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US Airways flight attendants authorize strike

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Flight attendants at US Airways voted Tuesday to authorize a strike as part of their talks with the airline for a new contract.

Such votes are common during negotiations, and don't mean that a walkout is likely. Federal labor law makes it difficult for unions to win permission to strike.

The union said in a Q-and-A for members that it took the strike vote "as a way of backing up the negotiating committee and demonstrating that Flight Attendants are willing to do what is necessary to reach an agreement."

The union said 94 percent of flight attendants voted in favor of the strike authorization.

"We don't want to strike. We want to work for a successful airline," the union said in a prepared statement.

US Airways Group Inc. is the product of the 2005 combination of US Airways with America West. For the most part it's run as one airline, although flight attendants still work under separate union contracts depending on which airline they came from.

Both groups of flight attendants are represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.

In September US Airways flight attendants narrowly rejected an agreement that would have granted pay raises and job protections.

Talks between the airline and the union are governed by the federal National Mediation Board. US Airways said the union has not requested that the NMB cease the mediation and negotiations process.

US Airways shares rose 42 cents, or 3.5 percent, to close at $12.49.