July 17 (Reuters) - The union that represents pilots from the United Continental Holdings Inc’s legacy airlines have voted to authorize a strike after failing to agree on a new contract.
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which represents pilots who flew for what were United and Continental Airlines before the two merged in 2010, said 99 percent of the voters supported a withdrawal of services, if required.
Pilots from United and Continental have been working without new contracts since they agreed to concessions in the airline industry’s financial traumas last decade, during which United went into bankruptcy and Continental took stringent cost-cutting measures.
“If a strike is what it is going to take to wake up the company’s leadership, the pilots are prepared to act,” ALPA said.
If the National Mediation Board declared an impasse between both parties, the union can call for a strike once the 30-day cooling-off period expires.
ALPA represents 7600 pilots at United Airlines and 4800 pilots at Continental Airlines.
Shares of United Continental Holdings were trading down 2 percent at $23.69 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.