MEC Grievance 1-16: 787 Aircraft Assignment Settlement Agreement
Today, March 18, 2016, United and AFA reached a settlement to the dispute identified in MEC 1-16 where AFA alleged the Company failed to identify and designate aircraft as required by the Protocol Agreement.
By way of background, in August 2015, United AFA raised concerns over the allocation of new aircraft deliveries. MEC Grievance 1-16 was filed to ensure new deliveries of aircraft are allocated in accordance with the Expedited Mediation Protocol and Related Agreements based on the subsidiary to which the order or exercised option was initially placed. The Grievance was never about taking away flying from any other subsidiary - it is to ensure aircraft were being delivered to and flown by the correct subsidiary in an effort to protect the interests of all 24, 000 United Flight Attendants.
When we were unable to persuade the company to provide the information we sought, the United MEC approached AFA General Counsel to request professional assistance in tracking and identifying the aircraft orders as well as expert legal assistance in our effort to resolve the issue. As a result of our Grievance, the Company confirmed a 787-9 that began service in August 2015, as well as 2 more 787-9s which are to be delivered in June 2016, are from a pre-merger United order.
To resolve the Grievance and provide relief, United AFA leadership and United management have reached a Settlement that provides the one 787-9 now on the property will begin operating with pre-merger UA Flight Attendants in June 2016. Two additional 787-9s that will be delivered mid to late July will also be operating with pre-merger UA Flight Attendants upon commencement of service (expected in August).
Settlement - Payment & Distribution of Damages
The Settlement provides for the establishment of the “Flight Attendant Settlement Fund” and includes Three Million Dollars, ($3,000,000) representing all lost wages, back pay, benefits and other damages. The Company will pay pre-merger UA Flight Attendants who worked any period of time between August 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016 andÂ who are on the System Seniority List as of March 31, 2016.
As part of the May 16, 2016 pay advice, the fund will be dispersed to pre-merger UA Flight Attendants as qualifying wages for the purposes of 401(k) and Profit Sharing. The fund will be divided among eligible Flight Attendants in proportion to the amount of their earnings over the period from August 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016 as a percentage of the total wages paid during that same time period. The fund will be fully distributed on May 16th.
In addition, the corporation will cover the costs and legal fees incurred by the Union as a result of our efforts to enforce the Protocol Agreement. By doing so, this money will be available for our use in accomplishing other Flight Attendant priorities.
Other Benefits of the Settlement
Our efforts will in this matter will ensure all future aircraft deliveries are in accordance with the Expedited Mediation Protocol and Related Agreements. To this end, the Company has agreed to monthly meetings between Management and each subsidiary’s Union Leadership to review upcoming deliveries and the assignment of these aircraft to each pre-merger subsidiary.
This Settlement provides the 787-9 currently on the property is assigned to pre-merger UA Flight Attendants as soon as is possible (June 2016) while minimizing the disruption to the operation and cancellations which would have a negative impact on our Customers. Our actions today demonstrate that we put the airline first. Through the reasonableness of the Union, the impact of the transition of this aircraft to the proper pre-merger Flight Attendant group will minimize passenger inconvenience and the need for operational cancellations.
Once the 787-9 currently on the property is assigned to pre-merger UA in June, we expect it to be assigned domestic flying. When the additional 2 787-9s begin service later this summer, we expect these aircraft to be assigned international flying. The Company will decide the routes to which these aircraft will be assigned.
A Conversation with AFA United MEC President Ken Diaz
Last night we sent out a Special AFA E-Lines which included a unscripted video conversation with our AFA United Master Executive Council President Ken Diaz. This video included many current issues of importance to our Flight Attendant profession and to United Airlines Flight Attendants. Ken reviewed our ongoing Joint Contract Negotiations, addressed rumors around the system and spoke to the importance of Solidarity in achieving our collective goals. We encourage you to view this video from which is available from our website.
Be Cautious – Get the Facts - Don’t Sign Anything
There have been reports that there have been a number of misrepresentations to Flight Attendants by those distributing Union authorization cards. Examples include, “Just sign so you’ll get more information.” Or, “Just sign to show you care about that issue [whatever issue you mention].” Flight Attendants who have later learned the real truth about this campaign, have changed their minds after signing. While there’s no requirement they let you withdraw your card or cancel it for you, it’s certainly reasonable to expect they will honor your request. Failure to follow your request is proof that this is not about seeking to improve your representation or promote work place democracy. Remember, a Union authorization card is a legal document that will be used in evidence at the National Mediation Board (NMB) to determine if there is enough support to call for a decertification election. It takes 50% of the entire combined Flight Attendant work force. The best way to stop any attempt to divide us is to simply refuse to sign a card.
A request of revocation of UFAA authorization card can be done by sending the following request by mail to UFAA. You should make three copies, one for AFA, one for the NMB, and one for your records. We ask that you please send both the AFA copy and NMB copy to:
Association of Flight Attendants
Attention: Ed Gilmartin - AFA Legal
501 3rd Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
We will collect the letters and present them to the NMB in the event it is necessary.
One other word of caution: if a decertification election is called, the ballot would include spots to vote for AFA, for UFAA and for “No Union.” It’s not as simple as switching unions, or even “sending a message” with your vote. The ultimate risk of a decertification election is that we may all wind up with no union. You may not think that’s likely, but management will be pushing very hard to get the Flight Attendants to vote the union out altogether. None of us wants to end up without a union, without a contract and without a voice. Be smart. Get the facts. Don’t sign anything.
Flight Attendant Individual Profit Sharing % Update
Date: February 2, 2016
Type: AFA Article
The 2015 Profit Sharing payments are scheduled to be included in the March 1, 2016 paycheck for all eligible employees. Profit Sharing payouts will be approximately 13.0029% of your 2015 annual earnings – a significant increase from last year’s 5.6658% payout.
Flight Attendants who do not make a special election to defer some or all of the Profit Sharing into their 401(k) account (either pre-tax or their Roth 401(k)) or who do not qualify to make a special election, will receive their Profit Sharing in cash paid in the same manner in which the monthly paycheck is received – either direct deposit or as a paper check. To make a special election please visit United’s Flying Together website > Employee Services > My Info > Continue to My Info and Manager’s Toolbox > Profit Sharing 401k Election.
The Profit Sharing special election window is now open through Monday, February 8, 2016 at midnight Central Time.
We encourage everyone to review the company’s publication and Q&A to ensure you are aware of the implications now that the payment is part of your regular paycheck. If you have additional questions we strongly recommend you contact your professional tax advisor prior to making any election.
For any general questions about Profit Sharing, eligible earnings, statement printing assistance, or Profit Sharing calculation, please contact United’s Employee Service Center (ESC) at 877-825-3729 and select the prompt for HR Operations.