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Eleventh hour accord at United.

Minutes before a strike deadline, and following 2 years of intermittent bargaining, negotiators for United Airlines and the International Association of Machinists signed a 61-month labor contract, covering some 26,500 mechanics, dispatchers, cleaners, and food service and ramp employees. The agreement, the last negotiated pact in the current round of bargaining at United, was reached with the assistance of a National Mediation Board mediator and member Joshua Javits. (The National Mediation Board is the Federal agency that administers the Railway Labor Act, the labor law that regulates bargaining in the railroad and airline industries.)

The agreement called for wage increases of 4 percent retroactive to November 1, 1989, and 5 percent on December 15, 1991, 4 percent on February 1, 1993, and 5 percent on May 1, 1994. In addition, mechanics will receive a 60-cent-an-hour premium, up from 50 cents, for each Federal Aviation Administration license they hold, with a cap set at $1.20 an hour. (At the expiration of the previous agreement, mechanics reportedly earned between $14 and $21 an hour, and food service workers earned between $6 and $12 an hour.)

Other terms included several changes in health insurance, such as an increase in annual deductibles from $150 to $200 for single coverage, an increase in the employees' prescription drug plan copayment from $6 to $10 per prescription, and an increase in the orthodontic maximum from $1,300 to $1,500 per person; enhanced pension benefits; an increase in life insurance benefits from $20,000 to $30,000; an increase in tool box insurance from $1,000 to $2,000; retention of the current levels of paid vacations and holidays and of the standard workday (currently, 8 hours); and an additional union-staffed ramp station in Orlando, FL, effective in June 1992, and in Miami, FL, effective in July 1994.

"Developments in Industrial Relations" is prepared by Michael H. Cimini and Susan L. Behrmann of the Division of Developments in Labor-Management Relations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and is largely based on information from secondary sources.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:United Airlines' labor contract
Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Mar 1, 1992
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