UPDATE 1-United Airlines pilot union leaders vote for deal to prevent furloughs

(Changes sourcing, adds details)

CHICAGO, Sept 16 (Reuters) - The United Airlines pilots union leaders said on Wednesday they have voted to approve a deal with the company that would protect some 2,850 jobs until June 2021, even as the industry battles a sharp downturn from the coronavirus pandemic.

A full vote by union members will begin on Sept. 21, but the support of the elected union leaders of the Air Line Pilots Association that represents United's 13,000 pilots is a key step in the process.

Chicago-based United has warned that some 16,000 jobs are at risk without an extension of federal aid that expires on Oct. 1, but this deal with the pilots - if approved by all union members - would reduce that number.

Airlines have also been trying to minimize the number of forced jobs cuts through voluntary packages like early retirement or temporary leaves.

United's proposed agreement with its pilots offers a second round of early separation options for all pilots age 50 and over with 10 years of experience.

It also adds restrictions on the amount of flying by regional carriers and would provide certain triggers for a pay raise and other contract modifications that would improve pilots' work conditions, the union leaders said in a statement.

United has about 13,000 pilots total. (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski Editing by Chris Reese)

09/16/2020 18:11

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