CHICAGO, Illinois – The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and United Continental Holdings, Inc. announced today that they have agreed on a new expedited mediation process modeled on the National Mediation Board’s Expedited Mediation Program.
The company and the AFA will start an intense mediation focusing on limited issues. The negotiations will aim to reach agreement for a new contract covering approximately 12,000 flight attendants working at the United Airlines subsidiary. An agreement is already in effect covering flight attendants at the Continental subsidiary.
“We are committed to reaching an agreement that is fair to our co-workers and fair to the company,” said Sam Risoli, senior vice president of Inflight for United. “This action is a good step forward and serves the immediate and long-term interests of our flight attendants and the company.”
“We are ready to embark on an innovative approach to reach a new contract, and this process provides an opportunity to put our negotiations on a fresh path,” said Greg Davidowitch, President – Master Executive Council for the AFA at United, “While we are optimistic about Expedited Mediation, we don’t underestimate the challenges before us. We are confident that this process affords us the best opportunity to move forward together.”
After reaching an agreement for the United flight attendants, the company and AFA have agreed on a time frame to begin negotiations on a joint contract for all flight attendants. The AFA represents more than 21,000 flight attendants at the United and Continental subsidiaries.
At the same time, United Continental Holdings, Inc. and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) today are announcing an agreement to return to negotiations in advance of mediation scheduled with the National Mediation Board in November.
During these negotiations the company and IBT will focus on reaching an agreement covering the approximately 4,700 technicians at the United Airlines subsidiary.
United and Continental employ more than 8,300 technicians who are represented by the Teamsters. Continental technicians ratified their collective bargaining agreement in November 2010.