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United and Continental pilots finally have a contract

Chicago-based United Continental Holdings has finally agreed to a new contract with its pilots union.

After two and a half years of negotiations, the pilots of United and Continental represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, approved the joint collective bargaining agreement on Friday.

The agreement brings both pilot groups together, working under a single contract. Halli Mullei, spokesperson for the Airline Pilots Association said this is a new beginning.

"We voted not just for a new contract but a new future. We hope it signals the beginning of working with management as equal respective partners as we look to build the world's preeminent airline.”

The agreement will be implemented immediately, and is expected to provide gains in compensation, work rules, job protections and retirement and benefits for the pilots.

The next step now is for both pilot groups to negotiate between each other on one unified seniority list. That lists determines what routes pilots fly. The Airline Pilots Association expects that to take several months.

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