The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) has sealed a tentative agreement with Continental Airlines on behalf of the airline’s 8,300 flight attendants. “Our members demanded we prevent the massive pay cuts and pension losses suffered by Flight Attendants at other carriers, and we succeeded,” said William O’Driscoll, President of IAM District 142.
The terms of the four-year tentative agreement include preservation of wage rates for current Flight Attendants; a top base pay rate increased to $50 per hour prior to the end of the agreement and a no furlough clause.
The agreement also includes language to provide enhanced crew rest; improved commuter and reserve issues and participation in profit sharing and stock option plans. Terms of the tentative agreement will be available on the District 142 website, http://www.iamdl142.org/fa .
Continental Airlines also agreed to contribute to the fully-funded IAM National Pension Plan at the discretion of the IAM and the Continental Airlines Flight Attendant membership. However, the IAM National Pension Plan would be activated immediately if the current Continental Airlines Retirement Plan is frozen or terminated.
“Our entire airline membership has mandated that we take all steps to protect pensions, and we have delivered for Continental’s Flight Attendants just as we have at other carriers,” said Robert Roach, Jr., IAM General Vice President of Transportation.
“We have ensured that IAM Flight Attendants will not suffer the loss of a defined benefit pension plan and are protected against what occurred to Flight Attendants at US Airways and United Airlines, even if the current company-sponsored plan fails.”
In-person ratification voting will take place over a fourteen-day period from January 17-30, 2006. A separate but simultaneous strike vote will also be taken.
IAM District Lodge 142 represents Continental Airlines’ 8,300 Flight Attendants through Local Lodges in Houston, TX, Newark, NJ and Cleveland, OH. The Machinists Union is the largest airline union in North America, representing more than 110,000 active workers. More information about the Machinists Union at Continental Airlines is available at http://www.iamdl142.org/fa .