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Southwest reaches new contract deal with flight attendants union

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, left, poses with the flight crew for flight 1013 to Denver, the first non-restricted flight out of Love Field, in Dallas, Monday, October 13, 2014.
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly, left, poses with the flight crew for flight 1013 to Denver, the first non-restricted flight out of Love Field, in Dallas, Monday, October 13, 2014. Star-Telegram

Southwest Airlines reached a tentative contract agreement with its flight attendants union that includes wage increases and possible bonuses.

Terms of the four-year contract were not released. The Transport Workers Union Local 556, which represents 12,000 flight attendants at Southwest, will send the tentative agreement out to members for a vote later this month.

“You’re going to see an agreement that not only maintains but improves our industry leading contract including your wages and your benefits,” TWU Local 556 president Audrey Stone said in a video message to flight attendants posted on Thursday.

If the contract is approved by flight attendants, it will run through May 2019.

“I applaud the efforts of everyone who worked so hard to craft an agreement that rewards our flight attendants for their excellence,” said Southwest’s chief operating officer Mike Van de Ven. “This tentative agreement not only provides additional money, it also supports Southwest's low-cost structure and positions the Company to be competitive in the years to come.”

Southwest has reached several new contract agreements with flight dispatchers, flight simulator technicians in the past few months. However, the airline is still in negotiations with its pilots, mechanics and ground workers unions and has been in contract talks with these groups for at least three years.

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