MIAMI — The flight attendants at United Airlines, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), have ratified today a contract that will allow the Chicago-based carrier to integrate flight attendants from its two predecessor airlines (United and Continental) on the same aircraft, a first since the merger that took place six years ago.
The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) voted 53 percent in favor of the five-year agreement, which was mediated by the National Mediation Board.
“You have participated in a historic vote and there is no doubt that every single one of you is deeply engaged and cares about our future.” AFA said in a statement.
The ratification is a major victory for United’s Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz, who has worked to restore the reputation of the airline, affected by years of poor customer service and on-time performance.
“When I took this job last year, I promised to turn the page and write a new chapter in our approach to labor and management relations at United. What matters is proof, however, not promises. Thanks to today’s vote, I am proud to say that so far this year we’ve ratified new agreements covering more than 65,000 of our employees,” Munoz said.
An unified group of flight attendants should provide United more flexibility in scheduling. Until now, flight attendants could only be replaced by another from the same airline.
“The contract provides immediate economic gains, sets a new industry standard and ensures Flight Attendants can achieve the benefits of a fully integrated airline,” said Sara Nelson, AFA-CWA International President.