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American Airlines passenger service agents approve new contract

American Airlines gate agents and customer service representatives approved a new contract that includes an average pay raise of 30 percent. Special/Brandon Wade
American Airlines gate agents and customer service representatives approved a new contract that includes an average pay raise of 30 percent. Special/Brandon Wade Star-Telegram

American Airlines gate agents and customer service representatives approved a new five-year contract that includes significant pay raises.

The workers approved the contract with 73.5 percent, or 6,993 votes, in favor and 26.5 percent, or 2,522 votes, against the deal. The 14,500 agents are represented by the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

“Our next task is to continue building a strong steward network to enforce this agreement and its job security provisions,” the union said in a statement. Wage increases will be included in paychecks on December 24, the union said.

American passenger service agents will see their pay increase by an average of 30 percent. The contract includes an immediate pay raise that brings the agents’ wages equal to what Delta Air Lines pays its employees, plus 3 percent. There is an additional 9 percent wage increase over the life of the five-year contract.

The employees work primarily in Texas, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona. Some agents are home-based.

The contract also guarantees no furloughs, although American has the option to outsource AAdvantage customer service, social media workers and curbside-check-in work. Workers who are on the payroll on the date the contract is signed will not have their jobs outsourced.

“We could not be more pleased to provide compensation that reflects their contributions toward the airline’s success,” said American senior vice president of customer experience Kerry Philipovitch. “This agreement is a huge step in making us truly one combined team, and we thank the CWA-IBT for their professionalism in advocating for their members.”

American agents, previously not unionized, voted in favor of being represented by the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters last September.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

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