On February 16, 2016, United’s mechanics rejected the Company’s proposed joint contract, which the Teamsters had agreed to submit to their membership for vote. Ninety-three percent (93%) of the voters rejected the offer. The membership also voted to authorize a strike. The proposed contract included pay rates that generally matched Delta’s mechanic pay rates, except for future hires, who would be paid at a lower rate and subject to less generous holiday, vacation, sick leave, and retirement provisions for eight-and-a-half years. Unlike Delta’s ground and flight attendant profit sharing plan that pays out a minimum of 10% of earnings and 20% on earnings in excess of the prior year, the proposed United mechanic contract reduced profit sharing to 5% for earnings up to approximately $2.5 billion with a maximum profit sharing accrual of 10% for earnings above approximately $2.5 billion.
United and the Teamsters are expected to appear before the National Mediation Board for a status conference on March 3rd in Washington D.C. Even though the mechanics voted to authorize a strike, the RLA requires additional steps before a strike would ever be permissible. To learn more about the lengthy RLA negotiations process click here.