The IAM announced that Flight Attendants at Continental Airlines have voted to ratify a new interim collective bargaining agreement that will raise their top base pay to $52.53 per hour while providing a no-furlough guarantee for the duration of the accord.
The contract was ratified by 68 percent of voting members, with 70 percent of the overall membership participating. The new interim agreement covers 9,300 Flight Attendants based in Houston, TX, Newark, NJ and Cleveland, OH. The 20-month contract is retroactive to January 1, 2010.
“This interim agreement provides immediate raises and important merger protections as United and Continental integrate their operations,” said IAM General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. “After we win representation rights for the combined Flight Attendant group, we will return to the table and negotiate long-term improvements for all 25,000 Flight Attendants.”
Under this contract, a senior Flight Attendant at Continental will earn $13,035.60 more annually than a United Airlines Flight Attendant.
In addition to base wage rates that are the highest of any legacy carrier in the industry, the new contract provides for retroactive pay, profit sharing, restoration of a company 401(k) match and improved work rules. Surveys will soon be circulated among Continental and United Flight Attendants to identify key issues for the combined group in negotiations that will commence following the successful completion of a union representation election.
“Continental Flight Attendants declined a previous contract offer and directed our negotiating committee to continue bargaining,” said IAM District 142 President Tom Higginbotham. “The IAM listened to our members and made the adjustments our Flight Attendants wanted. This contract reflects the goals set by our membership.”