United Airlines Labor Coalition Withholds Support for Houston-Haneda Route Application


Just over one year ago, the United Airlines Labor Coalition raised its concern over United's codeshare agreement with Emirates Airlines, based partly on accounts of unfair labor practices and employee intimidation in the United Arab Emirates. Today, we raise our concern over employee treatment much closer to home.

Labor relations at United Airlines have deteriorated to the point that lacking labor standards halfway around the world now seem suited to describe the current situation at our own airline. At the forefront is a draconian and one-sided approach to employee investigations and discipline. Human Resources is now involved in the smallest and simplest infractions, resulting in consequences orders of magnitude worse than the deed. Most grievance cases are denied and sent up to the next level with little discretion given to local managers who best know their workforce and issues.

United Airlines filed a supplement to its application for a Haneda slot, which was surrendered by Delta Airlines. In this long and detailed document, United outlines the reasons it should be awarded authority to fly to Haneda from Houston. The Labor Coalition finds it instructive that nowhere in this exhaustive brief is mention of a single benefit to United's labor force, should United be awarded this coveted slot. In fact. the point is made that IAH-Haneda flights would not be additive, but rather a replacement for existing IAH-Narita service.

Recently, the leaders of United's unionized employees were asked to submit letters to the Department of Transportation in support of United Airlines' application for Houston-Haneda authorization. Such collaboration stems from relationships centered on mutual respect and fair treatment. Sadly, we believe the current labor/management relationship falls far short of this standard. For the sake of the employees we represent, we sincerely hope for an improved climate, where cooperation and collaboration can exist and thrive. Such a climate does not exist today, and as a result, the United Airlines Union Coalition agrees it is inappropriate to support United's application for Houston-Haneda service.


Ken DiazMike KlemmGarth ThompsonCraig SymonsJoe Ferreira
MEC PresidentPresidentMaster ChairPresidentDir. Airline Div.

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The United Master Executive Council (MEC) of the Air Line Pilots Association, International is the governing body that represents over 13,000 United Airlines pilots. The MEC, related committee members, and professional staff work to protect and promote the careers of United pilots, concentrating on safety, pay, working conditions, benefits, and job security. The United MEC is composed of member-elected representatives from New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Cleveland, Guam, and the Training Center in Denver. Local pilot volunteers form the backbone of our committee structure, and full-time ALPA staff round out our team with legal, administrative, and communications support. As the formal collective bargaining agent for United pilots, the MEC is charged with negotiating pilot contracts and promoting airline safety and security. ALPA’s motto, “Schedule with Safety,” guides the work we do every day. The initiatives of United ALPA volunteers have directly resulted in many of the safety features found in today’s modern aircraft and airports. Our contract, the United Pilot Agreement, sets the industry standard for compensation and work rules that ensure the long-term viability of the airline piloting profession.


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