Machinists, United Airlines Open Contract Negotiations

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 141 today exchanged opening contract proposals in Chicago with United Airlines for the carrier's 16,000 Ramp & Stores, Public Contact, Food Service, Maintenance Instructor, Fleet Technical Instructor and Security Guard employees. The current IAM agreements become amendable on Dec. 31, 2009.

"It has been nearly a decade since our members had an opportunity to propose changes to their collective bargaining agreements," says IAM District 141 President Rich Delaney. "Since our last negotiations, United abused the bankruptcy laws to extract $4.6 billion from our members. The challenge we face in these negotiations is bridging a canyon of distrust."

IAM District 141 conducted a pre-bargaining membership survey and received more than 50,000 proposals and recommendations from members. "The three main areas of focus during these negotiations will be job security, improved wages and improved benefits," says Delaney. IAM District 141's opening contract proposals and frequent negotiation updates will be available on the District 141 website, www.iam141.org.

IAM members were forced during United's three-year bankruptcy to accept a 13 percent wage reduction in 2003, as well as another 5.5 percent cut in 2005. Additionally, United terminated its employee pension plans in bankruptcy, although IAM members are the airline's only employees to successfully negotiate a replacement defined benefit pension plan, the IAM National Pension Plan.

The Machinists Union is the largest airline union in North America, representing more than 100,000 airline and airport service workers. More information about the Machinists Union at United Airlines is available at www.iam141.org.

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