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US Airways, Machinists Reach Pact

September 22, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ US Airways and the Machinists union have reached a tentative contract agreement covering more than 7,000 employees.

The agreement announced by both sides Tuesday comes nearly four years after the contract came up for renegotiation and avoids a strike that had been scheduled for midnight Sunday.

Rick Weintraub, a spokesman for US Airways, headquartered in Arlington, Va., refused to comment or provide details about the agreement.

Machinists union officials could not be reached Tuesday night for comment, but a message announcing the agreement on the organization’s Web site said officials were ``in the process of finalizing the language″ of the new contract.

Union members will work under the existing agreement until a ratification vote can be held on the new accord, according to the Web site message.

The new agreement is subject to the approval of more than 7,000 airline mechanics, cleaners and other related workers. A previous tentative agreement was rejected by union members in July.

Machinist members have not had a pay raise since October 1995. A main issue in the debate has been job security for less-skilled position and what the union sees as a company effort to convert the jobs of aircraft cleaners into part-time work.

The airline is engaged in mediation in an effort to reach a new contract with 8,300 flight attendants.

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