This month, United Airlines Mechanics nationwide are taking their message to the street, literally, after 93.2% of voting members rejected a company-forced proposal that would have slashed wages for incoming mechanics, increased health care costs, and outsourced aircraft maintenance, even as United Airlines continues to make record profits quarter after quarter.
Over 9,000 mechanics at United are represented by the Teamsters Union, with 3,000 working at the SFO Maintenance Base.
On Friday, February 19, hundreds of UAL Teamsters shut down the street outside of the maintenance base at SFO on South Airport Boulevard on their lunch break sending a strong message to United executives that enough is enough and they are prepared to do whatever it takes to get a fair contract.
The following Friday, February 26, SFO mechanics joined their brothers and sisters in a national picket at SFO, Los Angeles, Newark, LaGuardia, Washington Dulles, Cleveland, Boston Logan, and Orlando airports to alert passengers of a possible summer strike. Rev. Jesse Jackson even joined the picket line at SFO.
“We sacrificed a lot, including our retirement security, to save this company,” said shop steward Fred Wood, a 24-year mechanic at United in San Francisco. “The only winners here are United executives, who are enriching themselves with $3 billion in stock buybacks to boost the value of their own stock options. Meanwhile, we’re basically being asked to pay for our own raises. We are loyal workers who have stuck with United for decades, and we’re out here today to let passengers know that we’re not going to let United abuse us anymore.”