Union Update – Jun. 1, 2012

Union Update – Jun. 1, 2012

Inside This Issue:

  • NMB Rules on Flight Attendant Election
  • FMLA Questions
  • CAL Transition Agreement Negotiations Continue
  • Houston Hobby Expansion Eliminates Jobs

NMB Rules on Flight Attendant Election

The National Mediation Board (NMB) this week issued its final ruling on the disputed Flight Attendant representational election at United.  The NMB has found that the issues brought forth were not sufficient to establish interference by any party – therefore the election stands and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA is the certified bargaining representative for all of the Flight Attendants at United.

The NMB ruling closes another chapter in our merger and allows us to focus forward on the tasks at hand.  We welcome the conclusion of the election and encourage all Flight Attendants to participate in your Local Councils.  Together we can move forward in this merger laser focused on safeguarding the aspects of our culture and contract we value.  Participation and unity is instrumental to our success and together we can work toward a joint contract that benefits all Flight Attendants.  Together we can bring all three groups (CAL, CMI, UAL) under one umbrella and restore the career expectations of the Flight Attendant profession – leading wages, flexibility, benefits, and retirement.  Membership is the key; talk to your crew members and ask them – are you a member in good standing?

FMLA Questions

There have been many questions of late regarding FMLA eligibility.  As you may be aware, our contract provides benefits that far exceed the minimal legal requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).  We strongly encourage you to review Letter of Agreement 15 (LOA 15) and Section 14-3 in your contract – become familiar with the provisions therein.   If you have any questions, please contact your Local Council.

CAL Transition Agreement Negotiations Continue

Negotiations for a Transition Agreement covering Continental Flight Attendants continue June 4th in Chicago.  Your MEC negotiating committee is focused on securing key provisions that enhance our flexibility and provide economic and job security through the eventual Joint Contract negotiations.  The Continental Flight Attendant contract becomes amendable on September 2, 2012 and will not adequately sustain us through Joint Negotiations.  Your MEC is prepared to enter Joint Negotiations upon the successful ratification of a Transition Agreement covering the Continental Flight Attendants.  Talks have been fruitful thus far and we expect the spirit of cooperation between the CAL MEC and the company to continue.  Unity is essential and we encourage everyone to keep informed.

Sweeping changes will not come from a CAL Transition Agreement – those changes will come later in a global form as an eventual joint contract.  A CAL Transition Agreement, if successful, will address expiring economic provisions like profit sharing as well as job security, satellite bases and improvements in flexibility for both reserve and line holders.  The goal of a Transition Agreement is to lay a secure path for the Continental Flight Attendants to enter into the Joint Negotiations process.

The Continental Flight Attendants submitted over 30,000 contract proposals that are being used to guide not only the current CAL Transition Agreement talks but also the eventual Joint Negotiations.  The membership has made their priorities known and the CAL MEC will tirelessly work to ensure those priorities are realized.  The Continental Master Executive Council represents 10,000 Continental Flight Attendants in Newark, Houston, and Cleveland at the new United.

Houston Hobby Expansion Eliminates Jobs

The Houston City Council voted to expand the facilities at HOU allowing a Federal Inspection Facility to be built – facilitating international flying from what was, until now, a regional airport.  The request came from Southwest Airlines who plans to offer international service from HOU.  United, Houston’s largest airline, has announced a 10% reduction in flying, the elimination of routes, and job losses of at least 1,300 as a result of the HOU expansion.  United has stated that HOU international service will cannibalize IAH traffic and reduce service.

The CAL MEC does not support the Houston City Council’s myopic decision – a decision that will cost thousands of jobs and reduce service at IAH.  It is government’s job to serve and protect the citizens – to do the most good for the most people; not sacrifice the many for the benefit of a few.  We strongly encourage the Houston City Council to rethink their errant decision.

That is all for now – fly safe,

marcus signature
Marcus N. Valentino, President
Continental Master Executive Council