Labor issues hinder merger of United and Continental

07/22/2011 | Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model)

United and Continental airlines merged on Oct. 1 and had hoped to reach joint collective bargaining agreements with their unions by the end of 2011. Jeff Smisek, CEO of United Continental Holdings, said that likely won't happen. "I don't think we'll reach that goal given the complexities of merging mature, long-standing contracts as well as factors outside of our control," Smisek said. "Although I've made it clear to my own negotiators that I would like to reach joint collective bargaining agreements promptly, we are not going to repeat the mistakes of the past and create an unsustainable cost structure."

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