Saturday, January 31, 2009

Southwest Airlines Pilots: Tentative Agreement on New 5-year Contract

Southwest Airlines logoThe Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA) notified its membership yesterday that a tentative agreement (TA) for a new five year contract had been reached. Southwest pilots have been working under a contract that became amendable on August 31, 2006, and negotiations had been underway since September of 2006. The new contract, if approved by the membership, will run through August 31, 2011.

According to a message sent to the membership by the SWAPA leadership, the TA includes a retroactive pay raise, an increase in 401(k) matching, better scheduling and work rules language, and an improved disability program.

Also mentioned is a provision that prohibits code-shares on domestic routes, although restrictions regarding international code-shares were not disclosed.

A Southwest Airlines press release about the TA said:
The Company is pleased with this tentative agreement that delivers raises and increased retirement benefits for Southwest Pilots. This agreement once again demonstrates SWAPA's commitment to maintain Southwest's competitive position and financial strength during these challenging economic times.

The tentative agreement is still subject to finalizing language and approval by the SWAPA Board of Directors. If the SWAPA Board of Directors approves the tentative agreement, it will be presented to all members of SWAPA for review and a ratification vote.
Also this week, Southwest's mechanics, represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), voted to ratify their tentative agreement for a new four year contract. That TA was reached in December of 2008. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement between AMFA and Southwest is scheduled to be signed next week.

UPDATE June 3, 2009: Back to the bargaining table: Southwest Airlines pilots contract ratification vote fails