United Airlines, Teamsters Agree on Deal for Technicians

CHICAGO (Chicago Tribune/TNS) -

United Airlines said Friday that it has agreed to a deal with the Teamsters to put the carrier’s 8,600 technicians and related employees under a single contract.

The proposed deal — which has yet to be ratified by rank-and-file union members — is United’s first major deal since recently appointed CEO Oscar Munoz went on medical leave after a heart attack last week.

Acting CEO Brett J. Hart said the agreement, negotiated with the union with the help of the National Mediation Board, was important to ensuring that United’s flights take off and land on time, an area in which it has long lagged behind rivals.

“Our customers care most about taking off and landing on time, and doing so safely, and the unsurpassed efforts of our professional technicians and related employees help make this possible every day,” Hart said in a company statement. “Investing in our people is key to United’s long-term success, so I’m encouraged that we have reached this agreement with such an important part of our workforce.”

The Teamsters did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

United is still negotiating with unions representing flight attendants and pilots.