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American Air flight attendants pact on union representation

US Airways and American Airlines signs are pictured at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 9, 2013.
US Airways and American Airlines signs are pictured at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 9, 2013.

(Reuters) - Flight attendants at US Airways, which merged with AMR Corp late last year to form American Airlines Group , on Friday approved an agreement to change their union at the merged company.

The US Airways flight attendants are represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union, while their counterparts at American are represented by the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (AFPA).

As a result of the vote, the AFPA will represent the 24,000 flight attendants at the combined airline.

The vote sets the stage for talks on a joint labor contract to move faster, on a timetable expected to result in an agreement in place no later than the first quarter of 2015.

The two unions planned to file an application with the U.S. National Mediation Board in June to ask that the Association of Professional Flight Attendants be certified as the representative for flight attendants at the combined airline. The US Airways flight attendants' vote was the last step before the labor groups can formalize the change on representation.

Until the board certifies the change, the US Airways attendants will retain their current representation.

Formed in December, American Airlines Group is the world's biggest airline. Doug Parker, the former chief executive of US Airways who took that role at the merged carrier, said in a statement that the flight attendant vote showed that "the people of American are working together in an environment of coordinated, collaborative teamwork and mutual respect."

Shares of American Airlines were up 0.8 percent to $36.83 in afternoon trading.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta; Editing by Bernard Orr and Amanda Kwan)

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