Joint Contract Negotiations Update (Dec 14, 2012)

Last week, following our second meeting with the company we updated you on the lack of progress on the side of management to engage us on our proposals.  Out of 15 AFA proposals, we were only able to show them three because we spent the majority of our time discussing protocol.  Fundamental differences remain on how we’ll get to an Agreement.

Our approach to negotiations is based upon your feedback and priorities from Contract Proposals and Surveys. You have identified the issues that are important to you and we believe our approach will ultimately result in an Industry Leading Contract.  Management prefers an alternate approach with “no rules,” and has thus far not acknowledged any concern for your priorities.

Nevertheless, we return from last week’s meeting with a renewed sense of vigor and purpose.  We continue our collaborative efforts, together working through the remaining areas of our respective Contracts to determine our next proposals.  Management’s response at this latest meeting serves to reinforce our commitment to work productively and collaboratively on the JNC.  We move forward with energy and optimism, and as we reach more and more consensus on proposals, we gain unity in our representation of your priorities.  We are working towards a single, common goal in our negotiations with management.

Remember this negotiations process is new to all of us.  While the outcome of our last meeting is unfortunate, it’s not entirely unexpected.  The existing roadmaps on joint negotiations have not proven successful.  This opens the door for an opportunity for us to take a different approach.  It’s important to understand the lack of progress in our last meeting is attributed to management.  Despite management’s pursuit of delays, we are prepared for our next meeting in Los Angeles on January 14, 2013; and will propose additional dates to take place shortly thereafter.

It’s important to remember, negotiations do not occur in a vacuum.  The progress in any negotiations has an impact throughout the industry.  This Saturday, United and Continental pilots will determine whether or not to ratify their current Tentative Agreement.  The outcome of that vote, either way, will play a role on our negotiations.

United will never realize the benefits of the merger without a combined Flight Attendant Agreement.  United Flight Attendants hold the key.  There is real opportunity and power in that simple statement, but make no mistake, it does not mean that getting to that point will be easy or necessarily quick.  This will take time.  We knew this and our latest meeting with management only serves to confirm this truth.

We are continuing the necessary and important work of putting together our remaining proposals for a combined Contract.  We are working together toward our common purpose and as the weeks continue we are getting better at finding more and more common ground upon which we will build.  While United talks about concepts, we are creating something concrete.  Once we have all the pieces in place, we’ll meet with you to review and discuss our proposals.  While we may have a long road yet ahead of us, we are optimistic and gaining momentum and each day grow stronger in our ability to achieve our objectives.

Remain informed, engaged and involved in our negotiations.

In Solidarity and happy holidays,

Cindy Commander, CAL
Greg Davidowitch, UAL
Kathleen Domondon, CMI
Joey Guider, CAL
Suzanne Hendricks, CMI
Cynthia Iverson, CMI
Jack Kande, UAL
Kevin Lum, UAL
Marcus Valentino, CAL