Members of Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association Vote Against Ratification of New Contract With Company

Jun 03, 2009, 15:00 ET from Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association

Nearly 51 percent of pilots vote against accepting new Collective Bargaining Agreement

DALLAS, June 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the pilots of Southwest Airlines officially declined to ratify a new five-year contract with Southwest Airlines. Nearly 51 percent of pilots voted against implementing the new contract, with a voter participation rate of over 95 percent. The pilots and the Company have been in negotiations on a new contract agreement since it became amendable in September 2006.

"Our pilots have spoken, and the group has stated there is more work to be done," said Capt. Carl Kuwitzky, President of the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA). "This contract, despite some financial gains, contained too many other negative aspects to ratify it."

Although general thoughts on the cause for the failed ratification were expressed during the voting process, SWAPA will undergo extensive polling of the pilot group to fully pinpoint the aspects that the pilots want to see readdressed in talks with the Company.

Work to reopen talks with Southwest will begin immediately. The SWAPA Board of Directors will meet June 8-10 to continue discussions on returning to the bargaining table with Southwest. In the meantime, SWAPA pilots will continue under the current contract, including work rule and pay provisions. Under terms of the Railway Labor Act governing airline union negotiations, contracts do not expire. Rather, they become amendable on a certain date.

Located in Dallas, Texas, the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA) is a non-profit employee organization representing the more than 5,900 pilots of Southwest Airlines. SWAPA works to provide a secure and rewarding career for Southwest pilots and their families through negotiating contracts, defending contractual rights and actively promoting professionalism and safety. For more information on the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association, visit

SOURCE Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association