The union representing about 2,500 Southwest Airlines mechanics voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to ratify a brand new contract proposal, ending a labor deadlock that lasted almost seven years and wound up in court docket twice.
The five-year deal offers the mechanics $160 million in again pay to cowl the interval because the final contract resulted in August 2012, will increase salaries 20 % instantly and consists of three % annual raises, in response to the union, the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association.
In a press release, the union mentioned that the proposal was higher than one it rejected in September, and that greater than 90 % of its members had voted to approve it. The union mentioned its main concession was permitting Southwest to proceed outsourcing some mechanics’ work to overseas contractors.
“Our focus now shifts to working together with Southwest Airlines, as we do the important work of restoring the safety culture Southwest Airlines has traditionally been known for,” the union’s assertion mentioned.
Southwest mentioned in its personal assertion that the deal would take impact instantly and would profit each the corporate and its employees.
“Our mechanics will receive well-deserved pay increases, and the company will realize additional flexibilities necessary to compete in today’s airline industry,” Russell McCrady, Southwest’s vice chairman of labor relations, mentioned within the assertion.
The settlement took place three months after Southwest sued the union, accusing it of an illegal work slowdown that forced the cancellation of 100 flights a day for weeks. The union said mechanics were grounding planes because of safety concerns. The Federal Aviation Administration warned both sides that the dispute could hurt the safety of the airline, which carries more passengers on domestic flights than any other airline. (Southwest also sued the mechanics in 2017, accusing them of illegally boycotting overtime work.)
Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst, said travelers would be happy to see the impasse broken.
“There is peace in the kingdom,” said Mr. Harteveldt, the founder of Atmosphere Research Group. “This is good news for Southwest and its travelers, especially as the airline heads into the extremely busy and extremely critical summer season.”
Mr. Harteveldt said Southwest investors could also have reason to applaud the agreement. American Airlines sued its mechanics on Monday, meaning some travelers might see Southwest as a more reliable option in cities where the two airlines compete.
“There may be a slight shift in market share and thus revenue in favor of Southwest,” he said.
Get more stuff like this
Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.