Southwest Flight Attendants Reject Proposed Agreement
Southwest Airlines announced in a news release Friday that the company’s flight attendants have rejected a proposed agreement, which would have ended two years of negotiations.
Citing representatives for Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556, the release said the deal was voted down by 87 percent out of the near-89 percent of flight attendants who cast ballots.
"This agreement ensured that our Flight Attendants would stay atop the industry in pay and benefits," Randy Babbitt, Southwest senior vice president labor relations asserted. "It improved the Company's competitiveness with certain work-rule changes and supported our evolving network, both domestically and in international markets. So naturally we're disappointed that it didn't pass."
The release states the deal was to last until May 2019 and feature fixed wage increases, cash bonuses and quality of life improvements. Southwest said in the release, “it remains committed to reaching an agreement that best serves the interests of both the company and its flight attendants.”
Audrey Stone, President of TWU Local 556 offered some insight into the rejection, stating in a news release “Southwest Airlines management sought controversial operational changes in the new contract to address its future business model. These proposed work rule changes were considered by many voters to be overreaching and burdensome on flight attendants and their quality of work and family life.
"The best flight attendants in the industry have earned and deserve a new contract. We will work hard to reach a new agreement — one that recognizes the stellar service we provide every day,” said Stone.”
Until an agreement is reached, Southwest flight attendants will be operating under the contract established May 31, 2013.
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