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Millions of professionals can't all be wrongMillions of fire fighters, nurses, teachers, and airline workers have a contract. We can’t all be wrong.

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Questions

  1. What is Single Carrier Status?
  2. If customer service makes less at one carrier, how does that affect us?
  3. How is furlough recall affected?
  4. Do I still have lifetime furlough recall rights after a merger?
  5. How will pass travel work?
  6. What unions represent Continental?
  7. Will we be represented by the IAM?
  8. How does the merger affect United contract negotiations?
  9. Do United employees have merger protection in the contract?
  10. What happens to our existing IAM contract?
  11. What happens to IAM pensions?
  12. How will we integrate seniority?
  13. What is a union “consultant”?

Answers

SINGLE CARRIER

Q — What is Single Carrier Status?

A — The following are some indications of a single carrier / single transportation system:

  1. Published combined schedules or combined routes;
  2. Standardized uniforms;
  3. Common marketing, markings or insignia;
  4. Integrated essential operations such as scheduling or dispatching;
  5. Centralized labor and personnel operations;
  6. Combined or common management, corporate officers, and board of directors;
  7. Combined workforce; and,
  8. Common or overlapping ownership

The Unions will decide when to file the petition for single carrier / single transportation system status with National Mediation Board (NMB).
The next step would be the NMB granting that status. The NMB election would follow for the combined carriers.

PAY RATE

Q — I understand that Continentals pay scale for public contact employees, specifically Reservations Sales and Service Representatives, is around $3.00 less per hour than what United offers. How will this play out if the merger is pushed through? And please make sure our hard earned benefits and job security are not diminished by Glenn Tilton and his grandiose legacy ambitions.

A — Despite Continental's wage and benefit levels we are continuing to negotiate improvements in our current United Agreements, including PCE. At a time in the future when both airlines are operationally combined and issues of representation are settled, a new replacement contract covering all Members will be negotiated.The full combination of the two carriers is not expected to happen before the first half of 2012.

FURLOUGH

Q — For those of us that are currently on furlough waiting to be recalled, how will this merger affect us? Will we still be able to be recalled?

A — You have recall rights to the position you were furloughed from until such time you are offered return to work. The provisions of our contract covering the seniority protection of furloughed Members is not affected by proposed mergers.

Q — What would happen to the furloughed employees at United? In our contract it states we have recall rights for life, and in the merger, will we displace Continental employees according to what our seniority can hold.

A — Your recall rights are maintained until you are offered a return to work to the position from which you were furloughed. The integration of seniority between United and Continental employees is a subject of future negotiations, once the two airlines operationally combine. How seniority is used in cases of furlough is also subject to negotiation. Those talks have not begun.

PASS TRAVEL

Q — The pass travel policy for the two carriers are worlds apart, as it relates to active and retiree boarding priority. How will this be treated, and will the Union have any input as it is not contractual?

A — Our contracts state that the company Travel Policy will not be substantially changed or discontinued without first discussing it with the Union. The IAM, along with representatives from all other employee groups, participates in the Employee Travel Committee that routinely meets to discuss changes and improvement in the pass policy. That forum will be used to discuss employee travel in the future.

REPRESENTATION

Q — What Unions represent Continental Ramp and Continental PCE? When does seniority integration begin? And finally, how will current contract negotiations affect active and furloughed employees?

A— At present, Continental PCE employees are not represented by any organization. Ramp Service employees at Continental recently voted to be represented by the Teamsters (IBT). Our current negotiations with United over wages and working conditions for United employees represented by the IAM will continue.

Q — Will we still be represented by the IAM?

A — Railway Labor Act regulations and National Mediation Board (NMB) procedures will determine the certified collective bargaining representative for each classification in a combined United/Continental workforce.

The NMB may order an election for some classifications to determine the certified representative. Nothing would be resolved until the NMB concludes that both companies are operating as a single entity for representation purposes.

NEGOTIATIONS AND MERGER

Q — How will this affect our contract negotiations?

A — Your IAM negotiators’ goal remains to continue negotiating contracts for our United members as soon as possible. However, the attorneys, economists and other professionals on the IAM’s Transportation Merger Team who have been evaluating a United-Continental merger since 2006 will assist your negotiators on issues relating to or potentially impacted by a merger.

MERGER PROTECTION

Q — Do we have merger protection in our contract?

A — Yes. Each IAM-UAL contract contains language that preserves our collective bargaining agreements and requires fair and equitable integration of seniority.

EXISITNG CONTRACT(S)

Q — What happens to our contracts?

A — Contracts will remain in full force and effect until after representation issues are resolved.

PENSIONS

Q — What will happen to our pensions?

A — Guaranteeing our Members’ retirement security is a major concern for the Machinists Union, and the IAM will fight to protect the pensions of our members at both carriers in any merger scenario.

United’s contributions into the IAM National Pension Plan and the benefits our members are earning will continue as long as the IAM continues as your collective bargaining representative and our collective bargaining agreements remain intact.

Continental’s company-sponsored pension plans are $1.4 billion underfunded. In contrast, the IAM National Pension Plan is currently funded.

The IAM fought hard in bankruptcy to provide our members with a pension plan after the bankruptcy court allowed United to walk away from its obligations. We won’t allow your pensions to become a casualty of a merger.

SENIORITY

Q — How will the IAM integrate seniority?

A — The IAM’s longstanding official policy is to integrate seniority by the date of hire into the classification, regardless of which airline or union an employee comes from.

UNION BUSTERS

Q — What is a “union consultant?”

A — “Union consultants” represent the company.

Typically, this person or group will be hired by executive management as a union-buster to “educate” employees. The union busting business has grown exponentially since the 1970’s, today comprising tens of thousands of practitioners. Practitioners primarily work in two ways: Directly with employees, or through a network of existing company supervisors. Delta Air Lines has made extensive use of union busters.