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International Association Of Machinists At Alaska Airlines Approve One Contract Extension, Reject Another

SEATTLE - Alaska Airlines announced Dec. 17 that the carrier's 625 ramp service and stores agents represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) have ratified a two-year contract extension. The airline's 2,800 clerical, office and passenger service employees, who are also represented by the IAMAW, rejected an identical two-year extension proposal.

The agreement for ramp service and stores agents was ratified by 85 percent of the employees who voted, while the clerical, office and passenger service work group rejected their proposed contract extension by 65 percent.

"We're pleased that our ramp service and stores agents resoundingly approved the extension and will continue to have a stable labor agreement that recognizes their dedicated efforts to provide our customers with outstanding service," said Kelley Dobbs, Alaska Airlines' vice president of human resources and labor relations. "While we're disappointed that our clerical, office and passenger service employees rejected the same extension proposal, we respect their choice and will begin preparations for contract negotiations early next year."

The contract extension approved by ramp service and stores agents provides them with a 1.5-percent pay increase in June 2010 and 2011, plus an annual pay raise based on their seniority with the company. In addition, they will now participate in the same performance-based incentive plan as all other Alaska Airlines work groups, except clerical, office and passenger service employees.

Under the Railway Labor Act, which governs collective bargaining agreements in the airline industry, contracts do not expire. Instead, they become amendable. The current contract for Alaska Airlines' clerical, office and passenger service employees becomes amendable on July 19, 2010. Negotiators for Alaska and the IAM will commence the bargaining process in early 2010.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together serve more than 90 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 and 2009 North America Airline Satisfaction StudiesSM. For reservations, visit alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at alaskaair.com/newsroom.

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