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Wed, Dec 20, 2023

SWA Pilots Announce Agreement

Contract Finally on the Way?

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) and Southwest Airlines announced that an Agreement in Principle (AIP) on a new contract has been reached.

Southwest folks may have an updated contract soon, thanks to their negotiating committee. An AIP in place allows them to move towards a Tentative Agreement, which will be voted on by the 11,000-strong pilot group before moving on to become an active contract. Before the pilots can vote, however, the agreement has to pass muster from SWAPA's 25-man board of directors.

“This AIP comes after three-and-a-half long years of negotiating. We are finally at a place where we think the value of our pilots and their productivity is being realized,” said SWAPA President Captain Casey Murray. “Our pilots and Southwest Airlines customers deserve security and confidence in our future and we believe that this contract achieves that.”

Earlier this month, the Negotiating Committee pulled back the curtain a bit on what they were up to, helping illustrate the breadth of topics they’re tackling. Unlike it may seem in the public eye, it’s about more than just some raises:

"Implementation, for those of you who have never gone through the process before, is a critical part of any new CBA. The huge number of changes required by C2020 will cause massive modifications in the way the Company conducts many of its processes. Not all of them will happen immediately upon ratification. Some changes, like a training bid and all of its tentacles — pay, trading, tracking annual move-ups — will need to be built from the ground up. Others, like updates to our disability plan, require legal review and filings."

"Our job now is to push the Company to commit to implementing the changes that they have agreed to and establish a timeline for our board and our Pilots to consider as they evaluate the deal. Even an industry-leading contract will be in jeopardy of failure if it takes six and a half years to implement."

FMI: www.swapa.org


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