Continental Airlines, Inc. (NYSE: CAL and CAL.A) announced today that it has been informed by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers that Continental`s 8,500 flight attendants have ratified a new four-and-a half-year labor contract. The contract comes after six months of intense negotiations with the IAM. Typically, labor contracts in the airline industry take much longer, even years, to negotiate.
The union has informed the airline that, as customary, pending the official vote count, which will be completed and released publicly early next week, that the agreement will become effective April 1, replacing the previous contract that became amendable less than three months ago, on December 24, 1999.
The contract contains major changes, including increased pay and significant improvements in retirement, vacation, work rules and flexibility over work life. The contract also contains an industry-leading domestic partner package and extends companion travel to all flight attendants.
“Our flight attendants work hard and deserve this industry-leading agreement,” said Gordon Bethune, chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Airlines. “Once again, the men and women at this airline have demonstrated that our approach to working together achieves far more than the traditional confrontational approach to labor relations that has existed in this industry.”