United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) announced that the United Master Executive Council (MEC) of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) informed UAL that the MEC has approved a tentative agreement between AFA and UAL for a flight attendants’ contract and is recommending the tentative agreement to United flight attendants for their consideration and ratification. The agreement is the result of an expedited mediation process that began last September, modeled on the National Mediation Board’s Expedited Mediation Program. The agreement provides for numerous improvements, including increased wages and a signing bonus for United flight attendants. "I am pleased that we were able to reach this agreement following an intense mediation process. We appreciate the hard work of both negotiating teams in reaching an agreement that is fair to United flight attendants and fair to the company, and recognizes the great work by our flight attendants," said Sam Risoli, senior vice president of inflight services for United. "We look forward to the ratification of this agreement, which will be promptly followed by negotiations for a joint agreement that will fully integrate all of our flight attendants under a single contract." The tentative agreement covers more than 15,000 flight attendants at the company’s United Airlines subsidiary located throughout the United States and several international bases and is subject to ratification by United Airlines flight attendants. Continental flight attendants ratified their collective bargaining agreement in February 2011. "We want to thank the National Mediation Board for their assistance during the negotiations. We particularly wish to thank Senior Mediator Patricia Sims for her pivotal role in assisting the parties to reach a successful conclusion to this expedited mediation," said Mike Bonds, executive vice president of human resources and labor relations for United. The AFA represents more than 24,000 flight attendants at the company’s United and Continental subsidiaries.