DALLAS, Aug. 29, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After 10 months of mediated talks following a rejected tentative agreement by the pilots of Southwest Airlines, and more than four total years of talks, negotiators for the union and company have reached an agreement in principle on a new contract. Further work on final language will occur this week and the board of directors for the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA) will meet in mid-September to review the offer and decide if it should be put out for a membership ratification vote.
"While a new contract is certainly not a done deal, this is the next step in the process," said SWAPA President, Captain Jon Weaks. "Thanks in equal part to our economically justifiable position and unified pilot group, our negotiators were able to bring back an agreement worthy of review and discussion by our board of directors. However, the membership will have the final decision as always."
The agreement is through August 31, 2020 and provides pay-rate increases back to 2013, retroactive pay, and raises moving forward that will provide Southwest pilots with a compensation package that is market rate compared to pilots at Delta, United, and American. There are also changes to the pilots' retirement plan that align them with the industry standard practices. For Southwest Airlines, the potential new contract will allow them to build limited partnerships with other airlines for near-international interline agreements and far-international codeshare, with enforceable restrictions.
"We have been pushing for a contract that both rewards the most productive pilots in the industry and positions Southwest to enhance future pilot recruiting by offering a competitive contract," continued Weaks. "If our board or membership does not believe that this offer meets those needs, we will return to the negotiating table to continue working."
If the SWAPA Board of Directors puts the agreement out for a 30-day membership ratification, the vote would conclude in early November.
Located in Dallas, Texas, the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA) is a non-profit employee organization representing the more than 8,400 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 www.swapa.org.
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SOURCE Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association