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United Airlines workers reject the carrier’s first combined contract offer

Apr 02, 2013 1:15 pm

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Now that Tom Horton is on his way out at American Air, Smisek will likely inherit the reputation as the least-liked airline CEO.

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Shannon Stapleton  / Reuters

Continental Airlines CEO Smisek speaks during a news conference announcing the merger between Continental Airlines and United Airlines in New York. Labor isn't fond of him. Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

Several work groups at United Continental Holdings, incorporating some 28,000 employees, have rejected new joint contract offers from the airline.

Groups of workers represented by the International Association of Machinists union, including passenger service, fleet service and storekeepers, rejected joint contracts that would cover employees from both United Airlines and the former Continental Airlines, which merged in 2010. Final votes were tallied Saturday.

This is the first time the employees voted on a combined contract.

The IAM District 141 will now request of the National Mediation Board that it enter into federally mediated negotiations with the airline, the union said in a statement.

United said on its negotiations website, “We believe these tentative agreements are in the best interests of our coworkers and the company. We will work with the IAM and National Mediation Board to determine our next steps.”

United has a joint contact with its pilots, but is still working to reach joint contracts with its other unions.

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