Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Continental Airlines flight attendants reject tentative contract agreement

 by B. N. Sullivan

Continental Airlines flight attendants have rejected a temporary contract agreement (TA), which was reached in September.  Their union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) announced the results of the ratification vote earlier today: 61% of the membership participated, and of those, 45% voted to accept the TA and 55% voted to reject it.

In a statement about the failed ratification vote, the IAM said:
In meetings held with the membership at all bases it became clear the Flight Attendants prefer a complete agreement that provides full recovery of items sacrificed in the previous round of concessionary bargaining, such as sick leave, vacation and 401K Match instead of an interim agreement.

Although we acknowledged from the outset that the Tentative Interim Agreement did not contain everything the membership - or the committee – wanted, in light of the merger with United Airlines it would have been irresponsible of the committee not to allow the Flight Attendants an opportunity to view and vote on the wages, fence agreement and no furlough clause we had achieved in the company’s last proposal.  As the Negotiating Committee indicated before voting began, we would be guided by the membership’s direction, and that direction is clear.

Merger or no merger Continental has a legal obligation to negotiate.  We have notified Continental that we are prepared to immediately resume bargaining which will address the comprehensive agreement that fulfills goals the membership expressed.
Sounds like it's back to the bargaining table for the IAM and Continental management.