Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants Contract Offer Rejected By Wide Margin

The contract offer between Southwest Airlines and the union has been rejected by flight attendants. According to the Transport Workers Union Local 556, the proposal was voted down with a majority of 64% to 36%. The president of the Local, Lyn Montgomery, stated that this vote comes after five years of negotiations where the flight crews did not receive any pay raises.

According to Montgomery, the rejected offer would have provided Southwest Airlines attendants with pay that is 16% higher than non-union crews at Delta Air Lines, positioning them as industry leaders. Southwest Airlines, based in Dallas, expressed disappointment that the agreement reached by the negotiating committees was not ratified. The airline stated that it will await further information regarding the next steps from the union and the National Mediation Board, which has been involved in the negotiations.

Southwest Airlines is also negotiating with pilots, who have twice asked federal mediators for permission to begin a 30-day countdown to a strike but have been rejected both times. Flight attendants at American Airlines and United Airlines, represented by unions other than Southwest, are also in talks over new contracts.

Workers at Southwest Airlines have emphasized that they continued working during the pandemic and believe they deserve higher pay, especially now that most airlines have regained profitability. In comparison, pilots at American, United, and Delta Airlines have successfully secured raises of approximately 40% over five years.


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