Machinists split on Alaska Airlines contract

Ramp agents for Alaska Airlines have accepted a two-year contract extension, even as clerical and customer service workers voted to reject the same deal.

Both bargaining units are represented by IAM District 143, which is based in St. Paul, Minn.

In the voting last week, some 85 percent of the 625 ramp service and stores agents approved the deal, while 65 percent of the 2,800 clerical, office and passenger services workers rejected it.

By approving the contract,  ramp workers got 1.5-percent general wage increases, plus further raises in 2010 and 2011 based on seniority. The ramp workers also will be enrolled in an performance-based incentive program.

The clerical, office and passenger service workers will continue working under the old contract, and talks toward reaching a new one will resume in early 2010, both sides said.

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