that same share away from ALPA.
Nov 20, 01, 10:58 pm
Why wouldn't the mechanics play hard ball, given the example of the pilots in the summer of 2000?
The mechanics make a lot less money and they don't often get to kick customers out of first class seats for a ride to work.
The pilots in effect told UA and the customers to get lost. Since it worked and they got huge raises, what are they telling the mechanics they should do now?
Nov 20, 01, 11:25 pm
No doubt the mechanics are saying "the pilots got their share of flesh, let's get ours".
The pilots, if asked to give back some of what they got last year, would no doubt tell management where to stick it.
This, of course, is the kind of bitter internecine struggle which brings companies down into bankrupty, at which point everyone loses.
The timing is, needless to say, not very good! http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/frown.gif
"The president is deeply concerned, especially at this time of year, about any disruption in airline service to the traveling public," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer was reported as saying.
"He's also concerned about any negative impact a strike could have on the economy. Therefore, the president is prepared to do whatever it takes to protect the traveling public during the holiday," he added.
The 2-year-old contract standoff between United Airlines and its mechanics union moved closer to a possible strike yesterday when the mechanics rejected the government's offer of binding arbitration.
"The message has been sent to both sides to get to the table and settle," said aviation industry consultant Michael Boyd of the Boyd Group. "It won't be easy. United gave a lot away to its pilots."
It is the first industry standoff between labor and management since the Sept. 11 attacks. Industry losses have mounted as major carriers, buffeted by turbulent economic times and shaky public confidence in air travel, struggle to regain their financial footing.
Shares of United's parent, UAL Corp., fell 74 cents Tuesday, or 4.4 percent, to $15.98 on the New York Stock Exchange.
United is losing $15 million a day. It accounted for roughly half of the $2.46 billion in net losses reported by the top eight U.S. carriers in the latest quarter.
[This message has been edited by doc (edited 11-21-2001).]
Nov 21, 01, 12:58 pm
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Mountain Trader:
Why wouldn't the mechanics play hard ball, given the example of the pilots in the summer of 2000?</font>
the summer of 2000 might as well be the summer of 1956, its about as revelant. somehow, airline employees seem to be the only ones who haven't realized that the world changed on 9/11.
so now we're watching the mechanics attempt to "get theirs" because the pilots managed to "get thiers".
what seems to be forgotten is that both parties "got thiers" in the last contract! everyone wants to point at the wage cuts, as if they were one sided. they weren't! the employees received something in exchange for that wage cuts. they received a share of the company which they agreed was equal to the value of what they gave up in pay! they didn't simply take a pay cut, and get nothing in return. that seems to be getting lost here.
that being said, the mechanics have a responsibility to work to increase the value of their holding. as i see it, they have two ways to work through this problem.
1. the pilots set the new "standard" with their contract. that contract is currently helping strangle UAL. so perhaps the mechanics should negotiate a contract that reflects the current realities, and negotiates wage snap backs and healthy bonuses ONCE profitability goals have been reached.
not only would they see wage snap-backs and bonuses, the value of their investment in the company would grow as well. yes, they invested in the company when they agreed to the pay cuts during the ESOP.
2. they can continue to argue that they are due to "get theirs", and use the PEB to negotiate a contract that will continue to keep costs high. who knows, maybe UA will need a LF of 103% just to break even, instead of the current 96%. hey it's only 7%, right? just lay down in the overhead bin, sir. we'll open the door for you when we get to BKK.
of course if they take option 2, the value of the stock which they worked for
(again, they worked for that stock) during the ESOP will have no value after the chapter 11 filing....
why wouldn't the mechanics play hardball? i'm compelled to ask "why would they?" right now. you play hardball when you have leverage. considering the state of the industry, and that they are directly effecting the value of their own investment, i don't really think they have the leverage they think.
they are easier than ever to replace right now....
All Hail Mighty Oregon!
GO DUCKS GO!
Nov 21, 01, 1:01 pm
Just got this very pleasant (and unexpected) response from Tom Buffenbarger to my email (above):
Thank you for your recent comments on the ongoing negotiations with UAL.
Rest assured, UAL's books do not paint the picture former board chairman Jim
Goodwin depicted a few weeks ago.
I have faith the IAM will deliver a leading contract for our members.
In any event, your patronage of UAL is appreciated by all of us.
Good luck to you.
Glad to see that you received answer! http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif
United Airlines, mechanics to meet - report
UAL Corp.'s UA and its mechanics union will meet Thursday in Washington at the urging of the National Mediation Board, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday.
Both sides characterized the talks as an ``exploratory'' meeting rather than the formal resumption of negotiations, the newspaper said.
The National Mediation Board last week declared an impasse in the contract talks, starting a 30-day countdown to a possible strike by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, representing 15,000 United mechanics.
Tommorrow is THE day!
Strike Vote at UAL Set For December 13
Fifteen thousand aircraft mechanic and related employees at United Airlines represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) will conduct a nationwide strike vote on December 13, 2001.
The vote will authorize a lawful strike at the nation’s second largest airline following the federally mandated 30-day cooling off period, set to expire at 12:01 AM on December 21, 2001.
“The right to strike is hard won and highly prized by union workers across America,” said Scotty Ford, IAM District 141-M president and lead negotiator for the mechanic and related group at United. “The countdown and threat of a strike is meant to require both parties to bargain in earnest. However, United has opted to withdraw all proposals and is hoping to delay negotiations further by lobbying for a Presidential Emergency Board.”
United Airlines Mechanics Authorize Strike
Mechanics at United Airlines have voted to authorize a strike in the first major labor relations test for the struggling airline industry since the Sept. 11 attacks, though the United mechanics likely cannot hit the picket lines for two months.
[This message has been edited by doc (edited 12-14-2001).]
The 13,000 mechanics at United Airlines have voted for a strike which could push the struggling US carrier into further massive financial difficulties.
An overhwelming majority of mechanics, who claim they have had not received a raise in pay for seven years, voted Friday in favor of taking action.
A warning that the airline, which has seen passenger numbers nosedive since the September terrorist attacks, could go out of business was given only two month ago. Its then chief executive, James Goodwin, said United may "perish sometime next year." Mr Goodwin has since been replaced.
The potentially crippling strike could go ahead as early as Friday next week, but President Bush is thought likely to use emergency powers which can delay any stoppage by up to 60 days.
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by RichG:
The unintended effects of the Railway Labor Act currently discourage either party from actually negotiating until the 60-day "cooling-off period" is about to expire. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/frown.gif</font>
Sad, but true! http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/frown.gif
United Airlines' labor woes will get fully aired this week—behind closed doors—as independent arbitrators appointed by President George W. Bush convene to hear from top officials of parent UAL Corp. and the International Assn. of Machinists
Union President Tom Buffenbarger said in a statement that the mediation board acted ``arbitrarily and capriciously.''
...A UA spokesperson said the company was committed to working with the union and the government to resolve the contract dispute and confident there would not be any disruption in service.
Jan 9, 02, 10:49 am
Here is why many Unions make me ill --
"Scotty Ford, president of the IAM mechanics local at United, says he'll ask the board to adopt the union's last proposal, which was on the table before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks radically changed the Elk Grove Township-based carrier's financial outlook. The board is slated to issue recommendations later this month."
So the mechanics are PRETENDING that the airline is fine and Sept. 11th never happened. I wonder what color the sky is in their little world. Any contract they manage to squeeze from United will be meaningless, as a strike or a huge increase in labor costs will probably drive the carrier into the ground.
I wonder what effect this potential strike will have on bookings. Even the threat of a strike is probably hurting United already. I know I have tickets LAX-SYD on Feb 26th, and I would change them if I could.
United Air union in court to fight no-strike order
A federal judge will hear arguments on Friday that the government erred when it intervened to prevent mechanics at United Airlines from going on strike last month.
The International Association of Machinists is seeking to overturn a White House order establishing a presidential emergency board to block the threatened strike and resolve a long-running contract dispute.
Its creation just before the heavy Christmas travel season delayed any strike at United until the end of February at the earliest.
Order to Block United Strike Stays
Federal Judge Denies Union Request
Union spokesman Frank Larkin did not know whether they would appeal.
So is the IAM winning the battle thusfar?
I really do not know for certain, but UAL management surely has some REALLY tough decisions to make - and soon!
For the latest please also see:
[This message has been edited by doc (edited 01-21-2002).]
United Ponder Raise for Mechanics
United Airlines Directors Ponder Recommended Raise for Mechanics
United Accepts Mechanics' Pay Raise
[This message has been edited by doc (edited 01-22-2002).]
Vote "NO" on the new contract.
That's the way things are these days in the friendly skies! http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/frown.gif