U.S. Unions have approve a new contract with airline caterer Gate Gourmet.
In a system-wide membership vote conducted May 24, 2010 through June 11, 2010, the members of IBT/UNITE HERE and the Non-Council Unions accepted Gate Gourmet’s Best Offer. The agreement provides wage increases that raise the standard in the U.S. airline catering industry.
The agreement provides wage increases of $0.50 an hour in 2010 and 2011 for workers who have more than four years of service with the company. Workers improved job security through provisions that maximize full-time employment and made important strides to improving workplace health and safety with the formation of a joint management monitoring committee.
U.S. labour unions have been negotiating separate collective agreements with the two main airline caterers, Gate Gourmet and LSG Sky Chefs, since late 2009.
The companies have taken contrasting approaches to bargaining with the union. A U.S. Federal mediator was assigned to the LSG Sky Chefs and UNITE HERE negotiations. LSG Sky Chefs and the union have until the end of July to reach a settlement. If none is reached, either party may seek to be released from the mediation process, raising the possibility of work stoppages as early as the third quarter.
The settlement may provide Gate Gourmet with an operational advantage in the U.S. if LSG Sky Chefs continues to make little progress toward reaching a deal with its own workforce. In light of the Gate Gourmet settlement, UNITE HERE members employed by Sky Chefs are becoming increasingly impatient.
UNITE HERE International Union represents workers throughout the U.S. and Canada who work in the hospitality, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, laundry, and airport industries.