Sat, Nov 20, 2010
Pilots Must Still Ratify Their Agreement Before The Larger
Boeing Will Fly For Southwest
Southwest Airlines said Thursday that its Flight Attendants,
represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556, voted
to ratify a tentative agreement reached with the Company in
September to add the Boeing 737-800 to the current collective
bargaining agreement. With this positive vote, the Flight
Attendants' current contract will also be extended by one year,
becoming amendable May 31, 2013, and will include the potential for
wage rate increases based on the Company's financial performance.
TWU 556 is made up of more than 9,700 Flight Attendants.
"Since we began evaluating the opportunity to introduce the
Boeing 737-800 into our fleet, the TWU negotiating committee and
Leadership Team quickly grasped the potential benefits along with
the added operational complexities associated with this decision,"
said Mike Van de Ven, Southwest Airlines Executive Vice President
and Chief Operating Officer. "This was an important step in our due
diligence process, and we are pleased that our hard working Flight
Attendants recognize the long-term benefits of adding this new
aircraft to our fleet."
The decision to add the -800 still isn't final. The carrier is
still waiting for a ratification vote with its Pilots' Union,
SWAPA, and is continuing to evaluate network and configuration
options. Any details regarding firm orders with Boeing, timing, and
quantity of deliveries are still to be determined. If the Company
pursues the -800, a joint committee would meet to work on the
logistical details related to scheduling and bidding procedures
that adding a fourth Flight Attendant will require.
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