Union: Comair Flight Attendants Approve Concessions

CINCINNATI (AP) - Comair flight attendants have voted to accept cuts in wages and other concessions in a deal the Delta subsidiary has claimed was necessary for it to emerge from bankruptcy protection, their union said Tuesday.

The four-year deal with the 970 flight attendants includes a 7.5 percent pay cut and job protection if Comair was sold by Delta Air Lines Inc. before emerging from bankruptcy protection. Both sides negotiated the deal after a bankruptcy judge in New York gave Comair permission to impose concessions.

Comair and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters representing the airline's flight attendants reached a tentative agreement last month, four days after Comair said it would impose wage cuts and changes in work rules for the flight attendants on Nov. 15.

Union spokesman Galen Munroe said that the deal was ratified overwhelmingly but he did not have the exact count. Like Delta, Comair is trying to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filed last year and it says the cuts are necessary for it to survive.

Comair is based in Erlanger, Ky., near the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Officials with Local 513 of the Teamsters declined to release a dollar figure for the package of concessions before the vote by union members. The company says the package totals $7.9 million a year.

The deal will still have to be approved by a federal bankruptcy court. If approved, the agreement would take effect Dec. 31 unless the pilots union reaches a deal with the airline before that date.

Comair, with 6,500 employees, operates 882 flights daily to approximately 103 cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-11-14-06 1707EST