Posted on: 27 July 2015 by Ross McSweeny
According to representatives for the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556, in the vote on a tentative agreement (TA) on a new contract for Southwest Airlines’ flight attendants, 87% of those who cast ballots voted against the TA.
Had the TA been passed it would have brought to an end two years of negotiations. For now, Southwest’s flight attendants will continue working under the terms of their current agreement, which became amendable on 31 May 2013.
The new deal was slated to run until May 2019 and contained fixed wage increases, cash bonuses, and quality of life improvements. According to TWU, nearly 89% of eligible flight attendants voted in the ballot.“This agreement ensured that our flight attendants would stay atop the industry in pay and benefits,” said Randy Babbitt, Southwest’s SVP labour relations. “It improved the company's competitiveness with certain work-rule changes and supported our evolving network, both domestically and in international markets. So naturally we're disappointed that it didn't pass.”
Southwest expects TWU leadership will take some time to evaluate the results prior to returning to direct bargaining.