- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 7, 2002

ASSOCIATED PRESS

US Airways reached a tentative agreement yesterday on cost cuts with 8,000 passenger-service agents represented by the Communications Workers of America.

The deal gives US Airways the reductions it says it needs from all unions except one: the one representing its 6,600 mechanics.

But the International Association of Machinists agreed yesterday to vote again on a proposal to authorize $151 million in annual concessions from mechanics and related employees.

Last month, 57 percent of mechanics' union members rejected the same proposal. But union spokesman Joe Tiberi said many members were confused about the consequences of such a vote.

Many were concerned that a federal bankruptcy judge could invalidate the union's entire collective-bargaining agreement, Mr. Tiberi said. If that happens, the airline could impose wage and work rules as it sees fit.

Details of the deal with the CWA were not released, but airline officials said it met the company's targets for cost reductions. US Airways had been seeking about $70 million in annual wage concessions from the employees.

Overall, US Airways has been asking its 35,000 employees to make annual wage concessions totaling about $840 million.

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