(HOUSTON) – United Airlines mechanics and technicians ramped up their strike threat at the PGA Shell Houston Open today. United is the airline sponsor of the PGA tour.
The Teamster mechanics held banners that read, “United Airlines Execs: Don’t Loot Mechanics’ Healthcare & Profit-Sharing” and “No Contract – No Flights.”
In February, mechanics voted down United’s contract proposal by 93 percent, and also voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike. The Teamsters Union and the 9,000 mechanics it represents at United have petitioned the National Mediation Board for a release to strike.
“United mechanics are here to point out the airline’s hypocrisy. The company is spending millions to sponsor golf events, while slashing workers’ profit-sharing and jeopardizing their job security,” said Clacy Griswold, Chairman of the Teamsters United Airlines Negotiating Committee. “Mechanics overwhelmingly authorized a strike because the company’s executives are lining their own pockets, while failing to keep the promises they made to employees who took major concessions during United’s bankruptcy.”
“Mechanics and technicians are only asking for United to keep its promises. These workers sacrificed to save United, and now that the company is making profits, it needs to recognize that sacrifice. The Teamsters are ready and willing to strike if United will not agree to a fair contract for these workers,” said Bob Clever, President of Teamsters Local 19 in Humble, Texas.
In United’s bankruptcy, mechanics lost their pensions and stock, and many lost their jobs to massive outsourcing.
“United had promised employees that it would make them whole for their immense sacrifices. Now the company is earning record profits and spending billions to buy back stock, yet it wants to slash mechanics’ profit-sharing by two-thirds and is offering mechanics only, on average, a 73-cent-per-hour net wage increase annually,” Griswold said.
“Eight United executives got more than $6.5 million from cashing in options and buybacks over the past year, and at our local PGA Tour event we can see how much money United spends on golf sponsorships. The company is now asking us, working people, to basically pay for our own raises. It’s totally unacceptable and we’re ready for a strike,” said Phill Cady, a 29-year mechanic for United in Houston.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.