The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) announced they have come to a tentative deal with the airline, with a unionwide vote scheduled through January 22, 2023.
Tentative Agreement Could End Three Years of Negotiations
The last contract between Southwest and SWAPA ended in 2020, with little progress being made on a new contract. The union held a strike vote in May 2023, leading to the two sides going to mediation by September.
Reuters reports the new deal is valued at $12 billion through December 2028. While SWAPA did not provide definitive numbers in their press release, the union noted the agreement “provides significant gains in compensation, with pay rate increases over the next four years.” The new agreement also provides “improvements to work rules and flying schedules, better disability coverage, and increases to retirement benefits.”
“Our membership has fought for almost four years to reach an agreement with Southwest Airlines,” SWAPA President Captain Casey Murray said in a press release. “They now have the opportunity to evaluate this deal and cast their vote accordingly.”
The move comes as labor unions are putting more pressure on airlines to secure contracts in a post-COVID world. In November, American Airlines flight attendants requested permission to strike from the National Mediation Board, claiming their negotiations were deadlocked with the carrier. Earlier in December, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA representing Alaska Airlines flight attendants called for vote to authorize a strike. Alaska Airlines says they are working with the union towards a tentative agreement.
Source: frugal travel guy