Air Wisconsin threatens strike

AURORA, Colo. (AP) Air Wisconsin pilots have voted overwhelmingly to strike as a last resort if they are unable to reach agreement on a new contract.

Capt. Mitch Madison, chairman of the strike committee, said Tuesday that 96.6 percent of the pilots who returned mail ballots opted to strike. About half of the airline's 600 pilots voted.

''It shows management that this pilots' group is serious about getting a fair and equitable contract,'' Madison said.

Pat Thompson, an executive vice president for Air Wisconsin, said the negotiations have been progressing on some issues, but a strike vote is a fairly standard procedure during such talks.

''We were aware our folks were conducting a strike vote,'' he said. ''We don't expect it will come to that. We're clearly in negotiations.''

Appleton, Wis.-based Air Wisconsin is a United Express carrier that operates exclusive service to many ski resorts in Colorado and commuter flights from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago and Denver International Airport.

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