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Fri, Feb 26, 2010

Southwest Airlines Stock Clerks Reject Contract

No Date Set For Talks To Resume

A group of about 170 Southwest Airlines stock clerks, which manage the parts inventories for the airline's aircraft, voted Tuesday to reject the a contract negotiated with the discount carrier.  The contract would have been retroactive to 2008, and would have become amendable August 16th, 2013.

The Washington Post reports that there were few details released about the contract, but that it did include wage and benefit increases sought by the union in exchange for work rule changes favored by the airline.

In a statement following the vote, Mike Van de Ven, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Southwest Airlines, said "We are disappointed that our hard-working Stock Clerks rejected the tentative agreement negotiated between the IBT and Southwest Airlines. As always, Southwest will respect the labor negotiation process and negotiate in good faith when the bargaining process resumes in an effort to seek a contract that is in the best interest of Employees, our Customers, our Shareholders, and our Company."

The rejected tentative agreement was for a new, five-year contract through August 16, 2013. The current contract became amendable on August 16, 2008. In the last 13 months, Southwest says it has worked with five unions to bring labor agreements covering more than 30,000 employees to a successful conclusion.

FMI: www.teamsters.org, www.southwest.com

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