Southwest Airlines, Pilots Union Reach Labor Deal

Southwest Airlines Co. and its pilots’ union have reached an agreement in principle on a new contract after years of long negotiations, according to the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association or SWAPA. The contract reportedly is worth $12 billion over five years.

SWAPA, which represents more than 11,000 pilots of the airline, said the next step in the process is an evaluation of the agreement by the union’s 25-member board of directors.

If approved, the agreement in principle or AIP then becomes a tentative agreement, which will be voted for by the 11,000-plus pilot union members.

The SWAPA Board of Directors is meeting on Wednesday to decide whether to release the agreement to a membership vote.

SWAPA President Captain Casey Murray said, “This AIP comes after three-and-a-half long years of negotiating. We are finally at a place where we think the value of our pilots and their productivity is being realized. Our pilots and Southwest Airlines customers deserve security and confidence in our future, and we believe that this contract achieves that.”

Southwest’s last contract ended in 2020, and pilots have been demanding higher pay and better work rules. The company has been in talks for a new contract for more than three years.

Among the major airlines, Southwest Airlines is the last to reach a deal with its pilots. In July, United Airlines reached a preliminary four-year pilot contract worth about $10 billion with United Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association. American Airlines, in late August, agreed for a new contract with its pilots union.

In August, Southwest Airlines reached a tentative agreement with the Transport Workers Union Local 555 for the airline’s Ramp, Operations, Provisioning, and Cargo Agents.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Transportation recently fined the airline $140 million for violating consumer protection rules after reaching a global settlement relating to the DOT’s investigation into the December 2022 Winter Storm Elliott disruption. Southwest said it paid more than $600 million in ticket refunds, expense reimbursements and goodwill gestures, both during and following the disruption.

Source: Read Full Article

Pin Up Aviator