2000 has not been the year for UAL and it's working relationships with the labor unions! Things are now heating up to volcano level with the mechanics. It was reported a couple of days ago in the Associated Press that United Airlines had both cancelled "hundreds of flights this month" and claimed that a majority of those cancellations are the result of job actions on the part of the mechanics.
The article, dated November 16, 2000 goes on to say:
"Nearly 90 percent of the 94 United flights canceled Wednesday and 34 scrubbed Thursday morning were blamed on maintenance operations. Spokesmen for the airline said they did not know how many were due to alleged job actions, but said the unusually high percentage of maintenance cancellations suggests many were.
The mechanics' union has denied there is an organized job action, saying its members have been repeatedly advised not to participate in any such action and even encouraged to work overtime at the employee-owned airline.
Chief operating officer Andy Studdert accused the mechanics of causing the 'serious operational problems' in a letter sent last Friday to Scotty Ford, chief negotiator for the union representing 44,000 United mechanics.
Their 'unlawful' actions, he said, include 'submitting an excessive number of mechanical write-ups, making erroneous claims of missing equipment as well as failing to work overtime after they had earlier signed up to do so.'"
And today's NewsReal reports that United sought out and won a temporary restraining order against IAM District 141M. This restraining order, in the words of United Airlines, "prevents the IAM District 141M, its members and others acting with them from engaging in illegal job actions."
I may not be the brightest person on the planet, nor do I know (or have the mind to deal with) labor law --- but going to court against a union representing one of your employee groups is never good news. It's just another notch in the belt of a terrible year for United Airlines.
Nobody wins here.
Well, whatever the case, I would recommend bringing extra changes of clothes for your trips, like I did this past summer.