United Airlines, Flight Attendants Agree on New Contract

United Airlines won a much-needed labor victory Friday when its 25,000 flight attendants voted to approve a new contract.

The agreement comes nearly six years after the airline merged with Continental Airlines and is the first contract to cover flight attendants from both carriers. Since the 2010 merger, the Chicago-based airline has had to operate jets with cabin crews made up entirely from one of the predecessor airlines. Now it is free to mix staff, making scheduling easier and bringing down costs.

The victory was not a landslide, with 53 percent of the flight attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, supporting the new five-year contract. More than 90 percent of the eligible workers voted.

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