Last updated: 03:26 PM ET, Thu November 05 2015

Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Union Rejects Contract Offer

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | November 05, 2015

Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Union Rejects Contract Offer

The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association announced Wednesday that it had rejected a proposed four-year labor contract.

According to a report from The Associated Press, the pilots’ association had about 62 percent of its members vote against the proposed contract offer from Southwest Airlines, with another 38 percent voting in favor of the agreement.

The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association—which represents around 8,000 pilots—claims the new proposal was reached in September. While the contract did include some higher pay and work improvements, the pilot’s union deemed it unacceptable.

Southwest Airlines officials and the pilot’s union both stated that they expect to start another round of mediated negotiations in spring 2016. As the two sides continue to hammer out the details of a new deal, Southwest pilots will continue working under the parameters of the current contract.

Southwest Vice President Craig Drew released a statement about the process, saying, “Everyone who worked on this agreement wanted to ensure that it recognized Southwest Pilots for the role they play in the company's success. Although our efforts failed to produce an agreement, we will continue working until we have a contract that meets the needs of our Pilots and the Company.”

This is not a new battle, either, as Southwest and its pilots have been locked in a legal battle over a new contract for more than three years. The two sides started mediated negotiations in November 2014.


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