Southwest Airlines announced today that its Pilots have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement.
The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) reported a strong voter participation level of 96.3 percent. The pilots accepted the new agreement with 84.26 percent voting in favor and 15.74 percent against.
With a contract amendable in 2012, it took more than four years of negotiations, including a failed first attempt last year, to reach a deal that the pilots collectively believed was suitable.
“This contract recognizes and rewards our Pilots for their professionalism and leadership,” said Alan Kasher, Vice President Flight Operations.
“Beyond the compensation and work rule improvements, this forward-looking agreement delivers the operational flexibility needed to grow our network and ensures that Southwest will remain well-positioned for long-term success in our intensely-competitive industry.”
New contractual terms, including a new wage scale and bonus provisions, will be implemented according to an agreed timeline. Negotiations began in 2012 and have been guided by the National Mediation Board (NMB) since 2014.
“We would like to thank our Mediators and the Board members of the NMB for their assistance in helping us reach this agreement,” said Russell McCrady, Senior Director of Labor Relations.
“This has been an incredible year of pilot unity and resolve. We are now seeing the results,” said SWAPA President Capt. Jon Weaks.
“The new CBA is the first step in SWAPA’s global strategy moving forward. We are not going to slow down. We will continue to be unconventional disrupters for the good of our pilots, our profession, and our company.”
The newly-ratified contract becomes amendable in November 2020.