US Air Service Workers OK Concessions

The wage agreement should save $137 million a year.
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US Airways'


passenger service employees approved a package of concessions estimated to save the airline about $137 million a year.

The Communications Workers of America, which represents some 6,000 US Airways reservation, gate and ticket agents, said rank-and-file members had voted "yes" to the concessions by a 60% margin. Early this month, union negotiators reached a tentative deal with the airline, which is struggling to emerge from its second trip through Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in two years.

The CWA said the agreement, which takes effect Jan. 1, reduces average wages by 12.9%, vs. a 34% cut management had earlier requested.

Pilots have ratified concessions with the airline, as have three units of the Transport Workers Union. The union representing flight attendants last week reached a tentative agreement with US Airways, although members have yet to ratify it. The airline continues to negotiate with the International Association of Machinists, which represents mechanics, fleet service workers, and maintenance training specialists.

The airline has asked the court overseeing its bankruptcy to cancel labor contracts with groups that don't reach consensual agreements. The judge in the case already imposed temporary 21% wage cuts on groups that had yet to agree to concessions.

US Airways shares recently traded up 4 cents, or 3.3%, at $1.26.