State of the Airlines

Friday, January 28, 2005

NEWS: United Airlines Mechanics Throw Down the Gauntlet

United Airlines mechanics represented by AMFA have voted to reject the latest contract proposal from the airline. Union officials are reporting that the rejection was "overwhelming". Furthermore, they have voted to approve a strike should the bankruptcy court approve changes to their existing contract. I have to admit I am a bit stunned. The implications of this are huge. United Airlines has tentative contracts in the works with 4 of their 6 unions and now has to fall back and re-group. The bankruptcy court has said it would not approve any of the tentative contracts until each union had approved their deals. United can petition the court to nullify the mechanic's contract but the threat of a strike will loom large in the minds of the leadership at United. A strike would almost certainly be the end of United. I am forced to think that AMFA believes they have a proposal that the bankruptcy court will approve in lieu of the current offer from the airline. You know...United appears to be winning one race...the race to be the first airline to liquidate in 2005. They just nosed ahead of US Airways. the way...the pilots and flight attendants will conclude voting on their respective contract offers on Monday. This could get ugly.

Updated 01/31/2005 @ 1530: It looks like the mechanics stand alone...the pilots and flight attendants have approved their deals.