United Airlines today announced they will hire over 25,000 airline workers and add 200 Boeing 737 MAX to its fleet, the largest aircraft purchase the industry has seen in a decade. United’s investment, which will create thousands of new jobs at United for the Machinists Union, was aided by IAM members and the Legislative Department leading the fight on Capitol Hill for legislation like the Payroll Support Program (PSP) that ensured the future viability of the airline industry and livelihoods of airline workers.
“The workers we represent at United and Boeing will benefit tremendously from this long-term investment,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Our union looks forward to helping the airline and aerospace industries, especially after a difficult period with the global pandemic. The IAM led the fight on Capitol Hill for the airline Payroll Support Program (PSP) that kept tens of thousands of workers employed. The Machinists Union also fought for the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act, legislation that is helping employers hire back aerospace workers as we recover from the pandemic. This announcement will preserve and create good union jobs that will impact communities across the world.”
“It wasn’t too long ago that hundreds of thousands of airline workers were facing layoffs and an unclear path,” said Richard Johnsen, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President. “I commend United Airlines for investing in a vital industry for our country. As the largest airline union, the IAM will ensure that we fulfill the mission to empower every IAM member to serve the global marketplace with dignity and respect. The IAM is excited to welcome future United Airlines employees into our union. This investment is great news for all IAM members and their families.”
“I am extremely proud of IAM District 141 members for their work throughout this pandemic,” said IAM District 141 President and Directing General Chair Mike Klemm. “This announcement signals that our industry is heading in the right direction, thanks to the work of our members at United Airlines. IAM District 141 members will continue to work hard and be a leader for the rest of the industry.”
In addition to the 200 Boeing 737 MAX, United plans to retrofit 100% of its remaining mainline, narrow-body fleet to transform the customer experience and create a new signature interior, a roughly 75% increase in premium seats per North American departure, larger overhead bins, seatback entertainment in every seat and industry’s fastest available WiFi.
United will also increase the total number of available seats across its domestic network by almost 30% per departure and replace at least 200 single-class regional jets with larger mainline aircraft. When combined with the airline’s current order book, United expects to add more than 500 new aircraft including about one new plane every three days in 2023 alone.