United Airlines pilots will get a 14.5 percent pay raise and eight weeks of paid maternity leave in a two-year deal that’s been sent to the pilots for ratification. The fat contract was signed off by Air Line Pilots Association and the membership has until July 15 to vote but ratification is expected. Assuming the deal is sealed, United will be the first of the majors to settle with pilots in the face of staffing issues that have been blamed on a pilot shortage that ALPA claims doesn’t exist. It’s likely to set the benchmark for negotiations at other carriers and ripple through the whole industry.
Delta and its pilots are deadlocked and the pilots plan to protest the stalled negotiations on June 30. Alaska Airlines pilots have voted to strike and regional airlines have given hefty raises to their pilots to try to retain them. Virtually all airlines are facing protests from pilots about fatigue and last-minute schedule changes as one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, July 4th, looms.