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Some workers at United Airlines reject labor offer

CHICAGO (AP) -- Unionized ground workers at United Airlines have rejected contracts designed to cover them whether they came from that airline or Continental.

The two heavily unionized airlines merged in 2010 and have been working to combine labor groups. Pilots have agreed to a joint contract, but other groups are still in talks.

The rejected contracts would have covered some 28,000 baggage handlers, reservations and ticket counter and gate workers, and storekeepers. The union posted vote totals on its website on Saturday.

The International Association of Aerospace Machinists and Aerospace Workers said it would survey members to assess their priorities for future talks. It also said it would notify federal mediators of its request to have mediators guide future talks.

United said in a statement that it will work with mediators and the IAM to determine its next steps. "We believe these tentative agreements are in the best interests of our co-workers and the company," the airline said.

Shares of Chicago-based United Continental Holdings Inc. fell $1.59, or 5.1 percent, to close at $29.38 on a day when all big airline shares fell.