Passenger service workers, office and clerical employees at SeaTac's Alaska Airlines have approved a 5-year agreement giving them raises and new job protections.
The agreement tentatively approved by bargainers in February, was approved by 62 percent of Alaska workers voting.
In addition to salary increases, the new pact offers the union, the International Association of Machinists, the right to participate in any merger talks the airline may enter with other carriers and the right of its members to have their seniority protected in any subsequent airline combination.
Alaska is the smallest of the United States' traditional network airlines. Some analysts have speculated the airline, with a strong hub in Seattle, could become the focus of a merger proposal by one of the country's three mega-carriers, Delta, United and American.
Those three carriers in recent years have merged with other major airlines. Delta, for instance, merged with Northwest. American with US Airway, United with Continental.
Delta in recent months has attacked Alaska at Sea-Tac and along the West Coast where the airline is the strongest adding flights from Sea-Tac to cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas, all cities where Alaska is strong.
Alaska has retaliated by adding new flights to Delta's hub in Salt Lake City from West Coast cities and by broadening its route structure to include cities where that Sea-Tac fliers might have used Delta to reach such as Tampa, New Orleans, Detroit and Balitmore.