United Airlines pilots have rejected a proposed contract that would raise salaries by almost 15% over the next 18 months.

United pilots reject offer

Recently, negotiations between unions and airlines have been hectic. It was announced yesterday that Delta Air Lines pilots voted unanimously to authorize a strike if a deal is not reached with the airline. Today, United Airlines’ pilots have rejected the latest offer from the airline, which would increase pay by about 15% over the next year and a half.

According to a statement released by the Air Line Pilots Association(ALPA), a record number of pilots participated in the vote. 94% of the 9,980 United pilots who voted, voted to reject the contract. Captain Mike Hamilton, United Master Executive Council Chair, said,

“I want to thank the United pilots for their outstanding participation at this important moment in our history. By the Company’s own admission, this agreement missed the mark. That’s why both parties agreed to reengage at the bargaining table for a new, improved agreement. It is vital United management recognizes that an industry-leading contract is required to hire, train, and retain the best pilots in the world for the United Next growth plan to succeed.”

The ALPA statement added that airline management has “taken a wait-and-see approach to negotiations instead of leading the industry forward.” According to the union, pilots will start picketing to force United’s hand and return to the negotiating table.

In May, United’s pilots had agreed ‘in principle’ to a new contract but two months later returned to the negotiating table with the airline. The ALPA said the agreement “fell short” of some expectations. At the time of the tentative deal, United was the only airline to work with its pilots to reach a new agreement during the pandemic.

“United Airlines was the only airline to work with our pilots union to reach an agreement during COVID. It’s not surprising that we are now the first airline to get an Agreement in Principle for an industry leading new pilot contract.” – Scott Kirby, CEO, United Airlines via LinkedIn

Delta Air Lines Negotiations

Delta Air Lines has also been negotiating with its pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association. Yesterday, Delta’s pilots voted to approve a strike should the airline and union not reach an agreement soon. The pilots voted overwhelmingly in favor of the strike action.

Yesterday’s authorization was the first presented to Delta since 2006. Negotiations began in April 2019 with nothing decided, and the last pay raise occurred in 2016, except for COVID-19 adjustments. In February 2020, negotiations were put on hold and did not resume until January 2022.

Row of Delta Pilots Informational Picketing

Photo: Joe Kunzler | Simple Flying

In a statement provided to CNN, Delta emphasized that the pilots were not striking; the decision was simply an authorization.

“Delta pilots are not on strike, so this authorization vote will not affect our operation for our customers. Delta and ALPA have made significant progress in our negotiations and have only a few contract sections left to resolve. We are confident that the parties will reach an agreement that is fair and equitable, as we always have in past negotiations.”

What do you think of airline and pilot negotiations? Let us know in the comments below.

  • United-Airlines-Boeing-777-300(ER)--1

    United Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Guam International Airport, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Scott Kirby

    United States

Source: simpleflying.com

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