Unhappy with the progress of contract negotiations, flight attendants at United Airlines plan to stage a protest and picket at airports across the globe on December 17.
The move comes just as the busy holiday season gets underway. The industry is expecting a 3% increase in travelers in the holiday travel period, which officially starts December 18. That day is expected to be one of the heaviest travel days of the season.
The Association of Flight Attendants, which represents cabin crew at United, is calling on the airline to finish its merger with Continental Airlines and agree to a joint contract that would cover flight attendants from both carriers.
“It’s been five years, and now five holiday seasons since United Airlines initiated the merger. United Flight Attendants are still without a joint contract,” said Sara Nelson, the union’s president. Making an oblique reference to the children’s book The Grinch that Stole Christmas, the union said that “the Grinch is negotiating with United flight attendants” in a period of “historic profits.”