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Airline, Pilots Reach Tentative Agreement

Thu., March 20, 1997

Negotiators for American Airlines and its pilots have reached an agreement in principle in a contract dispute that threatened to shut down a major portion of the nation’s air travel, spokesmen for the pilots and the airline said Wednesday.

Capt. Michael Cronin, the pilot union’s chief of legislative affairs, said negotiators were still working on details, but that a proposal would be presented to the pilots union board Friday.

“The details are still being worked on as we speak, and we want our board of directors to hear it from negotiators and not from the press,” Cronin said.

American Airlines spokesman Chris Chiames confirmed, “We have reached an agreement in principle.”

Chiames also stressed that talks were continuing, and union sources cautioned that several details must be worked out before a proposal is submitted to the pilots’ board.

Word of the proposal came as an emergency board prepared to send President Clinton a report about the issues separating the pilots and the nation’s largest domestic airline. The board was appointed by the president minutes after the pilots voted to strike last month.

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