USAIR HAS WON tentative agreement on labour concessions from the International Association of Machinists. They join company pilots, in agreeing to the loss-making carrier's programme to cut $2.5 billion in labour costs, over five years.

The airline is continuing negotiations with the Association of Flight Attendants and members of the Transport Workers Union who must also join in the cost-cutting programme. USAir's board of directors and its shareholders must also agree to any deal.

Details of the agreement with the 14,500 mechanics and ramp workers have not been disclosed, but the airline sought $90 million in annual cost reductions from them. USAir says that it offered "financial returns and governance participation" in exchange for "wage and other concessions".

In March, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) agreed to annual pay reductions totaling $190 million, and a 300-pilot layoff, in exchange for stock and representation on the board. ALPA's offer requires concessions from all four labour groups.

Source: Flight International