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American Airlines pilots approve MOU for agreements under merger

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Union leaders who represent American Airlines pilots approved a tentative agreement Saturday for how the airline could merge with US Airways.

The board of the Allied Pilots Association (APA) said it voted 11-5 to approve a so-called memorandum of understanding that, with approval of other parties, "would serve as a framework for an agreement" if the airlines merge.

The union declined to provide details of the agreement, citing a non-disclosure agreement it sign as a party to the merger talks.

American, which is restructuring in bankruptcy court, is in talks to merge with US Airways. American could merge as part of the structuring process or exit bankruptcy and then decide whether to merge. A merger could be announced as soon as January 9, when AMR's board is due to meet.

A framework for the unions' labor agreements are a crucial part of the merger discussions. The APA said it is in talks with officials from American's parent, AMR Corp, US Airways and the US Airline Pilots Association, which represents US Airways pilots. Also included in the talks is the Unsecured Creditors Committee, which represents creditors of American.

(Reporting by Scott Alwyn; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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