U.S. Airways flight attendants to take strike vote

The union representing flight attendants at US Airways Group Inc said on Wednesday it plans to take a strike vote after its members twice rejected a proposed contract with the carrier this year.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA said the strike poll will run from October 31 to November 20.

The present US Airways, which has about 6,700 flight attendants, was formed from a 2005 merger with America West Airlines. Flight attendants at the former America West and former US Airways have been working under separate contracts for years as the union has negotiated with the carrier to reach a joint agreement.

In late September, the flight attendants voted 51 percent to 49 percent to reject a proposed five-year contract from management. In March, the workers also voted down a tentative agreement that had been reached with help from the U.S. National Mediation Board.

"We remain focused on achieving a contract that works for all of us and in order to do that we need to back up our demands by taking action together," union leaders said in a message to members on Wednesday.

US Airways in August signed a nondisclosure agreement with bankrupt American Airlines parent AMR Corp to evaluate a possible merger.

A US Airways spokeswoman said the carrier had been advised by the NMB that should flight attendants reject the contract, no additional talks were likely to be set. She added that before any strike could occur, the NMB would need to release the parties from talks and there would have to be a 30-day cooling-off period.

Shares of US Airways were up 2 cents at $11.32 in afternoon trading.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta; editing by Matthew Lewis)