Thursday, January 08, 2009

United Airlines Flight Attendants: No New Furloughs After All

United Airlines logoThere was some good news this week for flight attendants at United Airlines. The United Master Executive Council of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), the union representing United cabin crew, sent a message to its membership yesterday to tell them that discussions between the Company and the Union have eliminated the need to furlough additional flight attendants as previously planned.

The message from the union to the flight attendants explained:
Instead of furloughing additional Flight Attendants and conducting a complete furlough rebid, the Company will increase staffing on certain international flights and maintain discretionary time off such as daily and 30-day ANP. This will provide some additional international flying opportunities while maintaining a level of schedule flexibility.
Greg Davidowitch, President of the United Master Executive Council, said, "We are encouraged by the resolution to this potential furlough and appreciate the efforts of [United Senior Vice President - Onboard Service] Alex Marren and United senior management in working with us on the issue. We have avoided the need for additional Flight Attendant furloughs and a rebid of the current furlough that would have potentially disrupted the lives of Members. We believe this resolution will also help to address the lack of flying reserves experienced in the fall through the staffing additions and opportunities for discretionary time off."

United Airlines reduced its flight attendant work force by 1,550 last year, through voluntary furloughs and an 'Early Out' Program for senior crew members.