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American Airlines pilots’ union accepts sweetened labor deal

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American Airlines plane
Silas Stein | picture alliance | Getty Images

American Airlines pilots’ union said Thursday that they agreed to a sweetened offer for a new labor contract, less than two weeks after a richer deal at rival United Airlines derailed voting at American.

The new preliminary agreement includes pay matching with United, whose pilots are on track to get about 40% raises over four years, and at Delta Air Lines, whose aviators approved their contract in March, as well as other improvements. American CEO Robert Isom last week increased the company’s offer by about $1 billion.

“We appreciate the Allied Pilots Association for its collaborative work to reach an updated agreement on a four-year contract for American’s pilots,” American said in a statement. “It’s a contract we’re proud of and one our pilots deserve.”

American’s pilots would start voting on the new deal in August.

The deal is the latest in the transportation industry where workers are seeking, and getting, higher wages. A shortage of pilots has emboldened unions to seek bigger raises and other improvements after the pandemic stalled negotiations.

UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters earlier this week struck a preliminary labor agreement to raise pay for more than 300,000 workers, a deal that averted a massive strike that could have rippled throughout the U.S. economy. Workers will vote on that deal next month.

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