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US Air ticket agents may walk
Union authorizes strike if deal can't be reached; company says strike not imminent.
November 11, 2004: 1:42 PM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Reservation agents at US Airways have authorized a strike if a deal over their contract can't be reached.

According to a Communication Workers of America press release, the union that represents US Air's ticket agents, 86 percent of union members voted to authorize a strike if a "fair, equitable" contract cannot be reached. The vote was conducted by mail and the ballots were counted Wednesday night.

"The goal of the CWA negotiating team is to reach a fair agreement that agents can ratify, an agreement that maintains our living standard and that acknowledges the value that experienced, skilled and professional customer service brings to US Airways," the CWA said in its press release.

According to the CWA, reservation agents have already been hit with a 21 percent wage cut and a 6 percent pension cutback in October, on the approval of the federal court overseeing US Airways' bankruptcy.

The CWA says those cuts reduced the top wage for an agent with 10 years' experience or more to just over $16 per hour.

"Our consistent goal has been to reach consensual agreements with all labor groups," U.S. Air said in a press release. "The company and the union are obligated to continue to negotiate and there is no immediate right to strike."

US Air, struggling under bankruptcy, is seeking new contracts with all of its employees. A strike by the ticket agents could come if the airline asked a judge to negate the current contract.  Top of page

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