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United Said to Reach Contract Accord With Pilots Union

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Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- United Continental Holdings Inc. reached a tentative contract agreement with union pilots, moving the world’s largest airline closer to integrating its workforce after the 2010 merger that formed the company, two people familiar with the matter said.

Pilot negotiators are briefing union leaders on the accord tonight, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. They said they couldn’t elaborate on the terms.

Approval by rank-and-file members of the Air Line Pilots Association would bring together work groups from the former United Airlines and Continental Airlines Inc., which closed their merger in October 2010. The combined company flies as United Airlines and kept that carrier’s Chicago headquarters.

The tentative agreement removes the threat of a potential strike, a step approved by pilots on July 17 to protest the lack of progress toward a single contract after more than two years of bargaining. United had to negotiate a unified accord because pilots’ previous contracts differed over matters such as pay, benefits and scheduling.

Rahsaan Johnson, a spokesman for United, and Lisa Cohen, a spokeswoman for the pilots, declined to comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mary Schlangenstein in Dallas at maryc.s@bloomberg.net; Julie Johnsson in Chicago at jjohnsson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net

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