No Pay Gloom At Continental

As major US airlines search for cost-cutting measures, Continental has reversed the trend by agreeing to higher pay, improved benefits and increased job protection for its mechanics and technicians.

Members of the Teamsters union can look forward to pay increases as high as 23 percent at the top end of the scale.

The deal is in stark contrast to the wage-cutting climate at bankrupt carriers US Airways and United Airlines, while the biggest airline in the US, American, is proposing a pay freeze.

In addition to pay, the four-year agreement also includes a provision to re-look at wages in January 2004 and establishes work rules and other contract items through 2006.