Southwest customer service agents approve contract

Southwest Airlines’ customer service agents and customer representatives approved a new contract that includes pay raises and signing bonuses.

The 6,000 workers, who are represented by the International Association of Machinists, ratified the four-year agreement “by a majority of the voting membership,” the union said on Wednesday.

“The negotiation committee would like to thank you for your patience and support in achieving another industry leading contract,” IAM district 142 President David Supplee said in a union statement.

The contract includes 1.5 percent pay raises on the date of signing and for the first three years of the deal. In the last year of the contract, workers will receive a 2 percent raise.

“I am proud to have a new, lucrative contract that rewards our employees for their exceptional performance, while adding flexibilities that support our mission of being the number one low-cost carrier in the country,” Southwest Senior Vice President Randy Babbitt said in a statement.

Southwest is currently in contract negotiations with its pilots and ramp workers, which have both asked for federal mediators to help with contract talks. It is also in negotiations four other unions, including its flight attendants.