DALLAS, TX – Southwest Airlines and the Southwest Airlines Pilot Association (SWAPA) announced today they have reached an agreement in principle on a new, five-year agreement through August 31, 2011. The current Southwest Pilot contract became amendable on August 31, 2006. SWAPA and Southwest Airlines began contract negotiations in September 2006.
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.
Additionally, Southwest Airlines announced that the Southwest Airlines Maintenance Employees represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) voted to ratify the tentative, four-year agreement both parties reached in early December 2008. The new contract is active through August 16, 2012. The official collective bargaining agreement will be signed in Dallas on Tuesday, February 3, 2009.
“I commend the negotiations teams for delivering a contract that benefits our employees and also positions Southwest Airlines for continued financial strength,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest’s chairman, president, and CEO. “In light of these challenging economic times, the teams delivered a cost-neutral contract that protects jobs and preserves our unique and proud culture.”
The new contract delivers raises in exchange for work rule improvements and scheduling flexibility along with productivity and gained efficiencies. It also offers Southwest’s mechanics stronger job security and protection.