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Southwest Airlines, Teamsters reach new contract deal for material specialists


Southwest Airlines and the Teamsters union reached a new contract deal that gives material specialists a double-digit pay raise.

The tentative agreement includes a 20 percent signing bonus and an 8 percent pay raise on the date of ratification. The 300 material specialists, who manage the aircraft parts inventory for the Dallas-based carrier, still need to vote on the agreement.

“I am pleased with the ability of the union negotiators and Southwest Airlines to work cooperatively to convert the agreement-in-principal into a tentative agreement, and to do so without entering into the cumbersome federal mediation process,” said David Bourne, director of the Teamsters Airline division.

The two sides have been in negotiations since 2013. The agreement has an average of 27.3 percent pay increases over the life of the contract and eliminates the 21-year maximum salary cap and two-tier pay scale.

“It rewards our employees for their contributions, while supporting our low-fare brand,” said Southwest’s vice president of labor relations Russell McCrady.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk