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Southwest & AirTran Flight Attendants Closer To Merge

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DALLAS (AP) - Flight attendants for Dallas-based Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways have voted to ratify an agreement allowing the combining their seniority lists.

The agreement, announced Tuesday, is a step toward merging the two labor groups.

Southwest Airlines Co. bought AirTran last year for $1.4 billion and plans to eventually extinguish the AirTran brand.

Southwest flight attendants are represented by the Transport Workers Union, while their AirTran counterparts are members of the Association of Flight Attendants.

Among AirTran attendants, 91 percent approved the deal, which will likely result in higher wages for them. At Southwest, 64 percent favored it.

Seniority determines assignments and pay.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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