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AMERICAN AIRLINES CREW REJECT UNION CONTRACT

JOSH BOAK, AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) – Flight attendants at American Airlines have rejected a five-year contract, forcing the world’s largest carrier and its union for cabin-crew workers into binding arbitration.

Just 16 votes blocked the contract Sunday – with 8,180 voting for and 8,196 voting against, according to the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.

The rejection of the contract affects roughly 24,000 workers and complicates the integration of American Airlines and US Airways. The two merged last year to form the world’s biggest airline operator. The proposed contract included guaranteed raises but ended a profit-sharing plan.

Last month, American Airlines Group Inc. reported an all-time best $942 million profit in the June-through-September quarter, nearly double the amount that American and US Airways earned separately last year. CEO Doug Parker predicted more records for the fourth-quarter.