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United Airline’s parent reaches tentative deal with machinists union

Updated: February 13, 2013 7:22PM

United Airlines’ parent United Continental Holdings and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union reached tentative agreements on new contracts covering 32,500 workers, the parties said Wednesday.

“These landmark agreements provide retroactive wage increases, signing bonuses, traditional pension increases plus a 401(k) match, improved job security and additional affordable health care options,” IAM District 141 President Rich Delaney said in a statement, without providing more detail. “The IAM negotiating committee is unanimously recommending ratification of each of the tentative agreements.”

The contracts cover workers in ramp/fleet service, public contact/reservations and stock clerk/stores classifications at the world’s largest airline.

The union said negotiations for 1,500 fleet maintenance instructors, fleet technical instructors, food service and security workers are continuing.

Negotiations for IAM members at United began in 2009, but the process was stalled pending the outcome of representation disputes following United’s 2010 merger with Continental Airlines and Continental Micronesia.

“IAM negotiators blended multiple contracts and policies from three different airlines covering several classifications,” IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja said in a statement. “No other union has ever had to deal with such a tremendous undertaking in a single round of negotiations.”

The IAM is the largest union at United Airlines.

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