The Machinists Union applauds United Airlines’ announcement that the carrier plans to hire over 25,000 airline workers and purchase 200 737 MAX airplanes by 2026. The “United Next” plan includes the addition of 270 total airplanes as well as plans to retrofit 100 percent of remaining mainline, narrow-body fleet.

“The workers we represent at United and Boeing will benefit tremendously from this long-term investment,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Our union looks forward to helping the airline and aerospace industries, especially after a difficult period with the global pandemic. The IAM led the fight on Capitol Hill for the airline Payroll Support Program (PSP) that kept tens of thousands of workers employed. The Machinists Union also fought for the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act, legislation that is helping employers hire back aerospace workers as we recover from the pandemic. This announcement will preserve and create good union jobs that will impact communities across the world.”

“It wasn’t too long ago that hundreds of thousands of airline workers were facing layoffs and an unclear path,” said Richard Johnsen, IAM Chief of Staff to the International President. “I commend United Airlines for investing in a vital industry for our country. As the largest airline union, the IAM will ensure that we fulfill the mission to empower every IAM member to serve the global marketplace with dignity and respect. The IAM is excited to welcome future United Airlines employees into our union. This investment is great news for all IAM members and their families.”

“I am extremely proud of IAM District 141 members for their work throughout this pandemic,” said IAM District 141 President and Directing General Chair Mike Klemm. “This announcement signals that our industry is heading in the right direction, thanks to the work of our members at United Airlines. IAM District 141 members will continue to work hard and be a leader for the rest of the industry.”

“This order is positive news for IAM members in the Puget Sound region and beyond. This order will certainly support our membership locally with good-paying family wage jobs,” said IAM District 751 President and Directing Business Representative Jon Holden. “We are proud to continue to build these aircraft for one of the world’s leading airlines that also employs Machinists Union members across the country. It is a good sign that air travel is picking up and recovery from the pandemic has started.” 

“This is a much-needed boost for our Brothers and Sisters in the Puget Sound and the entire aerospace industry,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary R. Allen. “The airline and aerospace industries play a huge role in our global economy, and this is especially true in the economy in the western United States. We are very proud of the IAM members in the Puget Sound, the best aerospace workers in the world.”

“I applaud this announcement after such a difficult year for the aerospace industry,” said IAM Aerospace General Vice President Mark Blondin. “Our members build the best products globally, and this investment is a signal that we are headed in the right direction. We hope that this type of investment will have a ripple effect in supply chains throughout our nation.”

The “United Next” plan is expected to create 25,000 well-paying, union jobs at United, significantly lower carbon emissions per seat and contribute an estimated $50 billion annually towards the U.S. economy by 2026. Combined with the airline’s current order book, United expects to add more than 500 new aircraft including about one new plane every three days in 2023 alone.

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