WASHINGTON — Negotiators for 6,000 flight attendants and Pan American World Airways continued bargaining past a midnight strike deadline Sunday night.
"The parties have agreed to continue talking," National Mediation Board member Walter C. Wallace said as the deadline passed.
Earlier in the day, Wallace said airline and union bargainers had achieved some progress in narrowing their differences "but there's a long way to go."
'Mood Is Good'
"The mood is . . . good in the sense that both sides are certainly making it clear to me that they're anxious to reach an agreement," Wallace told a news conference.
The company and the Independent Union of Flight Attendants have been negotiating on a number of issues, including job security.
Pan Am, which is experiencing serious financial problems, is seeking authority to replace U.S. flight attendants with foreign nationals on some international flights.
Foreigners' Pay Lower
The foreign nationals would not be covered by a union contract and would be paid substantially less than union members. A spokesman said average flight attendants and pursers make $23,000 to $27,000 a year assuming overtime. He said the foreign nationals would make from $225 to $773 a month.
A union spokesman said, "We just cannot compete."
The airline said last week that it would fly 65% of its normal flight load today regardless of any job action by the flight attendants.