United/Continental Merger Becomes Official

United Airlines and Continental Airlines officially merged and became United-Continental Holdings, Inc., an umbrella company that will operate the two airlines separately until they integrate operations.

“It will be some time before passengers and employees see any significant changes,” said IAM General Vice President Robert Roach, Jr. “Complete operational integration and blending of employee groups will not occur until union representation issues are resolved.”

The IAM represents more than 19,000 United Airlines North American employees in seven classifications. The IAM also represents Continental Airlines’ 9,500 Flight Attendants and 250 Flight Attendants at Continental’s wholly-owned subsidiary Continental Micronesia.

Also this week, the IAM announced a tentative agreement on a new interim contract for Flight Attendants at Continental Airlines. The 26-month transition agreement contains specific merger-related protections in addition to increased wages and improved job-security provisions.

Negotiations are continuing for IAM members at United Airlines.