For immediate release
March 15, 2018
Washington – Five members of the U.S. Senate Commerce committee, which has oversight of the U.S. airline industry, have written to United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz to express concern regarding reports of United Airlines management’s interference with their catering workers’ efforts to organize a union.
The letter, signed by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto, Brian Schatz, Edward J. Markey, Richard Blumenthal, and Tom Udall, states:
“United Airlines’ 2,700 catering workers, who are overwhelmingly immigrants and people of color, make as little as $9.75 an hour. They are the only major group of direct non-managerial employees at United Airlines without a union. On January 24, 2018, motivated by the successes of other United Airlines unions, over 75% of these catering workers filed for a union election with the National Mediation Board.
We are aware of allegations that United Airlines managers have intimidated, questioned, and retaliated against workers engaged in protected union activities at the workplace.”
The letter comes on the heels of over 50 federal, state and municipal elected officials sending letters in January calling on United Airlines (NYSE:UAL) to respect their catering workers’ decision to unionize and treat them equal to United’s other employees. All four unions representing United’s 75,000 unionized workers and national AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka have also stepped in to tell United to refrain from interfering in the catering workers’ union election.
Despite United Airlines’ anti-union campaign, workers are standing strong, and enthusiasm continues with hundreds wearing UNITE HERE lanyards and badge holders at work. Workers are now waiting for the National Mediation Board to schedule an election date.