United pilots have rejected a pay offer by management, describing it as falling short of their expectations amidst a post-pandemic bounce-back. 

The airline had offered a tentative agreement in June, consisting of a 14.5% pay increase within 18 months. But this was rejected by 94% of the record 9,980 United pilots who participated in a vote, according to union ALPA on November 1, 2022. 

“This TA fell short of the industry-leading contract United pilots have earned and deserve after leading the airline through the pandemic and back to profitability,” the statement said. 

Other major airlines have been offering higher pay increases in the light of an ongoing pilot shortage in the United States. American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) has offered a 19% pay increase, for example.  

“By the Company’s own admission, this agreement missed the mark,” said United Master Executive Council chair Capt. Mike Hamilton in a statement. “That’s why both parties agreed to re-engage at the bargaining table for a new, improved agreement. It is vital United management recognizes that an industry-leading contract is required to hire, train, and retain the best pilots in the world for the United Next growth plan to succeed.”   

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However, Hamilton said United management was delaying returning to talks on a new contract and that the union intended to start “a series of informational picketing events” with the aim of bringing management back to the negotiating table to get a new deal.  

The announcement comes a day after Delta pilots gave their support to union ALPA to carry out strike if needed in talks over a new contract.  

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Pilots at Delta Air Lines vote to authorize strike action if necessary during pay talks at the major US carrier