Appearing on Reuters tonight, it appears that union leaders at United Airlines are asking its members to go forward with a vote to determine if United pilots would strike as a response to negotiations breaking down after 2 years of impasse on a new contract.
A vote like this would only authorize the potential of a strike and does not in anyway indicated that a strike would be imminent. In my opinion I think its more of a negotiation tactic being used by the union to bring management back to the bargaining table in an attempt to ratify new contracts for United’s 12,000 pilots.
It would be difficult for any US based airline to have it’s pilots walk out in a strike because the White House would have the ability to “forbid” the strike since it would not be in the best interest of American Commerce.
I really don’t expect United pilots to even come close to walking off the job, but in case you start to see more talk of this in the media, take it with a grain of salt. A lot of things would have to go drastically wrong for the pilots to ever reach the point of walking off the job.