United Airlines flight attendants have reacted with fury to the carrier’s multi-billion-dollar order for new aircraft being announced.
On October 3, 2023, United celebrated a huge order that will welcome 50 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jets and 60 Airbus A321neo aircraft to its fleet.
But the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents more than 25,000 United cabin crew members, has questioned why the airline has funds to invest in planes but not staff contracts.
On October 4, 2023, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United president Ken Diaz issued a damning statement and threatened strike action if the airline failed to negotiate better terms.
“United management has made it clear once again: there’s plenty of money and desire to invest in the airline. New planes, new gates, new service, new lounges. The time is now for an industry-leading and industry-groundbreaking United Flight Attendant contract,” Diaz said.
The union’s grievances center on understaffing and outstanding operational issues which “exacerbates delays and cancellations for passengers and crew”.
Negotiations have dragged on for nearly two years and according to Diaz, staff morale is extremely low.
In his most recent statement, Diaz warned that the union was making “CHAOS preparations,” which involves as strategy of intermittent strikes.
“Time is up for United management to make good on ‘good leads the way’ with the contract improvements we have earned. Our union is prepared to press forward on these negotiations for near-term resolution and will redouble efforts to back up our Negotiating Committee with action, and, if necessary, a strike vote and CHAOS preparations. United Flight Attendants are unified and ready to do whatever it takes,” Diaz warned the airline
Diaz has previously cited United flight attendants sleeping at airports having been unable to reach the company to arrange hotel rooms.
On August 31, 2023, United flight attendants held pickets at 19 airports around the US to demand that contracts be renegotiated.
AeroTime has contacted United Airlines for comment.