Last updated: 05:00 PM ET, Mon July 06 2015

Southwest Airlines Reaches Tentative Agreement on New Contract with Flight Attendants

Airlines & Airports | Patrick Clarke | July 06, 2015

Southwest Airlines Reaches Tentative Agreement on New Contract with Flight Attendants

Southwest Airlines has agreed to a tentative multi-year deal with the union representing its flight attendants, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The agreement puts the two parties in position to finalize a new contract aimed at increasing administrative efficiency and pay for cabin crew members.

Last week, leaders of the flight attendants union, which is comprised of as many as 12,000 Southwest cabin crew, voted in favor of submitting the new contract for a full membership vote. While precise terms of the contract haven't been disclosed, the Wall Street Journal reports it would be effective until May 2019 if approved.

In addition to a bump in pay, bonus opportunities and work-rule adjustments are said to be included in the tentative deal.

Transport Workers Union president Audrey Stone told the Wall Street Journal that the contract includes a number of improvements regarding benefits, scheduling, and protection for senior employees. "We believe you're going to see an agreement that absolutely addresses your priorities," said Stone in a video produced for flight attendants. 

According to the union, Southwest flight attendants will continue to be the highest paid in the industry.

In a statement, Southwest's chief operating officer Mike Van de Ven said the deal "also supports Southwest's low-cost structure and positions the company to be competitive in the years to come."

Southwest currently remains involved in negotiations with leaders of unions representing their pilots, ramp workers, and mechanics. 

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