In light of the carrier’s return to profitability and promising future, United Airlines announced on Thursday that it was months ahead of schedule in granting pilots 5% raises that were a part of a pandemic cost-reduction pact.
In negotiations for a new contract with its pilots union, United is proposing the raises. At United and other carriers, communication has been challenging.
The Chicago-based airline and the Air Line Pilots Association, which represents United’s more than 13,000 pilots, came to an agreement in 2020 to offer aviators a round of buyouts as the business scurried to cut expenses during the industry’s worst-ever crisis.
In return, the business promised to increase the hourly pay of its pilots by 5% as soon as the airline achieved a pretax margin of 5% or higher for a period of 12 months. Additionally, they agreed to wage and work protections.
In the most recent quarter, United posted a 9% pretax margin. Despite continuing to lose money through the first nine months of the year, the airline anticipates a positive end to 2022.
According to a letter sent to pilots on Thursday by Bryan Quigley, senior vice president of flight operations at United, the firm had the option of delaying the raises until May 2023. The hikes will go into effect in the bid month of December.
According to Quigley’s letter, “This is a demonstration of good faith and a down payment towards a market-based, industry-leading labour agreement.” It’s also an acknowledgement of the part you played in assisting United in surviving the pandemic and coming back so much stronger.
The union ALPA declined to react right away.
A recent proposed agreement that would have raised pay by around 15% over 18 months was rejected by a large majority of United pilots.
Next Tuesday, United pilots want to picket outside the company’s flight training facility in Denver, according to the union. In recent months, pilots from Delta, Southwest, American, and FedEx have also protested for better pay and schedules.