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Pilots, United/Continental strike deal

Aug. 3, 2012 at 12:03 PM

CHICAGO, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- United and Continental pilots representatives said they had reached an agreement-in-principle with the merged U.S. airlines to present to union members.

"After working under a bankruptcy contract for nearly 10 years, the substantial contributions of the pilots in helping United Airlines survive its darkest economic days and make the United/Continental merger possible will, at last, be respected and rewarded," said Captain Jay Heppner, chairman of the United Master Executive Council of the Air Line Pilots Association in a release distributed by PR Newswire.

"This pilot group has endured more than its share of sacrifices since 9/11. We have flown through the airline's bankruptcy, taking drastic pay cuts and losing our pensions. We've witnessed the loss of thousands of United pilot jobs through outsourcing and off-shoring," Heppner said, calling the contract, "a great win for the pilots, a great win for the American people, a great win for those who put safety first in American and a great win for U.S. jobs."

The negotiations have dragged on for two years and were under the supervision of the National Mediation Board.

Details of the contract were not released, because terms have to be converted from a memorandum of understanding to a tentative agreement.

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