United Continental Holdings, Inc. (UAL: Quote), the holding company of United Airlines and Continental Airlines, announced Monday that it will expedite contract negotiations for joint collective bargaining agreements for work groups including fleet service employees, and passenger service employees.
The airline said United Airlines and the International Association of Machinists (IAM) have signed a contract to this effect. The IAM represents more than 30,000 employees in these work groups.
Under the contract, the IAM and United have agreed to a bargaining process and timeline designed to achieve joint collective agreements before year-end.
"Expediting negotiations will benefit co-workers and the company. Our longstanding relationship with the IAM continues in a positive direction, and this expedited process should assist us in reaching responsible agreements that pay our co-workers competitively," said Jon Roitman, senior vice president of Airport Operations and Cargo.
Further, United and the IAM have already reached agreements in May for employees of in-source airport operations work at Terminal A in Houston, pilot ground school instructors from the company's Continental subsidiary.
An agreement has also been reached for airport customer service agents who facilitate the integration and strategic redeployment of aircraft under United's single operating certificate and combined passenger service system.
The IAM represents about 35,000 employees under various work groups at United Continental from both United Airlines and Continental Airlines.
United Air Lines, Inc. and Continental Airlines Inc. completed their merger in October 2010, creating the world's largest airline, United Continental Holdings. The companies agreed to the merger early May 2010 in an all-stock transaction deal valued at more than $3 billion.
Doug McKeen, senior vice president of Labor Relations noted, "United, the IAM, and our co-workers share common interests in finalizing joint collective agreements that provide improved pay, competitive benefits and competitive work rules."
UAL closed Monday's regular trading session at $18.19, up $0.41 or 2.31% on a volume of 4.99 million shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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