UAL Update 4/5/14 Rich Delaney

Discussions continued this week between District 141 and United Airlines regarding the announced downsizing of the CLE operation and its impact on IAM members. We have been talking about several components of what our members are facing and what is the right way to address them. We have heard from members that there are different needs concerning this downsizing and we have tried to look at each one. First, members anticipating they will be affected by a loss of job in CLE are telling us they are not in a position to pack up and move to another city at this time. For some, that means leaving United prematurely, through possible Early Out options. While we continue to talk about this option, United announced their willingness to offer an Early Out this week. The current program would allow members with at least 10 years seniority to resign from the airline and receive a lump sum payment between $10,000 and $20,000, depending on their eligibility for continuing pass travel. This is an option that may work for some members and we want to make it as beneficial as possible so we are continuing our discussions on this issue. Some members do not want to resign from United but cannot, at this time, consider moving. We have reaffirmed the recall rights of members, which were improved in the recent negotiations. Since CLE is getting smaller but still operating at a significant level, the ability to be recalled without limitation for members with at least 10 years seniority, and for extended periods for members with less than that, is really meaningful and important.
The focus of our talks this week has been to try to insure that those members that need or want to stay actively employed with United have the ability to do so. We are trying, as much as possible, to find opportunities for members while at the same time reducing the need to involuntarily displacing other members across the system. By that I mean looking to United to commit to insourcing work that will create vacancies by removing vendors. Our already announced agreement to insource United Express Customer Service work in DEN is part of this, but is not the only work we are looking for. United has agreed to look at other stations and other vendor work immediately. Follow up conversations with the company have shown that they evaluating several stations but have not committed to anything additional at this point. We will keep talking with the company throughout the next few days, prior to the scheduled employee notification of the need to opt for system options. Our goal is to reduce vendors in stations to not only provide vacancies for those that need them but also those members that want to transfer to new locations, thus creating future opportunities in additional stations. Our immediate concern is to limit the need to identify junior members across the system that may be affected by the decisions of others.
This week the first group of s-UA Reservations Agents finished their training and began the new experience of working from home. Agents in DTW, ORD, and HNL are now able to opt for this alternative work schedule, joining the more than 1,000 s-CO Agents that have voluntarily chosen this schedule. The first groups from each office were limited in number but the company is committed to expanding this option for our Res members in the coming weeks and months; especially as the company’s newer technology is brought online. This new style of work will enable agents that are working in offices to perform reservations work in their current home and also give them the freedom to move to other locations of their choosing and keep working for United. This is especially good news for agents that have been effected by the closing Res Centers across the country prior to 2008 that can now consider returning home after working for years in the limited offices that remained. It also provides real chances for agents that needed to accept furlough when their office closed to be recalled and resume their career with United.
Discussions with United were also held this week regarding the scheduled Line Station meeting. Representatives of each station have been identified and are prepared to begin developing options to having work contracted out in their locations. The initial meetings to be held on April 14 & 15 will focus on the exchange of information for each station, a review of the responses United received from vendors, and the financial value of several contractual items on a per person cost. Further planning and preparation will be done this coming week by the District 141 Insource Committee, so that the group meeting will be productive and no time is lost in dealing with this critical subject. After the information exchange scheduling of individual station negotiations will be determined.
All United members that have 401(k) savings accounts will receive the company match contribution on April 29th. This addition to retirement savings is the first contribution for s-UA members, as called for in our new contract. S-CO members have participated in this plan in the past and have benefitted from this boost in savings. The company matching funds range between 1% and 3% of an employee’s contribution, based on a sliding seniority scale that provides accelerated savings for senior members getting ready to retire. This retirement savings benefit is in addition to the company contributions on behalf of members to CARP and the IAM National Pension Fund. Taken together these company paid provisions pave the way for our members to have a dignified retirement unlike any other employee of the airline.

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