Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co.is the nation’s fourth-biggest airline.
Southwest Airlines Company (LUV) said it has reached a tentative agreement with the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association that offers wage increases and work-rule changes. “We have reiterated to Southwest Airlines for the past three years that our members require a contract that is commensurate with our peers at other major airlines with regard to retirement plans, work rules, and pay”. It earned almost as much – another $1.06 billion – in just the first six months of this year. The airline has been in negotiation with the pilots’ association for over three years, which might come to a final halt as the union called for a ratification vote.
“Ultimately, the positives and negatives of any deal will affect the lives of our membership”.
Southwest said the contract would give pilots industry-leading pay.
The leaders of the SWAPA, which boasts more than 8,000 pilots, subsequently reviewed the agreement, following which they chose to leave the ball in the pilots’ court. While the issues are slightly different at each carrier, the votes show how record profits in the airline industry are emboldening unions to seek a greater payoff. The ratification voting procedure is scheduled to commence in October this year and close a month later.
In May, the pilots union said it was funding a “strike preparedness committee” to help prepare pilots for the possibility of a strike. Southwest Vice President Craig Drew said he was encouraged that the union chose to let pilots vote. The shares have lost 7 percent in 2015.